In a new dashboard for REMIT, European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative (ECCRI) developed an overview of how states frame their engagement and objectives in global political debates on strategic digital technologies. The dashboard draws on research presented by ECCRI researcher Jakob Bund at Leiden University as part of the Closing the Gap Conference 2023 on “Emerging and Disruptive Digital Technologies: Regional Perspectives“.

The underlying dataset combines national and multilateral perspectives from a review of two sets of state documents.First, the dashboard assesses national strategy papers (drawing on technology and digitalisation strategies, and digital foreign policy documents) to establish a set of baselines: Which aspects of digital technologies do states consider strategic? How are associated risks and potentials characterised? And how do these interpretations compare for strategic competitors and coalitions of like-minded states?

Secondly, to identify differences in how strategies dealing with critical and emerging technologies are framed in outreach to domestic and international audiences, the dashboard provides a comparison between these national flagship documents and individual country submissions to consultations for the UN Global Digital Compact (GDC). This comparison has been conducted across 15 countries: Austria, China, Cuba, El Salvador, France, Iran, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

This overview is structured around four recurring strategic approaches identified over the course of assessing these documents: (1) exploratory framings focused on developing technological potential; (2) consultatory framings aimed at fostering cooperation in the development and deployment of technologies; (3) regulatory framings intended to define opportunities in the use of technologies; and (4) protective framings centred on managing access to the technologies and underlying know-how to control risks. 

The review aims to facilitate a regionally inclusive understanding of specific aspects related to emerging technologies states considered strategic, to explore pathways for inclusive policy development. By identifying divergences in the positions of states, the dashboard highlights focal points for efforts to reduce the potential for inadvertent technological fragmentation between like-minded and middle-ground states.

Under the title “Adopting and Adapting to Disruption: How States Strategise Critical and Emerging Technologies”, a forthcoming chapter in an edited volume prepared by EU Cyber Direct will provide comprehensive analysis of the data presented in this dashboard.

Click on the image to open the interactive dashboard

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