By Hamilton Bean, Peter de Werd, Cristina Ivan

« This introduction to the special issue describes recent developments in intelligence studies that support the establishment of a critical intelligence studies (CIS) subfield. It reviews work published both within and outside the field of intelligence studies to outline the general commitments and orientations of CIS. It concludes by previewing the essays collected for this special issue. »

« The title of this special issue of Intelligence and National Security is ‘Critical Intelligence Studies’ (CIS). One might wonder, what article appearing in the pages of Intelligence and National Security is not in some way ‘critical’ of intelligence? But ‘critical’ as we use the term here does not mean mere disapproval of the way things are done. The term is meant to spur reconsideration of the conceptual bases and normative commitments of intelligence studies. Our use of the word ‘critical’ here is similar to its use in related international relations subfields, such as ‘critical security studies,’ ‘critical terrorism studies,’ and ‘critical military studies.’ These subfields critique and destabilize taken-forgranted concepts and normative commitments related to their respective objects of study: security, terrorism, and the military. These subfields are also highly diverse; therefore, while the appearance of this special issue signals an important evolution of intelligence studies, it does not prescribe a singular approach to the development of CIS. The overall goal for this special issue is modest: We aim to provide readers insights about critical approaches to the study of intelligence and describe what might be gained from advancing the development of CIS. »

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