World Politics, Security and International Law in Cyber Space

Complementing our research focus on Australian Strategy, Law and Policy, ACCS also has a strong research focus on international politics, international relations, diplomacy and international law as they affect the security in cyber space of states, corporations, individual citizens and civil society.

This research, involving at least ten of our 53 researchers, has both theoretical and applied aspects.

On the theoretical side, our work includes examination of current debates within the fields of Politics and International Relations (from both philosophical and social scientific perspectives) surrounding ideas of secuirty in cyber space. We include a range of perspectives, including Critical Security Studies, International Ethics/ International Political Theory and Intelligence Studies. We also look at themes including the tension between individual privacy and state security, the proposed threats of 'cyber warfare' and 'cyber terrorism', and the ethics of certain forms of intelligence collection. Attention is also given to the distinction between how cyber security is understood in computer science and IT and how it is understood from various international politics perspectives. Researchers most closely engaged with these issues include Professor Toni Erskine, Professor Clinton Ferandes, Associate Professor Anthony Burke and Dr Gavin Mount.

On the applied side, we have a strong concentration on the cyber strategies and policies of the United States, China and Russia. We also look at major multilateral developments, with some concentration on the Asia Pacific region. Topics include  cyber war planning, cyber espionage, practical measures of restraint in cyber space, ethics, norms and international law. Researchers most closely engaged with these subjects include Professor Toni Erskine, Dr Lucas Lixinski, Dr Nicola McGarrity, Associate Professor Justine Nolan, Dr Daniel Joyce, Associate Professor Christopher Michaelsen; Professor Fleur Johns, Dr Gavin Mount and Dr Greg Austin. Austin's research agenda is inspired in part by the work of the EastWest Institute in its Global Cyberspace Cooperation Initiative.