CYBER-ESPIONAGE: The Greatest Transfer of Wealth in History?

 

A synoptic overview of cyber-espionage, exploring the increased enthusiasm and growing capacity to exploit system vulnerabilities in order to illicitly obtain intellectual property, trade secrets, and competitive advantage.

 

It considers how progressive technologies, tool sharing, and improved technical and social engineering techniques have transformed modern espionage, making it increasingly easy for malign actors to steal vast libraries of sensitive information with instant results, minimal cost, and relative anonymity.

ONLINE EXTREMISM: How the internet can facilitate violent radicalisation

An exploration into how the internet can facilitate radicalisation into violent extremism. Examining social processes, environments, and behavioural patterns thought to underpin this process, and how communicative innovations have been exploited in order to reach larger audiences quickly, cheaply, and anonymously.

 

The paper highlights how modern internet landscapes have transformed the way people engage with and disseminate information, creating new types of social arena, promoting the effortless production, consumption, and re-distribution of extremist content.

P-CVE CASE STUDY: The Shoe Bomber Richard Reid

 

This paper unpacks the highly controversial concept of 'homegrown' extremism in Western Europe, by examining the features, processes, and environments believed to facilitate violent radicalisation.

 

Particular reference is given to the frameworks and theories which have sought to shed light on this process, as well as the strains and world-views argued to be preconditions for radicalisation. The specific case of Richard Reid aka ‘The Shoe Bomber’, is used as an empiricial example or order to ground these often abstract conepts.

CYBER-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX: What does the militarisation of the 'fifth domain' entail and what are the consequences?

There is a growing pressure on governments to operationalise military capabilities in cyberspace.

 

The geostrategic influence cyber threats pose; the budgetary and operational considerations driving the militarisation of the 'fifth domain'; threat inflation; and the circulation of 'cyber-doom' narratives has seen the amalgamation of political, military, and commercial interests within an emergent cyber-industrial-complex.

JIHAD RAP? Can the relationship between Islam and Hip Hop represent a conduit or counter-narrative for violent extremism?

This paper considers maps the genesis of Hip-Hop and it's relatioship with Islam; illustrating  the continuities, influences, and cultural affinities between Islam and rap music. The philosophy of social activism and political defiance at the heart of Hip-Hop, and the positioning of rap as the archetypal protest music of modern times is further explored. 

Adopting a truly multi-disciplinary approach, concepts from psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, criminology, ethnomusicology, terrorism studies, and neuroscience are utilised to explore the impact and agency of Islam within Hip-Hop. The paper comments on the recent utility of rap in foreign policy, behavioural therapy, as a pedagogical tool, and its potential for realising self-actualisation, youth empowerment, and restorative justice in countering violent extremism