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Henry Farrell: Why it's so hard to create norms in cyberspace

April 07, 2015 by Andrew Young

In his latest post for the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Network member Henry Farrell explores the challenges related to the United States’ “laudable objective” of promoting norms to better secure cyberspace.

“In the brief, I argue that the U.S. needs to change its modus operandi if it wants to get serious about building norms in cyberspace. First, it has to internalize the norms that it wants to promote, so that, for example, it doesn’t itself engage in actions that might undermine an open and secure Internet. As Martha Finnemore and I have argued, the easiness of leaks means that hypocrisy is more costly than it used to be. If the U.S. wants to be taken seriously as a promoter of norms, it has to visibly abide by those norms too, even (and especially) in circumstances where abiding by the norms goes against its narrow self interest.”

Read the full post here.