War, Health, & Ecosystem: Generative Metaphors in Cybersecurity Governance
Slupska, Julia, War, Health, & Ecosystem: Generative Metaphors in Cybersecurity Governance. Philosophy & Technology, 2020 Forthcoming
30 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2020
Date Written: February 8, 2020
Policy-makers involved in cybersecurity governance should pay close attention to the “generative metaphors” they use to describe and understand new technologies. Generative metaphors structure our understanding of policy problems by imposing mental models of both the problem and possible solutions. As a result, they can also constrain ethical reasoning about new technologies, by uncritically carrying over assumptions about moral roles and obligations from an existing domain. The discussion of global governance of cybersecurity problems has to date been dominated by the metaphor of “cyber war”. In this paper, I argue that this metaphor diminishes possibilities for international collaboration in this area by limiting states to reactive policies of naming and shaming rather than proactive actions to address systemic features of cyberspace. I suggest that alternative metaphors – such as health, ecosystem, and architecture – can help expose the dominance of the war metaphor and provide a more collaborative and conceptually accurate frame for negotiations.
Keywords: cyber norms, cybersecurity, governance, conceptual metaphors, generative metaphors, cyber war
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