Drones series, Part V. The biopolitics of drone warfare

Daniel Møller Ølgaard on the biopolitics of drone warfare…

Strife

By Daniel Møller Ølgaard:

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The current debate on armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, focuses mostly on legal implications and moral implications of their use. Issues such as civilian deaths, as well as the strategic implications and tactical advantages of drones are reigning supreme in the academic and public discussions. Yet these examinations fail to look at the wider implications of drone warfare. Through the prism of ‘biopolitics’, we can expose how war and governance is transformed and how increasingly life itself comes to be categorized and populations come to be controlled through the use of armed UAV’s.

A Biopolitical Understanding of War

With the emergence of a liberal paradigm, where the right of the individual trumps the rights of the sovereign, a global system of liberal governance is changing the way in which war is conducted. This has been characterized as the ‘liberal peace project’, and…

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