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Secret Affairs 2


Admission requirements

This course is designed for the minor Intelligence Studies. It is not possible to follow single courses of this minor. You need to be enrolled in Usis for the minor to be accepted to this course. There are 240 places open for registration, on a first come first serve basis, where LDE students are given priority.

This course is also open for inbound exchange students if they wish to take the entire minor Intelligence Studies; it is not possible to take single courses from this minor. Exchange students must be admitted by the FGGA International Office prior to the start of the minor; priority will be given to direct exchange partners of FGGA. For more information about the application procedure for exchange students, please contact the FGGA International Office at international@fgga.leidenuniv.nl.


During the past thirty years the so-called intelligence revolution that took place during the Second World War and the Cold War found its way into academic courses and literature. In many respects intelligence can no longer be called ‘the missing dimension’ of the history of international relations, even though many of its aspects and implications are still missing. This lecture series will put a spotlight on the ‘dark side’ of international relations and the hidden background issues that go on behind the sealed scenes of international relations.

This course will go into depth into the topics touched upon in the Introduction to Secret Affairs. Among others, special attention will be paid to negotiations, international cooperation, counter terrorism and counter intelligence. Furthermore, students will be challenged to use their own ‘spy-capacities’ and put themselves in the adversary’s position.

Course objectives

  1. The student is able to describe and interpret the possible role and influence of intelligence in international politics and is able to illustrate how states can use intelligence as an instrument of power;
  2. The student gains knowledge on historical and recent international cooperation between security- and/or intelligence agencies;
  3. The student is able to describe different styles of (international) negotiations and apply this knowledge in a simulation of international negotiations;
  4. The student is able to reflect on a so-called applied doctrine/proto-theory;
  5. The student is able to construct an applied (C-)theory to a mini case;
  6. The student develops writing skills and skills in regard to the academic use of sources;
  7. The student is able to work together in a group with other students.


The timetable will be displayed with a link on this course page, the website, Brightspace and on the front page of this minor programme.

Mode of instruction

7 lectures of 3 hours by instructors and guest lecturers.

Participation in lectures, discussions and exercises is required in order to obtain a grade. One lecture may be missed. Being absent more than once will lead to expulsion from the course.

Course Load

Component % Hours
Attendance Mandatory 27
Assignment 1 20% 10
Group assignment 20% 10
Final exam 60% 3
Reading and self-study* 90
Total 100% 140

*On the basis of reading approximately eight pages per hour.

Assessment method

Assignment 1 20%
Group assignment 20%
Final exam 60%

Attendance is obligatory. Being absent more than once will lead to expulsion from the course.

Late hand in penalty: 1 minus per day, and after seven days we do not accept papers any longer.

Compensation rule: Only assessments with the weight of 30% and lower are compensable. This means that one does not have to pass an assessment if it weighs 30% or less in order to pass the course, if the average of all assessments combined is at least a 5.5. In addition, assignments weighing up to and including 30% are not re-sitable, meaning that if one failed an assessment of 30% or less one is not allowed to redo it.

Resit of the paper will take the same form.

The Course and Examination Regulation Security Studies and the Rules and Regulation of the Board of Examiners of the Institute of Security and Global Affairs apply.

Reading list

TBA on brightspace


Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course, after registration for the entire minor.
Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. Important information about the course is posted here.
After enrolment for the course in uSis you are also enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.


Intelligence Studies