Department of Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations
THE SECURITY DILEMMA IN RELATION TO RUSSIA’S CYBERAGGRESSION TOWARDS THE UNITED STATES DURING THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONSVoting for public office is often touted as a right, and the ability to do so without interference is vital to the democratic process of the United States. However, during the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election, Russia interfered with the voting process. Given that Russia and the U.S. has a long tenuous relationship that consist of a mutual back and forth, this paper proposes that the security dilemma theory offers an explanation outlining Russia’s cyberaggression toward the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election and whether the aggression posturing was offensive, defensive, or an exchange of both. Additionally, this paper conducts a literature review of the security dilemma theory and the rise of the cybersecurity dilemmas its derivative and ascertains their applicability to the proposed thesis. The paper further argues that in relation to the U.S., Russia, as a Great Power, more likely favors cyberaggression when threatened, real or perceived. This paper uses case analysis as the methodology for testing its research question and answering its thesis. The case analysis comprises of examples of the security dilemma theory, aggression, the cybersecurity dilemma , and cyberaggression exchanged between Russia and the U.S. during the Cold War and 21st Century. After reviewing analysis trends, a discussion follows that covers gapsin this research; advanced knowledge about the theory; the thesis astested; the development or testing of the theory; methodology of cases analyzed; the sources used; measurement of variables; limitations of the study; generalization of results; and finally the reliability or replicability of the results.
The Cybersecurity Dilemma and Targeted AdvertisingA great debate remains regarding whether cyberspace is offense dominant or defense dominant. This paper reviews the literature of scholars within the cybersecurity offense-defense balance theory discipline. It discusses both the offensive and defensive arguments in detail and determines the United States should ultimately pursue a defensive dominance to ensure cyber superiority. To emphasize the need for defense, the three-year, social-media platform-based, Russian Federation Information Operation serves as a baseline example. Russia not only sowed distrust in the American Democratic process but was successful in inflaming fragile social issues throughout the United States. Russia directly threatened United States sovereignty across an extended period of time and did so, literally from half a world away. This paper serves to develop the role Information Warfare has in manipulation of the Offense-Defense Balance and concludes with the discussion for much needed legislation change, industrial herd immunity, and increased and direct investment in defense and education.
AN ACTOR-NETWORK VIEW OF THE CYBER DOMAIN’S EFFECTS ON DEMOCRATIZATION THROUGH ELECTIONSCyberspace conceptualizations include combinations of Internet infrastructure, the devices used to access it, and applications used to encapsulate or communicate data. Other conceptualizations are more abstract. Whether it directly enables democracy as a public sphere, drives economics in the private sector, or securitizes as a domain for information operations, or cyber warfare. These conceptualizations obscure understanding cyberspace’s first order effects on events, and second order understanding related to intelligence and security studies. The research question, can actor-network theory supply a robust theoretical framework to understand and describe cyberspace’s core qualities as a democratizing medium, will be examined in Kenyan, Nigerian, and Zambian use of cyberspace related to elections. Examination of these data points through four elemental characteristics of cyberspace, proliferation, evolution, “spatial hereness,” and linkability, within an actor-network theory will lead to a determination if the totality of cyberspace is a democratizing medium. Lastly, this paper will make general recommendations that can lead to greater understanding of cyberspace that can influence policy and decision making as well as encourage democratic maturity in cyberspace by applying the considerations gained from an actor-network theory perspective.