Operationally, the intersection of domain of cyberspace and international relations is defined as that between levels of analysis in international relations and layers of the Internet, at the core of the cyber domain. More significant, however, is that is growing interdependence between the two domains that gradually assumes generative properties.

Joint Cyber-IR Domain - Layers and Levels.
Source: David Clark (2015)

The Cyber-IR system is embedded in a global context, as who in the figure below...

                            Source: Choucri and Clark (2015)

The underlying proposition that the Cyber-IR core is continuously subject to these contending influences. On the one hand are system that can lead to conflict and war and reorganization of power relations. On the other hand, are system supports with stabilizing governance structures and processes. These are the contending pressures that bear on the security and sustainability of the cyber-IR system.

Security is relatively well understood as a core issue in international relations and world politics. Such is not the case with respect to sustainability. The latter is a relative newcomer that still has to garner significant attention in the context of theory, policy, and practice.  A major legacy of the 20th century, the concept of sustainability was first framed in terms of development challenges. At this writing, sustainability is no longer a new notion, it its central properties remain under dispute.

This leads us to the operational structure of the CSSD knowledge base.