Melissa K. Griffith is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley and an affiliated researcher at the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC). Her doctoral research lies at the intersection of security and technology, with a focus on national defense in cyberspace. Her broader research interests include cybersecurity, digitalization, transatlantic relations, and small states’ national defense postures. She was a Visiting Scholar at George Washington University's Institute for International Science & Technology Policy (IISTP) in October 2018; a Visiting Research Fellow at the Research Institute on the Finnish Economy (ETLA) in Helsinki, Finland from 2017-2018; and a Visiting Researcher at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Brussels, Belgium in Fall 2017. Griffith’s published work has appeared in the 'American Institute for Contemporary German Studies', 'Business and Politics', the ‘Centre for European Policy Studies', the 'Council on Foreign Relations', the 'Cyber Conflict Studies Association', and the 'Journal of Cyber Policy'. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from Agnes Scott College (2011) and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley (2014).

Project Summary

By focusing specifically on how a subset of relatively small yet successful states, the Mice that Roar, have pursued national cyber defense, Griffith’s research challenges two prevailing assumptions in security studies and cyber conflict scholarship: (1) that larger states with more resources will be better positioned to provide national defense for their populations and (2) that national cyber defense, as a central task of states, represents an unprecedented departure from the historical requirements of national defense in the domains of air, land, and sea (i.e. that it represents a new type of defense problem for states to address). Griffith specifically examine how pre-existing models for kinetic national defense (air, land, and sea) affect the subsequent organizational structure and efficacy of national cyber defense efforts. Griffith argues that the pre-existing national defense models of the Mice that Roar provide an institutional foundation that is better suited to the realities of addressing cybersecurity at the national level than the kinetic defense model pursued by the U.S.

Major Publications

  • “A comprehensive security approach: bolstering Finnish cybersecurity capacity” Journal of Cyber Policy, Vol 3, Issue 3 (2019): 407-429. Earlier version published as a BASC Working Paper.
  • “International Security and the Strategic Dynamics of Cyberspace” with Adam Segal analyzing the state of International Relations and International Security research on cyber conflict for Columbia University SIPA and the Cyber Conflict Studies Association (CCSA) (Fall 2018).
  • “Task Force Report on Strengthening the EU’s Cyber Defence Capabilities” for the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) (November 26, 2018). Main author.