Lucas Kello

AB Harvard, MPhil DPhil Oxford

Associate Professor and Departmental Lecturer, DPIR
Director of Studies in Politics, St. Catherine’s College
Cyber Studies Programme
Centre for Technology and Global Affairs
International Relations Network
Office address
Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

Lucas Kello is Associate Professor and Departmental Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. He serves as Director of Studies in Politics at St. Catherine’s College and as Director of the Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, a University-wide initiative sponsored by the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

His research focuses on technology and global affairs, with a special emphasis on cyber issues and relations among government and private industry in the development of strategic technologies. His first book, The Virtual Weapon and International Order (Yale University Press, 2017), analysed the implications of cyberspace for interstate strategic stability. His second book, Striking Back: The End of Peace in Cyberspace and How to Restore It (Yale University Press, 2022), examined shortcomings in prevailing strategies to prevent or reduce the intensity of cyber conflict and presented a new approach to achieving order in cyberspace. In 2022, the work was named one of the best new books by the Financial Times and Nature.


  • International relations theory
  • Strategic studies
  • Cybersecurity and cyber conflict
  • Technology governance



Department of Politics and International Relations


International Security and Conflict (PPE/History & Politics) – Co-Convenor

International Relations in the Era of Two World Wars (PPE/History & Politics) – Convenor

International Relations in the Era of the Cold War (PPE/History & Politics)


International Relations Core Seminar (MPhil International Relations)

Research Design and Methods (MPhil International Relations)

Thesis Seminar (MPhil International Relations)

Thesis Supervision (DPhil/MPhil International Relations)

Saïd Business School


Smart Space Elective (MBA) - Co-Convenor

Lucas Kello



Kello, Lucas. Striking Back: The End of Peace in Cyberspace and How to Restore It. Yale University Press, 2022. Reviews:

  • Gideon Rachman. “From China to Cyber Space: The Best New Politics Books." Financial Times (2022).
  • Andrew Robinson. “How We Imagine Tomorrow, and Averting Cyber War – The Best Science Picks.” Nature (2022).

Kello, Lucas. The Virtual Weapon and International Order. Yale University Press, 2017; paperback 2018. Translations available in Greek and Korean; Arabic forthcoming. Reviews:

  • Dina Temple-Raston. “Hacked to Bits.” The New York Review of Books (2018).
  • Scott Malcomson. “The New Cyber Normal.” Carnegie Corporation of New York (2018).
  • Lawrence D. Freedman. Foreign Affairs (2018).
  • Graham T. Allison. “An Uneasy Unpeace.” The Wall Street Journal (2018).
  • “The Politics of Cyberspace.” The Economist (2017).

Selected journal articles, book chapters, and essays

Kello, Lucas. “Digital Diplomacy and Cyber Defense.” In The Oxford Handbook of Digital Diplomacy. Edited by Corneliu Bjola and Ilan Manor. Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2024.

Kello, Lucas. “The State in the Digital Era: Supreme or in Decline?” In Digital International Relations. Edited by Corneliu Bjola and Markus Kornprobst. Routledge, 2023.

Wheeler, Joanne, Mark Burgman, Jason Maroothynaden, Rafael Ramirez, Lucas Kello, and Taskeen Ali. “Space Conservation: A Plea for Urgency.” Astronomy and Geophysics (Official Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society) 64.2 (2023).

Kello, Lucas. “Cyber Legalism: Why It Fails and What to Do about It.” Journal of Cybersecurity 7.1 (2021).

Kello, Lucas. “Private Sector Cyber Weapons: An Adequate Response to the Sovereignty Gap?" In Bytes, Bombs, and Spies: The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations. Edited by Herbert Lin and Amy Zegart. Brookings Institution Press, 2019.

Kello, Lucas. “Cyber Threats.” In The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations (2nd Edition). Edited by Thomas G. Weiss and Sam Daws. Oxford University Press, 2018.

Kello, Lucas. “European Cyber Defense.” In The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces. Edited by Hugo Meijer and Marco Wyss. Oxford University Press, 2018.

Kello, Lucas. “The Security Dilemma of Cyberspace: Ancient Logic, New Problems.” Review of Ben Buchanan's The Cybersecurity Dilemma: Hacking, Trust and Fear Between Nations (Oxford University Press). Lawfare (2017).

Kello, Lucas. “Cyber Security: Gridlock and Innovation.” In Beyond Gridlock. Edited by David Held and Thomas Hale. Polity, 2017.

Kello, Lucas. “The Virtual Weapon: Dilemmas and Future Scenarios” (French version: “Les cyberarmes: Dilemmes et futurs possibles”). Politique étrangère 79.4 (2015).

Kello, Lucas and Jon Lindsay. “Correspondence: A Cyber Disagreement.” International Security 39.2 (Fall 2014).

Kello, Lucas. “Security.” In The Oxford Companion to International Relations (3rd Edition). Edited by Joel Krieger. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Kello, Lucas. “The Meaning of the Cyber Revolution: Perils to Theory and Statecraft.” International Security 38.2 (Fall 2013).

Kello, Lucas. “The Advantages of Latitude: Estonia’s Post-Communist Success Story.” In Democratization and Security in Central and Eastern Europe and the Post-Soviet States. Edited by David Bosold, Petr Drulák, and Nik Hynek. Nomos, 2012.

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