CANADA: Intelligence studies in higher education

Intelligence studies as an academic discipline was slow to develop in universities. Perhaps the cause was the secrecy attaching to intelligence matters, or the reluctance of academe to engage with clandestine services, or the fear of being subverted by covert organisations, but universities in most countries seemed disinclined to embark on teaching or research programmes relating to the intelligence domain.

A few universities, most notably in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and Israel, offered individual courses on intelligence studies topics during the Cold War era, though mainly in the field of intelligence history. But most academic programmes in international relations, political science, history, and even conflict studies eschewed any reference to intelligence topics.

As late as the 1990s, a then-forward-looking report commissioned by the leading Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs gave scant attention to Security Studies, while neglecting Intelligence Studies entirely (2). In the words of British scholar Christopher Andrew, it was the ''missing dimension'' of international studies (3).

Yet, since that time, intelligence and security studies have taken on a new life in academe. Even as student interest is burgeoning, universities find themselves grappling with resourcing, staffing, and curricular challenges facing such a uniquely interdisciplinary, historically secretive, politically sensitive, policy-driven academic field.

Preliminary initiatives in intelligence studies

The quarter century following the end of World War II witnessed the blossoming and flourishing of academic programmes in international relations, diplomatic history, and the various area studies in higher education institutions across North America and the free world. Nevertheless, the dramatic growth of these academic programmes almost everywhere failed to include the teaching of intelligence subjects as part of these curricula. And, prior to the late 1970s, few, if any, courses (or modules, in the British academic lexicon) on intelligence studies were taught anywhere (3). Even intelligence content was notable for its almost
total absence from higher education.

A surge of public interest in intelligence matters during the 1970s, triggered by world events (for example Chile, Iran), scandalous fiascos (for example Watergate), sensational congressional and other official inquiries (4), startling revelations (for example Britain's 'Ultra' secret), conspiracy theories, and, undoubtedly, popular fiction and films (for example 'James Bond') (5), helped awaken academe to the relevance of intelligence to the policies and conduct of international affairs.

Moreover, retired practitioners and others with experience in the intelligence domain were proceeding to take up teaching positions at US colleges and universities, where they introduced intelligence-related courses. That process seems to have been quite individualistic and helter-skelter. In a more structured initiative, the US Central Intelligence Agency launched its Officers-in-Residence programme in the Fall of 1985, placing experienced intelligence veterans at universities to promote academic interest in the field (6).

Whereas at the start of the decade of the 1980s, intelligence topics were rarely present in academic curricula, by 1985 a reported 54 courses on intelligence subjects were being taught at various US colleges and universities (7). By decade's end, intelligence studies courses were on offer at such schools as American University, the University of Georgia, George Washington University and Yale University, and at scores of colleges across the United States, usually in departments of history or political science.

In Britain, intelligence content was introduced into academe at the primary instance of Sir Francis Harry Hinsley, who left the Government Code and Cypher School after the war to take up a lectureship at the University of Cambridge, where he was appointed Professor of International Relations in 1969; and in the 1990s Christopher Andrew proceeded to introduce a history tripos (undergraduate honours degree programme) on intelligence at Cambridge (8).

Along with this emergent institutionalisation of intelligence studies in academe occurred a parallel and related explosion of academic research and scholarly writing on intelligence topics (9). This research output on the part of scholars was augmented by valuable contributions from journalists, retired practitioners and others. Epistemological communities began to be formed around these stakeholders. The Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies (CASIS) was formed in 1985 to provide a forum for discourse among academics, practitioners, government officials and other stakeholders. In November of that same year, the International Studies Association (ISA) set up an Intelligence Studies Section in recognition of the distinctive place earned by Intelligence Studies in American academia.

The rising tide of research writing inspired the appearance of two new journals specialising in Intelligence Studies. In 1985, Christopher Andrew and Michael Handel launched Intelligence and National Security in the UK. That same year, the International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence was established under the editorship of F Reese Brown in the US, albeit with more of a political science, international relations, professional appeal.

Another specialist publication, the Journal of Intelligence History, was inaugurated in 2001 by the International Intelligence History Association, based in Germany. In 2007, the European Journal of Intelligence Studies was launched as an electronic publication under Belgian-Dutch editorship. Taken together, the annual conferences of the ISA and CASIS and the publication of these topical journals created outlets for new research, for intellectual discourse, and teaching resources for academic courses in intelligence studies.

These developments laid the foundation for a proliferation of new courses on intelligence subjects at many higher educational institutions across the United States and elsewhere during the 1990s. Alas, despite the momentum generated by committed faculty and student interest, some pushback developed. Controversy in the United States over the 1991 National Security Education Act, which aimed to support the development of academic programmes in foreign language and area studies, militated against involvement of the intelligence community. By implication, this excluded intelligence studies from the purview of the Act.

In any event, the Central Intelligence Agency, through its Center for the Study of Intelligence, proceeded in 1993 to convene a Symposium on Teaching Intelligence intended to promote greater interchange between intelligence practitioners and academics (10). The aim was to encourage the inclusion of intelligence content in teaching about international relations, which would hopefully help foster greater public interest and understanding of the role of intelligence in statecraft.

Academic engagement with intelligence studies continued to spread. Indeed, a follow-up conference organised in 1999 by the Joint Military Intelligence College characterised as "flourishing" the teaching of intelligence studies in American higher education institutions (11). By then an estimated 200 or 300 courses on intelligence subjects were being taught in US colleges and universities (12). As well, courses on intelligence subjects were also being taught at a goodly number of British (13), Canadian (14), European (15) and Israeli (16) universities. In addition, many courses in political science, international relations and history taught in universities around the world now incorporated at least some intelligence content.

A contemporary overview of intelligence studies in academia notes four paradigmatic approaches to the teaching of intelligence in American higher education institutions: one, the historical approach, wherein the emphasis is placed on past experience or personalities; two, the functional approach, focusing on operational activities and processes; three, the structural approach, examining the role of intelligence and security agencies in the conduct of international affairs; and four, the political approach, which addresses policy-making and governance issues (17). Most of the instruction remains at the undergraduate level. Course offerings are accommodated mainly within the framework of departments of history, and secondarily, political science-international relations.

Evolution of intelligence studies programmes in academia

The ensuing scatter of intelligence-related courses was painstakingly slow to crystallise into full-fledged, degree programmes in intelligence studies. To be sure, several innovative programmes in intelligence studies were established at various institutions during the early 2000s: at Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania and at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in the United States; at Brunel University and the Universities of Salford and Wales-Aberystwyth in the United Kingdom; and at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Canada.

Yet, for the most part, academe remained slow on the uptake. Even after the terrorist attacks on the United States of 11 September 2001 catapulted intelligence and security matters to the forefront of international relations, universities were inexplicably tardy in developing academic programmes dealing with intelligence and security studies. Indicative of this laggard response was that, out of more than 1,800 Canada Research Chairs established in Canadian universities since 2000 under that federal initiative to promote academic excellence in priority fields identified by the universities themselves, not one was dedicated to intelligence studies. Not a single one.

Certainly the evolution of degree programmes has not been taken to imply that intelligence studies be treated academically as a discipline in its own right is pertinent. Certainly, the morphology, standards and concerns addressing intelligence studies have prompted questions as to the place of this subject in the pantheon of American academia, in particular. For intelligence studies incorporates a wide spectrum of conceptual-theoretical perspectives and subject matter. In so doing, it is not unlike other well-recognised, eclectic academic fields as disparate as international development studies, religious studies, women's studies, and terrorism studies (18).

The study of intelligence certainly encompasses a multitude of governance, policy, institutional, operational, and behavioural parameters in its intellectual purview. This syncretism has introduced new and original paradigms, innovative conceptualisations, and insightful comparative, empirical and historical case studies into the academic repertoire of intelligence studies, similar to the intellectual processes aptly described in Thomas Kuhn's classic, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (19).

Interdisciplinarity became, indeed, a veritable hallmark of Intelligence Studies (20). Wherever the intelligence studies programmes and courses are on offer, they seem to attract a strong student enrolment. Courses and programmes are reportedly generally oversubscribed at both the undergraduate and graduate levels (21). Nevertheless, market considerations seem to work sluggishly in academe, so that soaring demand has taken some time to elicit a commensurate increase in the supply of intelligence studies programmes and courses.

Only by the middle of the first decade of the 21st century did a heightened infusion of government funding foster the building of substantial additional academic capacity for intelligence and security studies, at least in some jurisdictions. In the United States, the driver of this development was the US intelligence community's 'Center of Academic Excellence' programme, introduced in 2005, which aimed at initiating American universities into preparatory course work, intended to meet the longer-term human resource needs of the intelligence services (22).

Initially, support was granted for the establishment of centres at four universities: Clark Atlanta University, Florida International University, Tennessee State University and Trinity University. Subsequently, additional centres were funded at California State University, Norfolk State University, University of Texas at El Paso, University of Texas Pan American, University of Washington and Wayne State University.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Homeland Security established its own 'Centers of Excellence' initiative, offering some US$150 million to university-based partnerships to support teaching and advanced research on subjects relating to societal security and critical infrastructure protection. Eleven Homeland Security Centers of Excellence were being funded as of March 2008, including: the Center for Border Security and Immigration, led by the University of Arizona and the University of Texas; the Center for Explosives Detection, Mitigation, and the Response, led by Northeastern University and the University of Rhode Island; the Center for Maritime, Island, and Port Security, led by the University of Hawaii and the Stevens Institute of Technology; the Center for Natural Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure, and Emergency Management, led by the University of North Carolina and Jackson State University; the Center for Transportation Security, led by Texas Southern University, Tougaloo College and the University of Connecticut; the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, led by the University of Southern California; the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, led by the University of Minnesota; the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense, led by Texas A&M University; the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, led by the University of Maryland; the National Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response, led by Johns Hopkins University; the Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment, led by Michigan State University; the University Affiliate Centers to the Institute for Discrete Sciences led by Rutgers University, the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Pittsburgh; and the Regional Visualization and Analytics Centers led by Penn State University, Purdue University, Stanford University, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Washington.

In Spain, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid in 2005 set up a Cátedra Servicios de Inteligencia y Sistemas Democráticos offering a dedicated academic programme in intelligence studies. Subsequently, in 2006, the Instituto Juan Valáquez de Velasco de investigacion en Inteligencia para Securidas y la Defensa was established at Universidad Carlos III in Madrid. The Institute was given a dual mandate to conduct research and promote postgraduate education in intelligence, security and defence studies among Spanish universities. Towards these ends, an annual bilingual (Spanish-English) annual journal, Inteligencia y seguridad: revista de análisis y prospective, was launched under the aegis of the Institute's publications programme, being co-edited by both university programmes (23).

The respective government research funding agencies of Australia and Britain assigned high priority to promoting university research on matters of national security concern. Britain's Higher Education Funding Council for England identified 'terrorism and conflict' as key issues for its 2006-2011 funding programme, which also prioritised area studies and languages, while the Economic and Social Research Council placed emphasis on 'New Security Challenges' (24). Australia, for its part, appropriated A$40 million (US$30 million, approximately) to universities for 143 research projects relating to national security. In response to these fiscal initiatives, new academic programmes in intelligence and security studies came into being at various universities across the United States, and also in Australia and Great Britain, mostly building on existing institutional capabilities across cognate disciplines (25).

Education policy challenges facing intelligence studies

Whereas private universities and colleges appeared to have become responsive to student interest and government research funding, America's larger universities and publicly funded institutions generally seemed somewhat more circumspect in their reactions to the demand for intelligence studies. In part, this may have reflected the difficulties of recruiting experienced faculty for this emergent academic field, where scarce talent is in great demand. Yet, a sense of caution also prevailed as to the longer-term sustainability of government support for teaching and research programmes in intelligence and national security studies, with an accompanying uncertainty as to how long the current demand might actually last. By and large, universities tend to look for longer-term financial resourcing, like endowment funding, before taking on commitments of faculty and staff to public interest enterprises.

Government funding, in many jurisdictions, found itself in a quandary of its own. Most governments in democracies prefer to provide core funding for higher education through lump-sum appropriations to the institutions concerned. They tend not to want to intervene directly in earmarking resource allocations among the various academic fields. Neither would it be appropriate, or indeed welcome, for intelligence services themselves to extend financial support for university programmes, as distinct from funding some specific, transparent activities such as conferences, scholarships or research. As a result, capacity building remains constrained by resourcing dilemmas that reflect a dissonance between national and institutional priorities.

Allocations of academic resources within higher education may not, and often do not, correspond to the declared needs of government for knowledge development . Compounding the resource constraint , intelligence and national security studies rarely seem to attract private endowments or gifts, unlike such other high profile academic fields as business and medicine, or even the liberal arts in general.

The goals of security studies

What are the objectives of Intelligence and national security studies in higher education? Certainly not to provide training in actual intelligence tradecraft. That is something best left to the national intelligence and security community itself. Rather, the aim of university-based programmes is to contribute to the building of public knowledge about the mandates, strategies, structures and functioning of intelligence and security organisations in statecraft: historically and contemporaneously. The programmes also serve to educate students about intelligence and national security matters, whether they are seeking to pursue careers in the intelligence community itself, or whether they choose to work elsewhere in government or the public sector, in education and research, in the media, in civil society organisations, in the legal profession or in the private sector.

Arguably, intelligence studies programmes structured within an international affairs framework can offer an especially valuable educational purview for aspiring intelligence analysts (26). In certain of the professions, like engineering or management, exposure to intelligence and national security studies can even help impart specialised expertise for working in technical fields like critical infrastructure protection. Over and above the vocational aspect, educating people about their own country's intelligence history can go a long way toward demystifying the secret services, while acquainting the public with their national experience in deploying intelligence for national security, defence and foreign policy.

University-based research represents an especially valuable means of building knowledge at the leading edge of historical and policy-oriented intelligence and security studies. As compared to the professional analytical work taking place within the intelligence and security community, most of which remains classified, the thrust of academic research is precisely to offer an outside perspective based on open sources that allow new insights, comparative assessments, analytical reviews or experiential accounts pertaining to intelligence and security policies, organisations and activities.

In the past, intelligence services were uneasy about research inquiries into their secretive domains, but in most democracies today, academic research is recognised as contributing added value to broader governmental and public knowledge of, and ability to address the requirements of, the security and intelligence community. Indeed, some research output might even be found to be of value by the community itself for developing policies, strategies, and activities pertaining to emergent requirements. Academic research may, furthermore, prove useful for improving operational capabilities, especially in the domains of intelligence analysis, community outreach, and human resource management (27).

Yet, symptomatic of the challenges facing intelligence studies in the contemporary research environment is the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC) template introduced in March 2008 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Statistics New Zealand for monitoring research activities in the two countries. It omitted any reference to intelligence studies among the thousands of recognised fields of study in the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, arts and humanities (28). That came in a jurisdiction - Australia - which was wont to give high policy priority to intelligence and national security affairs.

To meet their objectives, academic programmes in intelligence and security studies must be able to sustain their trustworthiness apropos all the key stakeholders, most notably their students and faculty colleagues, civil society and interested public, and their subjects of study, the combined intelligence and security community. Probably more than for most other fields of public policy, trust will take time to build and veracity to uphold.

Precisely because of the secrecy and political sensitivities attaching to intelligence and national security, the academic enterprise must demonstrate - and be seen to demonstrate - transparency, scholarly propriety and intellectual acuity in teaching, research and public comment, and in performing advisory functions. At the same time, intelligence and security studies scholars would do well to eschew sensationalism for its own sake, likewise intellectual arrogance. Given the sensitivities on both sides, a 'firewall' is likely to be erected between the academic and practitioner communities. Yet, trustworthy relationships built on mutual respect, shared objectives and professional propriety should be able to reach across the firewall.

The higher educational function of the university impels it to observe, study, explain, instruct and advise, and thus contribute to the advancement of knowledge in society and globally. With academic freedom to pursue these knowledge-building ends must come accountability and responsibility. Especially in a politically sensitive field like intelligence and national security, scholarship must distinguish itself from mere academic advocacy. Universities in democracies can have a special influence on public attitudes and policies that derive from their dual, interrelated roles as higher education institutions and as research institutions. In the words of a former Canadian university dean of arts:

Although [universities] do not themselves have political decision-making power and although they are not major economic powers in their own right, nonetheless they do exert a powerful influence on decision-makers and on students who will become decision-makers. Further, they engage in research that is occasionally of great moment to a field, an industry, a society, and through that they are powerful institutions. (29)

The university curriculum, defining what is taught, represents its most transparent prism for higher educational accountability and scholarly responsibility. A typical curriculum will emphasise the sequence of specialised disciplinary competencies and skills it aims to impart, supplemented by cognate areas of knowledge that broaden intellectual horizons or contribute relevant skills, and augmented by optional courses-modules that enrich and enhance the learning experience. Of course, each higher educational institution and academic programme has evolved its own curriculum promulgating its distinctive approach to the particular fields of learning, offering unique permutations and combinations of topical areas. Nevertheless, some common curricular attributes from the variety of dedicated degree programmes now in existence may be distilled in order to suggest a prototype, or template, for intelligence studies generally (30). Such a prototypical template could help inspire the future design of new academic programmes in intelligence studies at universities that may be contemplating embarking on this vital enterprise.

Designing an intelligence studies curriculum

Whereas various universities offer intelligence studies programmes at all degree levels from undergraduate or (post)graduate to masters and-or doctoral, here we will concentrate on curriculum design at the masters level specifically. For, whereas some undergraduate degree programmes may include individual courses (or modules, in the British academic lexicon) on intelligence, the overall thrust of academic curricula at this level tends to emphasise the basic disciplinary paradigms - most usually political science, international relations or history - and related skill-sets.

At the doctoral level, the orientation is usually toward preparation for the research initiative that culminates in a thesis/dissertation exercise that is expected to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the given field of study. At the masters level, curricula are typically designed to reinforce disciplinary training with advanced enhancements and enrichments, often with a substantive focus on theoretical issues in the discipline. Masters programmes in international affairs, in particular, tend to emphasise interdisciplinary curricula that integrate academic and professional approaches, with capstone courses that converge around specific policy areas, as distinct from the more theoretical orientation of most single-disciplinary programmes (31). Since this interdisciplinary, academic/professional approach seems especially compatible with intelligence studies, the prototypal curriculum template formulated here will be designed around the masters level international affairs framework.

The prototypal curriculum for a masters programme in intelligence studies proposes three instructional elements:

(a) Core courses: dedicated interdisciplinary courses on intelligence topics that provide the intellectual foundation for advanced work in this field.
(b) Cognate courses: specified courses in related academic fields that provide breadth and depth to studies of intelligence;
(c) Optional courses: recommended courses on intelligence topics and other related disciplines that deal with particular issue areas, institutions and policy matters of interest and relevance to intelligence studies.

This blend of core foundation, specified cognate, and recommended optional courses ensures the interdisciplinary coherence of the intelligence studies programme, while providing an appropriate measure of flexibility to meet individual student interests. Many masters degree programmes will also include certain stipulated course requirements common to all fields in their purview, for example, courses in analytical methods, economics, or a foreign language, and some will have provision for an independent research exercise (for example a masters thesis).

Core courses

Based on a sampling of established programmes in intelligence studies now offered at universities in Australia, Europe and North America, core courses in the prototypal template could include the following subjects:

Comparative intelligence systems:
A survey of the intelligence apparatus in various international jurisdictions, including an examination of their performance of the relevant intelligence functions: security intelligence, foreign intelligence, signals intelligence, counterintelligence, financial intelligence, imagery intelligence, defence intelligence, peacekeeping intelligence, intelligence analysis and assessment etc.

Intelligence and statecraft:
An examination of the place of intelligence in the foreign and security policies of various governments, covering such issues as tasking and resourcing, interactions with law enforcement and military institutions, management and oversight of intelligence services, international liaison and cooperation, relations with civil society, and the utilisation of intelligence products in statecraft.

Intelligence strategies and operations:
An analysis of the strategic and tactical approaches utilised by intelligence services to deal with contemporary national security threats and challenges arising from international terrorism, espionage, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, economic and industrial espionage, international contention, aggression, insurgency, transnational criminality etc.

National security law:
An assessment of the ethical and legal considerations affecting intelligence and national security activities, including the statutory precepts for intelligence and national security in democracies, privacy rights, human rights, public safety, the adjudication of national security cases etc.

Students enrolled in a masters programme in intelligence studies should be required to complete all the stipulated core courses at the grade standard set for graduate studies at the university concerned.

Cognate courses

The specified cognate courses in the intelligence studies template address the relevance of certain other areas of knowledge, outside the immediate sphere of intelligence, while contributing to a fuller understanding of intelligence and security issues. Three broad fields of study seem to have particular pertinence to an intelligence curriculum: area studies, conflict analysis, and the philosophy of law. To be sure, each of these embraces a relatively wide spectrum of subjects. The cognate courses identified in this prototypal template do not exclude other possible offerings that accord with particular programe perspectives:

Area studies:
Africa; Asia; Canada; Europe; Latin America; Middle East; Russia; United States (32).

Conflict analysis:
Foreign and security policies of key countries; interstate and intrastate conflict; ethnicity and civil war; crisis decision-making; civil-military relations; weapons proliferation and arms control; terrorism and counterterrorism; peace-building and reconstruction.

Philosophy of law:
Ethical issues in international affairs; public international legal theory and practice; human rights; international governance; constitutional law; law of the international community; crime and social control.

Students in the masters programme in intelligence studies should be expected to complete at least one approved graduate course in each of the specified cognate fields.

Optional courses

The recommended optional courses are designed to extend, broaden and deepen the range of topics in intelligence Studies available to address the specific interests and objectives of individual learners. The subjects proffered in this template reflect the range of specialised intelligence studies courses now on offer at established university programme:

* International/national intelligence history
* Ethics of intelligence
* Espionage in war and peace
* The signals intelligence experience
* The imagery intelligence experience
* Financial intelligence, terrorism resourcing and money laundering
* The counterintelligence experience
* Intelligence and counterterrorism
* Peacekeeping intelligence
* Intelligence analysis: essentials and techniques
* National security accountability and intelligence oversight
* National security, civil liberties and human rights
* Critical infrastructure protection: strategies and issues
* International intelligence relations and alliances
* Information technology, surveillance and security
* Intelligence and interrogations
* Intelligence and the media
* Intelligence in literature and film

Pertinent elective courses may be imported from other university departments such as political science, international relations, anthropology, criminology, economics, history, Islamic studies, law, psychology, public health, and sociology. By way of reciprocity, intelligence studies courses can and should be made accessible to students registered in other university programmes, as appropriate. The actual selection of optional courses by students in intelligence studies would be governed by their individual academic interests and objectives, subject to faculty approval and consistent with degree requirements.

Compatability possibilities

By adopting this dual academic-professional policy orientation, intelligence studies programmes can also become compatible partners for joint degree initiatives with professional schools like business, engineering, journalism and law. Joint professional degrees tend to be structured around the academic symmetry and complementarities between the partner programmes.

The policy thrust of the intelligence studies curriculum can be made to mesh seamlessly and synergetically with the more technical elements of a professional curriculum into a joint applied professional policy degree programme, as exemplified by the innovative Masters of Infrastructure Protection and International Security degree designed jointly by Carleton University's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. Many business schools have already incorporated courses on business or competitive intelligence into their programmes, though some, like the College of Business at the State University of New Mexico, and Sheffield Hallam University in Great Britain, have gone further to blend intelligence studies more comprehensively into their professional business studies curricula. Similar opportunities may exist for joint intelligence studies/journalism programmes and intelligence studies/law programmes.

Until now only a few dedicated departments of intelligence studies have been established in academia. Examples include the Institute for Intelligence Studies at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania, and the Brunel University Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies in the UK. More commonly, intelligence studies programmes are comfortably accommodated within the institutional framework of multidisciplinary, policy-oriented graduate schools.

Some universities have arranged for dedicated intelligence studies programmes to be included within the framework of their interdisciplinary schools of international studies (for example Carleton University's Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service). Other universities have incorporated intelligence studies offerings as part of congenial, discipline-based graduate degree programmes (for example Macquarie University Graduate School of Management; University of Maryland School of Public Policy; University Roma Tre Faculty of Political Science; University of Salford School of English, Sociology, Politics and Contemporary History; University of Wales, Aberystyth, Department of International Politics).

In a distinctly French initiative, the political studies program at l'Université Montesquieu-Bordeaux IV introduced a diplôme de 3e cycle in Intelligence Studies jointly with the Centre Français de Recherche sur le Renseignement (French Center for the Study of Intelligence) in Paris. Many other universities in countries as far afield as Australia (33), Austria (34), Brazil, Canada (35), Chile, France (36), Germany (37), Great Britain (38), Israel, Italy, Mexico, Romania (39), Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the Netherlands, the United States and perhaps elsewhere as well, have taken the step of introducing intelligence course content into their respective undergraduate or (post)graduate programmes in international history, political science and security studies.

Teaching intelligence studies

A chronic scarcity of available, qualified faculty remains an imposing constraint on the development of intelligence studies programmes almost everywhere. Decades of neglect and under-funding, coupled with the near-freezing of university hiring over many years, led to a situation where there were comparatively few new doctoral candidates entering most of the social sciences. Intelligence studies was especially hard-hit by both the virtual absence of research funding and the sheer paucity of academic openings.

That relatively few qualified candidates were readily available when intelligence studies programmes sought to expand, and new programmes were being established, should hardly be surprising. Alas, the age of retirement is taking a mounting toll among the professoriate in intelligence studies, perhaps even more than in other segments of the social sciences, thus greatly exacerbating the dearth of faculty resources in this expanding field.

Though long neglected and frequently overlooked in the past, intelligence studies arguably seems about to embark on a vibrant renaissance. But because of the acute shortage of qualified scholars, this new expansion might have to be staffed in good part by early-retired practitioners and faculty from cognate fields induced to move to this growth area. A reliance on ex-practitioners and myriad others can perhaps add valuable exogenous perspectives to these burgeoning programmes, yet the absence of a critical mass of dedicated intelligence studies scholars might make it difficult, if not impossible, to uphold the teaching and research standards expected of graduate schools.

Already, paranoia prevails in certain academic circles about the bona fides of intelligence and security studies (40). Delaying professorial retirements in order to retain faculty strength may be feasible but can be only a short-term solution. Over the longer run, effective capacity-building in intelligence studies will require a substantive effort to produce a succeeding generation of qualified intelligence studies scholars. Unless this occurs, the current post-2001 surge in societal interest in intelligence studies will come up against a plunge in academic capacity.

Meeting current needs

Capacity-building in intelligence studies calls for a three-pronged approach: emphasising core funding for programme development; research initiatives; and student scholarships. Intelligence studies programmes will require sustained, calibrated investment in their academic infrastructure, including faculty expansion and staffing, libraries and related resources, in order to achieve the warranted critical mass for (post)graduate education.

Research support for innovative intelligence studies research, scholarly conferences, and publications would promote the creation and dissemination of new and pertinent knowledge. Scholarships for promising students are needed to graduate the next generation of scholars and other professionals. Funding mechanisms to promote higher education programmes at the warranted scale exist, or did exist, in many jurisdictions.

Thus, in the United Kingdom, the Higher Education Funding Council for England can, if so determined, designate intelligence studies as one of its 'strategically important subjects' for 'Research Capacity Development'. Canada's Security and Defence Forum, a Department of National Defence initiative supporting a dozen centres of defence expertise at universities across the country, could be readily tweaked to similarly sponsor intelligence studies centres, perhaps under the aegis of a department like Public Safety Canada.

As for the United States, its earlier - and by all accounts highly successful - experience with the 1958 National Defense Education Act could, in principle, be revitalised into a contemporaneous National Defense and Security Education Act encompassing intelligence and security studies (41) . Likewise, other governments could take steps, appropriate to their educational funding arrangements, to channel resources toward intelligence and security studies initiatives in their respective university systems. Without public investment of a sufficient scope and scale, academic supply in intelligence studies will inevitably languish behind societal demand.

The number of academic centres of intelligence studies that would be warranted should be more or less commensurate with the national interest, as expressed in governmental commitments to intelligence affairs. Given the sheer magnitude of the United States intelligence community, and its salient role in national security, perhaps 20 full-fledged centres of intelligence studies spread across the country's university systems would be appropriate.

Other jurisdictions would have proportionate requirements. Thus, Great Britain might seek to support five or six academic centres of intelligence studies, Australia and Canada two or three each. Of course, having individual courses on intelligence and national security subjects on offer in departments of history, political science, and international relations in many more universities as part of their overall educational missions, would be of significant value.

Public demand and support

A knowledgeable public is a vital prerequisite for mobilising and sustaining broad societal interest and support for national security policies in democracies. Ordinarily, public awareness apropos of most spheres of governance, like the economy or social policy, hinges on a modicum of policy transparency. Understandably, that transparency is inherently problematic with respect to those intelligence activities that must remain secret. Other avenues need be developed to acquaint the citizenry with basic security and intelligence matters. Higher education can play a key role in this regard, through teaching, research and public commentary.

Yet, despite the heightened public attention directed at intelligence and national security issues, especially since 11 September 2001, the capacity of universities in most countries to respond to societal demand for knowledge remains, by all accounts, grossly inadequate. To remedy this deficiency, new initiatives to build higher educational capacity in intelligence studies would create an enabling environment for universities to exercise robust intellectual leadership in addressing societal demand for knowledge about intelligence and national security affairs. Capacity-building in intelligence studies would thus resonate significantly with democratic governance.

* Professor Martin Rudner is a Professor Emeritus and Distinguished Research Professor at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Prior to his retirement in July 2007, he was a professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and founding Director of the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies at Carleton.

* This article, titled "Intelligence Studies in Higher Education: Capacity-building to meet societal demand", is published in the International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 22: 110-130, 2009. Taylor & Francis: It is published here with permission.


1- Gustave E. von Grunebaum, '"Specialization", in George Makdisi, ed., Arabic and Islamic Studies in Honor of Hamilton A.R. Gibb (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965), p. 285.

2- Louis Goodman, Kay King, and Stephen Szaba, Professional Schools of International Affairs on the Eve of the 21st Century (Washington, DC: Association of Professor Schools of International Affairs, 1994).

3- Christopher Andrew and David Dilks, eds. The Missing Dimension: Governments and Intelligence Communities in the Twentieth Century (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, and London: Macmillan, 1984).

4- Mark Lowenthal, ''Teaching Intelligence: The Intellectual Challenges,'' in Russell Swenson, ed., A Flourishing Craft: Teaching Intelligence Studies, Occasional Paper No. 5 (Washington, DC: Joint Military Intelligence College, 1999).

5- Cf. Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, The CIA and American Democracy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), especially Chapter 11.

6- Cf. Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 23, No. 9, 2008, special issue on ''Spying in Film and Fiction.''

7- For a history of the Officers-in-Residence program, see John Hollister Hedley, ''Twenty Years of Officers in Residence,'' Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 49, No. 4, 2005.

8- Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, The CIA and American Democracy, p. 230. See also Marjorie Cline, ed., Teaching Intelligence in the Mid-1980s: A Survey of College and University Courses on the Subject of Intelligence (Washington, DC: National Intelligence Study Center, 1985).

9- For an overview of the historical development of Intelligence Studies in British universities, see Len Scott and Peter Jackson, ''Journeys in Shadows,'' in Len Scott and Peter Jackson, eds., Understanding Intelligence in the Twenty-first Century (London: Routledge, 2004).

10- Ernest May, ''Studying and Teaching Intelligence,'' Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 38, No. 5, 1995.

11- Ibid.

12- Russell Swenson, ed., A Flourishing Craft: Teaching Intelligence Studies.

13- John Macartney, ''Teaching Intelligence: Getting Started,'' in Russell Swenson, ed., A Flourishing Craft: Teaching Intelligence Studies, p. 13. Universities offering courses on intelligence subjects now include prestigious Ivy League institutions like Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.

14- Among the early British universities with intelligence-related course modules were Cambridge, Salford, and Kings College, University of London; they were subsequently joined by University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Birmingham University, Brunel University, Edinburgh University, Queen Mary College, University of London, Liverpool John Moores University, Nottingham University, Reading University, and Sheffield University. Other universities introduced specialised programmes on national security subjects, such as the University of St. Andrews' University Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, Cf. Michael Goodman, ''Studying and Teaching About Intelligence: The Approach in the United Kingdom,'' Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 50, No. 2, 2006, and Paul Maddrell, Intelligence Studies in U.K. Universities:

15- Among the pioneering Canadian universities with faculty teaching intelligence courses or courses with significant intelligence=security content were Carleton, New Brunswick, Northern British Columbia, Simon Fraser, Toronto, and York. They were later joined by Calgary and Dalhousie.

16- European universities introducing an intelligence course or courses with significant intelligence content included Amsterdam, Burgos, Carlos III (Madrid), Graz, Lund, Rey Juan Carlos (Madrid), Roma Tre, Marburg, and Utrecht. Cf. Siegfried Beer, ''Intelligence Studies: The Case of Austria,'' in Russell Swenson, ed., A Flourishing Craft: Teaching Intelligence Studies.

17- Israeli universities with faculty specialising in intelligence studies included Bar-Ilan University, Tel-Aviv University, and the University of Haifa.

18- Stafford T. Thomas, ''Assessing Current Intelligence Studies,'' International Journal of Intelligence and Counter Intelligence, Vol. 2, No. 2 summer 1988. Wesley Wark later posited a somewhat more elaborate matrix of eight paradigmatic approaches to Intelligence Studies: Wesley Wark, ''The Study of Espionage: Past, Present, Future?,'' Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1993.

19- Cf. Andrew Sileke, ''An Introduction to Terrorism Research,'' in Andrew Silke, Research on Terrorism: Trends, Achievements and Failures (London: Frank Cass, 2004), pp. 26-27.

20- Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), esp. chapter 2. Theorizing in Intelligence Studies is still in its nascent stages. For recent efforts at theory-building see Loch K. Johnson, ''Preface to a Theory of Strategic Intelligence,'' International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, Vol. 16, No. 4, Winter 2003, and ''Bricks and Mortar for a Theory of Intelligence,'' Comparative Strategy, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2003; Christopher Andrew, ''Intelligence, International Relations and 'Under-theorisation,' '' in Len Scott and Peter Jackson, eds., Understanding Intelligence in the Twenty-first Century; and Or Arthur Honig, ''A New Direction for Theory-Building in Intelligence Studies,'' International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, Vol. 20, No. 4, Winter 2007.

21- For an early iteration of the academic debate over this issue of Intelligence Studies and the scholarly discipline, see Michael Fry and Miles Hochstein, ''Epistemic Communities: Intelligence Studies and International Relations,'' Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1993; see also Len Scott and Peter Jackson, ''The Study of Intelligence in Theory and Practice,'' Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 19, No. 2, June 2004.

22- Jeff Sallot, ''The Hottest Postsecondary Field? Intelligence. Demand Is So High, Universities Simply Cannot Keep Up,'' Globe and Mail [Toronto], 1 January 2007; Mark Cardwell, ''Intelligence Failure,'' University Affairs, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, February 2008.

23- US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, OCDNI IC Centers of Academic Excellence (Washington, DC, 2005). The main elements of the program were to promote the development of curricula to build the skill sets needed in the intelligence professions, encourage pre-university outreach in the various geographic regions, fund colloquia with consortium universities to heighten awareness of intelligence issues and careers, and sponsor scholars to travel abroad to obtain international language and cultural proficiency.

24- Details of the Institute's publishing program are available at its Website: at:

25- Higher Education Funding Council for England, Strategic Plan 2006-2011 (Updated April 2007) accessible at: This ''Strategic Plan'' does not include actual expenditure estimates by nominal priority. Be that as it may, its expenditure commitments to ''New Security Challenges'' will likely pale in comparison with, say, the grant levels provided by Saudi Arabia and other Muslim authorities to propagate Islamic Studies in British universities, estimated to have totalled some £233.5 million since 1995: Ben Leach, '''Extremism' Fear Over Islam Studies Donations,'' Sunday Telegraph [London], 13 April 2008.

26- The scholarly literature addressing Intelligence Studies programs in universities is surprisingly sparse; for some international examples see, e.g., Anthony Bergin and Rospal Khosa, ''Australian Universities and Terrorism,'' Policy Analysis, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Paper #8 (2007); Michael Goodman, ''Studying and Teaching About Intelligence: The Approach in the United Kingdom''; Peter Jackson, ''Intelligence and the State: An Emerging 'French School' of Intelligence Studies,' Intelligence & National Security, Vol. 21,No. 6, 2006.

27- On the value of an International Affairs education for intelligence analysis, see Bowman Miller, ''Improving All-Source Intelligence Analysis: Elevat Knowledge in the Equation,'' International Journal of Intelligence and Counter Intelligence, Vol. 21, No. 2, Summer 2008.

28- One example of the applicability of academic research to improved intelligence analysis and community outreach is represented by the ''Trends in Terrorism'' project sponsored by Canada's Integrated Threat Assessment Centre and implemented by the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies at Carleton University. Research studies produced under the aegis of this project were disseminated across the Canadian Security and Intelligence Community, to government departments and first responders, and others, and are accessible online at and www.itac-ciem

29- Neither did the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification 2008 template include any reference to National Security or Terrorism Studies. Cf .

30- M. PatriciaMarchak, Racism, Sexism and the University (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 1996), p. 150.

31- Among the dedicated Intelligence Studies graduate degree programs that were examined were: in Australia, the Graduate School of Management-Macquarie University; in Canada: The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs-Carleton University; in Great Britain: the Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies-Brunel University, and Department of International Politics-University of Wales, Aberystwyth; in the United States, the School of Foreign Service-Georgetown University, and the Institute for Intelligence Studies-Mercyhurst College.

32- Louis Goodman, Kay King and Stephen Szaba, Professional Schools of International Affairs on the Eve of the 21st Century, pp. 13-14.

33- Bowman Miller, ''Improving All-Source Intelligence Analysis,'' pp 346-348, makes particular reference to the value of area studies for intelligence analysis.

34 Hannah Edwards, ''Unis Meet Demand for Study into 9=11,'' Sydney [Australia] Morning Herald, 15 July 2007.

35- Siegfried Beer, ''Intelligence Studies: The Case of Austria.''

36- Marie Cardwell, ''Intelligence Failure''; Jeff Sallot, ''The Hottest Postsecondary Field? Intelligence.''

37- Peter Jackson, ''Intelligence and the State: An Emerging 'French School' of Intelligence Studies''; Olivier Forcade and Sebastien Laurent, Secrets d'E´ tat. Pouvoirs et renseignement dans le monde contemporain (Paris: Armand Colin, 2005).

38- For a wide-ranging examination of the challenges facing Intelligence Studies in German universities see Wolfgang Krieger, ''German Intelligence History: A Field in Search of Scholars,'' in Len Scott and Peter Jackson, eds., Understanding Intelligence in the Twenty-first Century.

39- Paul Maddrell, Intelligence Studies at UK Universities; Michael Goodman, ''Studying and Teaching About Intelligence: The Approach in the United Kingdom.''

40- Florina Cristiana (Cris) Matei, ''Shaping Intelligence as a Profession in Romania: Reforming Intelligence Education After 1989,'' Research Institute for European and American Studies, Research Paper #110, June 2007.

41- See Henry Giroux, ''Arming the Academy: Universities in the Shadow of the National Security State,'' Academic Matters, Ontario Council of University Faculty Associations, October 2007, pp. 9-12.

42- A Bill (H.R. 4734) calling for a ''21st Century National Defense Education Act'' was introduced into the United States Congress in 2006. The legislation would have established a comprehensive program to bolster higher education for national security and economic competitiveness, including capacity building and foreign language acquisition. It was endorsed by the American Association of Universities, and supported by the Council of Graduate Schools: A National Defense Education Act for the 21st Century: Renewing our Commitment to U.S. Students, Science, Scholarship, and Security (accessible at: It was stillborn.

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