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Edging in From the Cold: The Past and Present State of Chinese Intelligence Historiography

Edging in From the Cold: The Past and Present State of Chinese Intelligence Historiography

Dr. David Ian Chambers

During the past three decades, great progress has been made in mapping and exploring the role of intelligence in international statecraft and war. The contribution of security services to the maintenance of state power has also attracted a great deal of productive scholarly attention.

As far as western intelligence and security services are concerned, the scale of the “missing dimension” identified by Christopher Andrew and David Dilks in 1984 has shrunk significantly. Benefiting from various “open government” and freedom of information initiatives in the 1980s and 1990s, professional historians have produced a plethora of studies about individual agencies and their senior personnel, specific operations, and the interface between intelligence and states in times of war and peace.

Traditional official reticence or silence about past operations has been replaced by the production of official and authorized histories; in several countries, former intelligence officers are free to publish memoirs provided they do not prejudice current intelligence sources and methods.

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Posted: Oct 17, 2012 02:23 PM
Last Updated: Oct 17, 2012 02:23 PM