Digital Disaster, Cyber Security and the Copenhagen School

International Studies Quarterly, 53, 2009: 1155-1175

21 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2015

See all articles by Lene Hansen

Lene Hansen

University of Copenhagen

Helen Nissenbaum

Cornell Tech; New York University

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

This article is devoted to an analysis of cyber security, a concept that arrived on the post-Cold War agenda in response to a mixture of technological innovations and changing geopolitical conditions. Adopting the framework of securitization theory, the article theorizes cyber security as a distinct sector with a particular constellation of threats and referent objects. It is held that "network security" and "individual security" are significant referent objects, but that their political importance arises from connections to the collective referent objects of "the state," "society," "the nation," and "the economy." These referent objects are articulated as threatened through three distinct forms of securitizations: hypersecuritization, everyday security practices, and technifications. The applicability of the theoretical framework is then shown through a case-study of what has been labeled the first war in cyber space against Estonian public and commercial institutions in 2007.

Keywords: security, cyber security, network security, estonia, cyber war, copenhagen school

Suggested Citation

Hansen, Lene and Nissenbaum, Helen F., Digital Disaster, Cyber Security and the Copenhagen School (2009). International Studies Quarterly, 53, 2009: 1155-1175, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2567410

Lene Hansen

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, København DK-1165
Denmark

Helen F. Nissenbaum (Contact Author)

Cornell Tech ( email )

111 8th Avenue #302
New York, NY 10011
United States

New York University ( email )

New York, NY 10003
United States
212-998-5251 (Phone)

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