A Sociology of the Drone

Dr. Ina Wiesner


Current discourses in science and public about combat drones usually employ arguments from the spheres of technology, strategy, international law and ethics. So far, sociologists have remained silent on this topic. But sociological analyses about the influencing factors of development and employment of combat drones could enrich the debate as well as studies about the effects of combat drone missions on individuals, organisations and societies. This article offers a comprehensive discussion of the sociological aspects of combat drones. A sociological view is not only indicated against the background of the present practice of targeted killings but also because drones appear as an intermediate step towards autonomous offensive combat systems which will change the type of warfare in the future.

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JMSS is a publication of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

JMSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.