Research interests

Primary research areas

Tobias Liebetrau researches Danish, European and international political and strategic aspects of cyber security, digitization and technological development. He is particularly interested in how the development, implementation and governance of digital technologies affect relations between national and international; public and private; state and market; civilian and military.

Current research

Tobias Liebetrau’s research covers three main topics:


Tobias is occupied with how we can understand cybersecurity as a political, strategic and economic phenomenon. His work analysis the political, strategic and organizational tensions between defense, intelligence and offense in a cybersecurity context, including gray zone operations and hybrid conflict. In addition, he examines the role of the EU and private companies in Danish and European cyber security governance.

Great power rivalry and technology development

In his research, Tobias uncovers how the increasing great power rivalry unfolds as a short- and long-term technology competition with political, economic and military consequences. He focuses on how the development and implementation of digital technologies and infrastructures – such as 5G, AI and cloud – affects the strategic understanding of security, war and sovereignty, particularly the concepts of technological and digital sovereignty.

Big Tech in International Politics

Tobias works to conceptualize the role of large tech companies in international politics. He focuses on understanding what type of international political actors large tech companies are, the type of power they possess, and how they work with and against states.


Tobias Liebetrau has been awarded an international research grant of DKK 1.3 million by the Independent Research Fund Denmark to conduct the postdoc project “Changing Configurations of Sovereignty and Security in a Digital Age”.

The project will carry out a systematic mapping of how visions and imaginaries of digital technological development shape states’ perceptions of sovereignty and security. The two-year project will be completed with an 18 months stay at Sciences Po, Paris, and six months at DIIS.

Tobias is also part of the project “The politics of Hidden Infrastructures. Exploring the submarine data cable network (DACANE) ”with Professor Christian Bueger. The project is supported by the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science’s Framework program.

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