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The changing character of power projection and maritime security in a digital age

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Unpublished
Publication date2017
Number of pages297
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The ability to fully understand the composition and properties of cyberspace and successfully exploit its potential is now regarded as being an essential component in the economic success and prestige of modern networked societies. This dependence has resulted in cyberspace being utilised to project national power and influence and is a key component in the establishment and maintenance of international relationships, trade, and security. Although providing both opportunities and threats in terms of a nation’s foreign policy and more broadly in the defence of a nation’s critical national infrastructure, the relationship between the maritime and cyber environments is one that is neither
well researched or understood, but is becoming increasingly important. This thesis examines how the properties of these two environments can be harnessed to project power and influence over a target audience through three research objectives. The first is to introduce a novel three-dimensional model of cyberspace optimised to better understand how its properties and attributes can be measured in terms of power projection and to demonstrate that the environment does not exhibit universal characteristics but that its structure and use may differ at the source and destination of a cyberpower campaign. The second is to investigate the close relationship and interdependence between the maritime and cyber environments within the context of power and security leading to the new concept of maritime cyberspace. Finally, by classifying cyberattacks as acts of intelligence gathering, sabotage, or subversion, the third objective develops a more nuanced and complex appreciation of how power can be projected in maritime cyberspace to reach a target audience. The thesis concludes by reflecting on the usefulness and applicability of these three objectives and how they go beyond current thinking to enable the UK’s defence cyber doctrine to be re-examined and expanded to incorporate these new ideas.