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PO978 - The CIA and Covert Action

  • Module code: PO978
  • Module name: The CIA and Covert Action
  • Department: Politics and International Studies
  • Credit: 20

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

The aim of this module is to provide students with a critical introduction to debates concerning covert action as a tool of US foreign policy. It will explore the history of covert action by interrogating how clandestine activities are conceptualised, implemented and geared to meet broader policy objectives. It will analyse the importance of internal factors (i.e. bureaucracy, individuals, ideology) and external factors (i.e. consent and opposition of foreign partners and local allies) in covert action campaigns. There is also particular emphasis on how discussions regarding the CIA have entered the public domain, with specific focus on the role of the press, intelligence practitioners and scholars in developing narratives about covert activities. Although operating as a standalone course it complements the MA modules on Insurgency & Counter-Insurgency and Terrorism & Counter-Terrorism.

Principal learning outcomes

The objective of the module is to promote critical analysis of covert action, especially the role of the CIA, within US foreign relations. Students will critically evaluate the arguments raised in the conceptualisation, planning and implementation of covert action, while paying attention to their consequences both at home in the US and abroad. By the end of the course, students will be able to evaluate the functions of an intelligence agency, the structure and politics of US foreign policy-making with recognition of the key moments in the history of the CIA under successive post-1945 presidential administrations. This will lead to an awareness of, and critical approach to, historical and contemporary debates about covert action and US foreign policy. Students will develop skills in effective collection and interpretation of information from a variety of sources and employ this material to argue cogently, concisely and coherently.

Timetabled teaching activities

1 x 2 hour seminar per week in Term 1

Departmental link

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/pais/studymasters/pgmodules/po978

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
20 CATS (Module code: PO978-20)
A (Assessed work only) Assessed Course Work 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

Core

N/A

Optional Core
  • Double MA in Politics and International Service (with American University, Washington DC) (M9PW) - Year 2
Optional
  • Postgraduate Taught Politics (M1P0) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught International Political Economy (M1P3) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught International Politics and East Asia (M1P8) - Year 2
  • MA in International Politics and Europe (M1PA) - Year 2
  • Double MA in Politics and International Studies with (with NTU Singapore) (M91F) - Year 2
  • Double MA in Politics and International Studies (with Universität Konstanz, Germany) (M92B) - Year 2
  • Double MA in Politics and International Studies (with Universität Konstanz, Germany) (M92C) - Year 2
  • Double MA in Politics and International Studies (with Universität Konstanz, Germany) (M92D) - Year 2
  • Double MA in Politics and International Studies (with Universität Konstanz, Germany) (M92E) - Year 2
  • Double MA in Politics and International Studies (with Universität Konstanz, Germany) (M92G) - Year 2
  • Double MA in Politics and International Studies (with Universität Konstanz, Germany) (M92H) - Year 2
  • Double MA in Politics and International Studies (with Universität Konstanz, Germany) (M92K) - Year 2
  • Double MA in Politics and International Studies (with Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona) (M93H) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught International Relations (M9P9) - Year 2
  • MA in Globalisation and Development (M9PB) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught International Security (M9PC) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Public Policy (M9PF) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught United States Foreign Policy (M9PQ) - Year 2
  • MA in International Development (M9PT) - Year 2
  • MA in Research in Politics and International Studies (M9PU) - Year 2
  • Double MA in Journalism, Politics and International Studies (with Monash University) (M9PV) - Year 2
  • Double MA in Global Governance (with University of Waterloo, Canada) (M9PX) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Politics and International Studies: Big Data and Quantitative Methods (M9PY) - Year 2