Geopolitics and Cyber Power: Why Geography Still Matters

Implicit in many analyses of the use of cyber power in international politics and foreign policy is that realist geopolitics no longer matter. Even when the term geopolitics is used in such analysis, it is as though the geography has become unmoored from the politics. While there is undoubtedly a geographic foundation to cyberspace because of its physical infrastructure of networked computers, cables, and satellites, it is widely assumed that the geographic setting has no relevance to the political use of cyber power by states and non-state actors. This article argues that while cyberspace shrinks time and space in many obvious ways, the geographic setting still matters in the use of cyber power. Further, comprehending the geopolitics of cyber power can help policymakers and analysts understand the identity, motivations, and intentions of actors.

 

This article appeared in American Foreign Policy Interests: The Journal of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, 36:5, 286-293

Partner & Fellow Blogs