Strategic Autonomy and Cybersecurity
by Paul Timmers
This paper addresses the impact of cybersecurity on sovereignty and the means to safeguard and restore sovereignty, i.e. strategic autonomy. It analyses the recent surge in interest in sovereignty and strategic autonomy, against the background of the sovereignty gap caused by cyber threats from state and non-state actors. It then puts forward three approaches for governments to deal with the challenge of strategic autonomy in the digital age: risk management for cyber resilience, strategic partnerships and promoting the global common good. It analyses their pros and cons and presents suggestions for policy action, including for cyber diplomacy, to implement one of these approaches to strategic autonomy in the digital age, or a combination of them. This paper concludes that there is an urgent need for a structural dialogue to better understand where strategic autonomy matters most and how strategic autonomy can be addressed.