Vol 22, No 2 (2022): Non-Western World in Cyberspace


Strategies for Digital Development of Key States of the Global South in the Context of U.S.-Chinese Technological Rivalry

Stoletov O.V.


The article examines the strategies of the states of the Global South in the field of digital development in the context of technological rivalry between the United States of America and China. The main peculiarities of the U.S.-Chinese technological rivalry at the present stage are characterized. The U.S.-Chinese technological rivalry is considered as a factor influencing the development and implementation of national digital development strategies by the states of the Global South, which provide for the intensification of international cooperation in priority areas. The international political aspects of the implementation of digital development strategies of the most significant dynamically developing states of the Global South located in important international regions (Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America) are studied. Attention is paid primarily to such strategic areas of digital development of the considered states of the Global South, as digital data processing and storage systems, digital data transmission systems, new generation mobile communication technologies, space programs, digital commerce, integrated “smart city” technologies, technologies cybersecurity. The paper explores the strategic approaches of the considered countries of the Global South in relation to digital cooperation with the United States and China. The interaction of the considered states in the digital sphere with technologically advanced countries acting as alternative technological partners (Japan, leading European countries, the Republic of Korea, Israel, Russia) is analyzed. The study identifies and characterizes the most significant digital projects of foreign corporations implemented jointly with the countries under consideration. The features of international cooperation in the digital sphere between the key countries of the Global South within the international regions defined in the study, as well as at the transregional level are analyzed. Particular attention is paid to promising regional international technological projects in the digital sphere. As a result of the study, the main priority areas of foreign policy activities of the key states of the Global South are determined from the point of view of more effective implementation by these states of their digital development strategies. The specific features inherent in the strategies of digital development of the considered states of the Global South are revealed. The author comes to the conclusion that these states, in the context of the U.S.-Chinese technological rivalry, seek to diversify their international ties in the digital sphere, strengthen the technological potential of national digital companies, strengthen national “digital sovereignty,” use their competitive advantages to attract foreign investment in the digital segment of national economies, activate their transport and logistics potential through the introduction of technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, expand digital cooperation with other countries in their international regions, as well as at the transregional level.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):221-237
pages 221-237 views

The Securitization of Cyberspace: From Rulemaking to Establishing Legal Regimes

Ramich M.S., Piskunov D.A.


With the development of information and communication technologies (ICTs), the Internet has become increasingly important in terms of national security, economic development, and global leadership. Apparently, conflicts and contentious issues in cyberspace requires creating rules and development of regulation. The authors examine the process of making up rules in cyberspace from the perspective of M. Castells’ network society theory and B. Buzan’ securitization theory. According to M. Castells, key challenges have gradually altered in the network society and power relations and social management are based on the control of communication and information which embraces a network society. Furthermore, the authors investigate the development of the Internet in the context of securitization theory. It is stressed that cyberspace has become a full-fledged political space with the central position of digital sovereignty and information security. The article for the first time proposes a comprehensive periodization of international relations’ transformation in cyberspace. Afterwards, the authors consider the appearance of tensions between actors in cyber space, which include political and economic threats. It encourages state actors to establish a preliminary regulation and to agree on norms regulating state behavior in cyberspace. These mechanisms have become a venue for promoting different concepts of cyber law and establishing legal regimes. In conclusion the authors analyze the hierarchy of actors in global Internet governance to assess the actors’ influence on the establishment of legal regimes in cyberspace. The main assessment criteria are as follows: ability to influence global production chains of high-tech goods, ability to conduct offensive and defensive cyber operations, and influence on the formation of international legal regimes. The authors divide actors into two major groups - rule-markers capable of influencing the global information space and constructing legal regimes, and rule-takers that are an object of great powers competition in cyberspace.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):238-255
pages 238-255 views

Large AI Spaces and Russia’s Strategy in the Context of the “Sanctions War”

Vykhodets R.S.


The article is devoted to the study of the role of technological development in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) in the international political processes, the formation of large policy spaces in the field of AI, as well as the development of Russia in this area. The author provides an analysis of national AI strategies, examines the priority spheres and directions of development of these technologies for different countries, the availability of resources for the goals set, and the specifics of national AI policies of the leading states. The article compares the data on the volume of funding for AI developments, patent activities, and the existing infrastructure for high-performance computing in the countries, that occupy leading positions in the field of AI. The paper provides a brief overview of the key scientific and technological areas that are crucial for the creation of next-generation AI technologies: quantum computing and neuromorphic technologies within the framework of existing major national projects on the study of the brain. The author devotes a special place to the study of international political aspects of technological development in the field of AI in the work. From the perspective of the impact of AI policy on integration processes, the conclusion is made about the formation of two spaces: the first unites the OECD countries with the unconditional leadership of the USA and the EU in the field of research, development, infrastructure, resources, and international standards. The second, restrained space, relies on the technological and financial power of China, where are starting to get involved countries, including Russia, that are facing with narrowing range of opportunities for cooperation with Western countries. The author concludes that the confrontation between the two AI spaces is influenced by a more general trend of decoupling of the economies of the USA and China, which in turn contributes to technological isolation trends at the global level. A special place in the article is devoted to the analysis of the development of AI technologies in Russia; it considers official documents, leading players, and Russia’s positions at the international level. The possible directions of Russia’s cooperation with the world leading players are considered, which allows to develop AI technologies and at the same time maintain technological sovereignty in this area.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):256-270
pages 256-270 views

China’s Digital Silk Road in the Age of the Digital Economy: Political Analysis

Cheng G.


The digital economy is an increasingly important driver of the global economic growth. In recent years, regional digital cooperation has received a new tangible impetus with the launch of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative (BRI). The Digital Silk Road (DSR), as the BRI’s technological component, is becoming a digital bridge to promote a new type of globalization. The DSR has achieved extraordinary progress recently. It has strengthened regional cooperation in digital economy, mainly in Asia and Africa, through such channels as cross-border e-commerce and mobile financial tools, while it also reflects the global technological transformation under the Fourth Industrial Revolution in key sectors such as big data, digital currency, cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT). Thus, the DSR provides the optimal platform for new formats and technologies, such as digital trade and digital infrastructure, which have developed rapidly in recent times. However, most countries participating in “Belt and Road” initiative are still at an early stage of digital transformation; the potential of the huge digital growth has yet to be released. Furthermore, the digital lag has become a major problem limiting economic development. This article focuses on the digital economy as a new economic model, its potential and challenges, analyzing the possible implications beyond China’s DSR at both national and international levels, particularly, the role of DSR within the context of the Sino-US strategic rivalry. The methodological basis of the study covers a wide range of general scientific methods of political analysis, such as analytical, empirical, chronological, comparative, situational, narrative and descriptive. The author argues that the DSR provides a great opportunity for active multinational engagement in building a regional platform for the development of digital economy and a legal framework for digital standards and governance rules. China should focus on key sectors of the DSR, especially cross-border e-commerce, mobile financial tools, digital yuan, cloud computing and other cutting-edge components to make the DSR a more decisive initiative in global digital transformation. In promoting its own rules of digital governance, China has to be prepared to overcome difficulties and challenges that are partly the result of great power competition. The conclusion contains the results of the study and the strategic policy recommendations beyond the DSR.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):271-287
pages 271-287 views

Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges for Pan-African Cybersecurity

Pantserev K.A.


For almost two decades, Sub-Saharan African countries have been making significant efforts to ensure the rapid development of industries related to information and communication technology (ICTs) in the region. At present, all leading nations are placing greater emphasis on the development of hybrid intelligent systems capable of solving extremely complicated tasks. This includes Sub-Saharan African countries, which consider the development of advanced technologies to be an effective instrument for ensuring sustainable social and economic growth and solving a great number of the continent’s problems. It has become evident, however, that all technological novelties that should simplify our lives can be used for malicious purposes. The present study examines existing practices and risks of malicious use of artificial intelligence (MUAI) in Sub-Saharan African countries. At the end of the study, the author comes to the conclusion that the problem of ensuring information, psychological, and cybersecurity is common to all African countries, which creates a serious obstacle for their further sustainable social and economic development. Over the past decade, Sub-Saharan Africa has made significant efforts to elaborate a joint vision for counteracting cybercrimes and the malicious use of advanced technologies. But all the attempts to establish effective supranational instruments that would regulate the fight against cyberattacks at the Pan-African level and take into account the interests of the vast majority of African countries in this area have failed. This demonstrates the presence of serious contradictions among African countries, which, taken together, prevent the establishment of mutually beneficial cooperation even in such an important field as cybersecurity. However, until such cooperation is established, it seems unlikely that African countries will even come close to solving this problem, which means that their information space will continue to be subjected to large-scale cyber-attacks that pose a serious threat not only to the security of individuals, but also to national and Pan-African security.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):288-302
pages 288-302 views

Digital Challenge for the Arab World: Integration or Differentiation Factor?

Valiakhmetova G.N., Tsukanov L.V.


As Arab states integrate into the global digital space, they share its advantages and risks and are included in the construction of the international information security system. Considering the significant influence of the Arab world on the formation of the world political agenda and the global security system, the study of the specifics of the development of the Arab digital cluster at the present stage acquires not only academic but also political relevance. This article is devoted to the study of the current state, potential and limits of Arab countries cooperation in the field of digital security within the framework of inter-Arab cooperation in multilateral and bilateral formats, as well as interaction with the world leaders in the technological ‘race’. The analysis was based on the methodology of the Global Cybersecurity Index developed by the UN International Telecommunication Union. It includes five key parameters for assessing the readiness of modern states to repel cyberthreats: the regulatory and legal system of national cyber defense, technical capabilities, organizational structure, capacity development measures and international cooperation. Assessing the ‘digital landscape’ of the Arab states, the authors note that the political, financial, economic, historical, and cultural specifics of the Arab countries contribute to the formation of a special environment in the region for countering cyber threats and solving cyber security problems. On the one hand, the digital challenge is forcing the Arab states to overcome some differences, giving a certain impetus to integration processes. On the other hand, the ‘catch-up’ type, and spasmodic dynamics of the digital industry development in the region, as well as the heterogeneity and inconsistency inherent in the Arab world, combined with the traditionally high degree of conflict and the strong influence of external factors, create a heterogeneous and fragmented environment that prevents the formation of a collective response to challenges of the digital age.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):303-319
pages 303-319 views

Not a Conflict Only: Potential for Digital Interaction between Israel and Palestine

Babenkova S.Y., Mariasis D.A., Morozov V.M.


The acceleration of digitalization processes, caused, in particular, by the pandemic of the new coronavirus, makes it possible to more seriously consider new technologies as a tool for solving a number of socio-economic problems, both at the local and regional and, more broadly, global levels. The relevance of the study lies in the fact that today Israel, not being an exception, has become a participant in the process of involving digital technologies to solve government problems, and the study of such opportunities can become a new contribution to the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The agreements on cooperation between Israel and a number of Arab countries in the Middle East reached in 2020 contribute to increasing the degree of integration of this state into regional processes. The authors of the article set themselves the goal of demonstrating the opportunities that digital technologies open up to ensure interaction between the business communities of Israel and Palestine at the present stage, even in the context of the ongoing conflict. Among the materials, in addition to the collection of scientific classical proven literature of specialists in the Middle East, the authors used scientific and practical developments in the field of economics and crisis management, which made it possible to more accurately assess the situation and obtain reliable results. Among the methods, the authors used the method of decomposition of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the allocation of levels of digitalization and the subsequent construction of the concept of the possible use of digital interaction between the two countries. The result of the study was the development of their own multi-level concept for the development of such interaction, based both on their understanding of digital transformation processes and on the specifics of regional development processes. The central element of the concept developed by the authors of the article is the so-called interaction platforms (IP), which, in fact, being modern online platforms, de facto form a virtual space to ensure the interaction of the two communities in the economic, financial, educational, and social spheres. Thus, the article shows that digitalization makes it possible to overcome the existing barriers to economic development, especially for Palestine. It enables the business community of both countries to considerably reduce the significance of the current unfavorable geopolitical situation and intensify the economic component of bilateral relations. Moreover, the mechanisms we propose can operate in the context of an ongoing conflict, which is of paramount importance, since in this case there is a possibility of a gradual improvement in the economic situation in Palestine.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):320-341
pages 320-341 views


International information security: In search of consolidated approaches : Interview with Andrey V. Krutskikh, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cooperation in the Field of Information Security. Interviewed by D. A. Piskunov

Krutskikh A.V.


Andrey Vladimirovich Krutskikh is the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cooperation in the field of Information Security since 2014, and a leading expert in this field in Russia and around the world. He served as Chairman of the UN Panel of Government Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security and the SCO Member States Panel of Experts on International Information Security (IIS). Since 2020, A.V. Krutskikh holds the position of Director of the Department for International Information Security (DIIS) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, since 2017 he is Director of the Center for International Information Security, Science and Technology Policy of MGIMO University. Andrey Vladimirovich is the author of fundamental works devoted to IIS issues, the scientific editor of the three volume comprehensive textbook “International Information Security: Theory and Practice,” prepared by the CIIS team of authors. During the interview A.V. Krutskikh spoke about Russia’s approaches to international information security, the role of our country in developing the rules of the responsible State behavior in the global information space.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):342-351
pages 342-351 views


Value Sovereignty in the Era of Global Convergent Media

Degterev D.A.


Sovereignty in the digital space is a relatively new phenomenon, which is discussed in this paper. It is complex in nature and depends both on the technological base which is used (primarily network equipment, including 5G, etc.), software products and platforms, and on the promoted content. The countries are faced with the difficult task of regulating the activities of global media holdings in order to maintain value-based sovereignty. The author gives a political and economic analysis of value sovereignty, showing the importance of the state as a regulator that allows to eliminate negative informational externalities. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of the international media landscape and the formation of multipolarity in the network space, including the growing phenomenon of technological convergence in the media industry, as well as the positions of individual countries and regions in the global media industry. The corporate structures of the world’s largest media holdings are studied and the increasing degree of diversification of their assets is revealed. The generational differentiation of socialization mechanisms in the post-pandemic era, including the proportion of time devoted to social platforms, traditional media (the case of television), as well as the main ways of accessing the Internet and the penetration of new technologies. The most promising for socialization and fast-growing segments are shown, including Internet TV, virtual reality technologies, video games and cyber-sports. In the final part of the paper the author discusses the main problems and challenges of regulating the national media space in order to ensure value sovereignty in the era of global convergent media.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):352-371
pages 352-371 views


Digital Divide and Digital Inequality in Global Food Systems

Revenko L.S., Revenko N.S.


The article explores the impact of the digital divide and digital inequality on the transformation processes in the world’s food sector through the lens of a new paradigm developed in preparation of the September 2021 UN Food Systems Summit. The purpose of the study is to identify the main causes of the deepening digital inequality in the food sector and ways to overcome it. The authors’ methodology of interdisciplinary comprehensive analysis of socio-economic processes makes it possible to identify the most disruptive points that inhibit food provision to the global population in the context of digitalization. It is argued that the digital inequality in various food systems is based on the multi-speed nature of digitalization processes in individual countries and among groups of economic entities, and this creates new competitive landscape and, consequently, a new ratio of market advantages and risks. It is concluded that the digital inequality in the global food systems has implication beyond the market profoundly affecting social outcomes. It exacerbates the food security problem in terms of economic affordability of food due to a decrease or loss of income of the rural population, who lose their jobs in the digitalization context, and also generates new risks of functioning in digital ecosystems. This situation makes it difficult to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), namely SDG-2 and related goals. However, the impact of government regulation of the food sector on overcoming digital inequality remains ambiguous.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):372-384
pages 372-384 views

Technology Policy and Sustainable Development in Nigeria

Oghuvbu E.A., Gberevbie D.E., Oni S.O.


In the 21st century, the government and people of Nigeria are placing special emphasis on the technological component of development. In today’s world, technology has a critical impact on people and all areas of societal development, from communications and transport to construction and health care. In this study, the term “technology” is used in a broad context, referring to the knowledge, competencies and skills strongly required for technological development. Methodologically, the research is based on the secondary sources - monographs, academic articles and Internet resources. The main idea of the research is to comprehensively analyze the Nigeria’s technology and sustainable development policies. The performance of these efforts has been rather poor, preventing Nigeria from reaching a technological level comparable with that of developed economies. Rich in mineral resources Nigeria must initiate the development and adoption of modern technology to accelerate its economic growth. A review of Nigeria’s technology policy in the context of a long-term development is required. With a more thorough approach to the development of production functions and operations, such as quality control, maintenance, planning, etc., the level of national development would be much higher than at present. In the case of Nigeria, qualitative improvements in industrial production are directly linked to such factors as knowledge, expertise and experience. Overall, the authors conclude that vocational training for the sub-Saharan Africa sub-region is the key to bringing the respective countries to a new level of technological development. Meanwhile, in seeking technology, Nigeria must strive to strike a balance between industrial development and the environment in order to achieve sustainability.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):385-396
pages 385-396 views


Space and Counter-Space Activities of Great Powers in Outer Space

Islam M.


The article is dedicated to outer space as a space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, open for exploration and use by all. Celestial bodies are natural resources of the common heritage of humanity. Their exploration and use for the benefit and discovery of all countries is the result of the ownership of all mankind. However, since the end of the 20th century and especially in the 21st century, outer space has gradually become militarized. This is due to changes in the system of warfare, which is likely to be heavily transformed in the coming future. In this transformational system, all domains of warfare will be interlinked and outer space will play a significant role. One example of such processes is the Gulf War, also called the First Space War, in which the US Army successfully used the outer space systems for its Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) activities. Since then, outer space has become an integral part of US military operations. Consequently, other great powers like Russian Federation and People’s Republic of China are also trying to develop the same capability to counter US dominance in outer space. Simultaneously, the US is continuing its counter-space capabilities to maintain the dominance in outer space. The growing dependence on outer space is not only applicable to the military operation but also to commercial and civilian activities. As a result, great powers are more actively engaging in various space and counter-space activities to pursue their national interests; such activity turns outer space into an arena for inter-state rivalry.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):397-410
pages 397-410 views

The Global Terrorist Threat in the Sahel and the Origins of Terrorism in Burkina Faso

Issaev L.M., Korotayev A.V., Bobarykina D.A.


The article examines the reasons for the increasing terrorist activity in Burkina Faso after the revolution in 2014. For decades, the Sahel has been one of the most unstable regions in Africa and the Afrasian zone of instability. However, in the 2010s the Sahel has experienced a dramatic increase in terrorist activity: by 2015, the number of terrorist attacks there increased more than seven times compared to 2010. At the same time, the dynamics of terrorist activity in Burkina Faso had its specific characteristics compared to the rest of the Sahel. The growth of terrorism in this country was largely a consequence of the overthrow of the B. Compaoré regime. The new authorities were unable to maintain security at the same level. This can be explained, on the one hand, by the stable agreements that had been settled between Compaoré and terrorist structures. His resignation destroyed all the informal ties and agreements that the regime had established with regional jihadist organizations, freeing their hands to infiltrate Burkina Faso quickly and easily. On the other hand, the dissolution of the Regiment of Presidential Security (precisely the structure largely responsible for the fight against terrorism) after the failed military coup attempt of September 2015 played an important role. The new leadership stripped the country of the protection they had against jihadist organizations poised to infiltrate across the border into Burkina Faso. As a result, after 2015, a very safe country in terms of terrorism faced an unprecedented increase in terrorist activity.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):411-421
pages 411-421 views


Book review: Buchanan, B. (2020). The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 309 p.

Yanikeeva I.O.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):422-424
pages 422-424 views

Book review: Kharas, H., McArthur, J. W., & Ohno, I. (2022). Breakthrough: The Promise of Frontier Technologies for Sustainable Development. Brookings Institution Press, 256 p.

Melkonyan L.A.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):425-428
pages 425-428 views

Book review: Simon, H. (2021). Hidden Champions: The New Game in the Chinese Century. Frankfurt - New York: Campus, 280 p.

Andreeva E.L., Ratner A.V.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):429-432
pages 429-432 views

Book review: Bhatia, R. (2021). India - Africa Relations: Changing Horizons. New York: Routledge, 244 p.

Medushevsky N.A.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):433-435
pages 433-435 views

Book review: Mazov, S. V., & Davidson, A. B. (Eds.). (2021). Russia and Africa. Documents and Materials. 1961 - early 1970s. Moscow: Politicheskaya entsiklopediya publ., 1006 p. (In Russian)

Kassaye N.W.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(2):436-438
pages 436-438 views

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