Eugenio Lilli
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Soft power and cyber security
The evolution of US cyber diplomacy
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Today a country's national security, social cohesion, and economic wellbeing critically depend on a stable and secure cyber space. Moreover, because of their increased international salience, policy issues related to cyber space have grown progressively more politicised. Hence, governments are now commonly relying on diplomatic means to pursue their cyber-related national interests. This chapter provides an overview of the development of cyber diplomacy in the United States from the first Obama administration (2009), through the Trump administration (2017–21) to the first six months of the Biden one (2022). In particular, the chapter looks at how successive US administrations have adapted their diplomatic activity to promote the US national interest in this emerging policy area. Special attention is given to the key legislative measures, organisational reforms, and diplomatic initiatives that took place during these years. The chapter ends by offering a number of policy recommendations for the future direction of US cyber diplomacy.

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