What Can a Critical Cybersecurity Do?

Andrew Dwyer, Clare Stevens, Lilly Muller, Myriam Dunn Cavelty, Lizzie Coles-Kemp, Pip Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cybersecurity has attracted significant political, social, and technological attention as contemporary societies have become increasingly reliant on computation. Today, at least within the Global North, there is an ever-pressing and omnipresent threat of the next ‘cyber-attack’ or the emergence of a new vulnerability in highly interconnected supply chains. However, such discursive positioning of threat and its resolution has typically reinforced, and perpetuated, dominant power structures and forms of violence as well as universalist protocols of protection. In this collective discussion, in contrast, six scholars from different disciplines discuss what it means to ‘do’ ‘critical’ research into what many of us uncomfortably refer to as ‘cybersecurity’. In a series of provocations and reflections, we argue that, as much as cybersecurity may be a dominant discursive mode with associated funding and institutional ‘benefits’, it is crucial to look outwards, in conversation with other moves to consider our technological moment. That is, we question who and what cybersecurity is for, how to engage as academics, and what it could mean to undo cybersecurity in ways that that can reassess and challenge power structures in the 21st century.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Political Sociology
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

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