Democratic Control of Intelligence Services: Containing Rogue Elephants

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9780754642732: Democratic Control of Intelligence Services: Containing Rogue Elephants

The events of September 11, 2001 sharply revived governmental and societal anxieties in many democratic countries concerning the threats posed by terrorism, organized crime, the proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction, and other complex security threats. In many countries, public discourse of subjects traditionally considered part of social policy, such as immigration and asylum, have been securitized, while intelligence services have been granted greater resources and expanded powers. This comprehensive volume discusses the various challenges of establishing and maintaining accountable and democratically controlled intelligence services, drawing both from states with well-established democratic systems and those emerging from authoritarian systems and in transition towards democracy. It adopts a multidisciplinary and comparative approach, identifying good practices to make security services accountable to society and its democratic representatives. The volume will engage both academics and practitioners in the discussion of how to anchor these vital yet inherently difficult to control institutions within a firmly democratic framework. As such, it has clear relevance for these concerned with the control and oversight of intelligence and security issues in many countries.

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About the Author:

Hans Born is Coordinator of the Working Group on Parliamentary Control of Armed Forces(PCAF), at DCAF, Switzerland. Marina Caparini is Coordinator of the Working Group on Internal Security and Civil Society at DCAF, Switzerland.

Review:

'The subject of intelligence accountability is of great importance for those who believe that a democratic nation's secret agencies ought to be subject to safeguards designed to prevent their abuse of power...Born and Caparini have brought together a number of studies about the state of intelligence accountability in nations as varied as Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Norway, and the United States...' Loch K. Johnson, University of Georgia, USA 'This important volume examines the ways in which democratic jurisdictions operate accountability systems to ensure that their intelligence and security services comply with law and conform to public policy standards, even as they engage in combating international terrorism. Insightful case studies draw on the experiences of Western political systems, and detail the reforms instituted in transitional Eastern Europe to assert democratic controls over security intelligence agencies. Particular attention is devoted to the role of legislators and to privacy protection as elements of a framework of accountability for the governance of intelligence and security communities in democracies.' Martin Rudner, Carleton University, Canada 'One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the manner in which it tracks the impetus for reform, with major transformations happening either due to a transition to democracy (Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania), scandals (Norway, United States), or legal challenges (United Kingdom).' Survival 'This book contains excellent case studies on the reforms of Central and Eastern European as well as Western systems...One could be led to believe that this edited collection would suffer from chronic problems inherent in many collected works...but there is none of that...What's more, we must recognize that we are in the presence of a veritable tour de force in terms of comparative works on the issue of democratic accountability and control of intelligence agencies in spatial-temporal contexts from the end of the Cold War to the "war against terror" and the global fight against terrorism.' Etudes Internationales

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