Research project of Sophia Hoffmann
This project investigates whether the international relations between Arab and German secret services resulted in an exchange of knowledge, and whether this exchange resulted in similarities and/or differences in the shape, conduct and politics of German and Arab secret services. Knowledge is here conceptualised as modus operandi; as the ideas and practices about how to develop, justify and run a secret service. Secret services are an extremely widespread institution of modern states, yet social sciences’ empirical and theoretical understanding of their functioning remains very shallow, and strongly focused on the Anglo-Saxon world. Coming from a political science perspective, with interdisciplinary cross-over into history, sociology and Middle East studies, this project proposes archival, literature and interview research to develop innovative answers about the nature, impact and role of secret services across different types of states and regimes.