BoB Curated Playlists

Intelligence in Contemporary Politics
Dr Claudia Hillebrand, Cardiff University



Intelligence plays a central role in contemporary politics. This playlist offers a range of materials, including documentaries and fictional accounts, which relate to the work of intelligence agencies. Whereas intelligence was once nearly impossible to study due to a cloak of secrecy, the picture has become clearer over time, especially with regards to intelligence performance in democracies. Fictional accounts can be useful conversation starters too. Some provide fascinating perspectives on a theme; offer insights into different cultures of intelligence; and/or tellingly capture the intelligence-related politics of an event or period. Others, however, might be entertaining but can also serve as helpful tools to reflect on the simplistic or simply wrong representation of the work of intelligence actors. Taken together, the collected materials can be used as a basis for discussion on a broad range of topics, such as (inter-)national security, surveillance; ethics, espionage, intelligence analysis, secrecy, counter-terrorism, covert action, accountability, intelligence failures, and exceptionalism.


Dr Claudia Hillebrand, Cardiff University


  • Politics
  • International Relations


Intelligence; espionage; security; democracies; counter-terrorism; ethics; accountability; secrecy; surveillance

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