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.”
Christopher Shay is a doctoral candidate at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies. His research focuses on state repression, violent and nonviolent insurgencies, and post-conflict outcomes. His dissertation uses statistical and qualitative evidence to show that governments (including newly established democracies) often fail to alleviate human rights abuse after conflicts, and that civil-military relations are key to explaining why some countries break out of the "repression trap."
Aside from his doctoral research, Christopher manages the Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes (NAVCO) data project for Dr. Erica Chenoweth and has provided analysis on India's long-running Naxalite conflict to the International Institute of Strategic Studies. He received his master's degree in peace and conflict studies from Uppsala University.
Prior to his graduate studies, Christopher was an outdoor educator and (for brief periods) a wildland firefighter. He holds a bachelor's degree from Hanover College.Last Updated: Sep 17, 2020, 7:22pm