The securitization of cyberspace governance in Singapore

Syed Mohammed Ad’ha Aljunied

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Drawing from securitization theory and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), this article examines how the Singaporean government has “securitized” cyberspace governance. It contributes value-add to the existing literature on securitization theory by evaluating the specific backgrounds and preexisting beliefs that securitizing actors bring with them to the securitization process. Taking the case of Singapore, this paper focuses on the military elites turned civilian politicans and policymakers that have been tasked with cyberspace governance. A discourse analysis shows how terminologies describing cyberspace as an “existential” issue and key personnel appointments with significant military backgrounds reflect the prevalance of military elites, terminologies, strategies that have become embedded within domestic cybersecurity governance structures. The use of military-style concepts such as “digital ranges” and “war games” in Singapore mirrors global financial industry trends where military-derived terminology has become widespread in preparing for cyber-attacks on critical information infrastructure. Two key focus areas of cyberspace governance are evaluated: online content regulation of Internet and social media networks, and legislation to protect critical information infrastructure. The paper concludes by discussing a range of concerns raised by the target “audience” of securitization processes, such as civil society and information infrastructure providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-362
Number of pages20
JournalAsian Security
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


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