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Political Science General

Intelligence as Democratic Statecraft

Patterns of Civil-Intelligence Relations Across the Five Eyes Security Community - the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

by (author) Christian Leuprecht & Hayley McNorton

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2021
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
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Democracy needs to be defended, and intelligence is the first line of defence. However, the liberal-democratic norm of limited state intervention in the lives of citizens means that security and accountability are in tension insofar as their first principles are diametrically opposed: whereas openness and transparency are hallmarks of democratic governance, operational secrecy - in relation to other states, to democratic society, and to other parts of government - is the essence of intelligence tradecraft. Intelligence accountability reconciles democracy and security through transparent standards, guidelines, legal frameworks, executive directives, and international law. Evolving executive, legislative, judicial and bureaucratic mechanisms for intelligence oversight and review have become a distinct feature of democratic regimes.

Over recent decades administrative and executive accountability have been enhanced with legislative and judicial review. Using a most-similar systems design to compare intelligence accountability in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, this book opens expands compliance as the sine qua non of intelligence to gauge effectiveness, efficiency, and innovation across the intelligence community. In the context of changing technology and threat vectors that have significantly affected, altered, and expanded the role, powers, and capabilities of intelligence, this book compares the institutions, composition, practices, characteristics, and cultures of intelligence accountability systems across the world's oldest and most powerful intelligence alliance. In an asymmetric struggle against adversaries who subscribe to an existential logic that is informed by neither rules nor principles, accountability has to reassure a sceptical public that the intelligence and security community plays by the same rules that democracies are committed to defend.

About the authors

Christian Leuprecht is Class of 1965 Professor in Leadership in the Department of Political Science and Economics at the Royal Military College of Canada, Director of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations in the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University, and Adjunct Research Professor in the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security at Charles Sturt University.

Christian Leuprecht's profile page

Hayley McNorton's profile page

Other titles by Christian Leuprecht