International Conference “Need to Know VI: Intelligence and Migration”, Karlskrona (Sweden), 17–18 November 2016

Migration is an integral part of an increasingly globalized world. When large groups of people move from one country or region to the other, however, they are usually viewed with great suspicion by the governments of both the home and host countries. This gives rise to a number of difficult questions: Are these migrants just seeking better jobs or business opportunities? Are they political refugees or victims of brutal regimes? Or are they are carrying a heavier load than just their baggage? Among the migrants or refugees, are there perhaps war criminals, insidious double agents, “illegal” spies, political extremists, or even future terrorists?

Violent conflicts from the home country can be carried out abroad and lead to violent acts, such as abductions or murder. The host country also often has a political interest in animating conflicts in the migrant’s home country. But the migrants constitute not only a potential threat, but also a natural cover for the various forms of intelligence, sabotage, and disinformation operations. This was certainly the case with East and Central European migrant groups in the West during the Cold War. Relative accessibility to related archival materials in almost all the countries of former communist bloc provides many cases which exemplify such phenomena. At the same time, the question of migrants and intelligence is not unique to the Cold War. The question existed before the Cold War and has only increased in its importance ever since.

The conference “Need to Know VI: Intelligence and Migration” is organized by the 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 Swedish Naval Museum, and the Baltic Intelligence and Security Studies Association.

The venue of the conference is the Swedish Naval Museum in Karlskrona. The language of the conference is English.

All those interested are encouraged to participate. Conference participation is free of charge.

The "Need to Know" conferences were founded in 2011 and take place annually. The focus of the conferences is on foreign intelligence and they invite scholars of intelligence studies as well as former practitioners to an interdisciplinary discussion of historical, current, and mythological questions within the field. Intelligence studies have benefitted greatly from the opening of archives in Central Europe and it is the results of this research in particular which have been presented on at the conferences. The conferences have established themselves as an important meeting place for scholars from Europe, North America, Russia, and the Middle East.

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