Oversight and intelligence networks: Who guards the guardians? (GUARDINT)


In 2019 the WZB research group “Politics of Digitalization” started the project “Oversight and intelligence networks: Who guards the guardians?” (GUARDINT), an international collaborative project between the WZB, Stiftung Neue VerantwortungSciences Po Paris, King’s College London and Lyon 3 University. The project aims to investigate the possibilities and limits of democratic control of intelligence services and seeks to develop a theoretical foundation to research the oversight of intelligence services using approaches from democratic theory and sociology. For this purpose, the project team will also develop practical instruments, such as an Intelligence Oversight Index, to enable a comparison of democratic oversight of intelligence services in different countries. The project also plans to create an online database of European case law pertaining to intelligence services, which will be useful to practitioners (those with oversight responsibility), members of civil society and researchers alike. The project’s aims fall under the umbrella of reflecting upon transnational cooperation between intelligence services and empowering a transnational network of research and oversight. By combining practical and theoretical approaches, GUARDINT helps to institutionalize an emerging field of research and contributes to wider societal engagement with the democratic oversight of intelligence.

Contact: Ronja Kniep and Sarah Naima Roller.