Recording: Cyber Statecraft: Great Cyber Power Competition

A discussion with academics and practitioners on how liberal democracies and adversarial powers are competing in cyberspace.

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This is the second event in our series on ‘Cyber Statecraft in an Era of Systemic Competition’.

Global cyber security and governance are at a critical juncture. Efforts to develop the rules, norms and values of cyberspace reflect shifting international power dynamics and competing political visions. Geopolitical disputes over technological development have often reflected a battle between two poles. In one corner stand liberal democracies supporting multi-stakeholder approaches to cyber governance, as well as upholding principles such as openness. In the opposing corner, China, Russia and their strategic partners stand ready with top-down models for regulation, driven by concerns over regime stability and political suppression. Between these competing poles lie diverse national and regional perspectives in the so-called 'middle ground' of global cyber security and governance. In this complex tech/cyber geopolitical landscape, how can Western countries position themselves?

To discuss how competition is playing out in cyberspace, RUSI is joined by contributors to a new edited volume, Great Cyber Power Competition: Competing and Winning in the Information Environment. The book is rooted in the proposition that it is time for the West to push back against cyber aggression, and that it needs a relevant framework and tools to do so.

The book demonstrates that Western democratic states currently lack both the strategic and the intellectual acumen to compete and win in the information and cyber domains, and argues that the West needs a strategy to compete with rival powers in information and cyber warfare.



  • David Gioe, Visiting Professor of Intelligence and International Security, King’s College London
  • Maggie Smith, US Army officer and Senior Non-Resident Fellow, The Atlantic Council, Cyber Statecraft Initiative
  • David Higgins, Geopolitical analyst, strategic communications industry
  • Rod Thornton, Senior Lecturer, King’s College London

Moderator: Pia Hüsch, Research Analyst, RUSI

This event was funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, in partnership with the Research Institute for Sociotechnical Cyber Security.


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