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Intelligence in An Insecure World, 3rd Edition



Intelligence in An Insecure World, 3rd Edition

Peter Gill, Mark Phythian

ISBN: 978-1-509-52523-2 October 2018 Polity 288 Pages

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Security intelligence continues to be of central importance to the contemporary world: individuals, organizations and states all seek timely and actionable intelligence in order to increase their sense of security. But what exactly is intelligence? Who seeks to develop it and to what ends? How can we ensure that intelligence is not abused?

In this third edition of their classic text, Peter Gill and Mark Phythian set out a comprehensive framework for the study of intelligence, discussing how states organize the collection and analysis of information in order to produce intelligence, how it is acted upon, why it may fail and how the process should be governed in order to uphold democratic rights. Fully revised and updated throughout, the book covers recent developments, including the impact of the Snowden leaks on the role of intelligence agencies in Internet and social media surveillance and in defensive and offensive cyber operations, and the legal and political arrangements for democratic control. The role of intelligence as part of ‘hybrid’ warfare in the case of Russia and Ukraine is also explored, and the problems facing intelligence in the realm of counterterrorism is considered in the context of the recent wave of attacks in Western Europe.

Intelligence in an Insecure World is an authoritative and accessible guide to a rapidly expanding area of inquiry – one that everyone has an interest in understanding.
  • Contents
  • List of Figures, Tables and Boxes
  • Preface
  • Abbreviations
  • 1. What is Intelligence?
  • 2. How Do We Understand Intelligence?
  • 3. Who does Intelligence?
  • 4. How do they gather information?
  • 5. How is information turned into intelligence?
  • 6. What do they do with intelligence?
  • 7 Why Does Intelligence Fail?
  • 8 How democratic can intelligence be?
  • 9 Intelligence for a more secure world?
  • Notes
  • Selected Further Reading

Intelligence in an Insecure World, Third edition: new material 

  • An alternative to the outdated concept of intelligence ‘cycle’
  • A specific conceptual approach to explaining intelligence systems 
  • The major features of intelligence in democratic, authoritarian and hybrid regimes 
  • The impact of the Snowden files on what is known about the work of NSA and GCHQ and the interception of Internet communications
  • Intelligence in defence against cyber threats and also as offensive cyber weapon 
  • The increasing significance of social media both as a source of intelligence and channel for information warfare
  • The Russia-Ukraine conflict as a case study in hybrid warfare.
  • Recent terrorist attacks in Belgium, France and Germany in the context of debates about intelligence sharing and failure
  •  Major legislative changes in the wake of the Snowden revelations
  • Developments in intelligence oversight 
  • Intelligence for human, not just national security.

    In brief, we have:
  • removed the Introduction and developed a shorter account of the nature of Intelligence Studies at the end of Ch.1;
  • condensed discussion of human intelligence to create space for discussion of Snowden and digital intelligence;
  • condensed discussion of drones and other more dated examples (undercover policing, Northern Ireland, etc.) in Ch.6 to allow for coverage of offensive cyber strategies (e.g. the Russian role in US and other elections; China and economic espionage via cyber, etc.);
  • condensed the discussion of the 9/11 and Iraq WMD intelligence failures to add material on the Chilcot report, terrorism in Europe as intelligence failure, and to add to the discussion of framing the way we think about intelligence failure; 
  • in Ch.8 the section on torture has been removed to allow space for a discussion of the implications of the Snowden leaks for oversight. In short, the changes were made to ensure the currency of the book and that it covers key developments and debates since the publication of the 2nd ed. in 2012 – principally, the Snowden leaks and their implications and the increasing salience of the cyber realm to thinking about the role of national intelligence agencies.
"This excellent survey by two leaders in the field is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand intelligence, secrecy and surveillance, together with its linkage to issues of democratic rights and civil liberties."
Richard J. Aldrich, University of Warwick

"Peter Gill and Mark Phythian capture an increasingly vibrant field in way that is both sophisticated and accessible. This third edition engages with the latest theoretical and policy debates on intelligence based on contemporary and diverse cases."
Damien Van Puyvelde, University of Glasgow