Out of the Shadows: the origins of American and British Intelligence and its influence on the contemporary world | 17.10.17

Out of the Shadows: the origins of American and British Intelligence and its influence on the contemporary world | 17.10.17

Politics Master Class

“Out of the Shadows: the origins of American and British intelligence and its influence on the contemporary world”

By Huw Bennett, Reader in International Relations University of Cardiff and Luca Trenta, Lecturer in International Relations, Swansea University at the National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Committee Room 21, 6.30 pm, 17th October 2017

From the ‘war on terror’ and regime change, to electoral interference, from drone strikes to the new spymasters. In spite of being secretive by nature and in spite of conducting most of their activities in a covert fashion, for the past twenty years, intelligence agencies have been constantly under the spotlight. And yet, the origins of these agencies, their powers, and their activities are hardly mentioned in schools curricula. So what is the role of intelligence agencies? What are the powers of the main intelligence agencies in the US and in the UK? Where do these powers come from? And what is the relation between these agencies and the rest of the government? The talk will provide answers to these questions by looking at the origins and powers of both the CIA and British intelligence. The talk will provide students with an opportunity to engage with a controversial topic while at the same time enriching the account of history and politics provided in the school curriculum. The talk will touch upon issues including the power of the President and the Prime Minister, the Imperial presidency, decolonisation, the Cold War and the superpower confrontation.

The talk will cover:

– UK Politics,

– US Politics (Power of the President, Imperial Presidency, Role of Congress),

– Cold War,

– Decolonisation

Speakers Biography

Huw Bennett joined Cardiff University in February 2016 as Reader in International Relations.  He specialises in strategic studies, the history of war, and intelligence studies.  His research focuses on the experiences of the British Army since 1945, in the contexts of British politics, the Cold War, the end of empire, and the War on Terror.  Huw is currently writing a book about the British Army’s campaign in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.

Dr Luca Trenta is a lecturer in International Relations at Swansea University. He is the holder of a 2017 British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award for his project ‘Out of the Shadows’ aiming to bring the study of intelligence and covert action to secondary schools. His research interests include covert action and the US government involvement in assassination and targeted killing. He is a regular contributor to The Conversation and BBC Radio Wales.

The event is being run by the Welsh think tank Gorwel and by the Welsh Political Studies Lecturers and Teachers Society.

Note for schools – the talk covers WJEC Government and Politics as well as History specifications: 2.1 Citizenship and rights for Politics, Unit 3 Option 8: The American Century 1890-1990 (for History). For those attending the talk a Powerpoint will also be made available and sent to you email address upon request.

The master class in politics is also sponsored by Cardiff Sixth Form College



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Photograph ©Copyright Fred Dawson LRPS | ®Flickr