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CALL FOR PAPERS – International Conference Need to Know XIII and the 2024 IIHA Annual Conference

International Conference Need to Know XIII and the 2024 IIHA Annual Conference: Intelligence in Central and Eastern Europe (Intermarium) and the Soviet (Russian) Factor, 14-16 October 2024, Warsaw

The idea of an Intermarium (in Between-Seas), i.e., a community of smaller countries and nations located between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas, has been present in local geopolitical tradition since the early 20th century. The area was the object of rivalry between the great powers, then, as a result of the Second World War, found itself mostly in Moscow's sphere of influence, and, after its deconstruction and a period of relative stability, became today the arena of war between Putin's state and Ukraine. In these periods, intelligence and counterintelligence services have been a significant factor in the policies pursued by great powers, smaller countries, and their societies. Therefore, this year's conference aims to look at intelligence in Central and Eastern Europe - the Intermarium - during the interwar period, WWII, the Cold War and the transition period afterwards, including the current Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as broader global intelligence issues relating to that region.

The submissions relating to the Soviet/Russian intelligence activities in the region are particularly encouraged.

The Need to Know conferences stimulate research and discussions on intelligence history, focusing on the 20th and 21st Centuries. A core focus is to explore new information and interpretations following the opening of archives in the East and West. The International Intelligence History Association (IIHA) is the oldest and largest scholarly association in the study of intelligence, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

The papers should be based on firm historical documentation. 

The conference's language is English.

The deadline for paper proposals is May 30, 2024.

The submission should include an abstract of 500–700 words in English and a biographical note listing significant professional accomplishments (250 words in English). The Conference Program Committee will notify selected speakers by June 30 2024.

Accommodations and meals will be covered for presenters. Upon application, the conference will also contribute to travel expenses (limit: 200 euro - EU flights; limit: 800 euro - transatlantic flights).

Submissions and additional questions should be sent to:



Young Researcher Forum:

As part of the conference, the organisers also invited participants to discuss practices of intelligence research with a round table of junior researchers. The aims of the discussion are not finished projects or results but rather the ways and challenges of intelligence research. Presenting work in progress, the issues discussed will be differences of intelligence history to other historical topics, the challenge of finding adequate research questions and sources, and how the special conditions of intelligence research influence scholars.

Please submit your paper proposal abstract to the young researcher forum (200-300 words) by email to the IIHA Executive Director Thomas Wegener Friis at exec_director@intelligence-history.org or twfriis@sdu.dk

The conference is jointly organised by the Institute of National Remembrance - Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation (Warsaw, Poland) and the International Intelligence History Association (IIHA) together with the Center for Cold War Studies of the University of Southern Denmark; King's Centre for the Study of Intelligence, King's College London (UK); International Center for Defence and Security (Tallin, Estonia), Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the Research on Consequences of War (Graz, Austria), and in partnership with the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.

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