'It Could Probably Just as Well be Otherwise': Legal Imageries of Cyberwar

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One of the core insights of Musil’s The Man Without Qualities is that there must be ‘a sense of possibility’. This chapter analyzes debates on the law applicable to cyberwar, as debates emanating from a sense of possibility, which translates into imageries of the way cyberwar might, could, or ought to happen, i.e. how possible future realities are construed. The analysis is limited to the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. The basic point of much legal analysis is to make sense of new phenomena in terms of pre-existing legal rules, or, to make the unfamiliar, familiar. The creation of these legal imageries is contrasted with non-legal imageries of cyberwar, as found in military and security studies. The purpose of this exercise is to carve out more clearly what is particular about the way in which international lawyers have imagined the future in this domain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRisk and the Regulation of Uncertainty in International Law
EditorsMonika Ambrus, Rosemary Rayfuse, Wouter Werner
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780198795896
ISBN (Print)9780198795896
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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