The Logic of Informal Security Cooperation: Counterterrorism Intelligence-sharing in Europe

  • Guttmann, Aviva Daniela (Project participant)
  • Rynning, Sten (Supervisor)

Project: Research

Project Details


This MSCA research project on the logic of informal security cooperation (LINSEC) combines the research fields of security studies, IR, international history, and intelligence studies to answer the project’s overarching research question: What drives and sustains informal counterterrorism cooperation? To answer this question, LINSEC builds on the University of Southern Denmark’s (SDU) expertise in security studies, my research experience in history and intelligence studies, interviews with intelligence officers, and my recently obtained unprecedented access to over 30,000 intelligence records from 1971 to 1979. These records are from a counterterrorism intelligence-sharing framework called the Club de Berne, which is still today’s main cooperation platform for informal intelligence-sharing on terrorism. To understand the logic of informal security cooperation, the project analyses four different aspects. (1) The prerequisites: what internal and external factors determine whether policymakers seek informal security cooperation. (2) Cooperation mechanism: how agencies react to terrorist threats and adapt their habits and modes of security cooperation. (3) Formal versus informal: the conditions under which these actors prefer informal over formal security cooperation, and how informal counterterrorism cooperation ties in or comes into conflict with formal alliances. (4) Continuity over time: what made informal counterterrorism cooperation effective in the 1970s and what makes it effective today? Each of these elements form one objective, which then contain a corresponding research, training, and dissemination subobjective. This project aligns squarely with the Horizon 2020 security research area and its aim of fostering secure European societies. Providing a better understanding of the factors that enhance interstate security cooperation will benefit scholars, security professionals, and policymakers alike.
Acronym LINSEC
Effective start/end date01/09/202031/08/2022