ASRK14005U Cancelled Intelligence

Volume 2023/2024

Security Risk Management

Political Science students: Limited intake

SRM students has priority




NB! Please note that the schedule for the course has been changed. Teaching is moved from Tuesday to Wednesday 1 - 3 pm.


Intelligence agencies have reorganised themselves in response to a new globalised threat environment and an increased digitalisation; a complex environment where many different actors play a role, either as potential enemies or as partners in the attempt to mitigate new threats. Questions like the non-detection of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 and the misreading of intelligence on Iraq’s WMD-program raised questions about the nature of intelligence knowledge, analysis method and assessments of paramount importance. In turn, this has opened the field to academia as never before.

In this course students will be introduced to the history of intelligence, study the current design of institutional structures (looking at Denmark, Great Britain and the US in particular), and examine contemporary intelligence methods and processes. Having covered the history and institutional framework of intelligence, the course considers how private companies, supplying intelligence and risk analysis to other companies and states, have become influential in today’s intelligence enterprise; and asks what happens to the notion of national intelligence when companies enter the scene and turns the collection and sharing of information into a matter of competitive business. Also, the course will treat how the division between intelligence and ‘risk analysis’ has become increasingly blurred, as ordinary production and service companies today rely more and more on ‘intelligence’ as the go-to information-type when assessing the value and risk of new investments.

In light of the many new trends in the intelligence field, the course discusses the technical, political and ethical challenges that arise therefrom, including the consequences of information inundation, digital surveillance and knowledge sharing. In particular questions of democratic accountability and responsibility will be covered.

Altogether, the course will consist of four main elements:

  1. The history of national intelligence, foreign as well as domestic. What was the raison d’être behind the traditional understanding of intelligence and what are the main changes since the Cold War? Furthermore, we will study the institutional design of national intelligence institutions today and the institutionalised methods and processes of intelligence collection and production.

  2. The development of private intelligence. What role do private actors play in the production and distribution of intelligence information?

  3. Democratic, social and technical challenges. How do new intelligence methods and demands for openness, surveillance and digitalisation challenge democracy? What are the consequences for how organisations (private and public) understand accountability and responsibility?

  4. Simulation exercise: students will participate in a simulation exercise designed to provide a realistic intelligence challenge; exercise the skills of conveying intelligence insights to decision-makers. The simulation will contain four stages: 1) definition of intelligence needs and assignment of roles; 2) open-source intelligence gathering and analysis, including WikiLeaks; 3) production of reports, and 4) presentation and briefing to decision-makers. We will invite public and private sector professionals to help making this simulation as realistic as possible.

Learning Outcome


Students will be familiar with current approaches to intelligence and recent developments within the field.  Moreover, students will have insight into current challenges, including the role of digitalisation, of knowledge-sharing and of privatisation.


Students will be able to reflect critically upon how new intelligence methods and demands for openness, surveillance, and digitalisation challenge democracy; understand what consequences these developments might entail in regards to organisational accountability and responsibility.


Students will be able to apply their knowledge of current trends in intelligence studies and methods to help rethink, improve and invent new practices of information sharing, collection and management of data, for private as well as public organisations/companies.

Course literature is a syllabus of 900 pages set by the lecturer and approved by the Board of Studies.

The course is a combination of classroom lectures, guest lectures by practitioners and ongoing discussions with students. The course includes a simulation exercise where students partake in a crisis communication exercise with a duration of approximately 3 days. The outcome is presented in a paper such as a press release.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Total
  • 28
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
Type of assessment details
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

- In the semester where the course takes place: Free written assignment

- In subsequent semesters: Free written assignment

Criteria for exam assesment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner