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A groundbreaking comparative analysis of three understudied cases of intelligence democratization revealing new insights into main barriers to reform when states transition from authoritarianism
Reforming the intelligence services is essential when a state transitions from authoritarianism to democracy. But which areas should be reformed, how do we know when there has been real transformation, and how and where do authoritarian legacies persist?

Intelligence in Democratic Transitions is a comparative examination of the democratic transitions of Portugal, Greece, and Spain starting in the 1970s. Although these three countries began their transitions around the same time, they present significantly different results. Sofia Tzamarelou discovers that main barriers to reform are legacies of the past and legacy personnel. She does this through the lens of five Security Sector Reform (SSR) indicators: Lustration, Control and Oversight, Recruitment, Targeting and Civil Society. Tzamarelou uses primary sources throughout the study, including governmental documents and legal statutes–such as draft laws, bills and presidential decrees–paired with “outside” primary source reporting, such as analysis reporting by the CIA. She complements this rich primary source material with secondary sources from authors in each country and internationally who specialize in intelligence or who provide historical context.

Tzamarelou’s unique comparative analysis of intelligence democratization using a common framework–SSR–applied to each country contributes to readers’ understanding of why and how some reforms fail and others succeed and how the SSR framework can be used in the intelligence arena. Read more

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