Research Paper No. 100 (Translation)

"ASSASSINATION: AN INCREASINGLY UNINHIBITED INSTRUMENT OF POWER"

30
Nov

The noticeable growth in the use of assassination as a political tool poses important questions about the role and limits of covert actions in international relations. These operations, located at the high end of the spectrum of capacities of intelligence services, constitute one of the most significant violations both of the national sovereignty of the country where an assassination takes place and of the most fundamental rights of individuals. This note examines six assassinations, sponsored by democratic or authoritarian regimes since 2010, with the goal of improving our understanding of the reasons for their use. Our analysis shows that even though intelligence services cannot always ensure the secrecy of these operations, their covert nature nevertheless provide their sponsors with a form of deniability. The majority of political and diplomatic costs born of the assassinations examined here seem to fade in time and therefore are negligible from the point of view of a political decision-maker. Given these conditions, we conclude that the use of assassination as a political tool is likely to become more widespread in the coming years.

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Chercheur(s) associés à cette actualité

Yvan LLEDO-FERRER

Associate Researcher with IRSEM

Damien VAN PUYVELDE

Lecturer in Intelligence and International Security, University of Glasgow, and Associate Researcher with IRSEM

Yvan LLEDO-FERRER

Associate Researcher with IRSEM

Damien VAN PUYVELDE

Lecturer in Intelligence and International Security, University of Glasgow, and Associate Researcher with IRSEM