The Virtual Weapon and International Order Lucas Kello

Publication date:
15 May 2018
Yale University Press
336 pages: 216 x 140mm
5 b-w illus.
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An urgently needed examination of the current cyber revolution that draws on case studies to develop conceptual frameworks for understanding its effects on international order

The cyber revolution is the revolution of our time. The rapid expansion of cyberspace in society brings both promise and peril. It promotes new modes of political cooperation, but it also disrupts interstate dealings and empowers subversive actors who may instigate diplomatic and military crises. Despite significant experience with cyber incidents, the conceptual apparatus to analyze, understand, and address their effects on international order remains primitive. Here, Lucas Kello adapts and applies international relations theory to create new ways of thinking about cyber strategy.

Kello draws on a broad range of case studies - including the Stuxnet operation against Iran, the cyberattacks against Sony Pictures, and the disruption of the 2016 U.S. presidential election - to make sense of the contemporary technological revolution.

Synthesizing data from government documents, forensic reports of major events, and interviews with senior decision-makers, this important work establishes new theoretical benchmarks to help security experts revise strategy and policy for the unprecedented challenges of our era.

Lucas Kello is senior lecturer in international relations at Oxford University, where he also serves as director of the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs.

"[Kello’s] work represents an important step toward bridging the gap between academic thinking about international relations and the cyber revolution in the real world. We can hope his courage, audacity and clarion call will inspire others to follow."—The Wall Street Journal

“The cyber revolution clearly constitutes an ever-growing challenge to international order. Lucas Kello reflects on technology’s role in political revolution, and the importance of aligning international-relations studies with the unruly expansion of cyberspace.”—Nature

“Displays an enviable grasp of the technical issues, as well as of the academic landscape . . . Readers of all kinds will find Mr. Kello’s book informative and thought-provoking.”—Economist