Books

International Relations in the Cyber Age
The Co-Evolution Dilemma

Nazli Choucri and David D. Clark
2019

A foundational analysis of the co-evolution of the internet and international relations examining resultant challenges for individuals, organizations, firms, and states.

In our increasingly digital world, data flows define the international landscape as much as the flow of materials and people. How is cyberspace shaping international relations, and how are international relations shaping cyberspace? In this book Nazli Choucri and David D. Clark offer a foundational analysis of the co-evolution of cyberspace (with the internet as its core) and international relations, examining resultant challenges for individuals, organizations, and states.

The authors examine the pervasiveness of power and politics in the digital realm, finding that the internet is evolving much faster than the tools for regulating it. This creates a “co-evolution dilemma”—a new reality in which digital interactions have enabled weaker actors to influence or threaten stronger actors, including the traditional state powers. Choucri and Clark develop a new method for addressing control in the internet age, “control point analysis,” and apply it to a variety of situations, including major actors in the international and digital realms: the United States, China, and Google. In doing so they lay the groundwork for a new international relations theory that reflects the reality in which we live—one in which the international and digital realms are inextricably linked and evolving together.

 

Designing an Internet

David D. Clark
2018

Why the Internet was designed to be the way it is, and how it could be different, now and in the future.

How do you design an internet? The architecture of the current Internet is the product of basic design decisions made early in its history. What would an internet look like if it were designed, today, from the ground up? In this book, MIT computer scientist David Clark explains how the Internet is actually put together, what requirements it was designed to meet, and why different design decisions would create different internets. He does not take today's Internet as a given but tries to learn from it, and from alternative proposals for what an internet might be, in order to draw some general conclusions about network architecture.

Clark discusses the history of the Internet, and how a range of potentially conflicting requirements—including longevity, security, availability, economic viability, management, and meeting the needs of society—shaped its character. He addresses both the technical aspects of the Internet and its broader social and economic contexts. He describes basic design approaches and explains, in terms accessible to nonspecialists, how networks are designed to carry out their functions. (An appendix offers a more technical discussion of network functions for readers who want the details.) He considers a range of alternative proposals for how to design an internet, examines in detail the key requirements a successful design must meet, and then imagines how to design a future internet from scratch. It's not that we should expect anyone to do this; but, perhaps, by conceiving a better future, we can push toward it.

 

Cyberpolitics in International Relations

Nazli Choucri
2012

An examination of the ways cyberspace is changing both the theory and the practice of international relations.

Cyberspace is widely acknowledged as a fundamental fact of daily life in today's world. Until recently, its political impact was thought to be a matter of low politics—background conditions and routine processes and decisions. Now, however, experts have begun to recognize its effect on high politics—national security, core institutions, and critical decision processes. In this book, Nazli Choucri investigates the implications of this new cyberpolitical reality for international relations theory, policy, and practice.

The ubiquity, fluidity, and anonymity of cyberspace has already challenged such concepts as leverage and influence, national security and diplomacy, and borders and boundaries in the traditionally state-centric arena of international relations. Choucri grapples with fundamental questions of how we can take explicit account of cyberspace in the analysis of world politics and how we can integrate the traditional international system with its cyber venues.

After establishing the theoretical and empirical terrain, Choucri examines modes of cyber conflict and cyber cooperation in international relations, the potential for the gradual convergence of cyberspace and sustainability—in both substantive and policy terms—the emergent synergy of cyberspace, and international efforts toward sustainable development. Choucri's discussion is theoretically driven and empirically grounded, drawing on recent data and analyzing the dynamics of cyberpolitics at individual, state, international, and global levels.

 

Book Cover: Mapping Sustainability

Cyber War:
The Next Threat to National Security
and What to do About it

Richard A. Clarke, Robert K. Knake
2010

Author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Against All Enemies, former presidential advisor and counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke sounds a timely and chilling warning about America’s vulnerability in a terrifying new international conflict—Cyber War! Every concerned American should read this startling and explosive book that offers an insider’s view of White House ‘Situation Room’ operations and carries the reader to the frontlines of our cyber defense. Cyber War exposes a virulent threat to our nation’s security. This is no X-Files fantasy or conspiracy theory madness—this is real.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Cover: Mapping Sustainability

Letters, Power Lines, and Other Dangerous Things
The Politics of Infrastructure Security

Ryan Ellis
2020

An examination of how post-9/11 security concerns have transformed the public view and governance of infrastructure.

The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.

After September 11, 2001, infrastructures—the mundane systems that undergird much of modern life—were suddenly considered “soft targets” that required immediate security enhancements. Infrastructure protection quickly became the multibillion dollar core of a new and expansive homeland security mission. In this book, Ryan Ellis examines how the long shadow of post-9/11 security concerns have remade and reordered infrastructure, arguing that it has been a stunning transformation. Ellis describes the way workers, civic groups, city councils, bureaucrats, and others used the threat of terrorism as a political resource, taking the opportunity not only to address security vulnerabilities but also to reassert a degree of public control over infrastructure.

Nearly two decades after September 11, the threat of terrorism remains etched into the inner workings of infrastructures through new laws, regulations, technologies, and practices. Ellis maps these changes through an examination of three U.S. infrastructures: the postal system, the freight rail network, and the electric power grid. He describes, for example, how debates about protecting the mail from anthrax and other biological hazards spiraled into larger arguments over worker rights, the power of large-volume mailers, and the fortunes of old media in a new media world; how environmental activists leveraged post-9/11 security fears over shipments of hazardous materials to take on the rail industry and the chemical lobby; and how otherwise marginal federal regulators parlayed new mandatory cybersecurity standards for the electric power industry into a robust system of accountability.

 

 

ECIR Select Studies
Challenges, Results & Analysis (in progress)

Choucri, Nazli, David Clark, Stuart Madnick Eds.
2017

This work was funded by the Office of Naval Research under award number N00014-09-1-0597. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Naval Research.

Link: http://cyber-ir.mit.edu/foundations/select-ecir-studies