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The intelligence discourse: the Swedish military intelligence (MUST) as a producer of knowledge
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Military Studies, War Studies Division, Sektionen för operationskonst (KV Opkonst). Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Directorate (MUST) is a producer of knowledge, a knowledge that is fundamental for decisionmaking in foreign and security policy. The intelligence knowledge production is often held as objective, value neutral, and with the intention of ‘speaking truth onto power’. However, this study holds that such a perspective on intelligence knowledge production calls for a revision. Hence, the overall purpose of this study is to examine the characteristics of knowledge in intelligence analysis and also to investigate how that knowledge is affected by the social context of its production, the military intelligence service. The source material is of three kinds; first texts and documents, second interviews with intelligence analysts and managers, and third observations of seminars and meetings during the production process of estimates.

The results are that there is a strong presence of an implicit interpretive framework that continuously influences and guides the knowledge production and thereby makes the knowledge dependent on one specific perspective contrary to the intentional objectivity within the intelligence service. Further, the study reveals that the social and discursive practices for intelligence knowledge production include a ‘logic of appropriateness’ suggesting the presence of a structured Denkkollektiv with a structuredDenkstil. The actions and choices of the individuals are transformed to create conformity to the norms within the social discursive practices. Thus, the inherited frame of interpretation, as well as the socialised norm of staying within the existing accepted frames ofthinking and acting ends up to the stability and duration of the not always accurate and fruitful Denkstil.

At the core of political science resides the question of how policy is shaped. Even though this study has focused merely on one organisation in a specific policy field in one country it brings insights to the knowledge and policy nexus.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2013. , 278 p.
, Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN ISSN 1650-1632 ; 32
Keyword [en]
intelligence, intelligence analysis, knowledge, social practice, discursive practice, discourse, logic of appropriateness, Denkstil, Denkkollektiv
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-4451ISBN: 978-91-7668-980-6OAI: diva2:688426
Available from: 2014-01-16 Created: 2014-01-16 Last updated: 2014-01-16Bibliographically approved

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