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.”
Vivien Chang is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Virginia. She specializes in U.S. foreign relations, black internationalism, and the global economy. Her dissertation, "Creating the Third World: Anticolonial Diplomacy and the Search for a New International Economic Order, 1960–1975," examines how anticolonial elites and Black Power activists in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa pursued economic sovereignty during the height of decolonization and the Cold War.
A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Vivien's research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, among other organizations. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post and Passport: The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Review.Last Updated: Sep 2, 2021, 12:00am