Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies

Title:                      Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies

Author:                 Robert Dover

Dover, Robert (2014), Michael S. Goodman, and Claudia Hillebrand, eds. Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

LCCN:    2013008152

JF1525.I6 R68 2014


Date Posted:      September 4, 2015

Compiled and Reviewed by Hayden B. Peake.[1]

In the early 1980s, Georgetown University professor Roy Godson edited a series of books on the principal fields of intelligence—collection, analysis, covert action, and counterintelligence—with contributions by retired intelligence officers with firsthand experience.[2] Around that same time, historians Wilhelm Agrell and Bo Huldt edited a volume devoted to the history of intelligence, with contributions from historians in Sweden, the United States, Germany, and Denmark[3]. Since then, similar works have appeared with increasing frequency, The Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies is a recent example.

Editors Robert Dover, Michael S. Goodman, and Claudia Hillebrand have assembled articles by 35 authors from universities and government and private organizations from eight different countries. The lead article, by Loch Johnson, summarizes the development of intelligence studies from his point of view as the editor of one of the several journals devoted to the subject. He considers, for example, how treatment of the subject has evolved in scholarly articles, books, and the media. He suggests critical questions that deserve attention but can only be answered by decision-makers and perhaps by academics after long study, for example, how do we know “whether or not intelligence plays a significant role in the making of government decisions?” (p. 19)

There are also articles on what can be learned from historical studies, the importance of theory and culture, and new ways of viewing old concepts like the intelligence cycle. Of particular interest is the discussion of intelligence systems in 12 countries—the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, France, India, China, Japan, Israel, Germany, Russia, and Spain. The final and perhaps most stimulating section of the book has nine articles on challenges for the future. They cover a range of topics including counterterrorism, cybersecurity, WMD, energy and food security, privacy, accountability, and organized. crime.

The Routledge Companion gives a good idea of the progress of intelligence studies over the past 30 years, the important questions that have yet to be answered, and the areas that will dominate the field for the foreseeable future.

[1] Hayden Peake, “Intelligence Officer Bookshelf,” The Intelligencer: Journal of U. S. Intelligence Stuidies (21, 2, Spring/Summer 2015, p. 119)Hayden Peake is the Curator of the CIA’s Historical Intelligence Collection. He has served in the Directorate of Science and Technology and the Directorate of Operations. Most of his reviews cited have appeared in recent unclassified editions of ClA’s Studies in Intelligence. These and many other reviews and articles may be found online at

[2] See, for example Godson, Roy (1983), ed. Intelligence Requirements for The 1980s: Elements of Intelligence. Washington, DC: National Strategy Information Center

[3] See Treverton, Gregory (2009) and Wilhelm Agrell, eds. National Intelligence Systems. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press [LCCN: 2009000037]

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