The Geopolitics of Cyberspace: a Diplomatic Perspective

In: The Geopolitics of Cyberspace

Abstract

The Internet has been seen as the harbinger of a world without borders or sovereignty. But states have recently reemerged in Cyberspace, asserting sovereignty or using it to pursue conflict with rivals. This article explores the geopolitics of Cyberspace. It argues that critical geopolitical concepts like geopolitical fields, culture and conditions can offer insights into the behaviour of actors in Cyberspace. The argument is explored through case studies of the US, Russia and China. The article goes beyond traditional nation states to apply similar analysis to the European Union and Internet companies. It concludes that both classical and critical geopolitics can make valuable contributions to the analysis of Cyberspace, and the behaviour of both state and non-state actors. Diplomacy has a crucial role in managing geopolitical conflicts in Cyberspace. But diplomats need to rethink their engagement and reform the structures and cultures in which they operate.

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