Latest Journals

20 May 2014

From Oversight to Undersight: the Internationalization of Intelligence

Due to the globalization and nodalisation of intelligence - resulting in hybrid intelligence assemblages - well-known problems related to overseeing intelligence are deteriorating. Not only does the international cooperation between intelligence services contribute to this problem, but especially the internationalization of intelligence collection meaning that as a consequence of technological and market transformations intelligence collection has become footloose and can be conducted remotely. In that way it leaves any idea of national sovereignty or the national protection of civil rights increasingly obsolete. Instead of oversight by institutions the real counter-power in post-democratic constellations seems to be practised by whistleblowers and investigative journalists. Sousveillance or undersight therefore seems to be the most important current oversight mechanism.

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20 May 2014

Between ‘sousveillance’ and applied ethics: practical approaches to oversight

The issue of the oversight of intelligence and security services is playing an increasing role in the debate on global security issues both among specialists and the broader public. Beyond theoretical debates on intelligence and surveillance ten practical approaches to advance oversight are being developed. Core ideas address the implications of the political supremacy of oversight, the need for revisiting the focus of oversight as well as the possibilities of the proliferation of best oversight practices. Furthermore, suggestions are made regarding the integration of ethics in security research and the creation of space for applied ethics for intelligence practitioners.

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Debate & Blogs

25 November 2014

The upcoming OSCE Ministerial Council in Basel: A chance for high-level engagement

The 21st OSCE Ministerial Council (MC) meeting is scheduled to take place on 4 and 5 December in Basel, Switzerland. The MC meeting, which takes place once a year in the host country of the OSCE Chairmanship is attended by the foreign ministers or their representatives of the 57 OSCE participating States. The meetings are an opportunity to discuss the Organization's yearly achievements and should provide overall guidance and impetus for future work. The MC is mandated to take decisions on any topic relevant to the work of the OSCE. This year, the MC meeting will be dominated by the Ukraine crisis and its impact on commitments contained in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act and the 2010 Astana Declaration. It is, however, necessary to manage expectations of what can be achieved in concrete terms at the MC with regard to the Ukraine crisis. Foreign ministers will certainly not solve the crisis in Basel.

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7 November 2014

Parliamentary elections in Ukraine point at two possible future scenarios

On 26 October early parliamentary elections took place in Ukraine. Results show a clear victory for pro-Western parties. According to the Ukrainian Central Election Commission, Arseniy Yatsenyuk's People's Front won 22.14% of the vote, just ahead of President Petro Poroshenko's Bloc which took 21.82% of the vote. The so-called Self-Reliance party, led by the mayor of Lviv is third with 10.79% of the vote. These results should give President Poroshenko a strong mandate to stabilize the country politically and economically and to forge a plan to end the conflict in the east. Yet, voting did not take place on the Crimean peninsula and was limited in the east.

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