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.”
Yasmina Abouzzohour is a postdoctoral research fellow with the Middle East Initiative at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs for the 2021-2022 academic year. She holds a PhD from the University of Oxford and a BA from Columbia University, both in political science.
She specializes in authoritarian persistence and transition, focusing on regime-opposition interrelations during upheavals. She is currently completing a book project on Arab monarchical survival in which she uses mixed methods to investigate the causal mechanisms that allow monarchs to contain different types of dissent. Her other research explores the economic and political implications of states’ institutional and policy responses to COVID-19, and the impact of new forms of contestation on state-society relations in North Africa and the Arab Gulf. Her research has received funding and accolades from the American Political Science Association, the Project on Middle East Political Science, the University of Oxford, the Middle East Studies Association, and the American Institute for Maghrib Studies. Dr. Abouzzohour has experience in public policy research and in advising NGOs, IGOs, government agencies, and stakeholders. She joined the Brookings Institute in 2019 and the European Council on Foreign Relations in 2021.Last Updated: Jan 20, 2022, 3:40pm