International Relations

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Abstract only
Andrew Whiting

In the book’s Conclusion, I summarise the main contributions of my research and reflect on how similarly motivated constructivist research in this domain could provide scope for further development.

in Constructing cybersecurity
Andrew Whiting

Chapter 4 continues in the same vein as the previous chapter but shifts the focus to the threats themselves. The chapter considers how danger and destructiveness are constituted as self-evident features of various nefarious acts executed by a diverse range of actors that present salient and credible threats in the present as well as for the future. The analysis contained within this chapter identifies a number of discursive tactics, such as the way in which ‘cyber-threats’ are synonymised with physical threats (bombs, bullets, etc.), as well as the use of military historical analogies. As with the previous chapter, an effort is made not only to capture the sentiment of the dominant position regarding cyber-threats but also those divergent moments and dissident voices that co exist alongside them.

in Constructing cybersecurity
Power, expertise and the security industry
Author: Andrew Whiting

Constructing cybersecurity adopts a constructivist approach to cybersecurity and problematises the state of contemporary knowledge within this field. Setting out by providing a concise overview of such knowledge, this book subsequently adopts Foucauldian positions on power and security to highlight assumptions and limitations found therein. What follows is a detailed analysis of the discourse produced by various internet security companies, demonstrating the important role that these security professionals play constituting and entrenching this knowledge by virtue of their specific epistemic authority. As a relatively new source within a broader security dispositif, these security professionals have created relationships of mutual recognition and benefit with traditional political and security professionals. The book argues that one important product of these relationships is the continued centrality of the state within issues of cybersecurity and the extension of a strategy of neoliberal governance.

Andrew Whiting

Chapter 5 draws together the empirical and theoretical work to reflect on the importance of the internet security industry in the construction of cybersecurity knowledge and the role relationships between private entities and professionals of politics play in the sedimentation of cybersecurity as analogous with national security. I begin by highlighting the broad homogeneity that exists between the expert discourse that I have studied and the ‘dominant threat frame’ identified by others such as Dunn Cavelty (2008) before theorising as to why this is and what impact it has on a broader process of knowledge construction. To achieve this I pay particular attention to the positon and raison d’être of the industry I have studied as well as the formation of communities of mutual recognition that have provided mutual benefit for both the industry and the state. I conclude that the arrival of the ‘technological age’ poses challenges to the traditional Weberian model of security governance. Subsequently, there has been an expansion and reorganisation of the security dispositif to more fully include private expertise as a means of overcoming a sovereignty gap and allowing for the continuation of a strategy of neoliberal governance.

in Constructing cybersecurity
Andrew Whiting

Chapter 3 is the first of two chapters that present the empirical findings of the research into the internet security industry. In this chapter, the focus is placed upon ‘cyberspace’, characterised as the milieu within which (in)security plays out. The chapter provides a number of references to the articles, white papers, blogs and reports produced by the various different companies to reveal the themes, tropes and tactics in evidence here. The chapter divides these by the categories of vulnerability and uncertainty. The constructivist analysis that is conducted within the chapter reveals a space constituted as inherently weak and vulnerable to exploitation and attack as well as affording nefarious actors tremendous scope to conduct activities in relative secrecy, which serves to compound this vulnerability with a large degree of uncertainty. While efforts are made in this chapter to identify a dominant discourse, the chapter does also draw attention to dissident and counter-hegemonic expertise that stands at odds with it.

in Constructing cybersecurity
Cohesion, contestation and constructivism
Andrew Whiting

Chapter 1 provides an in-depth overview of cybersecurity knowledge drawn from disciplines including politics and international relations, law and computer science. The first part of this chapter is structured around the organising themes of definition, threat and response and provides an important foundation upon which subsequent theoretical and empirical work is based. This chapter identifies a broad homogeneity across this knowledge and demonstrates how this operates within a wider national security framing that reproduces the features, tropes and tactics found therein. However, the second part of this chapter goes beyond the ‘problem solving’ conventions of cybersecurity knowledge and reveals a smaller body of critical and broadly constructivist research that investigates the same object but in a manner that eschews the commonplace agenda. By highlighting and exploring this research two things are achieved: first, my own study is situated within a wider academic body of work that sets out to investigate cybersecurity by utilising different ontological, epistemological and methodological assumptions; second, by revealing this heterogeneity I project a path forward for my own theoretical and empirical work that recognises the importance of a broader inter subjective process of knowledge construction that requires engagement with alternative sources, such as the internet security industry.

in Constructing cybersecurity
Abstract only
Andrew Whiting

The Introduction provides the broad context for the study as well as laying out the motivations, research aims and research questions. The Introduction provides an initial justification for the decision to focus on this particular aspect of the internet security industry (developed further in Chapter 2) and also offers reflections on the method used, including which companies were studied and how the corpus was compiled. Finally, the chapter concludes with a breakdown of the book’s organisation, including what each chapter is looking to contribute to the overall objective.

in Constructing cybersecurity
Andrew Whiting

Chapter 2 provides the theoretical framework for the book’s empirical analysis and clarifies a number of theoretical and conceptual tools that are central to this book’s objectives and contributions. Power and security are two such concepts, and the chapter begins by clarifying the conceptualisation of power outlined by Michel Foucault that is adopted in this study by elaborating upon one of his ideas: power/knowledge. From here the chapter hones in on the ‘third modality’ of power, that of governmentality, to demonstrate how this functions across society and the role that the security dispositif plays in allowing this form of power to function. Prior to embarking on the empirical analysis, this chapter’s final section ties together the work on power, governance and security with established work on both ‘epistemic communities’ and ‘security professionals’. I elaborate on these theorisations to link the productive functioning of power with the role particular ‘privileged’ experts play within the dispositif to give meaning to the phenomenon of security, sediment certain understandings, prioritise particular responses and foreclose alternative thinking. It is in this final section where I most explicitly make the argument for the need to conduct constructivist research into private security industry discourse.

in Constructing cybersecurity
Creative movement and peacebuilding

This book explores the relationship between peacebuilding and dance, including insights dance provides on key debates around peace and conflict. It investigates the practice of a dance-focused peacebuilding programme and tells the important story of youth who engage in dance for peacebuilding in Colombia, the Philippines and the United States. In doing so, the book analyses the ways in which this programme fits into the broader global context. Incorporating participant voices, critical political analysis and reflections on dance practice, this book reveals important implications and nuances regarding arts-based peace initiatives that can also contribute to reflections on peacebuilding more broadly. In particular, investigating the role of empathy and embodiment further contributes to expanding perspectives on peacebuilding. As such, this book contributes to theory and practice while building critical understanding of the politics of integrating dance into peacebuilding. By exploring the politics of dancing peace, including benefits and challenges, and local and global connections, this book highlights and analyses key issues in arts-based peacebuilding approaches. As the global community continues to seek pathways to peace that are inclusive of people across differences – such as race, religion, gender, culture, age and locality – and that improve upon, supplement or replace existing dominant approaches, this book provides a valuable in-depth analysis and recommendations for practice.

Lesley Pruitt and Erica Rose Jeffrey

To date, practitioner self-care is underexplored in Peace and Conflict Studies, even though peacebuilders themselves could benefit immensely from further investigation in this area, which could in turn strengthen the depth and quality of their work as facilitators for peace. Indeed, the research for this book has suggested that participants had an opportunity to experience themselves in ways that enabled them to express a deeper sense of self-understanding, embodiment and strength to go on with their work. Chapter 5 considers how, in the midst of difficult work in conflict-ridden circumstances, peacebuilders have embraced the opportunities that dance provides to relieve stress and re-engage with their bodies. At the same time, acknowledging that diverse bodies may be placed differently in settings of conflict, the chapter also interrogates the prospects and challenges posed by gender and age norms in particular sites of peacebuilding. It also suggests that dance has broader implications in peacebuilding because it can help enable a more reflective stance for considering conflict. In this sense, it has to potential offer new and creative directions for pursuing peace.

in Dancing through the dissonance