China's notion of cybersecurity: The importance of strategic cultures for cyber deterrence

Published: 9 Nov 2018

This paper debates the importance of different strategic cultures in cyberspace through the example of China. More than any other form of security cyber security is interpreted and acted on differently by different states. While the idea that the Internet would be a liberalizing force throughout the globe was dominant for a long time, over the last few years it has become evident that states have different interpretations and values attached to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). These differences in valuation in turns leads to different conceptualizations of cyber security, giving the term different meanings for different actors. As states disagree over what cyber security is, they are also likely to disagree on how it is to be achieved. This paper evaluates the impact of these differences in light of a frequently used concept in security studies, namely that of deterrence.