Resilience governance and ecosystemic space: a critical perspective on the EU approach to Internet security - PRIO

Resilience governance and ecosystemic space: a critical perspective on the EU approach to Internet security

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Kaufmann, Mareile (2015) Resilience governance and ecosystemic space: a critical perspective on the EU approach to Internet security, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 33(3): 512–527.

​​Since the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) promoted the image of the Internet as ‘interconnection ecosystem’, Internet security has been increasingly conceptualised through the language of resilience—the capacity to self repair. This paper uses performativity and relational space as theoretical lenses to analyse the political effects that ENISA's redefinition of the Internet entails. It argues that the Internet ecosystem is not only used to conceptualise the Internet as a heterogeneous, complex space, but also to legitimise resilience as a new security practice. The first section traces the trajectory of different discursive framings of the Internet as space and introduces the premise of understanding the Internet ecosystem through performativity and relational space. The paper then utilises this framework to conduct an analysis of the Internet ecosystem on the basis of a selection of ENISA's technical and policy documents. It explores infrastructural and political dimensions and discusses their correlated forms of resilience governance. It concludes that the reconceptualisation of the Internet as ecosystem is a highly political move, which also changes the notion of security. If security governance becomes a matter of facilitating distributed self-repair, security is not a state of being protected, which is how we often think about cyberspace, but it is self-made, processual, emergent, and strictly temporal.

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