Tobias Liebetrau (@TobiasLiebetrau) is a postdoc at the Centre for Military Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen. His research focuses on the implications of cyber security for security theory, research methods and governance practices. He is currently working on a book on EU cyber security governance to be published with Routledge New Security Studies. He recently received a two-year research grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark to explore ‘Changing Configurations of Sovereignty and Security in a Digital Age’ at Sciences Po, Paris. Prior to his position at the university, he worked at the Danish National Centre for Cybersecurity under the Danish Defence Intelligence Service.
Emerging European Engagements in Cyber Conflict Short of War: Towards a Critical Account
Cyber conflict short of war play a central role in the contemporary cyber security politics. Scholars are increasingly seeking to understand and assess its strategic and military effects. This article advances existing scholarship on cyber conflict short of war by shifting both the theoretical and the empirical perspective. First, drawing on critical security studies, the paper identifies several challenges to the contemporary strategic studies engagements with cyber conflict short of war. Moreover, it demonstrates how a critical security studies perspective develops our understanding of cyber conflict short of war both as an object of study and as a political and normative challenge. Second, the paper breaks new ground by exploring emerging responses to cyber conflict short of war in the Netherlands, France and Norway. The analysis shows an increasingly affirmative stance towards deployment of cyber power to engage with hostile cyber activities short war in all three countries despite their different governance models, namely a French separation model, a Dutch cooperation model and a Norwegian unity model. In conclusion, the three studies are used to display how the empirical developments in cyber conflict short of war can be explored further through engagements with critical security studies approaches in order to open up and contest taken for granted conceptions of cyber security and cyber conflict short of war.