When reading academic and other literature on intelligence in different countries, the many common features displayed are rather striking. We encounter the same type of criticism that ‘political policing’ rather than ‘security intelligence’ describes what happens, there are similar problems of management and control, deniability is as important in the conservative governed liberal democracy as in the social-democratic hegemony etc. This feeling grew stronger and stronger when those of us researching in the field met on different occasions and read and compared each other’s work. Finally we came to a stage where it felt natural to formulate a hypothesis on intelligence: common structures, common dangers?