Module Identifier HY37120  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Robert G Hughes  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Mutually Exclusive IP36020 , HY37030  
Course delivery Lecture   to be timetabled with HY 37030  
  Seminars / Tutorials    
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment TWO ESSAYS OF 2,500 WORDS  40%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
Describe and assess the impact of the CIA on the US body politic in the period;

Identify and explain changes in the `National Security state? in modern America;

Locate the development of the CIA within the broader themes of US foreign policy;

Discuss with increasing confidence historiographical arguments through written and oral means;

Analyse with further sophistication primary source material (of which there is a vast amount) in a critical and intelligent manner.

Brief description

This module, on the CIA between its inception in 1947 and the end of the Cold War, will examine the problematic relationship between democracy and its `shield? - secret intelligence. A major theme will involve an examination of the controversial ? and ambiguous - relationship between these two historically. In focusing on the United States and its intelligence arm, the CIA, this module seeks to understand how this has developed in the world'r most powerful democracy. Students will be introduced to some of the main experiences of American society in the period studied with particular attention paid to the manner in which American democracy has accommodated the peacetime existence of a secret intelligence organization, the CIA. The interaction of domestic US politics and the global role of the USA after 1945 will also be considered. Special consideration will be given to overseas areas of intense CIA activity such as Latin America.


The development of, and operations of, the CIA since 1947 illuminates broad areas of US foreign policy, American attitudes as well as raising ethical, moral and political questions. Further, the history of the CIA tells us much about the development of the US body politic since the end of `isolationism?. This module will address the question of how, and in what manner, an intelligence agency can function in a democracy.


1. Introduction.
2. Espionage in US history: Benedict Arnold to Pinkerton to Pearl Harbor.
3. The genesis of the CIA: `Wild? Bill Donovan and the OSS.
4. The birth of the CIA: the National Security Act.
5. The Truman years: the CIA and `Containment?.
6. Security at home: the FBI, Communism and subversion.
7. Covert operations and subversion: the CIA and `unfriendly? regimes.
8. The CIA, the `bomber gap?, the `missile gap? and technology.
9. Cuba : Castro, Operation Mongoose the Missile Crisis.
10. The CIA and the Cold War in Latin America.
11. The widening Cold War: fighting Communism in the Third World.
12. Vietnam I: the CIA and South East Asia.
13. Vietnam II: Beyond the pale? The CIA and the Phoenix Programme.
14. Out of control? The CIA by 1973.
15. A new accountability: Pike and Church to Jimmy Carter.
16. `Fighting Communism?: Reagan and the CIA in the 1980s.
17. The CIA and the end of the Cold War.
18. End of a mission? After the Cold War: new enemies, new opportunities.

Module Skills

Problem_solving Students will be expected to identify and respond to historical problems and carry out appropriate research before the seminars and before writing essays. This will be assessed as part of the assessment of the essays.  
Research skills These skills will be developed through the research students are expected to carry out before the seminars and for the essays. This will be assessed as part of the assessment of the essays.  
Communication This skill will be developed through the two essays and the seminar discussions. Students will also be expected to give seminar presentations during the term. This skill will be assessed as part of the essay assessment. Seminar presentations are not formally assessed but feedback is given.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Essays will be returned in essay tutorials where advice will be given on improving students? research techniques and essay writing skills  
Team work Students will work together in seminar preparation and discussion.  
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to access information on CD-ROMs and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be encouraged to word-process their work. These skills will not be formally assessed.  
Application of Number Students will be presented with some statistical date during the lectures and the appropriate use of such statistics will form part of the assessment of the essays where appropriate. In particular, students will be asked to examine how the CIA used (and abused) quantitative & qualitative data.  
Personal Development and Career planning This module will help develop written and oral skills. Other activities, including research, assessment of information and writing in a critical and clear manner, will further develop useful skills of analysis and presentation.  
Subject Specific Skills Critical Historical skills pertaining to the nature and role of the CIA within US national security architecture. In particular, students will assess the notion of the CIA as a policy making (rather than implementation) body during the Cold War.  


This module is at CQFW Level 6