Secret Intelligence

This course provides an advanced introduction to intelligence studies, with particular focus on the political dimensions of secret intelligence.  

The course deals with the meaning of intelligence studies both as a distinct research field and as part of other research traditions such as international relations, security studies and policy analysis. The theoretical basis for studying secret intelligence is supplemented with insights into concrete practices, in both Swedish and international contexts, in “normal” times as well as in crisis situations.

Empirically the course covers traditional espionage as well as new forms of intelligence gathering and electronic surveillance. In relation to these empirical themes, a number of issues are discussed, concerning for example the relationship between intelligence organizations and political decision-makers; ethics and leadership; the difficulty of making accurate assessments of risks and threats; and the opportunities and challenges of international collaborations on matters of secret intelligence.


Dr Tom Lundborg is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Swedish Defence University. His research interests are located at the intersection of International Relations and Security Studies, most recently by focusing on secret intelligence. He has also published numerous articles on international theory in journals such as European Journal of International Relations, Review of International Studies and Alternatives.

He was previously Head of the Master Programme in Politics, Security and War (2018-21) as well as Director of Studies in Political Science (2018-20) at the Swedish Defence University.