The Elephant in the Room: Coercion

113 American Journal of International Law Unbound, 2019

5 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2019

See all articles by Ido Kilovaty

Ido Kilovaty

University of Tulsa College of Law; Yale University - Law School

Date Written: March 4, 2019


Symposium on Dan Efrony & Yuval Shany, A Rule Book on the Shelf? Tallinn Manual 2.0 on Cyberoperations and Subsequent State Practice.

Dan Efrony and Yuval Shany’s article offers some critically important observations on the reception of the Tallinn Manual 2.0 by states, as well as subsequent state practice and opinio juris with regard to the international use of cyber operations. Based on their case studies, Efrony and Shany conclude that states have largely been reluctant to adopt fully the norms, premises, and analogies offered by the Tallinn Manual. The authors argue that there is a “deep uncertainty about the treatment of cyberspace as just another physical space, like land, air, or sea — over which states may exercise sovereignty or control.” The authors further explain that there is an “uneasy fit” between traditional international law regarding internal and external state power, and the regulation of a unterritorial cyberspace. In other words, cyberspace is a sui generis domain, such that analogies to physical-space domains are often ill-suited, and at times doomed to failure.

Keywords: international law, cybersecurity, non-intervention, coercion, cyber-attacks, cyberspace law, cyber operations, tallinn manual

Suggested Citation

Kilovaty, Ido, The Elephant in the Room: Coercion (March 4, 2019). 113 American Journal of International Law Unbound, 2019, Available at SSRN:

Ido Kilovaty (Contact Author)

University of Tulsa College of Law ( email )

3120 E. Fourth Place
Tulsa, OK 74104
United States

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

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