It is frequently observed that intelligence has never been more important in world politics than it is currently during the early twenty-first century.3

The idea that effective intelligence is central to action against terrorism, organised crime, weapons proliferation and a range of associated sub-state threats commands broad consensus. Accordingly, over the last five years there has been a flurry of writing about current intelligence activities. Yet recent academic literature on this subject has focused on thick description. Almost without exception, scholars working in Intelligence Studies have focused on specific episodes including 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan, estimates of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD), together with human rights related issues such as rendition and torture. Insofar as any analytical lens has been employed it is the problematic notion of ‘new terrorism’. Few intelligence specialists have taken an interest in wider notions of international relations – including globalisation – while International Relations scholars have repaid them with the same coin. There is an alarming disconnect here and the result has been that we have been slow to recognise some important general changes in the realm of intelligence.4