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Cyber security Governance


Admission requirements

Admission only after intake, see website of the Cyber Security Academy
Admission only for those students who are enrolled in the governance track


‘Contested spaces’, where a state is unable or unwilling to exert its authority, have frequently been defined as threats to international security in the past twenty years. These were often geographical areas synonymous with ‘failed states’, where non-state actors such as terrorists or criminal organisations would seek sanctuary. According to public perception cyberspace has now become one of these ‘ungoverned spaces’, out of reach for governments and businesses alike. Cybercrime and cyber terrorism have proliferated as a result, and according to some the threat of cyber war looms ahead. This cyber-governance module will look at where responsibility for cyber security in the public-private-individual triangle is placed and how government institutions have shared, distributed or obtained cyber tasks and duties. Strategies and doctrines will also be covered, and how they combine with traditional state responsibilities.

In practice, however, internet is not so much ungoverned as subjugated to alternative forms of governance, often by non-state actors. Although relatively little has as yet been written in academia on cyber governance, this module will explore the customary theories from a public administration, international affairs and legal perspective. Concepts such as multi-stakeholder governance and public private partnerships will feature to illustrate how states and non-state actors ‘govern’ the Internet and national cyber security.

Cyberspace also has important repercussions for conflict studies. Traditional concepts such as sovereignty, power, war, espionage and terrorism could face fundamental changes as global internet connectivity and dependence continues to grow. This module will look at competing views on cyber threats (from a ‘digital pearl harbour’ to cyber-operations in support of conventional military attacks), working through definitions, concepts and policies to sketch some of the possible implications for future inter and intra-state relations.

Course objectives

Participants have:

  • knowledge and understanding of the different theories on cyber-governance, the implications of cyberspace, the internet for traditional notions such as sovereignty, power, war and conflict, espionage, terrorism and crime and historical developments in cyber governance and how key events have led to the current state of affairs

Participants are able to:

  • apply conceptual knowledge of cyber governance theories in relation to involved technical aspects to specific situations and case-studies (deduction) and

  • translate understanding of cyber-events (empirical observations) into concepts, trends and theories and communicate about these concepts in a clear and concise way (induction)

  • apply knowledge of cyber-governance to practical, policy-orientated questions, to reduce these questions to the essentials and to communicate about the answers in a precise and academic way

  • use a sound knowledge base of cyber-governance to determine reliability of reporting on issues and contextualise new developments within a conceptual framework


7 days from 9.30 until 17.00

Friday 19 October 2018
Thursday 1 November 2018
Friday 2 November 2018
Friday 9 November 2018
Friday 16 November 2018
Friday 23 November 2018
Friday 30 November 2018 (exam)

Mode of instruction

Lectures, seminars, exercises, class discussion
Core lecturer: mr. Sergei Boeke

Course Load

5 EC

Assessment method

Written exam (60%) and assignment (40%).

No compensation is possible for assignments of 30% or more. Only assessments with a weight under 30% are compensable. This means that one does not have to pass an assessment if it weighs less than 30% in order to pass the course, if the average of all assessments combined is at least a 5.5. In addition, assignments with less than 30% are not re-sitable, meaning that if one failed an assessment of less than 30%, one is not allowed to redo it.


Yes, for posting slides of lectures, relevant literature and assignments.

Reading list

Compulsory literature and literature for further consultation will be announced via Blackboard.


No registration is required for lectures and exams.


Mr. Sergei Boeke Drs. Mireille Snels, programme manager


For more information see website of the Cyber Security Academy