Predator Empire

Predator Empire: Drone Warfare and Full-Spectrum Dominance (University of Minnesota Press, 2016)

What does it mean for human beings to exist in an era of dronified state violence? How can we understand the rise of robotic systems of power and domination? Focusing on U.S. drone warfare and its broader implications as no other book has to date, Predator Empire argues that we are witnessing a transition from a labor-intensive “American empire” to a machine-intensive “Predator Empire.”

Moving from the Vietnam War to the War on Terror and beyond, Ian G. R. Shaw reveals how changes in military strategy, domestic policing, and state surveillance have come together to enclose our planet in a robotic system of control. The rise of drones presents a series of “existential crises,” he suggests, that are reengineering not only spaces of violence but also the character of the modern state. Positioning drone warfare as part of a much longer project to watch and enclose the human species, he shows that for decades—centuries even—human existence has slowly but surely been brought within the artificial worlds of “technological civilization.” Instead of incarcerating us in prisons or colonizing territory directly, the Predator Empire locks us inside a worldwide system of electromagnetic enclosure—in which democratic ideals give way to a system of totalitarian control, a machinic “rule by Nobody.”

As accessibly written as it is theoretically ambitious, Predator Empire provides up-to-date information about U.S. drone warfare, as well as an in-depth history of the rise of drones.


Reviews for Predator Empire

Sarah-Nicole Aghassi-Isfahani (2018). Chronicles of the Surveillance State. Cultural Politics, 14(1): 132-134.

 Ed Bryan (2018). Drones, Diplomacy, and More-Than-Human Geopolitics, Geopolitics.

Majed Akhter, Susan Roberts, Vanessa Massaro, Katharine Hall, Ian Shaw (2017). Reading Ian’ Shaw’s Predator Empire: Drone Warfare and Full Spectrum Dominance. Political Geography.

Scott Romaniuk (2017) Political Studies Review

Kate Kindervater (2017) Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Anna Jackman (2017) Antipode

Nayef Al-Rodhan (2016) Science

Courtney J. O’Connor (2016) London School of Economics

Tobias Burgers (2016) Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy