Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure: An Analysis of Securitization Theory

  • Noah T Archibald Acadia University
Keywords: Securitization, Cybersecurity, Huawei, Cyber-Terrorism, Critical Infrastructure, State-Sponsored Hackers, Copenhagen School, Security


This paper will analyze current insecurities in Canada’s critical infrastructure and the ways these insecurities have been justified as warranting additional protections. Namely, this paper will use examples of threats posed by foreign state-sponsored hackers, cyber-terrorism campaigns, and the company: Huawei. Each of these three examples will be analyzed using a post-positive approach with qualitative data and some utilization of quantitative data. This paper utilizes a Copenhagen School approach as its theoretical framework of analysis. This paper will ask how national and international uses of discourses, policies, and legislation surrounding these three areas have contributed to the larger securitization of Canadian critical infrastructure.

This research paper ultimately argues that the securitization of critical infrastructure in Canada as a cybersecurity concern has been as a result of numerous speech acts, executive orders, and discourses by a variety of state and other actors. The hypothesis under analysis finds a causal relationship between the use of such discourses, policies, and legislation on how cybersecurity is interpreted as a national security concern.