“We worried for decades about WMDs – Weapons of Mass Destruction. Now it is time to worry about a new kind of WMDs – Weapons of Mass Disruption.” — John Mariotti
IR-Research has a new buzzword - Cyberwar is the next big thing after the so called "new wars". In 2011 the Obama administration adopted a strategy for Cyberspace followed by the German military which reached "Anfangsbefähigung für Attacken in gegnerischen Netzen (a prime example of bureaucratic speech). Since then academia, politics and media are talking about Cyberwar.
However, there is still confusion going on about the possibilities, risks and dangers emerging from the new information technology called the Internet. The Internet is still "Neuland" for most of the policymakers and citizens alike. We hear talk about "weapons of mass disruption" or "digital Pearl Harbor". Digital disaster seems to lure everywhere and threat politics flourish. It is time to analyze this topic and decipher the debates about Cyberwar.
Therefore the aim of this seminar is threefold: first, we are going to look at the very core concepts: What is Cyberwar? Is it actually war? How does it differ from other conflicts? Where did it come from?
Secondly we are trying to analyze the phenomenon of Cyberwar with the grand theories of International Relations, Neo-Realism, Neo-Liberal-Institutionalism, Constructivism and Security Studies in general. Can our theories describe the phenomenon? Do we have to adapt our frameworks?
Finally we are looking into specific cases. What are national motivations for Cyberwar? How do national strategies look like? We will also talk about the Stuxnet incident and will dig into a broad range of actors, from the United States of America, to China and Russia and even the "swarm-intelligence" of hacktivism.