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Call for Papers: Intelligence Services and Democracy

Intelligence services and their activities present unique challenges for democracies all over the world: on the one hand, these services serve a key role in national security and foreign policy and provide decision-makers with crucial information and assessments, while on the other hand, clandestine intelligence means and methods as well as the wide investigative and intrusive powers vested in intelligence services require effective democratic oversight and control mechanisms.  The inherent conflict between intelligence secrecy and government transparency highlights the importance of intelligence accountability, parliamentary oversight and legal compliance. Recent revelations over the global collection activities of the NSA, as well as controversies over the roles of intelligence in countering terrorism, increase the need for informed research and debate over intelligence and democracy.

We are seeking original papers on issues relating to intelligence services and democracy in their widest meaning, including but not limited to papers examining specific intelligence services, activities, operations, accountability, oversight, investigations or developments.  Papers can cover any time period, from the antique world to the present day, and are not limited geographically.

The conference theme this year is broad, both in terms of the periods covered and of the focus of papers.  This will ensure a wide discussion and comparison of a variety of themes relating to intelligence and democracy in many different countries.  We encourage paper proposals from young researchers and doctoral students as well as from more established scholars.

Submission and deadline:

Please submit your paper proposal abstract of 150-300 words and your CV by email to Anna Abelmann, the IIHA Executive Director, at: exec_director[at] The deadline for proposal submissions is 20th February 2014.  Acceptance notifications will go out by early March.

Publication of Papers:

Conference presenters are encouraged to submit their revised paper in the form of an article to the Association’s Journal of Intelligence History within two months after the conference.


The 2014 annual conference is going to take place at the Akademie für Politische Bildung / Academy for Civic Education in Tutzing (Buchensee 1, 82327 Tutzing), Germany.