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21 July 2023

King's academics will support UK efforts to become a democratic cyber power

A new research project received over £850,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to contribute to the efficacy and impact of the UK international cyber statecraft over the next decade.

Global Cyberspace Governance

The new two-year project ‘Cyber Statecraft in an Era of Systemic Competition’, led by Professor Tim Stevens, will provide practical recommendations to policymakers and practitioners to contribute to the UK's efforts to develop and assert its identity as a responsible, democratic cyber power. 

"This is an exciting and novel project that will place ideas of 'cyber statecraft' in theoretical and historical perspective. It will generate evidence for how cyber statecraft is practised by the UK and other countries and examine the emerging role of private companies in diplomatic practices that we would once have considered the sole preserve of nation-states"

Tim Stevens

The project is also supported by the UK Research Institute for Sociotechnical Cyber Security (RISCS) and brings together researchers from the Department of War Studies, King's Cyber Security Research Group, the University of Bath and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). The team will bridge significant gaps in conceptual and empirical knowledge regarding cyber power, cyber statecraft practices, stakeholders, and case studies of cyber statecraft in action.  

"This project is an excellent example of how War Studies academics engage in collaborative research on important national and international policy issues. The project will contribute significantly to foundational and applied research on the unsettled issue of how countries pursue national and collective interests in and through the global digital environments of the 21st century"

Professor Michael Goodman

Dr Joseph Devanny, Lecturer in the Department of War Studies, will lead on an aspect of the project that looks at the statecraft activities of middle powers such as Brazil, South Africa and India. 

“One of the most exciting things about this project is that we will break down siloes – between countries, but also between different stakeholder groups in the collaborative process of cyber statecraft”

Dr Joseph Devanny

He also explains that that the collaborative work between researchers and different partners will serve as an opportunity to improve “knowledge and understanding of the variety of approaches to cyber statecraft and the different ways in which it is perceived.” Research findings will be published through public events, a RUSI podcast series, policy briefs, op-eds, blogs and peer-reviewed articles.

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In this story

Tim  Stevens

Reader in International Security

Michael  Goodman

Professor of Intelligence and International Affairs

Joseph Devanny

Lecturer in the Department of War Studies