Bras. Political Sci. Rev.. 01/Mar/2017;11(1):e0001.
National Intelligence Systems as Networks: Power Distribution and Organizational Risk in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa
This article compares the intelligence systems of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Three questions drive the research: How are the national intelligence systems organized? How is power distributed among organizations in each country? What are the organizational risks? By employing Network Analysis to publicly-available data on intelligence agencies, collegiate bodies, and supervising organizations, authority relations and information flows were mapped. Regarding organizational configuration, similarities were found between India and Russia, as well as between China and South Africa. Brazil differs from the four countries. As for the power distribution, in Russia, Brazil, and India intelligence is subordinated to the government, and shows more centrality in the cases of China and South Africa. Finally, Russia runs the highest risk of having an intelligence system less able to adapt to strategic circumstances, at the same time being the most resilient among the five countries. Likewise, China has the highest risk of a single actor being able to retain information, acting as a gatekeeper. Network Analysis has proved to be a useful approach to promote a comparative research program in the Intelligence Studies field.