Ravi Nayyar

The Quad: Carved in Code: Collaborating to Deliver the Greatest Public Good

Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft Working Paper | 2023

  • Abstract

    This working paper explores the cooperation of the Quad governments (Japan, Australia, the United States and India) on tackling cyber-borne threats to (inter)national security. It will focus on their pledge to pursue certain minimum security standards for software procurement, arguing that this initiative is critical to the achievement of the Quad’s agenda. It will first explain the context of the pledge, that is, cyber diplomacy by the Quad governments, before questioning the utility of this diplomacy as a means to meaningfully improve the cyber resilience of the regions at which it is targeted. The aforementioned pledge will be presented as the way forward for cyber diplomacy by the Quad countries because it targets a major source of the cyber resilience problem: software insecurity. The working paper will then critically analyse the policy merits of the pledge and find that it is necessary for uplifting software security, cyber resilience around the world and thus the fulfilment of the Quad’s commitment to tackle security challenges emanating from the cyber domain. To build on this analysis, the pledge will be justified as a driver of the internal credibility of the Quad, making the four governments coalesce around implementing it and uplifting software security. This working paper will conclude by pointing to how the benefits of the pledge are easily transferable outside the Quad, helping position the grouping as a positive force for encouraging the cyber resilience of societies and economies.

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    Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft Working Paper

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    German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)



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