Cybersecurity and the politics of knowledge production: towards a reflexive practice

This forum in the Journal of Cyber Policy, based on our February 2022 event on knowledge production, features contributions by James Shires, Tobias Liebetrau, Dennis Broeders, Myriam Dunn Cavelty, Noran Shafik Fouad, Louise Marie Hurel, Tim Stevens, and edited by Fabio Cristiano and Xymena Kurowska

Read the entire article here in the Journal of Cyber Policy.


How does a reflexive scholarly practice matter for producing useful cybersecurity knowledge and policy? We argue that staking relevance without engaging in reflexivity diminishes the usefulness of knowledge produced both in academia and in policy. To advance a reflexive research agenda in cybersecurity, this forum offers a collective interrogation of the liminal positionality of the cybersecurity scholar. We examine the politics of ‘the making of’ cybersecurity expertise as knowledge practitioners who are located across and in between the diverse and overlapping fields of academia, diplomacy and policy. Cybersecurity expertise, and the practices of the cybersecurity epistemic community more broadly, rely heavily on the perceived applicability and actionability of knowledge outputs, on the practical dependency on policy practitioners regarding access, and thus on the continuous negotiation of hierarchies of knowledge. Participants in this forum reflect on their research practice of negotiating such dilemmas. Collectively, we draw on these contributions to identify obstacles and opportunities towards realising a reflexive research practice in cybersecurity.

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Cybersecurity and the politics of knowledge production: towards a reflexive practice