Governing through crisis. Conflict, crises and the politics of cyberspace | Online Conference | 9-11 November 2021
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Panel 6


European Cybersecurity: Redefining Sovereignty

Dennis Broeders

Dennis Broeders is Full Professor of Global Security and Technology and Senior Fellow of The Hague Program for Cyber Norms at Institute of Security and Global Affairs of Leiden University. His research and teaching broadly focuses on the interaction between international security, technology and policy, with specific areas of interest in global security, international cyber security governance, and emerging technologies. He teaches in the Bachelor program Security Studies and in the master program at the Cyber security Academy.

Fabio Cristiano

Fabio Cristiano is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University. Fabio’s research and teaching broadly lies at the intersection of critical security studies and international relations theory, with a specific interest for automation, autonomy, and international norms in the context of cyber and information warfare. Other areas of interest include cyber diplomacy, digital rights, blockchain technology, and digital pedagogy. Fabio has published on a wide array of topics, such as national cybersecurity policies, cyberwar game simulations, internet access as human right, augmented reality videogames, cyborg theory, aesthetics by algorithms, and more.

Monica Kaminska

Monica Kaminska is a postdoctoral researcher at The Hague Program for Cyber Norms at Leiden University – Institute of Security and Global Affairs. Monica’s research examines international cyber conflict, particularly states’ responses to hostile cyber operations. Conceptually, Monica’s work applies theories and frameworks of “risk management” drawn from international relations and sociology to analyse how states address the uncertainties inherent in the cyber domain. Previously, she worked on projects investigating political polarization and misinformation on social media in electoral contexts, a topic that she continues to explore today.



In search of digital sovereignty and strategic autonomy: normative power Europe to the test of its geopolitical ambitions

This article explores the interplay and tension between economic and geopoliticalgoals in the EU’s emerging narrative on digital sovereignty and strategicautonomy. Against the backdrop of championing internal market regulation ondigital matters, the EU retains very limited mandate and capabilities when itcomes to foreign policy and defense. Drawing on relevant literature onsovereignty, as well as on works addressing Europe as normative power, thisarticle analyzes different EU digital policies to shed light on how and to whatextent 1) internal market policies are designed to serve defensive and offensive/assertivegoals; and 2) policies that are grounded in geopolitical considerations areinstead imposed on the protection of the internal market. By pointing at theresulting strategic cacophony, the article argues that the EU’s narrative ondigital sovereignty and strategic autonomy recalibrates its role from one ofnormative power to one of (geo)strategic power. Insofar as the EU is notwell-placed to be a (geo)strategic power, this article also warns on the risksthat such strategic cacophony ultimately entails for the European overarching narrativeon protecting fundamental rights in the context of digital technologies.