2014: Volume 7, Issue 1, pp. 35-49

Illuminating the Dark Side of the Internet with Actor-Network Theory: 
An Integrative Review of Current Cybercrime Research

Rocci Luppicini



Cybercrime is a relatively new area of research within criminology and media studies. The purpose of this paper is to pull together current research scholarship at the intersection of Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and cybercrime by addressing the following question: How does ANT apply to cybercrime research? A selective integrative review of cybercrime research utilizing ANT was conducted to examine recent developments and identify trends. The review draws on core research papers that span 2002 to 2013. Findings provided a strong indication of ANT’s role in key areas of current cybercrime, namely, cyber bullying, cyber theft, and cyber terrorism and cyber espionage. More specifically, ANT was applied within cyber criminology research to address complex problems involving human-technological interactions, advance alternative models and theoretical perspectives, compare ANT with existing models and theoretical perspectives, and leverage understanding of network influences on actors. Recommendations are provided to help optimize the application of ANT to cybercrime research and practice. This paper helps advance knowledge at the intersection of ANT and the study of cyber criminology.


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