Grant / January 2020

Cybersecurity: Meaning and Practice

There is little empirical research documenting the various meanings of cybersecurity in use in distinct communities, their relationships, and the activities they drive in practice. This project, “Cybersecurity: Meaning and Practice” seeks to expand upon the examination of cybersecurity’s meaning using the theoretical framework of “securitization” (Nissenbaum 2005) and explore the relationship between meaning and practice. Our long-term goal is to conduct qualitative semi-structured expert interviews, quantitative text analysis, and discourse analysis to provide an (admittedly partial) answer to the foundational question of cybersecurity’s meaning, its relationship to practices in the field including policy development, funding, and organizational activities to advance cybersecurity, and the cybersecurity futures and risks it imagines. Under this scoping grant, we will define the selection criteria and boundaries for the subjects of analysis, and assess the landscape of available data in different domains that can form the foundation for empirical study.