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Norms are what machines make of them: Autonomous Weapons Systems and the normative implications of human-machine interactions

Huelss, Hendrik (2019) Norms are what machines make of them: Autonomous Weapons Systems and the normative implications of human-machine interactions. International Political Sociology, . pp. 1-18. ISSN 1749-5679. (doi:10.1093/ips/olz023) (KAR id:73852)

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The emergence of autonomous weapons systems (AWS) is increasingly in the academic and public focus. Research largely focuses on the legal and ethical implications of AWS as a new weapons category set to revolutionise the use of force. However, the debate on AWS neglects the question what introducing these weapons systems could mean for how decisions are made. Pursuing this from a theoretical-conceptual perspective, the article critically analyses what impact AWS can have on norms as standards of appropriate action. The article draws on the Foucauldian "apparatus of security" to develop a concept that accommodates the role of security technologies for the conceptualisation of norms guiding the use of force. It discusses to what extent a technologically mediated construction of a normal reality emerges in the interplay of machinic and human agency and how this leads to the development of norms. The article argues that AWS provide a specific construction of reality in their operation and thereby define procedural norms that tend to replace the deliberative, normative-political decision on when, how, and why to use force. The article is a theoretical-conceptual contribution to the question of why AWS matter and why we should further consider the implications of new arrangements of human-machine interactions in IR.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/ips/olz023
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Hendrik Huelss
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 12:00 UTC
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2021 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Huelss, Hendrik:
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