Interdoc, Western Anti-Communism and the Transnational Imperative

  • Giles Scott-Smith
Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series book series (PMSTH)


On 7 February 1963, in a solicitor’s office in The Hague, the Netherlands, the statutes for the International Documentation and Information Center (known as Interdoc) were signed. This mundane act was the official starting point for a remarkable experiment in transnational cooperation in anti-communism. Interdoc was the product of in-depth deliberations, running from 1956–57 onwards, between members of the West European security and intelligence services, industrialists and intellectuals concerning the ongoing ideological threat of communism to Western society. While the core of this informal community was made up of French, Germans and Dutch, representatives from Britain and Italy were also present from the late 1950s onwards, and the Americans were inevitably involved. The communist threat was changing, and Western anti-communism needed to change with it. Interdoc was the response. In the ensuing twenty years it would go through several mutations trying to fulfil this mission. Interdoc epitomizes transnational cooperation because it always functioned as a separate entity from the official bodies of the states concerned. Security and intelligence services are often accused of acting as “a state within a state”, yet they do so behind the scenes. In contrast, Interdoc was a public organization, using its own name as an imprint on its publications, although this in no way means that all of its activities were transparent.


Intelligence Service Peaceful Coexistence Soviet Bloc Transnational Actor Covert Action 
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© Giles Scott-Smith 2014

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  • Giles Scott-Smith

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