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PhD Dissertation Defence: “Cybersecurity Governance in the Real World of Technology”

December 6 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Kristen Csenkey‘s dissertation defence.


This dissertation seeks to explore how cyber is made into cybersecurity, including the relationships with technology involved in this process and the resulting tensions in governance. To accomplish this task, I build on a series of theoretical perspectives on the role of technology, the making of cybersecurity, and on governance. I develop a framework for cybersecurity governance which is based on Ursula Franklin’s philosophies and theories on technology. Drawing on Franklin’s understanding of the practical applications of technology, I discuss her theoretical insights as relevant to the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Critical Security Studies (CSS) in order to develop a unique view of how cybersecurity is governed and situated within these perspectives. Deploying an inductive approach in line with grounded theory, I use technology as a unit of analysis to develop empirical studies with “elites” from industry, government and academic involved in the cyber, security and technology fields in Canada. My interpretations are drawn from the analysis of qualitative data from 29 semi-structured interviews. The findings indicated that cybersecurity governance follows a prescriptive model, which is defined a model of control and management to ensure efficiency of production. The cybersecurity governance framework developed in this dissertation offers a novel perspective on governance, including the dynamics of power within infrastructural configurations and through the management of emerging technologies. This framework also offers insights for policy and decision-makers within the public and private sectors. Specifically, it offers unique insights about the tensions of governance, potential consequences of segmented and sector-bound discrepancies within the management of cyber strategies, operations, as well as the geopolitical linkages embedded within associated technologies. My research makes an original contribution because it employs a new analytic orientation which leverages an interdisciplinary approach and novel conceptual frameworks. Broadly, this dissertation contributes to understanding the tensions of governance within a global political economy of security by understanding of the influence of elite actors in producing security objects and linking this production with the governance of cybersecurity.

Supervisor: Dr. Alistair Edgar
Committee: Dr. Sara Matthews and Dr. Bessma Momani
Internal/external: Dr. Jeremy Hunsinger
External: Dr. Stephanie Carvin
Chair: Dr. Alex Latta

There are limited spaces available to attend the defence. Email [email protected] if you would like to attend. Please advise if you would like to attend in person or virtually.

Kristen Csenkey 1600x1067


December 6
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Hybrid – Zoom and room 123
67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2 Canada
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