Risk and uncertainty can be analyzed in cyberspace
Brantly, Aaron F.
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Perceptions of risk and uncertainty are pervasive in all international interactions. How states perceive risk and uncertainty and how they respond to these conditions impacts their policies and diplomatic behaviors. Despite a robust literature encompassing of risk and uncertainty within conventional state to state interactions including conflict, state interactions in cyberspace have received less attention. How states perceive and interpret risk and uncertainty in cyberspace varies widely by state. Very often, these perceptions are mutually incompatible and lead to a sub-optimal status quo that fosters increased risk and uncertainty. While the prospects of uncontrolled escalation or worries about a “Cyber Pearl Harbor” might be hyperbole, the reality remains that for decision-makers within states assessing the conditions of and the actions undertaken in cyberspace at present foster instability and encourages risk-seeking behaviors. This work analyzes the formulation of state perceptions of risk and uncertainty and seeks to establish a heuristic within which risk and uncertainty can be analyzed.