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.”
Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch is an Associate Professor (on sabbatical AY 2023–2024) in the Political Science & Legal Studies Department, at Suffolk University. Michal holds a B.A. in Political Science from Tel Aviv University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, 2009). Her research and teaching interests include international relations theory with a focus on the role of international norms and ideas, transitional and historical justice, and the contested narrative of the conflict in Israel / Palestine. She is currently working on a book manuscript (co-authored with Jennifer M. Dixon, Villanova University) about the development trajectory of international norms with a focus on human rights norms since WWII.
Previously, Michal was a Senior Fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University (2021–2022). She was also an International Security Program Research Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School (2007–2009; 2012–2014) and a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer at the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University (2009–2012). Michal’s work has been published in European Journal of International Relations, Perspective on Politics, Cooperation and Conflict, Negotiation Journal, and Foreign Affairs.Last Updated: