Cyber Risk: Hyperconnectivity and the Political Economy of Uncertainty

21 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2022

Date Written: June 14, 2022


Cyber risk arises from contemporary conditions of informational hyperconnectivity and consequent relations of value and dependence. As the Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated, increased use of and reliance upon digital networks and systems has heightened awareness of these dynamics and deepened attention to cyber risk as the object of public policy, corporate practice and user behaviours. Scholarship on cyber risk management, as found in the cybersecurity literature and adjacent fields, has yet to fully link these processes and practices to wider conceptions of societal and systemic risk, particularly to sociological accounts of the contemporary ‘risk society’. This paper explores the notion of ‘cyber risk’, asking how we might understand it through a sociotechnical lens. It pays specific attention to how we can theorise cyber risk as an assemblage of sociotechnical ‘riskscapes’, in which our understanding of risk goes beyond organisational imperatives of ‘risk management’ and into treating cyber risk as a set of productive knowledges and practices within a political economy of uncertainty. This emergent research programme will contribute to theoretical and methodological innovation at the intersection of International Relations (IR) and International Political Economy (IPE).

Keywords: security, risk, technology, cybersecurity, digital technologies, cyber risk

Suggested Citation

Stevens, Tim, Cyber Risk: Hyperconnectivity and the Political Economy of Uncertainty (June 14, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Tim Stevens (Contact Author)

King's College London ( email )

London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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