This project analyses cyber security threats within the context of International Relations (IR). Despite the global nature of cyber threats, scholars working within cyber security fields and IR often do not speak to each other on what they understand the threats to be and the most effective means to address them, including through national and international policies.
This interdisciplinary project will apply qualitative social science methods to bring these different perspectives together in order to more fully explore cyber threats and the international measures that are adopted to control them. In particular, the project will explore how those threats are conceptualised. How does our conceptualisation of cyber threats differ across different disciplines and how does this then relate to our response and policy construction?
The student will have scope to focus on any specific threats they wish to specialise in and the aspects of IR that they wish to apply in their analysis. Possible areas of study, however, include: how certain cyber threats are defined relative to others e.g. as weapons of mass destruction; analysing the effectiveness of specific historical or current international policy and treaties; and how certain institutions understand and respond to the threat e.g. United Nations.
A background in IR is recommended, but not essential.
Prospective applicants are welcome to contact Dr Michelle Bentley to discuss the project.