Sharing Secrets : Explaining International Intelligence Cooperation

Abstract: Why has multilateral cooperation developed in the intelligence field? Prior research has deemed such cooperation unlikely, irrelevant or even dangerous due to low gains and high risks. However, multilateral intelligence cooperation both exists and seems to be on the increase. This study aims to explain this puzzling development. Drawing on institutional theory, the author advances a model of international intelligence cooperation. The model is applied to the development of multilateral intelligence cooperation in Europe. Based partly on a unique set of interviews with intelligence officers from eleven states, three cooperative forums are analyzed in detail: Europol, the EU Situation Centre and the Counterterrorism Group. The author finds that apart from state preferences, the development of intelligence cooperation is largely determined by the self-interest and culture of national agencies, international institutional entrepreneurship and the way power-asymmetries are mirrored in the design of cooperative arrangements. As well as generating a more thorough understanding of the costs and benefits of international intelligence cooperation, the study offers important insights into future directions of cooperation and its connection to both national security and international policy-making.

  This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.