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International Conference “Need to Know IX: Intelligence and major political change” – Tallinn, 28–29 November 2019

Processes of political change and intelligence services are often interrelated. In popular culture, conspiracy theory of the hidden hand of secret services thrives, but what is the reality? The ninth Need to Know focuses on intelligence services ability to predict or even promote political change at home or abroad. Examples of such changes might include the unsuccessful communist coup in Estonia in 1924 or the revolutions of 1989 but could also be longer term changes such as the British colonization. Subject of papers might take the following into consideration:

  • Indicators and early warning systems
  • Intelligence services ability for foresee major changes domestically
  • Intelligence services ability to predict major changes abroad
  • Plans and covert action to promote major changes
  • Intelligence failures with respect to analyze historical events
  • Intelligences services ability to adapt to a changing political environment (for instance in the 1990’s)
  • Governments’ ability to control or reconstruct intelligence organizations after political change.

The papers should be based on firm historical documentation.  As the ninth conference will convene in Tallinn the organizers especially want to encourage papers concerning the Baltic region. Furthermore, papers looking at how Western Intelligence Services were able or unable to foresee and promote political changes in the former Warsaw Pact Countries and the Soviet Union during and after the Cold War, are especially welcome. 

Conference-language is English.

The conference is organized by the the International Centre for Defense and Security, Institute of National Remembrance - Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, the Center for Cold War Studies of the University of Southern Denmark, the King’s College London, and the Norwegian Aviation Museum.

Submissions and additional questions should be sent to:  sylwia.szyc@ipn.gov.pl

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