All of the previous material creates an overarching and inescapable challenge for the state, the state system, international relations, and the global system. The issue is how to manage the entire security complex, given the emergence of unprecedented forms of threat to security (i.e., cyber threats) that signal new vulnerabilities (i.e., undermining all forms of security) and—most vexing of all—those emanating from unknown sources (a feature that we refer to as the attribution problem). It inevitably reinforces the politicization of cyberspace and its salience in emergent policy discourses.
Of the many dilemmas for quantitative analysis of lateral pressure theory, three emerge as singularly powerful at this state of our investigations. The first pertains to empirical identification of state profile in the traditional international system as well as in the cyber arena since we cannot assume a condition of profile congruence. The second is measuring propensity for expansion, that is, lateral pressure, in the real world and in cyberspace. And the third is about the matter of congruence for state profiles and for lateral pressure with respect to these two very different arenas of interactions.
Emergent Security Dilemmas
We can now consider two questions central to investigations of lateral pressure and cyber space. First, do state profiles in the cyber domain mirror those in the real domain? Second, is state propensity to extend its behavior in the cyber domain congruent with its propensity for expansion in the real domain? These questions require metrics for identifying state profile in traditional international relations as well as cyberspace. These questions also require measures of the propensity for expansion in each of the traditional system as well as in cyberspace.
We now turn to these question.
- Choucri, N., & Agarwal, G. (2017). The theory of lateral pressure: Highlights of quantification and empirical analysis. In W. R. Thompson (Ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Empirical International Relations Theory. Oxford University Press.
- Choucri, N., & Clark, D. D. (2019). International Relations in the Cyber Age: The Co-Evolution Dilemma. MIT Press.