The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
A conversation with Steve Heydemann, senior advisor of Middle East Initiatives at the United States Institute of Peace
About the Speaker
Steven Heydemann serves as senior advisor of Middle East Initiatives at the United States Institute of Peace. He was formerly the senior vice president of the Grants Program and as special adviser to the Muslim World Initiative at the United States Institute of Peace.
His research and teaching have focused on the comparative politics and the political economy of the Middle East. His interests include authoritarian governance, economic development, social policy, political and economic reform, and civil society. Heydemann has also researched the relationship between institutions and economic development and philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.
From 2003 to 2007, Heydemann directed the Center for Democracy and Civil Society at Georgetown University. From 2001 to 2003, he was director of the Social Science Research Council’s Program on Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector, with additional responsibility for development of new programs. Prior to that, he was a program director at the SSRC, where he ran the Council’s Program on International Peace and Security and its Program on the Near and Middle East (1990-1997). From 1997 to 2001, he was an associate professor in the department of political science at Columbia University.
Heydemann has held visiting faculty positions at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence (2001) and as a senior fellow at the Yale University Center for International Studies (1997). He has served on the board of directors of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) of North America and is currently a member of MESA’s Committee on Public Affairs.
This event is co-sponsored by the Ash Institute for Democratoc Governance and Innovation