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.”
Serkant Adiguzel is a pre-doctoral research fellow with the Middle East Initiative at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs for the 2021-2022 academic year. He is a PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science at Duke University and is also affiliated with DevLab @ Duke, where he is part of the Machine Learning for Peace project.
His research interests include democratic backsliding, the political economy of public services, and the political economy of media. In his dissertation, he focuses on political media capture strategies and studies how such strategies affect media bias and how ownership characteristics and structure shape whether such bias is demand-driven (because of consumers) or supply-driven (because of media owners). He is also working on several projects examining the effects of public services on electoral returns and support for authoritarian regimes, political rent creation mechanisms in competitive authoritarian regimes, and the functions of Islamic waqfs. He holds an M.A. in Economics, a B.A. in Economics, and a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations, all from Bogazici University, Istanbul.