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 Wiley Shay is an International Security Program Fellow at the Belfer Center, a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Connecticut's Human Rights Center, and a Civil War Paths Fellow at the Centre for the Comparative Study of Civil War (University of Sheffield). His research focuses on armed insurgencies, civil resistance movements, and their effects on societies and governments. Drawing on a diverse array of quantitative and field-based methodologies, Shay's doctoral research shows how domestic civil-military dynamics and international institutions influence post-conflict human rights outcomes. In other words, this research explains why surprisingly few countries (including new democracies) manage to break out of the "repression trap." His work has been featured in venues such as the Journal of Global Security Studies, the Journal of Peace Research (forthcoming), and Political Violence at a Glance.
Shay also manages the Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes (NAVCO 2.1) data project for Dr. Erica Chenoweth and helps to update the Socio-Economic Rights Fulfillment Index for Dr. Susan Randolph. In the past, he has provided analysis on India's long-running Maoist insurgency (the "Naxalites") to the International Institute of Strategic Studies. He received his Ph.D. (International Studies) from the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School and a master's degree (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.
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