Skip to content

Call for Papers: “Communicating Secret Intelligence”

The 2020 conference is going to take place at the “Akademie für Politische Bildung” in Tutzing/Germany from June 19-21, 2020.


It is almost a trite truism that communication is at the very core of secret intelligence. Information collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination, all entail some kind of communication. Intelligence agencies need to plan and provide direction; partners need to be informed; channels of communication have to be selected and secured against unauthorized access. The product – knowledge constructed in a specific setting based on information – will have to be carefully weighed and formulated so that decision-makers are provided with the support they need. Also, more and more, intelligence agencies are called upon by a critical public to make transparent operational details, including sources and collection methods viewed as infringing on civil liberties, such as the right to privacy. Meanwhile, public interest in and even fascination with espionage means that intelligence agencies and officers hold a prominent place in popular discourse through books, movies and other cultural products. Frequently, entanglements between these seemingly separate communicative processes have played a role in intelligence successes and failures.


The conference theme is intentionally broad, both in terms of the periods covered and of the focus of papers. This will provide a wide discussion and a variety of themes relating to the various facets of communication and secret intelligence.


We welcome paper proposals on every issue relating to the conference theme, with special emphasis on:


– communicating information and intelligence agencies’ construction of knowledge

– sharing of secret intelligence amongst partners

– collaboration, double agents and the protection of secrets

– protecting intelligence communication: cyber-security, big and small data

– intelligence, data processing, and privacy protection

– educating about secret intelligence and its representations in popular discourse


One panel will be open to young scholars, and we especially encourage paper proposals from young researchers and doctoral students, as well as from established scholars and former practitioners.


Please submit your paper proposal abstract of 200-300 words and your detailed CV in English by email to exec_director[a]


The deadline for proposal submissions is January 15, 2020.