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15155 Introduction to Intelligence Studies with a focus on the Middle East (Proseminar)

Dozent/inAli Dogan

In Germany, the field of Intelligence Studies is marginalised in academic curricula. This seminar tries to fill the gap and introduces students to the emerging and complex field of Intelligence Studies. Students will learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the academic field and about its main theoretical debates. Emphasis will be put on the development of theories of international intelligence relations. One session will reflect on the methods and methodology in intelligence studies. Students will study the historical origins of intelligence agencies in the Middle East, especially within the Cold War context, and their role up until today (for example, OSINT + AI). Further, students will explore diverse themes such as covert action campaigns, the institutions’ highly bureaucratic set-up and their exercise of repression and violence. Within the course of the seminar, we will give a broad overview of several Middle Eastern intelligence agencies. We will highlight two examples: Iraqi and Syrian intelligence agencies. The examples will serve to illustrate the aforementioned themes. Further, students will be familiarized with the involvement of Western intelligence agencies in the Middle East, with a focus on both Germanys during the Cold War: German foreign intelligence (BND), East German State Security (MfS). Additionally, we will look at the new trends in Intelligence Studies and, for instance, investigate how intelligence is portrayed in literature and films.