Traveling Domain Theory
Abstract: In response to the growing importance of the cyber domain,
government institutions are setting policy, proposing legislation, and creating unique
organizations wholly dedicated to its development and security. Simultaneously, academic,
military, and commercial interest groups are working to define and describe the field,
producing volumes of literature and warning of ever-increasing ... read morethreats. There is, however,
no comprehensive cyber theory to anchor efforts across the government, among scholars, and
between concerned interest groups. This is not the first time nations have developed a new
domain without clear overarching guidance. Over the last 150 years, the maritime, air, and
space domains have seen similar unsettled periods. These initial unsettled periods are
what Rosenau terms the pre-theory stage, a time during which competing ideas and
terminology jockey for acceptance by researchers, scholars, and practitioners in the
field. As ideas in sub-fields of study gain widespread acceptance, the challenge to
further theory maturation becomes one of tying them together into a general framework for
further analysis. This research project seeks to provide the outlines for this framework
regarding cyberspace. Drawing from the seminal maritime and air theorists who wrote during
the technologically driven expansion of their subject domain, this study identifies
eighteen common elements of domain power theory. Applying these elements to the cyber
domain reveals critical aspects of the domain and highlights areas a mature cyber theory
must address. This process suggests a way forward for development of cyber theory and
areas for future research. A key finding is that a nation's cyberpower potential depends
on three factors: 1) the ability of its national government to coordinate and enforce
long-term cyber strategy, 2) the nation's cyber geography, and 3) the character of its
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2012.
Submitted to the Dept. of Diplomacy, History, and Politics.
Advisor: Robert Pfaltzgraff.
Committee: William Martel, and Stephen Wright.
Keywords: Military studies, Military history, and Political Science.read less