Toward ``normal' politics? Security, parliaments and the politicisation of intelligence oversight in the German Bundestag
|Government & Law; intelligence; International Relations; LAWMAKING; normal politics; parliaments; Political Science; politicisation; securitisation
|SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC
|BRITISH JOURNAL OF POLITICS & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Security has often been considered a special kind of politics that presents a particular challenge for liberal democracy, whether due to securitised states of exception or technocratic risk management. This article examines whether and how parliaments can be sites of politicisation, moving security from exceptional and technocratic politics toward more normal' democratic politics. Moving beyond the narrow focus on decisions over the use of military force, the examination focuses on the hard case' of parliamentary oversight of intelligence agencies and provides a case study on the German Bundestag. Overall, it finds that a strict divide between security and normal politics is overly simplistic, even when it comes to intelligence. There is evidence for politicisation that reveals patterns of normal politics through an increasingly institutionalised framework as well as public, increasingly controversial debates, including a good deal of partisan politics. However, debates tend to center on institutional and legal issues as well as symbolic skirmishes after specific events of high visibility, while many restrictions are deeply entrenched in parliamentary conventions and attitudes.
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