Intelligence and Politics: Western and Eastern Perspectives

“Need to Know: Intelligence and Politics: Western and Eastern Perspectives”

Date: 8-9 novembre 2011, Bruxelles

Date limite de réponse : 15 mai 2011

One of the side-effects of the collapse of the communist system in Central/Eastern Europe was that hitherto highly classified data on key aspects of intelligence operations in some Warsaw Pact countries became relatively easily accessible. These data concerned such fundamental issues as: the impact of intelligence information on political decisions; international intelligence networks; data circulation and processing; goals, methods, and forms of intelligence work; information sources and intelligence operations; and intelligence as an organization.

The main aim of the conference is to confront the experience of scholars from Central/Eastern Europe, who analyze such materials on a daily basis, with research methodologies developed in Western Europe and the United States.

The conference will focus on modern intelligence from the World War II to the War on Terror, however with a emphasis on the Cold War. We do not, however, wish to limit ourselves by this time frame, for we are more concerned with a series of issues worth considering within a comparative framework. We are also mindful of the fact that in the recently announced Stockholm Program the European Union asserted a stronger role in the field at stake (most notably the exchange of intelligence information).

The list of issues we consider worth raising includes (but is not limited to):

  • New sources/new possibilities/advanced analytical methods in intelligence research.
  • The place of intelligence within the political system.
  • Mechanism of state control over intelligence services.
  • The significance of intelligence-gathering in East-West relations during the Cold War,
  • The role of intelligence data in decision-making in international politics.
  • Information processing in intelligence circles and the impact of specific modes of processing on the quality of intelligence information.
  • Strengths and weaknesses of intelligence information sources (human, technical, and open), particularly human sources (HUMINT).
  • The worldview of intelligence officers, its sources (esprit de corps, education, origins, gender) and its influence on the quality of intelligence information.
  • Academic research at the service of intelligence-gathering – intelligence at the service of science and technology (ethics, psychology, mathematics, and technical sciences).
  • Case studies of intelligence operations that offer valid lessons for European security (e.g.  with respect to such issues as terrorism, immigration and migration, national and religious minority communities, economic, scientific, and technological espionage, disinformation, secret operations, etc.).


Anna Piekarska
Institute of National Remembrance
Public Education Office
ul. Towarowa 28
00-839 Warszawa


Place: Brussels, Belgium (The South Denmark House and the European Parliament)

Organizers: Pawel Zalewski, MEP (European People’s Party), Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, Center for Cold War Studies of the University of Southern Denmark, and the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Further details and registration forms available at:

Emilia Robin

Chercheuse associée à l'UMR SIRICE. Violons d'Ingres : guerre froide, médiation scientifique, logiciels libres

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