English   Danish

2021/2022  KAN-CBUSV1707U  Cybersecurity Policy: international politics and technology in the age of cyber conflict (P)

English Title
Cybersecurity Policy: international politics and technology in the age of cyber conflict (P)

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 120
Study board
BUS Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Irfan Kanat - Department of Digitalisation
Teaching will be provided by Jan Lemnitzer
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
  • Political Science
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 08-02-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the semester, students should be able to:
  • Reflect on the evolution of threat landscape and the ways in which states have responded
  • Evaluate the way diplomacy and policy-making have adapted to the specifics of the cyber domain
  • Account for the organizational and inter-organizational dynamics that shape cyber security policy
  • Apply the mandatory literature to evaluate the strategies and policies pursued by cyber policy decision makers
  • Interpret and evaluate the primary documents produced by cyber policy actors
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 2
Compulsory home assignments
Each student has to get 2 out of 3 activities approved in order to go to participate in exam

There are 2 individual mid-term assignment (policy memos on specific issues, choices offered, max. 5 pages) and one attendance at the war game/UN simulation.

Oral presentations etc.
The third mandatory activity is participation in PeerGrade exercise. Please note that the purpose of this activity is for students to provide and receive constructive feedback. The decision whether a paper passes or fails rests with the teacher.

There will not be any extra attempts provided to the students before the ordinary exam. If a student cannot participate in the activities due to documented illness, or if a student does not get the activity approved in spite of making a real attempt, then the student cannot participate the ordinary exam.
Before the re exam the student will be given one extra attempt: one home assignment (10 pages) to make up for two mandatory activities.
Cybersecurity Policy: international politics and technology in the age of cyber conflict (P):
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

A longer policy memo on a specific issue (several choices offered)

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

In the last four years, Cyber security policy has been elevated from a niche concern to the centre stage of international politics. But while the issue dominates global news coverage, the field and its political dynamics are still poorly understood. Technological questions are becoming entangled with political and national security ones while private companies are often more capable in this realm than most nation states and are rapidly expanding their public diplomacy teams. Both states and tech businesses are attempting to adapt public diplomacy to the realities of the cyber domain, and are changing international politics right before our eyes.

This course begins by introducing students to key actors and dynamics shaping contemporary discourse and decision-making on cyber security policy at the national, European and global level. IN the second part, some of the biggest issues in cyber security policy are presented, discussed and analysed. The goal will be to understand not just the issues at hand and their technological, political and business implications but also the various options open to policy makers in responding to the challenges posed by new technologies and the ways in which states choose to employ them.

The course will use lectures to introduce the subject matter and class discussions to explore it in more depth. On selected issues, there will be group-based roleplay to understand the perspectives of various actors and an in-depth analysis of relevant primary documents. The necessary techniques for document analysis will be taught alongside the subject material. The course will end with a combination of a Cyber war game and a UN diplomacy simulation in which students will simulate how the UN Security Council will deal with an escalating cyber conflict and how it will harness the capabilities of the private sector to control the situation.

Description of the teaching methods
The lecture sessions will be online pre-recorded and exercise sessions will be in person.

All the readings will be linked in Canvas.
Feedback during the teaching period
After the first written assignment, the teacher will provide collective feedback on issues students should bear in mind or work on until the exam.
In addition, we will run an exercise using the PeerGrade software. Students will be asked to provide feedback on three other anonymous assignments. At the end of the exercise, each student will receive anonymous feedback on their assignment from three different peers. The main insights from the exercise will be discussed in class.Please note that the purpose of this activity is for students to provide and receive constructive feedback. The decision whether a paper passes or fails rests with the teacher.
Student workload
Lectures 24 hours
Workshops/classes 24 hours
Reading/Preparation 86 hours
Assignment writing 72 hours
Expected literature

The literature will be shared via Canvas before the semester starts. Students are advised to check the syllabus on Canvas before they buy any material.


David Sanger, The Perfect weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age

Crown 2018

Ben Buchanan, The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics, Harvard University Press 2020


Danish, EU and US Cyber Security Strategies


Reports from UN GGE and OEWG processes

Last updated on 08-02-2021