International Relations

Inclusive Anticipatory Governance: Cyber Technologies, Absorptive Capacities & The Case of the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group re: ICTS



Two groups at the United Nations, the Group of Governmental Experts and the Open-Ended Working Group focused on cybersecurity, issued consensus Reports in 2021. A new OEWG has begun its work. Examining whether there is inclusive anticipatory governance or cross- sector (interorganizational) learning in these groups is a primary research question. The paper uses content analysis to identify presence and location of keywords in submissions/ Reports. The keywords are: “Human rights (or human-centric), gender, international development, capacity-building”. It explores factors that relate to the presence or absence and even location of these keywords in the content analyzed. It highlights geopolitics, culture, and absorptive capacity as hindering or facilitating factors. Findings include the emergence of ‘idea galaxies’, linking ideas, especially to capacity-building, enhancing geopolitical acceptability. The presence of the global pandemic and the Ukraine war provide a backdrop for changes between the 2021 Final Reports of both Groups and current work.


Thumbnail image of LevinsonAPSAITP2022.pdf


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