Epistemic Warfare: Deception, Communication and Hybridity in International Security
Samuel Forsythe's dissertation project examines the relationship and development of political conflict, information and communication technology (ICT) and strategic practice. It focuses on the development of theories, practices and discourses that instrumentalize knowledge, cognition and communication as political and military means. The motivation for the study is the question: How have new media and technologies enabled and transformed conflicts in the communicative and cognitive spheres?
The working hypothesis is that ICT promotes the intensification of types of conflict that stress stratagem, deception and manipulation as essential instruments for political actors and at the same time enable the dissemination of these instruments among non-state actors. Furthermore, the "hybrid" character of today's society - in which technology externalizes our cognitive and communicative processes - creates a situation in which attacks on information processing systems can constitute a form of violence.
Empirically, the research project includes an analysis of the new forms of strategic rationality developed through the discourse and practices of statesmanship, intelligence and information warfare, cyber and information security, and their interactions with the broader field of social communication and collective epistemic practice.