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THE O X F O R D C O M P A N I O N TO

COMPARATIVE POLITICS

Joel Krieger
EDITOR IN CHIEF

VOLUME 1

Abortion-Korea, Republic of

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The Oxford companion to comparative politics /Joel Krieger,
editor in chief,
p. cm.
Includes index.
ISBN 978-0-19-973859-5 i. Comparative government-
Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. Krieger, Joel, 1951-
JF51.093 2012
320.3dc23 2012006696

987654331
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CYBERPOLITICS 269

In light of the changing and ever expanding global state actors, others may lack a label or description,
connectivity, it is tempting to ask, What are some of and still others may operate behind a veil of se-
the major patterns of cyber access? How extensive is crecy. But they all affect states in one way or
cyber participation worldwide? Are these empirical another.
questions that can generate data-based responses? At the state level, cyberspace provides new venues
At the same time, however, cyber access per se pro- for the exercise of power in all the usual ways, as well
vides little insight into the content or the substance as some additional ones, and allows a focus on sov-
of cyber interactions and even less information ereignty and territoriality as the ultimate principles
about leveraging cyber venues to enhance power, on which to justify moves of choice in cyberspace. It
capability, and performancethe substance of in- has also given states new points of control. But the
teractions. With the increased politicization of cy- state is no longer the only actor wielding this
ber-based interactions, there are growing efforts to powerperhaps not even the most dominant one in
control access as well as content, and these efforts cyberspace. One line of thinking holds that cyber re-
threaten the "open communication" vision of cyber- alities undermine state sovereignly in notable ways.
space supported by the United States and other Another line is that despite the emerging power of
Western countries. virtual reality, the fundamentals of state sovereignty
Levels of Analysis. To improve any effort to remain robust, as revealed in various successful ef-
understand of these new realities, it is useful to look forts in democratic as well as authoritarian states to
at cyberpolitics at four levels of analysis: the regulate the transmission of content. This view sug-
individual level, the state level, the international gests that the new arena is neutral with respect to
level, and the global level. All these activities may impacts on sovereignty. Yet another holds that cy-
challenge traditional concepts of sovereignty. berspace is fundamentally generative in both tech-
The evidence so far suggests that cyberspace em- nological and social terms and, as such, contributes
powers and enables individuals in ways that were to refraining conceptions of sovereignty and the role
previously not possible. This empowerment is mani- of the state, most notably in the provision of public
fested through communication, expressed percep- goods.
tions, organization, and preparations and, most Cyber access notwithstanding, states are far from
important, access to knowledge. At the same time, equal in attributes and capabilities or in power and
there is variation in the degree of power wielded by influence. Drawing on the constitutive power of the
individuals in different states. Different parameters master variables core features of states popula-
of action are possible in cyber venues, and these tion, resources and technologythe evidence shows
cannot always be ignored by the state. that different combinations of these fundamental
To date, the technology of cyberspace privileges features capture the major differences among them.
the individual relative to the state in one impor- Despite variation in master variables, almost all
tant way: it is not always possible to assign respon- states, rich and poor, are already adjusting to the
sibility to a specific individual for the transmission cyber realities, are engaged in various forms of e-
of a cyber message. If this situation persists, then governance, and continue to reinforce the condi-
the individual level of analysis in international re- tions required for effective performance. Closely
lations theory assumes a new importance, greater connected to e-governance is e-participation. While
than anticipated in traditional theory. The aggre- the evidence points to more rather than less e-
gative powers of cyber access, which allow indi- participation by states, more important is the
viduals to combine to form various types of entities impact. How effective is e-governance? What is the
that transcend territorial boundaries, provide a impact of e-participation?
strong reinforcing mechanism. Some of the newly At the international level, the system as a whole
aggregated entities can be seen as "normal," non- consists of sovereign states (the key entities), as well
CYBERPOLITICS 267

MacFarquhar, Roderick. The Origins of the Cultural Rev- and control of foreign territories that are driven by
olution. 3 vols. (New York, 1974-1997). The magisterial economic, strategic, and political motivations for
work by the recognized dean of Cultural Revolution control and domination.
studies covering the period 1956-1966, when the
seeds of the Cultural Revolution were planted in
Advances in science and technology, buttressed
Mao's mind and in the Chinese Communist Party by scientific innovation, have allowed for conceptu-
state he created. alization, construction, and access to new forms of
MacFarquhar, Roderick, and Michael Schoenhals. Mao's space. Notable among these is nanospace, where
Last Revolution. (Cambridge, Mass., 2006). Widely re- microminiaturization affords activity hi a previously
garded as the best single-volume history and analysis inaccessible domain. The area of genetic space,
of the Cultural Revolution.
greatly expanded with the charting of the human
William A. Joseph genome, is another example.
Cyberspace is yet another arena. Created through
technological innovation, it is a venue that allows
users to engage in activities conducted over elec-
CYBERPOLITICS
tronic fields whose spatial domains transcend tradi-
Almost everyone, and almost everywhere, has access tional territorial or sovereign constraints. In the
to the Internet and makes use of cyber venues in one twenty-first century, access to cyberspace has
way or another. Until recently, cyberspace was con- become available to more and more people around
sidered largely a matter of low politicsbackground the world. As of 2011 an estimated 2 billion people
conditions and routine decisions and processes. In had accessed the Internet. Access to cyberspace
recent years, issues connected to cyberspace and its offers new opportunities for competition, conten-
uses have catapulted into the highest of high poli- tion, and conflictall fundamental elements of pol-
tics. A newly coined term, "cyberpolitics," refers to itics and the pursuit of power and influence.
the conjunction of two processes: those pertaining Cyberspace. The historical and philosophical roots
to politics surrounding the determination of who of the term "cyber" are often considered to lie in Plato's
gets what, when, and how, and those enabled allegory of the cave in the Republic. In the twentieth
by the uses of cyberspace, a new arena of virtual century its semantic identity was derived from the
interactions. term "cyberneticsr the study of communication and
Space and Its Realities All forms of space in control rendered famous by Norbert Weiner in
traditional conceptions of international relations Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the
provide opportunities for expanding power and Animal and the Machine (1948). Weiner s exposition
influence in world politics. The term "space" often influenced Karl W. Deutsch's The Nerves ofGovernment
refers to areas of interaction that create potential (1963), which remains the single most important
sources of power; provide for the expansion of entry point into political science and political inquiry.
influence and leverage; enable new services, William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984) connected the
resources, or markets; and realize further potentials notions of cybernetics and spatial domain and is
when reinforced and sustained by technological generally regarded as providing the first formal
advances. Traditionally, the notion of space was designation for the new arena of interaction we now
closely coupled with territoriality. Clearly, this know as cyberspace. A range of metaphorical
connection is loosening rapidly. meanings now attached to "cyber" is associated with
The fundamentals of space revolve around the a panoply of immersive environments, the possibility
characteristics of the playing fieldthat is, who can of interacting with synthetic entities, and a variety of
play, how, and why. Among the most familiar no- gaming experiences. Many, if not all, reflect modes of
tions of space are those wrought by traditional forms expanding the frontiers of virtual space and human
of colonialism and imperialism, modes of expansion imagination.
268 CYBERPOLITICS

Cyberspace is a domain of human interaction cre- characterized by expansion of, and dependence
ated through the interconnection of millions of upon, its cyber capabilitieslies hi its ability to
computers provided by a core global network, such garner the power of finance and ideas and to trans-
as the Internet. The Internet is a layered system that form them into sources of global influence.
enables processing, manipulation and use of infor- Cyberspace has created new conditions for which
mation, and facilitates the expansion of human there are no clear precedents. There is as yet, little
communication as well as interaction of humans consensus, if any, on the "next steps" to take to incor-
and information. All of these features are relevant to porate cyber venues into contemporary discourse on
cyberpolitics in international relations, but to differ- sovereignty, stability, and security. However, some
ent degrees and in different ways. contending positions are already discernible.
Cyberpolitics. The laws of politics, though subject Theory Matters. All things considered, we cannot
to debate among some political scientists, generally assume that international relations theory of the
refer to regularities of human behavior across time twentieth century can be readily imported into the
and space. With the creation of cyberspace, a new cyber world of the twenty-first century. Consider
arena for the conduct of politics is taking shape, and realism (and its variants), for example, which focuses
we may well be witnessing a new form of politics. on national security, power politics, and conflict. It
There is, as yet, no decisive account or description of is not yet fully clear what cybersecurity actually
cyberpolitics; the language and concepts we use are entails or what "might" may signify in the cyber
the familiar ones of politics in real domains. domain. Or consider institutionalism, concerned
Combining a definition of politics as the authoritative with cooperation, coordination, and formal and
allocation of values in society with the notion of who informal collaborations, which may have some
gets what, when, and how, leads us to the most direct implications for the management of cyber
generic and appropriate view of politics, relevant in venues. However, institutionalism is a state-based
all contexts, times, and places. These dual insights logic for regulating interstate interactions.
into the nature of politics, while initially articulated Cyberspace has been constructed by the private
for the individual polity or the nation-state, carry a sector, and its operations are managed by the private
powerful meaning that is readily transferable to sector. The state is a latecomer to this domain. There
variouspolitical contexts, national and international. are more obvious possibilities were we to consider
They also draw attention to areas dominated by the constructivism, the perspective focusing on
politics of ambiguity, areas where the domain is perceptions, cognition, beliefs, values, symbols, and
unclear and the stakes are not well denned. similar variables, which emphasizes the subjective.
All politics, in the cyber and real arenas, involves The interface of constructivism with some uses of
conflict, negotiation, and bargaining over the mech- cyber access for purposes of expression and
anisms, institutional or otherwise, to resolve in au- communication is among the most obvious
thoritative ways the contentions over the nature of connections with international relations theory.
particular sets of core values. While it is not possible A major challenge is to develop a powerful logic to
to delineate the full implications of cyberspace for guide our understanding of cyberpolitics in interna-
politics and political behavior, the conduct of cyber- tional relations, other than to say that individual
politics across a wide set of issues, along with com- voices matter now more than ever before. Adjust-
mensurate changes in political discourse and ments to all three theoretical perspectives must take
interactions, has generated worldwide effects and place if the new cyber realities are to be effectively
has led to the articulation and aggregation of new taken into account in evolving understanding of
interests, as well as new patterns of international re- international relations. The same challenges may
lations and new modes of institutional responses well hold for theory in different areas of politics and
and global accord. The essence of the virtual state- political behavior.
27 CYBEHPOLITICS

as nonstate actors and intergovernmental institu- Despite the variety of contentions and disputes
tions. They all operate in a world that is increasingly and the incompleteness of information, we are
connected via cyberspaceoften in tightly coupled nonetheless able to identify three general types or
ways. While there is much in this new world that clusters of cyberconflicts. First are contentions over
challenges the state system at the individual, na- the management of cyberspace and the operational
tional, and international levels, in the cyber domain features of the Internet. Second are the uses of cyber
boundaries are permeable and information, ideas, venues for strategic advantage and leveraging politi-
interests, and the like can circulate with little regard cal control to regulate cyber access or deny access
for territory or jurisdiction. This means that the to content deemed undesirable. And third is the mil-
usual international instruments of states are not itarization of cyberspace, including the conduct of
always readily transferable, available for use in the cyber warfare, cyber threats to critical infrastruc-
cyber arena, but the state system is adapting. Its tures, and various types of cyber crimes and espio-
members are developing and deploying new instru- nage, among others. Each of these three reflects a
ments of control, and in many cases, they clearly modal type with many variations. Some are about
aspire to become the major players in the cyber claiming the future, while others are about manag-
domain. ing the present, all with different manifestations and
At the globed level, the construction of cyberspace varying degrees of intensity, and varieties of
has created a new dimension of interaction of over- manifestations.
arching scale and scope. As such, cyberspace is be- The other side of the ledger is no less complex: the
coming a close companion of the social system in its construction of cyberspace has already required
global proportions. Since all human interactions are new mechanisms of coordination and collaboration
embedded in the natural environment, the cyber to develop norms and standards. First are the col-
domain is inevitably interconnected with the life- laborative activities surrounding the governance of
supporting properties of the natural environment. cyberspace. To date, cyberspace has been managed
Ihe global system as a whole is increasingly vulner- by the private sector, but traditional international
able to a broad range of hazards created by human institutions now seek to influence the management
activities. Such arguments point to the potential of the new arena and use it for a wide range of
synergy between cyberspace (a new arena of inter- mission-oriented purposes. Some new forms of col-
action) and sustainability (a new imperative for laboration may be in the making. Second are the
theory and policy). There may well be some power- cyber collaborations that revolve around the quest
ful synergy or mutually reinforcing dynamics be- for global norms and agreements on the provision of
tween cyberspace as a new arena for human cyber-related public goods. The players, state and
interaction, on the one hand, and the worldwide ef- nonstate, involved in shaping the evolving global
forts to explore transitions to sustainable develop- agenda are increasingly drawing on cyber venues to
ment, on the other. These two initially independent reinforce the central trajectories of that agenda. The
processes may well be converging, with potentially third and most comprehensive form of cooperative
powerful impacts at the international, state, and in- cyberpolitics involves the formation of the twenty-
dividual levels. first-century global agenda, broadly defined. An im-
Conflicts and Cooperation. Conflict and co- portant aspect of the global agenda is to support the
operation are two, often interdependent, modes of technological bases of cyberspace and ensure its
political activity at all levels of analysis. Cyberspace sustainability.
enables various types of conflict and of cooperation, Conclusion. In the cyber domain, as in the
what may or may not be the mirror image of their traditional domain, politics is fundamentally about
respective manifestations in traditional internatio- control over the authoritative allocation of value in
nal relations. terms of who gets what, when, andhow. Cyberpolitics
CZECHOSLOVAKIA 271

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