Alessandro Colasanti


About me: I graduated with a BA in Global Politics and International Relations from Birkbeck, University of London. Thereafter, I went on to complete my MSc in Global Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 2018, I have returned to the Department of Politics at Birkbeck to continue my research journey on the relationship between cyberwar and the interstate distribution of power under the supervision of Antoine Bousquet.

My Research: My research is positioned within the wider field of cyber-studies, specifically at the intersection between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the world political system. My aim is to make a contribution to the international relations literature concerned with the alleged cyber-revolution. I inquire whether and how a given state’s use of cyberwar tactics against a rival state leads the latter to bend and do something it would not otherwise do. Despite their advantageous position in conventional theatres of interstate conflict, technologically and militarily advanced Western states are expected to suffer the most from the cyber-phenomenon. I employ a mixed-methods approach, which combines a large-N to a small-N analysis of the above Dahlian question and justifies the provisional PhD title ‘The Cyber-Revolution of World Politics? Assessing the Impact of Cyberwar on the Hierarchy of Power in Interstate Relations’.

The Difference My Research Makes: The acquisition of a sophisticated ICTs military capability was originally expected to provide already powerful states with a new weapon that would boost their coercive power in their interactions with their opponents. The views of the intelligence and military establishment in West have however shifted to the opposite conclusions. I thus seek to provide a systematic answer to a counterintuitive and recurrent warning relating to inevitability of cyber-Pearl Harbors, which argues for a reversal of existing interstate power relations, whereby the weak acquires a considerable strategic and coercive advantage over stronger rivals to a point that redefines the world political hierarchy of states.

Supervisor: Antoine Bousquet

Pathway: Politics and International relations

Location: Birkbeck, University of London


Title: The Cyber-Revolution of World Politics? Assessing the Impact of Cyberwar on the Hierarchy of Power in Interstate Relations