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Cover Contemporary Security Studies

28. Cyber-Security  

Myriam Dunn Cavelty

This chapter looks at what makes cyber-security a key national security issue. Section 28.2 provides background information to understand why cyberspace is insecure and what it takes to hack a system. Section 28.3 looks at different types of politically relevant cyber-operations, describing hacktivism, cyber-crime, cyber-espionage, cyber-terrorism, and cyber-war, among others. Section 28.4 puts the threat into perspective, exploring the realities of cyber-conflict. The debate has shifted from scenarios of imminent cyber-doom to the observable reality of often stealthy, sometimes disruptive operations under the threshold of war. Section 28.5 details selected protection concepts that help to reduce cyber-risks.


Cover Contemporary Security Studies

1. Introduction: What is Security Studies?  

Alan Collins

This chapter provides an introduction to Security Studies, the sub-discipline of International Relations that deals with the study of security. War and the threat to use force are part of the security equation, but the prevalence of threats is far-reaching for Security Studies. They encompass dangers ranging from pandemic and environmental degradation to terrorism and inter-state armed conflict. The latter is actually a sub-field of Security Studies and is known as Strategic Studies. This edition examines differing approaches to the study of security, such as realism, liberalism, social constructivism, and postcolonialism. It also investigates the deepening and broadening of security to include military security, regime security, societal security, environmental security, and economic security. Finally, it discusses a range of traditional and non-traditional issues that have emerged on the security agenda, including weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, energy security, and health.


Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

16. Cyber Conflict in the Age of Great Power Competition  

Ryan C. Maness, Rebecca Lorentz, and Brandon Valeriano

This chapter explains the concepts of cyberspace, cyberpower, cyber strategy, cyber security, and cyberwar and illustrates how cyberpower manifests today among both state and non-state actors. Managing information is part of a persistent challenge that is not unique to any time or place. What is different today is the speed of transmission and the reach of information, which are both aided by cyberattacks and cyber-enabled technologies that leverage digital communications. Search engines, video platforms, and encrypted messaging services allow for loaded phrases to return troves of fake stories and narratives reflecting extremist ideologies in the infosphere. The Covid-19 pandemic also brought along what can be dubbed an ‘infodemic’, where disinformation about mitigation and vaccines has yet to bring the crisis to a definitive end. These developments carry transformative national security implications for all societies. Cyber conflict—the use of digital technologies in military interactions or military affairs in the realm of international affairs—is also occurring. Cyber conflict involves direct cyberattacks that are aimed at opponents’ digitally enabled systems.


Cover Contemporary Security Studies

Edited by Alan Collins

Contemporary Security Studies provides an introduction to Security Studies. It features a wide breadth and depth of coverage of the different theoretical approaches to the study of security and the ever-evolving range of issues that dominate the security agenda in the twenty-first century. In addition to covering a large range of topical security issues, from terrorism and inter-state armed conflict to cyber-security, health, and transnational crime, the sixth edition features an examination of popular culture and its implications for security, as well as coverage of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout, readers are encouraged to question their own preconceptions and assumptions, and to use their own judgement to critically evaluate key approaches and ideas. To help them achieve this, each chapter is punctuated with helpful learning features including ‘key ideas’, ‘think points’ and case studies, demonstrating the real-world applications and implications of the theory.