What’s the Peloponnesian War Got to Do with Killer Robots?

In an article Cayman Mitchell and I wrote for e-International Relations, we reflect on how ancient debates about the Pelopponesian War offer surprisingly fresh insights into global policy debates about high-tech weapons. By making comparisons to Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata, we show campaigners have resisted states’ claims to ‘know best’ about security matters. They have pushed officials to answer questions about the necessity and risks of killer robots as well as the underlying social norms (including gendered ones) that guide global security policymaking. We argue that we need not be grateful for the ‘protection’ of killer robots, as realists would have us believe; we may instead mimic Lysistrata and humanize the very structure of protection in the 21st century, saving ourselves from killer robots’ de-humanizing violence.

Read our article here.

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~ by Matthew Bolton on 29 August 2014.

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