Responsible Behaviour in Cyberspace: Global narratives and practice


This edited volume draws from papers presented at the conference Closing the Gap | Responsibility in Cyberspace: Narratives and Practice, organised in June 2022 at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, Belgium, by Leiden University, as part of the EU Cyber Direct project.

The conference brought together researchers and practitioners from governments, academic institutions, technology companies, and civil society organisations around the world. Drawing on academic and policy frameworks, papers presented at the conference explored whether and how global, regional, and national narratives on responsible state behaviour in cyberspace have translated into practice. Several papers offer prescriptive solutions to bridge narrative and practice, where gaps exist.

The conference also hosted roundtables inviting experts from around the world, especially the Global South, to reflect on and improve various aspects of EU cyber diplomacy. These roundtables also saw stakeholders share ideas and experience on how to engage policymakers more effectively and make cyber diplomacy more inclusive in the process. Closing the Gap 2022 was conceived as a platform to facilitate exchange of perspectives from different stakeholders involved in UN cybersecurity negotiations, serving both as a neutral venue where state and non-state stakeholders could interact freely and as a feeder process to those same UN discussions. The conference will return in 2023.

List of contributions


  • "Responsible behaviour in cyberspace: Global narratives and practice", by Arun Sukumar, Dennis Broeders and François Delerue

Regional and international cooperation

  • "The effectiveness of ASEAN regional efforts on cybersecurity", by Monica Nila Sari
  • "Online content regulation in the BRICS countries: A cybersecurity approach to responsible social media platforms", by Luca Belli, Yasmin Curzi de Mendonça, and Walter B. Gaspar
  • "'We are not quite there yet': The Latin-American narrative regarding cyber-norms development", by Maria Pilar Llorens
  • "The legal framework for cybercrime accountability in the Western Balkans countries as a turning point for EU integration", by Andreja Mihailović
  • "A looking glass on South-South cooperation to strengthen responsibility in cyberspace", Moliehi Makumane and Enrico Calandro

National perspectives

  • "Small state, loud voice: Singapore's regional leadership for norms on responsible state behaviour in cyberspace", by Mabda Haerunnisa Fajrilla Sidiq
  • "What does Nigeria's national identity server downtime suggest about accountability and cyber norms in local CERTs?: An exploratory study", by Babatunde Okunoye
  • "The role of state-civil society relations in shaping cyber norms in South Korea", by Sofiya Sayankina

Capacity building and public-private partnerships

  • "Closing the cyber-capacity gap in digital financial inclusion: A critical analysis of prevailing narratives and approaches", by Nanjira Sambuli and Aditi Bawa
  • "Shaping platform governance in Central Asia: Challenges and opportunities for human rights defenders and journalists", by Pavlina Pavlova

International law and human rights perspectives

  • "Pulling the strings in cyberspace: Legal attribution of cyber operations based on state control", by Evgeni Moyakine
  • "Is cybersecurity the sole responsibility of states? The concept of 'active defence' and the role of non-state actors in responsible state behaviour in cyberspace", by Jaime Bello
  • "Humanitarian organisations under cyber-attack: Emerging threats and humanitarian actors' responsibilities under international human rights law", by Francesca Romana Partipilo and Marta Stroppa
  • "A responsibility to improve: How global cybercrime cooperation frameworks must better safeguard human rights and protect the hmans of cybersecurity", by Raman Jit Singh Chima

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