POLS / CYSE 426/526 Cyber War

Course Description:

This course will explore the national security dimension of cybersecurity and examine cyber war in international relations. Our focus will start with looking at cybersecurity as a component of national security and investigate the topics of operational considerations in cybersecurity, planning in cyber war, and different national approaches to cyber war.  The topics of cyber deterrence, cyber as a military domain, and effects of international institutions in cyberwar will be discussed and the students will be given the opportunity to analyze cybersecurity matters related to national security affairs. The international security perspective of the course will help the students view cybersecurity as a component of state power and make inferences about its utilization in international relations. Throughout the semester, as the debate over cybersecurity evolves, current discussions on the international dimension of cybersecurity will also be discussed within the course.


  • State and relate the basic terminology and concepts in cybersecurity.
  • Describe the goal and structure of a national security strategy and compare it to a cybersecurity strategy.
  • Design a contingency plan, evaluate the organizational needs against contingency strategy options
  • Compare and evaluate the differing approaches of main state-level actors in cybersecurity
  • Describe and discuss the functions and relevance of international institutions in cybersecurity
  • Assess and interpret the applicability of basic military concepts like “deterrence” and “operational domain” in cybersecurity, and defend your own position on these topics.