This course deals with the various ways in which states, in particular authoritarian states, operate in cyberspace. The course will be structured into three parts. The first section will investigate the ways in which states attempt to control cyberspace within their own domestic territory. We will cover research and case examples investigating censorship, surveillance, manipulation and propaganda campaigns in different countries. The second section will dive into understanding states’ attempts at controlling cyberspace in other foreign countries, for example through manipulation and various forms of cyberattacks. Lastly, we will investigate how struggles for supranational control over cyberspace affect interstate relations and the international order more generally. A key objective is to equip students with the tools to help them critically evaluate the fast-moving debates in the field (in particular the sweeping claims frequently made in public debate), critically evaluate empirical research in the area, as well as to reflect upon and develop their own understanding of how (authoritarian) states’ attempts to control cyberspace are changing both domestic and international politics.
This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.