2023 Conference on International Cyber Security | 7-8 November 2023
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Panel 4


Making Sense of Cyber Conflict: Actors and Disciplines

Lise Andersen

Lise H. Andersen is a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the EU Cyber Direct Program, based at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University. Prior to this, Lise undertook her PhD at University College London’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy. Broadly speaking, Lise’s research interests focus on the management of knowledge informing multilateral diplomatic activity, specifically in the scientific and technological space. She holds an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy from the University of Oxford, and a BA in Global Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara.

Dennis Broeders

Dennis Broeders is Full Professor of Global Security and Technology, Senior Fellow of The Hague Program on International Cyber Security at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs of Leiden University, and Project Coordinator of EU Cyber Direct. His research and teaching broadly focuses on the interaction between international security, technology and policy, with specific areas of interest in global security, international cyber security governance, and emerging technologies. He teaches in the Bachelor program Security Studies and in the master program at the Cyber security Academy.

He is the author of the book  ‘The public core of the internet’ (Amsterdam University Press, 2015) and has contributed to the national and international debate on cyber security and international norms in many different fora, including the UN, IGF, EU, CyFy and CyCon. He has provided input into policy processes such as the Sino-EU cyber dialogue and the UN GGE and OEWG.

He has held visiting fellowships at the Social Science Center WZB in Berlin (2008), and the Oxford Internet Institute (2011). Prior to joining ISGA he was a senior research fellow at the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy. He was professor by special appointment of Technology and Society at the department of Public Administration and Sociology of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (until 1 November 2018).

Monica Kello

Monica Kello is a Lecturer in War Studies (Cyber Security) at King’s College London and a non-resident fellow of The Hague Program on International Cyber Security at Leiden University. She is also a founding trustee and board member of the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative (ECCRI) and the founder of The Hague Threat Intelligence Exchange (Hague TIX). Her work examines international cyber conflict, in particular offensive cyber operations. Monica holds a PhD in Cyber Security from the University of Oxford.

Arun Sukumar

Arun Sukumar is a postdoctoral researcher with The Hague Program for International Cybersecurity at Leiden University – Institute of Security and Global Affairs. Arun’s research examines the creation and interpretation of rules for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, and more broadly, of security regimes around emerging technologies.

Arun is a lawyer by training, and currently finishing his PhD in International Relations at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Arun’s dissertation studies how interactions with technical experts lead international lawyers to identify and apply principles of public international law to cyberspace differently from their commonly understood or accepted interpretations. He hopes the research findings will not only help understand how ‘international cyber law’ generates its own vocabulary, but also present an empirical framework to study the role of technical experts in setting rules for increasingly specialized domains of global governance.

Arun was previously the head of the Cyber Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, India. His first book, Midnight’s Machines: A Political History of Technology in India, was selected among Bloomberg’s Best Books of 2020, and won that year’s Ramnath Goenka Award for Best Book (Non-Fiction).



Economic Security and Cyber Conflict: Politics, Policy and Practice

In the digital domain, security and economy are increasingly intertwined. Mainstream thinking about digital sovereignty and strategic autonomy, for example in the EU and China, has tended to cast the importance of certain sectors or activities of the economy in terms of national security. In other cases, such autonomy has been reformulated as the ability of states to minimise their economic interdependencies from being weaponised by adversaries or rivals in times of conflict or competition. “Decoupling” or “de-risking” are other labels under which policy thinking on these issues is developing. Although debates about economic security and the need to maintain technological superiority over rivals are not new, policy discussions on decoupling, weaponized interdependence or strategic autonomy acquire renewed salience in the context of rising geopoliticization and the fluid (and often tense) relationship between states and global technology corporations, whose interests may not always be aligned. There is new thinking on ‘economic security’ in governments that will need to chart a course between economic interests, national security and international stability. This paper will engage with the emerging economic security and geoeconomics literature, using three empirical cases to investigate the application of policy and academic frameworks like geoeconomics, weaponised interdependence, de-risking and strategic autonomy in the digital realm. Specifically, the paper will study whether policy instruments aimed at promoting economic security or strategic autonomy are able to meet their stated goals in aligning industry activity with their national security concerns. We will look at how states form an ad hoc coalition to make companies comply with national security interests (case study 1: the US, Japan, and the Netherlands’ ‘agreement’ to restrict the sale of advanced semiconductor materials to China); how states make companies formally comply with national security interests (case study 2: the implementation of digital technology sanctions against Russia in the aftermath of its invasion of Ukraine); and how globally operating companies seemingly spontaneously choose sides in an international conflict (case study 3: the role of Microsoft and Amazon Web Services in Ukraine following the Russian invasion), inserting a new dynamic in the thinking on economic security.