Critical Infrastructure and Vulnerability: A Relational Analysis Through Actor Network Theory

Part of the Lecture Notes in Social Networks book series (LNSN)


Threats to national security, such as that against critical infrastructures not only stem from man-made acts but also from natural hazards. Hurricane Katrina (2005), Blackout Canada-US (2003), Fukushima (2011), Hurricane Sandy (2012), and Alberta floods (2013) are examples that highlight the vulnerability of critical infrastructures to natural hazards and the crippling effect that failures can have on the social and economic well-being of a community and a nation. Focusing on the initiating event that precipitated the critical infrastructure failure does not capture the root vulnerabilities or ‘resident pathogens’ that are ‘hard-wired’ into the greater networked system. Through the complexity/systems lens of Actor Network Theory (ANT), this chapter explores how key ‘actors’ within a network can align other actors creating ‘unseen’ vulnerabilities.


Critical infrastructure Actor network theory Complexity Systems thinking 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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