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Future of UK Intelligence and Special Operations




Institute for Advanced Study:

Warwick Workshops on the

Future of UK Intelligence and Special Operations

March - June 2008  


Some papers appeared in Review of International Studies 35/5 October 2009 and are available here





The Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Warwick has agreed to support a number of one-day workshops on the Future of UK Intelligence and Special Operations.  These are intended for practitioners and academics working and researching in the respective areas. Places are rather limited and so the workshops are on an invitation only basis. All proceedings will be under Chatham House rules.


The first workshop on Monday 17 March 2008 will address defence issues, including recent developments in Iraq and Afghanistan.


The second workshop on Wednesday 7 May 2008 will address management, central machinery and support for foreign policy. This is timed to coincide with the visit of Tony Campbell, Former Executive Director, Intelligence Assessment Secretariat, Canadian Privy Council Office (currently President, Campbellintel Consulting) as an IAS Fellow.


This workshop will be run in partnership with Global Futures Forum under the auspices of its programme on Community of Interest on the Practice and Organization of Intelligence (COI/ POI). Some overseas GFF guests will attend this session.


The third workshop on Friday 20 June 2008 will address issues of accountability and legal developments. It will also address issues of domestic security and counter-terrorism. We recognise however that the division between domestic and foreign is increasingly an artificial one.


The IAS Workshops will complement the work of Philip Davies and Robert Dover who have secured ESRC funding for a seminar series at Brunel University for wide ranging review of future intelligence activities (not UK-specific) that will run over the next two years. Its focus will be more international and will bring in a number of commentators from Canada and the United States. We hope to convene a joint workshop in London in September 2008 and that various edited collections will proceed from the two parallel series.





Richard J. Aldrich is Professor of International Security at the Warwick and is the author of several books including The Hidden Hand: Britain American and Cold War Secret Intelligence which won the Donner Book prize in 2002 and was short-listed for the Westminster Medal. More recently he has co-ordinated an international programme of research into diaries of the Second World War. He has held a Fulbright fellowship at Georgetown University in Washington DC and more recently has spend time in Canberra and Ottawa as a Leverhulme fellow.He is currently completing a book examining the impact of globalization upon intelligence services.


Philip H. J. Davies is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, England. A political sociologist specializing in the institutional development of national intelligence agencies and communities, he is the author of MI-6 and the Machinery of Spying (London: Routledge, 2004) the most detailed study of the management of a British intelligence organization published to date. With Professor Anthony Glees, he is co-author of Spinning the Spies: Intelligence, Open Government and the Hutton Inquiry (London: Social Affairs Unit, 2004). He is currently researching a comparative study of British and American intelligence institutions, to be published by Greenwood Press.


Robert Dover is a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Loughborough. He previously held the posts of Lecturer in Defence Studies at King's College London and Deputy Director of the Governance Research Centre, part of the Department of Politics at the University of Bristol. He has recently published his doctorate as book, entitled Europeanization of British Defence Policy (2007). His current research interests include the political uses of intelligence and the legal arms trade in Britain and the EU.


Chris Grey is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Warwick. He was previously Professor of Organizational Theory at Cambridge. His research interests are in knowledge-intensive organizations, the politics and history of management, and management education. He is the author of several books including Studying Organizations (Sage, 2005) and the co-edited collection Critical Management Studies (OUP, 2005). He has recently completed a Nuffield funded project on Bletchley Park as an example of a knowledge intensive organisation. Some of the findings from this project will be published in Cryptologia in 2008.


Adam Svensen was previously at Chatham House and is completing a doctorate at Warwick University on international intelligence co-operation and Anglo-American relations. His research findings are forthcoming in the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, the Cambridge Review of International Affairs and also Transatlantic Studies.









 Monday 17 March



  PSI.28. Physical Sciences Building.



 Morning - Panel 1: Defence and Military Operations



 Coffee from 10.30, start at 11.00



Future of UK Military Intelligence

Bjorn Muller-Wille, Sandhurst Military Academy



Imagery and Intelligence: Time for a UK National Imagery Service

Philip Davies, Brunel University



Defence Intelligence Staff: Problems and Prospects

John Tolson, DIS






 Lunch 1.00-2.00



   Afternoon- Panel 2: Special Forces and Psyops



The Development of UK Psyops and Special Forces

Alastair Finlan, Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth



Future of UK Psyops

Phil Taylor, Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds



Special Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq - lessons learned

Michael Smith, author of 'Killer Elite'




Finish 4.00








 In association with the Global Futures Forum 



 Wednesday 7 May



 The Scarman Centre. 


 Coffee from 10.30, start at 11.00



 Morning - Panel 1: Management and Organization



Accountants, Consultants and Non-Executive Directors in UK Intelligence

Richard J Aldrich, University of Warwick



What can we learn from Bletchley Park?

Chris Grey, University of Warwick



Organizational Development Challenges at GCHQ
Jerry Porter, Head of Organisational Development, GCHQ



 Lunch 12.30-1.30




 Afternoon - Panel 2: Supporting National Security


 ·       The New Intelligence Cycle

Sir David Omand, Professor of War Studies, Kings College London



Intelligence Analysis After the Butler Report

Elaine Ruffell OBE, Professional Head of Intelligence Analysis, Cabinet Office



   Tea 3.00-3.30



 Afternoon - Panel 3: International and Historical Perspectives



The UK System  - A View from Paris

Pierre Lethier, King College London



 Australian Perspectives

Peter McLoughlin, King College London



The Unbearable Lightness of Leadership and Management: A Canadian View of the Key Challenges

Tony Campbell, formerly Executive Director of the Intelligence Assessment Secretariat, Canadian Privy Council; Visiting Fellow, Warwick Institute of Advanced Studies





 Finish 5.00














 Friday 20 June



 Room SO.13 - A Lecture theatre on the ground floor adjacent to the Department of Politics and International Studies.



 Coffee from 10.30, start at 11.00



 Morning - Panel 1: Accountability and Control



 ·       Making Accountability Effective: The Future of the Intelligence and Security Committee

Peter Gill, University of Salford



Future Legal Developments

Ian Leigh, University of Durham



 Lunch 12.30 - 1.30



 Afternoon - Panel 2: UK Security



The Home Office and the Future of Security in the UK

Paul Morrison, Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism, Home Office



The Reform of UK Security Intelligence and Counter-terrorism in comparative European perspective

Frank Foley, European University Institute



 Tea 3.00-3.30



 Afternoon - Panel 3: Intelligence, Globalisation, Risk and the Future



Managing National Security and Law Enforcement Intelligence in a Globalised World

Kevin O'Brien, Alesia PSI and former RAND Europe



Intelligence and Risk: Future Challenges and Problems

Nick Edwards, Sedgewall Communications