The Role of Intelligence in Securitisation Processes
: A Tool or An Agent

  • Ikrom Yakubov

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    A rapidly expanding literature in International Relations theory researches how certain domestic entities both craft and implement important security policies that have direct implications to either domestic or international environments. The study of the role of the Intelligence Service in securitisation processes best fits into this characterisation, as the Intelligence Service is specially designed to collect, analyse, interpret and disseminate information about domestic and international environments. Moreover, being an entity that has a particularly intimate relationship with political power, Intelligence Services also actively participate in implementing policies, explicitly performing its Instrumentality. This project provides a general framework for conceptualising the role – Agency and Instrumentality – of Intelligence Services in securitisation processes through assessing how the Intelligence Service behaves in various stages and phases of securitisation.

    In order to achieve the main aim – determining and assessing the Agency and Instrumentality of Intelligence in securitisation, the dissertation adopts a reformulated securitisation theory as an analytical framework. Securitisation is a special form of decision/policy making and implementation process that involves complex activities, like interactions, between a securitising actor and the targeted audience – whose receptivity is vital for the outcome of these interactions. What is known as securitisation is a routine and daily activity for the Intelligence Service in its interactions with the decision/policy makers and it is always prone to initiate securitisation, because securitisation grants Intelligence centrality and an undiminished access to resources.

    Applying a blended logic of inquiry, the thesis adopts an anti-foundationalist ontology and interpretivist/constructivist epistemology, qualitative methodology and triangulation technique to underpin the theoretical arguments. Moreover, out of the adopted ontological-epistemological positions and methodology, the thesis employs qualitative operationalisation.

    In order to substantiate the presented analytical claims with factual findings, the dissertation assesses the role of the CIA and SIS-MI6 in recent interconnected securitisation cases. The first pair of cases looks at the role (Agency and Instrumentality) of the CIA and SIS-MI6 in the securitisation of religion based terrorism, the “War on Terror” and the Invasion of Afghanistan. The second pair of cases scrutinises the role of the CIA and SIS-MI6 in the securitisation of Saddam’s regime and the Invasion of Iraq. The results of these case studies demonstrate that the Intelligence Service is one of the key constituents in securitisation processes and performs its Agency or Instrumentality depending on the phases of securitisation.
    Date of Award2017
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorChristian Kaunert (Supervisor) & Sarah Leonard (Supervisor)


    • Intelligence
    • Securitisation
    • CIA
    • SIS-MI6

    Cite this