Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Political Science

Committee Chair

R Scott Crichlow


This dissertation attempts to determine what the worldview of U.S. intelligence looks like so that it can be incorporated into America's intelligence identity. I argue that this is necessary to gain a better understanding of why the agencies that comprise the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) share several behaviors despite having different interests and preferences. To answer my research question, which asks what the worldview of U.S. intelligence is, I conceptualize the IC's core belief system about world politics (its worldview) as the five philosophical beliefs in an operational code. I hypothesize about how the IC views each of these cognitions in accordance with my theory that the IC's worldview underlies several U.S. intelligence norms. I also posit that the worldview of U.S. intelligence is specific and longstanding. However, after testing my hypotheses using automated content analysis and statistical methods, I only find strong support for two of my six propositions. The beliefs that comprise the IC's worldview are well-established and continuous, and U.S. intelligence believes that it has a low degree of control over historical development. My primary conclusion is that the IC's worldview is a topic that warrants further study given that cognitions underlie all political behavior and form the foundation for how power and interests are understood (Young and Schafer 1998, 84). I also conclude that the ultimate value of this dissertation lies not in what its analysis found, but in the fact that it is first study to empirically analyze the set of core beliefs that U.S. intelligence holds about foreign affairs and global issues among state and non-state actors.