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Risk and the Regulation of Uncertainty in International Law$
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Monika Ambrus, Rosemary Rayfuse, and Wouter Werner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198795896

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198795896.001.0001

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‘It Could Probably Just as Well Be Otherwise’

‘It Could Probably Just as Well Be Otherwise’

Imageries of Cyberwar

(p.39) 3 ‘It Could Probably Just as Well Be Otherwise’
Risk and the Regulation of Uncertainty in International Law

Wouter Werner

Lianne Boer

Oxford University Press

One of the core insights of Musil’s The Man Without Qualities is that there must be ‘a sense of possibility’. This chapter analyzes debates on the law applicable to cyberwar, as debates emanating from a sense of possibility, which translates into imageries of the way cyberwar might, could, or ought to happen, i.e. how possible future realities are construed. The analysis is limited to the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. The basic point of much legal analysis is to make sense of new phenomena in terms of pre-existing legal rules, or, to make the unfamiliar, familiar. The creation of these legal imageries is contrasted with non-legal imageries of cyberwar, as found in military and security studies. The purpose of this exercise is to carve out more clearly what is particular about the way in which international lawyers have imagined the future in this domain.

Keywords:   cyberwar, Tallinn Manual, sense of possibility, military and security studies, international law, risk

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