82816 - Intelligence and Political Decision Making

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Luisa Dall'Acqua

  • Credits 8

  • SSD SPS/04

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Industry, innovation and infrastructure Climate Action Peace, justice and strong institutions Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

The course examines the role of intelligence in the strategic decision-making process, as a governmental institution, a form of activity, a science, and an academic discipline. By the end of the course, students will be able to understand: 1) what is the intelligence analysis to better prevent and analyze a range of national security threats in a global age, 2) the complex relationship among the Intelligence community, national security bodies and political leadership, including ethical implications, 3) basic measures of success for Intelligence products, uncertainty management, and cognitive biases, 4) the role of new technologies and the human factor in the Intelligence activity, 5) the capabilities and limitations of modern information warfare in an international panorama, 6) specific study questions concerning cyberspace, cybersecurity, and cybercrime. Exercises and collaborative activities are part of the training.

Course contents

The course introduces the Intelligence Analysis, and the relationship between intelligence analysts, policy-makers, and risk managers. It focuses on a multidisciplinary approach, which ranges from disciplines such as social sciences, history, anthropology, psychology to cognitive science and information technology.
It is structured as follows:

Introduction

- Intelligence as a Profession

- Intelligence as an Organization.

- Intelligence as an Academic Discipline

- Criminology, Criminalistics and Intelligence

Intelligence Analysis as a science

- Policy makers and Intelligence Analysts as decision-making agents: main theories

- Intelligence Cycle. Intelligence Collection

- Intelligence Analysis and uncertainty: risk analysis

Intelligence Accountability

- Measures of success for Inteligence products

- Ethical issues: politicization and secrecy

Intelligence and decision-making within the Foreign and Security Policy

- Decision environment and psychological factors in foreign policy decision making: cognitive biases. Case studies.

- The foreign policy decision-making process. Intelligence and National Security Agencies.

Intelligence and cyber-security

- Globalization and digital security

- Defining the Role of Intelligence in Cyberspace. Case studies

Research Work

- Each student will present his/her own research (conference) paper to the class

- Final debate

Readings/Bibliography

Readings/Bibliography

- Wilhelm Agrell&Gregory F. Treverton (2015). National Intelligence, and Science. Beyond the great divide in Analysis and Policy, Oxford University Press

- Mintz A., Wayne C. (2016). The Polythink Syndrome: U.S. Foreign Policy Decisions on 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and ISIS. Stanford University Press (Chapters: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7). This book could be replaced with some papers by the same authors (available online)

- Aaron Franklin Brantly (2016). The Decision to Attack: Military and Intelligence Cyber Decision-Making (Studies in Security and International Affairs), Paperback edition from University of Georgia Press (Chapters: 7, 9, 10) (Available as an online document)

- Richards J. Heuer Jr. (1999). Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, Center for the Study of Intelligence. Central Intelligence Agency, Chapters: from 9 to 14 (Available as an online document)

Further selected readings and videos will be provided during the course. Digital learning materials (in English) will be provided during the course, and available on the website

Research work: a term from a glossary

- AA.AA. (2013). Quaderno di Intelligence, Gnosis, vol 1 (Available as an online document)

alternatively:

- West N. (2015). Historical Dictionary of International Intelligence, Rowman & Littlefield (Available as an online document)

 

Teaching methods

The program will be entirely developed during lectures, webinars, and research work (in English and Italian). Each student (individually or in a team) will do practice during the whole course, for both theory and case studies.

Assessment methods

The exam will take place in Italian for the students of LM SID, in English for the students of MIREES or Erasmus. It will consist of a sum of three mid-term exams (open-ended questions, laboratories or closed-ended questions, and a final oral exam concerning the research work).

Criteria: - a set of specific knowledge, - disciplinary terminology, - applying knowledge and understanding, - making judgments and/or personal contribution, - communication skills

Teaching tools

Digital presentations, videos, webinars, a publication of lecture notes, the use of a forum for ongoing questions and clarifications, collaborative writing and communication

Office hours

See the website of Luisa Dall'Acqua