Intelligence expertise in the age of information sharing: public-private “collection” and its challenges to democratic control and accountability

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The emergence of a more elusive and uncertain threat environment has transformed the nature of intelligence, increasing its reliance on civil society partners. Once the work of an insular and carefully select few, intelligence production is now a networked, partially open and extensively public–private enterprise. Most poignantly, new practices of public–private ‘collection’ face Western intelligence services with novel questions about control and accountability – questions to which the services have responded with hopes that by standardizing ‘methodologies’, central command may be retained. Suggesting a more complex picture, this article argues that ‘managing uncertainty’ imply forms of interpretation and choices which cannot be pre-empted by rule-regulation: more than Weber’s ideal of the procedural and rule-bound, it may be his (once central, yet largely marginalized) emphasis on institutional and individual capacities for critical ‘judgment’ that is of relevance today.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIntelligence and National Security
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)21-35
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 174860250