Need to Know X: “The Intelligence Legacy of World War II and the Onset of Cold War” – King’s College London, 25th – 26th November 2021

  • Need to Know X: “The Intelligence Legacy of World War II and the Onset of Cold War”
    Need to Know X: “The Intelligence Legacy of World War II and the Onset of Cold War”

By definition secret, intelligence is still a normal part of political life. Throughout history, governments, political parties and private interest groups have collected intelligence to gain an advantage. It is perceived as important for the survival of a state, but also a problematic field with opportunities for misuse and abuse.

The Need to Know conferences aim to stimulate research and discussions on the history of intelligence, with a special focus on the Cold War. A core focus is to explore new information and new interpretations following the opening of archives in East and West.

We hereby invite submissions to deliver papers or proposal panels for this year’s Need to Know conference, which will take place within the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, a world-renowned university and research institution on war and conflict.

The aim of this year’s conference is to look at the intelligence legacy of World War II and the manner in which the intelligence communities of East and West adapted to the tensions of the early Cold War. 

Need to Know X encourage submissions on intelligence in this suspenseful time in history: 

  • The transition from Hot War to Cold War
  • The rise of covert action
  • The requirement for aerial intelligence operations
  • The role of intelligence in escalation and de-escalation of tension
  • The growth of intelligence communities
  • The development of domestic surveillance and counterintelligence

The conference language is English.

The conference is organised by the King’s Intelligence and Security Group (, Department of War Studies, King’s College London; together with 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; Norwegian Aviation Museum’’ Estonian International Center for Defence and Security and in partnership with the International Journal of Intelligence, Security, and Public Affairs.

Accommodation and meals will be covered for presenters. The conference may also contribute to travel expenses upon application and subject to budgetary restrictions.

The deadline for paper proposals is May 31, 2021.

The submission should include: An abstract of 500–700 words in English and a biographical note listing major professional accomplishments (250 words, in English).

The Conference Programme Committee will notify selected speakers by the end of June 2021.

Submissions and additional questions should be sent to: 

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