International Relations, Cybersecurity, and Content Analysis: A Constructivist Approach

  • Johan ErikssonEmail author
  • Giampiero Giacomello
Part of the Global Power Shift book series (GLOBAL)


The development and global diffusion of access to the Internet has—as is the case with most new and game-changing technologies—been accompanied with fears and threat perceptions. This chapter argues, on the one hand, that Constructivist IR theory is particularly suited for addressing and interpreting the threat discourses and identity issues which come in focus in cybersecurity. The ease with which cyber-culprits can hide their identity and location, operating through networks of hijacked computers across the world, makes fear-mongering threat and identity discourses a key issue in cybersecurity. On the other hand, this chapter presents content analysis—a set of quantitative methods focusing on key word searches—as a pertinent or even ubiquitous method for both the study and practice of cybersecurity. Through simple and globally accessible interfaces, the entire Web can be scrutinized using content analysis. Equipped with Constructivist theory and content analysis methods, the IR scholar stands prepared to uncover and better understand the massive discursive world of the Internet.


Cybersecurity Constructivism Content analysis Search string 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swedish Institute of International AffairsSödertörn UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.University of BolognaBolognaItaly

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