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Books Year : 2023

Intelligence Oversight in Times of Transnational Impunity


This book adopts a critical lens to look at the workings of Western intelligence and intelligence oversight over time and space. Largely confined to the sub-field of intelligence studies, scholarly engagements with intelligence oversight have typically downplayed the violence carried out by secretive agencies. These studies have often served to justify weak oversight structures and promoted only marginal adaptations of policy frameworks in the wake of intelligence scandals. The essays gathered in this volume challenge the prevailing doxa in the academic field, adopting a critical lens to look at the workings of intelligence oversight in Europe and North America. Through chapters spanning across multiple disciplines – political sociology, history, and law – the book aims to recast intelligence oversight as acting in symbiosis with the legitimisation of the state’s secret violence and the enactment of impunity, showing how intelligence actors practically navigate the legal and political constraints created by oversight frameworks and practices, for instance by developing transnational networks of interdependence. The book also explores inventive legal steps and human rights mechanisms aimed at bridging some of the most serious gaps in existing frameworks, drawing inspiration from recent policy developments in the international struggle against torture. This book will be of much interest to students of intelligence studies, sociology, security studies, and international relations.
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hal-04298844 , version 1 (21-11-2023)


Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives



Didier Bigo, Emma Mc Cluskey, Félix Tréguer (Dir.). Intelligence Oversight in Times of Transnational Impunity: Who Will Watch the Watchers?. Routledge, 311 p., 2023, New Intelligence Studies, 978-1-03-240654-1. ⟨10.4324/9781003354130⟩. ⟨hal-04298844⟩
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