Doctoral Research

Shifting Infrastructures of Power: repurposing knowledge and configuring maintenance in cybersecurity governance

This project draws from Science, Technology & Society (STS) studies to explore the constitutive character of security expertise in stabilising both technical and knowledge infrastructures underpinning cybersecurity. In this regard, I am both concerned with those that maintain the security, stability and resilience of networked and the politics that are often concealed or encoded into the everyday interactions of expert security communities with governments in the management of networks. I depart from Foucault’s “micro-physics of power” (1979) and thus from the understanding of power as exercised through “dispositions, manoeuvres, tactics, techniques, functionings; that one should decipher in it a network of relations, constantly in tension” (1979:26) to situate intrinsic tensions that permeate the mundane incident response security operations. Thus, this project is not only committed to revealing infrastructures, but exposing key exercises of power embedded in the stabilisation (or breakdown) of security of networked systems. Situated a context of emerging regulation of data flows and critical infrastructures, stalemate in international cybernorms development and confusion over responsibilities in national cybersecurity governance, this project is thus concerned with the investigation of the ‘emergence’, rather than ‘existence’, of contemporary forms of power through the analysis of national Computer Incident Response Teams (nCSIRT).

My PhD is supervised by Professor Robin Mansell and Dr. Jean-Christophe Plantin and it is fully funded by LSE’s Studentship.