Accueil > Introduction to intelligence


Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

Intelligence is a much discussed, but often little understood aspect 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, deliberately including many from outside the Anglo-Saxon world. The course asks a number of questions about the universality, or otherwise, of assumptions about intelligence. 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 has been the case in the past, and, in particular, a number of the sessions will feature a short practical exercise of some kind. The course is taught by a former British government defence 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). In addition, for several 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