This is the interactive agenda for Suits and Spooks Washington D.C. 2015. This a draft a agenda and subject to change. Online registration is available here.
Wednesday, February 4 • 1:00pm - 1:25pm
A Cyber War Taboo? The Evolution of Norms for Cyber Warfare

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This project examines how constraining norms for cyber warfare are developing and will develop in the future. To do so, it develops a theory based on case studies on the evolution of norms for other emerging-technology weapons—specifically chemical and biological weapons, strategic bombing, and nuclear weapons. This project expands norm evolution theory, which is not specifically focused on warfare or emerging-technology weapons, and also contributes to nascent efforts to address the emerging cyber threat by developing a better understanding of norm evolution for cyber warfare. It argues that for emerging-technology weapons direct or indirect alignment of national self-interest with a constraining norm is the primary factor that leads to norm emergence and the extent to which it is aligned with key or powerful states’ perception of self-interest will determine how rapidly and effectively the norm emerges. Specific to cyber warfare, it predicts that while an increasing number of actors and organizational platforms are cultivating multiple candidate norms for cyber warfare, constraining norms will have trouble emerging and may never reach a norm cascade. In light of these findings, the project concludes by offering various recommendations for U.S. policymakers and identifies further research opportunities.


Brian M. Mazanec

Brian M. Mazanec earned his PhD from George Mason University’s Department of Public and International Affairs and also holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Richmond and a M.S. in defense and strategic studies from Missouri State University’s Department of Defense... Read More →

Wednesday February 4, 2015 1:00pm - 1:25pm
Main Track