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Chauvinistic Cyber-Nationalism & Contemporary World Politics

Considering the recent events and indeed the ongoing globalisation of not only industrial components, like it used to be, but mere people and societies, much relying on the grounding global network crossing the borders of old legacy powers, one specifically needs to ponder how cybersecurity relates to what is happening in the world politics. Some people on the one extreme are so fixed to the idea of nation and indeed the nation-state, that they just try to push the enforcement on that as it is, to the new settings. However, that might not be possible, as the institutions are temporal and bound to the surrounding and enclosing needs, actors and phenomena. Thus, it seems rather odd, to try to build up a national security scheme for something which by definition is quite opposite. Yet some try to do it, without any hesitation and even falling to chauvinistic means in doing so. Suddenly they end up expanding the nation, which was tightly confined within the cages of international sovereignty, to be global actor clashing with each other, and what is worse, turning against its people and organisations.

On the other hand, for the globalists, there are no more distinct governances, as all the policies, funds, IP packets, morals and motivations are seen as spanning globally. As for some this might seem like a viable option to go, on the first sight, it might be good to step down a bit and reflect on the history what this kind of aims ended up creating. Yet on some level, the fact of international communications, transport and widely available healthcare, at least, give a good stance for someone to assume that putting more logs into the fire, it would be possible to achieve some global coherence and stability on the level of a single planet. For this extreme, it remains an open task to respond to the question “who governs?”.

Assuming that there would be a fixed position along this axis of extremes would be silly, as more viable seems to take the stance of the realistic notion that the world politics is rather swinging along the axis, and a good mixture of varying preferences and aims to change positions and the playing entities therein. Hence, in order to ensure the most comprehensive cybersecurity, one would need to ensure the healthy process of swinging, rather than anyone fixed position. To this extent, the ongoing issues around cyber can easily be seen as feeding into both extremes, rather than building up any systemic stability.

Some legacy nations are falling back to nationalistic themes, for example by creating and enforcing national cybersecurity standards, like in Finland. These documents might be usable in the internal politics, but what is more dangerous, they feed up the nationalism which no-one wants to wake up, for a good reason. Yet this kind of notions seems to enjoy uncritical support among many circles, as populistic as they are.

On the other extreme, the chauvinistic gestures release the beast from the cage, maybe during one night, spanning the pseudo-nations to claim omnipresence and indeed omnipotence globally and across all the people. This aim is often justified by the fabricated claims of moral, reason or some other practical populistic mean.



Kristo Helasvuo, Guest Author.

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