Accueil > Introduction to intelligence


Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

Intelligence is a much discussed but little understood facet of government and politics. This course seeks to de-mystify, intelligence, by explaining in simple terms what it is, why it is needed, how it is used, and the problems of collecting it and managing it in a democratic society. The main emphasis is on the use of intelligence as an aid to policy-making and implementation, especially in foreign and security policy. Intelligence organisations are discussed as an element of government, and a part of different political systems around the world. Throughout, the emphasis is on practical issues and problems, and historical and contemporary case studies, including many from outside the Anglo-Saxon world. The course includes a realistic exercise in the application of intelligence to the management of a crisis. This year, the course will have more of the attributes of a seminar than usual, and, in particular, about half of the sessions will feature a short practical exercise of some kind. The course is taught by a former British government official with long experience of security policy questions in a number of countries around the world.


CHUTER, David (Ex Administrateur civil britannique détaché à la délégation aux Affaires Stratégiques, ministère de la Défense)

Pedagogical format

The sessions will be a mixture of lecture/seminar format, with opportunities for questions and comments.

Course validation

The students will be assessed on two written take-home assignments, each of 2500 words, and to be completed at the mid-point and at the end of the course.


A limited amount of reading is required (see below). For most sessions, 3-4 students will be asked to think about the issues raised in advance and be ready with questions or comments. In addition, for about half of the sessions, students will be expected to read and think about a short scenario, not exceeding one page.

Required reading

  • David Chuter, Governing and Managing the Defence Sector, Institute for Security Studies, 2011, Chapter 8, « Intelligence » (available as a PDF from
  • R Jervis, « Why Intelligence and Policy Makers Clash » in Political Science Quarterly, Vol 125, No 2, (2010)

Plans de cours et bibliographies