Cyber Security: Gridlock and Innovation

Lucas Kello's chapter on “Cyber Security: Gridlock and Innovation”  has been published in David Held and Thomas Hale, eds., Beyond Gridlock (Cambridge: Polity, 2017).

It examines the sources of and possible solutions to multilateral gridlock over cyber issues in the international system. It argues that the sources of gridlock are deep and varied. They involve problems of cooperation at two basic levels. “First order” problems of cooperation arise from geopolitical contentions among large powers such as the United States, Russia, and China, which disagree on the very meaning and priorities of cyber security. “Second order” problems emerge out of historical trends of interdependence whose challenges cyberspace aggravates. The rapid expansion of cyberspace, and especially the Internet, has given a technological impetus to economic and social interactions across state borders. A further difficulty – perhaps the gravest of all – is power diffusion, or the gradual erosion of state power. Although this phenomenon afflicts multilateral governance in other security domains, such as terrorism and health, it is perhaps most acute in the cyber realm, where the barriers to entry are the lowest relatively.  

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