This project examines the two approaches to Internet governance in states and the impact each approach has had on the number of cyber attacks in those states. This project followed policies in three case studies considering the policy approach and then the impact of the policy on the number of cyber attacks. The two approaches to Internet governance are polycentric and state centric. Using existing literature, polycentric Internet governance is defined as a multi-stake holder approach to governing the Internet that pushes to create multi-state bodies to create and enforce norms regarding cyber attacks. State centric Internet governance operates with the notion that the Internet is an extension of the state’s sovereign territory and should be governed by individual states utilizing state resources to insulate and deter cyber attacks. The Internet governance approach exists on a continuum so three cases must be examined. This study looked at one purely polycentric case, a purely state centric case, and a case that employed both polycentric and state centric policies. These Internet governance approaches address the issue of cyber attacks differently. By tracing policies and their approach this research examines which approach more effectively drives down the number of cyber attacks. The results found that states that engaged in a state centric Internet governance approach were the only states that were able to impact and drive down the number of cyber attacks. The measurable impacts of state centric Internet governance policy were limited to cyber military policies as a means of engaging in strategic deterrence.


Kent, Kille


Political Science


Internet, Governance, Cyber, Attacks

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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