Cybersecurity, including everything from hacking to cyberwarfare, has emerged as a major new technological and political challenge for world politics. While there exist informal norms, such as the Tallinn Manual, to regulate cyberwar and bilateral and multilateral efforts to coordinate cybersecurity across several countries, the world currently lacks a dedicated international institution to help manage this issue. This lack of governance poses a challenge to the shared interest in preventing cyberwar and cybercrime, protecting the privacy of citizens from corporations and governments, and ensuring that personal data is not used by governments to violate human rights.
You are tasked with designing an international institution to help manage the challenges of cybersecurity. Setting aside the technical aspects of cybersecurity, discuss what recommendations the theoretical perspectives of realism, liberalism and constructivism would make for thinking about the design of this institution. What would an institution designed according to realist principles look like and why? What would an institution designed according to liberal principles look like and why? What would an institution designed according to constructivist principles look like and why? Some questions to consider when thinking about institutional design include:
Should the institution be a formal organization with a permanent bureaucracy or an informal organization like the G-7?
What states should be invited to be members of the institution?
What kinds of governance activities should the institution be involved in? Should it primarily serve as a forum for discussion, an agency for setting and enforcing standards, or an institution focused on developing and strengthening shared norms through deliberation and engagement?
How should decisions be made in the organization? Should decisions be taken by unanimity, by majority voting of all members, or should some states have more influence than others? If so, which states should enjoy these special privileges?
What role, if any, should non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play in the institution?
Try to be as specific as possible in answering these questions. In your answer, be sure you also explain why each theoretical perspective would suggest the design features you identify. Do not simply list the design features each theoretical perspective would recommend; be sure you also explain why the theory would make this recommendation, referencing its core assumptions and explanations for the power of international institutions.
After discussing the institutional design recommendations of realism, liberalism and constructivism, discuss which of these three perspectives or combination of perspectives you find most convincing and why.