Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Government and International Affairs

Major Professor

Harry E. Vanden


cyber-attack, humanitarian law, informational infrastructure, information operations, international society


Cyberwar challenges future endeavors of state security. As technological capability has improved, and access to information has become more widespread the importance of the issue in today's ever-globalizing world grows each day. A primary objective is to evaluate the place of cyber-warfare against nation-states and any repercussions under an international law paradigm. Utilizing an English School perspective, emphasis will be applied to the argument that disruptive circumstances could come to fruition if international conventions are not created to bring consensus and order among nation-states on this subject. This study hypothesizes that a future application could be an agreement under international law, beyond current regional cooperative initiatives. Since cyber-related attack is a relatively new development, the issue lacks adequate historical context. In addition, since state behavior is a major contributor to the interpretation of international law, the matter is in need of a clear delineation of the norms that define the phenomena and what acceptable responses might entail. Case study analysis will highlight recent examples of state behavior and cyber-related attacks and sabotages.