Lucas Kello’s Book "The Virtual Weapon" Reviewed in The Wall Street Journal
25 January 2018
The Wall Street Journal has published a review of Lucas Kello’s recent book The Virtual Weapon and International Order (Yale University Press) written by Harvard professor Graham T. Allison.
Allison’s review discussed the relative significance of the cyber and nuclear revolutions in a historical context. On this point, the author and reviewer disagreed. Allison questioned whether the transformation produced by cyberspace in the twenty-first century is greater than the change wrought by nuclear arms in the twentieth century. Kello, by contrast, argued in the book that cyberspace is more transformative because of the scale of change that it has produced not just in military but also in political and social affairs; the sheer scientific complexity of computer systems and networks; and the high volatility of change in them.
Despite differences of opinion on the extent and implications of the current cyber revolution, Allison seconded Kello’s call for a “Congress of Disciplines” that explores its origins and effects from the perspective of multiple disciplines – including political science, a viewpoint that remains largely absent. In conclusion, Allison wrote: “[Kello’s] work represents an important step toward bridging the gap between academic thinking about international relations and the cyber revolution in the real world. We can hope his courage, audacity and clarion call will inspire others to follow.”