Secrecy, Spies and the Global South: Intelligence Studies beyond the ‘Five Eyes’ Alliance

  • Citation: Shiraz, Zakia, and Richard Aldrich. “Secrecy, Spies and the Global South: Intelligence Studies beyond the ‘Five Eyes’ Alliance.” International Affairs 95, no. 6 (2019): 1313–29.
    • Topics:
    • Conflict and Security
    • Keywords:
    • Global South
    • intelligence
    • academics
    • secret service
    • surveillance
    • ethics

The study of secrecy and spies remain subjects dominated by Anglo-American experiences. In recent years there has been some effort to refocus the lens of research upon ‘intelligence elsewhere’, including the global South. This is partly because of intense interest in the Arab Spring and ‘managed democracy’, placing a wider range of secret services under the spotlight. However, the approach to research is still dominated by concepts and methods derived from studying the English-speaking states of the ‘Five Eyes’ alliance and their European outriders. This article calls for a re-examination of research strategies for Intelligence Studies and for those theorizing surveillance, suggesting that both fields have much to learn from area studies and development studies, especially in the realm of research practice and ethics. If the growing number of academics specializing in intelligence genuinely wish to move forward and examine the global South they will need to rethink their tool-kit and learn from other disciplines. We suggest there is a rich tradition to draw upon.

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