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.”
Anina Schwarzenbach is a sociologist and postdoctoral associate at the University of Maryland, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and a former fellow with Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. Schwarzenbach’s work focuses on political violence and governmental responses, cyber power and threats, policing, and state legitimacy. She is a member of Belfer’s Cyber Project team that has built the National Cyber Power Index 2020, and has been an International Security Program Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-2020).
Prior to that, she was a researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for Foreign Criminal Law and Criminology in Germany (2013-2018), where she has worked extensively on issues related to institutional discrimination and policing of minorities. Anina Schwarzenbach holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Freiburg, Germany, and a LL.M. and M.A. from the Swiss universities of Bern and Zurich.Last Updated: