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Fragmentation of global cybersecurity governance: quasi-public goods and multi-level conflicts

Global Political Economy, pp. 1-19, April 2024

蔡翠红、张若扬, “Fragmentation of global cybersecurity governance: quasi-public goods and multi-level conflicts”,Global Political Economy, pp. 1-19, April 2024, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1332/26352257Y2024D000000016


In recent years, the contradiction between the need for collaborative global cybersecurity governance and the fragmentation of the cybersecurity governance system has become particularly prominent. How can we understand the fragmentation of the global cybersecurity governance structure? Based on the assumption that international cybersecurity is a quasi-public good, this article attempts to analyse the fragmentation of cybersecurity governance and its causes from the perspectives of supply and consumption of cybersecurity products by drawing on theories about quasi-public goods and using comparative analysis and case studies. From the supply perspective, the two main cybersecurity supply models, mainly sovereign states and international organisations, are fragmented to a certain extent in terms of governance concepts, governance models, governance rules and governance institutions, respectively. From the perspective of consumers, in the process of global cybersecurity supply, the unreasonable price structure, distribution structure and the disproportion between the distribution structure and price are the main reasons for the emergence of the fragmentation problem, which is manifested in the variability of interests and demands of multiple cybersecurity governance subjects, the insufficient effectiveness of the global cyber governance mechanism, the high participation cost brought about by cyber hegemony, and the deficiency of democratic legitimacy and representation in the current global cybersecurity governance. The fragmentation of global cyber governance is precisely a response to global governance failure triggered by the imbalance between supply and demand of international cybersecurity as a quasi-public good.


cybersecurity; cybersecurity governance; fragmentation; quasi-public