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Research

Security, Surveillance & the Technologies of War

military aircraftNew technologies are often portrayed as ‘technologies of hope’ when applied to the medical realm, but the very same technologies are often found to have a ‘dual use’ in pursuit of less noble causes. It is in the military domain that there is often a greater willingness to embrace new technological applications, even when their effects and effectiveness have not been firmly established. In particular, as the 21st century unfolds, several potentially ‘game changing’ technologies are emerging, offering capabilities that were not previously available or even imaginable a generation ago.  

While much recent attention has focused on the staggering growth in digital surveillance capabilities revealed by the disclosures of Edward Snowden - a former US national security contractor - several developments are on the verge of changing the contours of the military technology game, including the proliferation of unmanned and increasingly autonomous robotic systems, the power of data-mining technologies and analytics, the potential of additive manufacturing that some claim will herald a new industrial revolution, and the possibility that directed-energy weapons could dramatically alter the contours of battle and the balance of military power.  

These new capabilities provoke fundamental questions, not only about what is possible and what is proper, but also concerning the role of law and other legal and social institutions in seeking to establish and maintain appropriate boundaries for their development and deployment.

Academics Working in this Area:
  • Professor Guglielmo Vedirame
  • Dr Rachel Kerr
  • Professor Thomas Rid
  • Dr Jack MacDonald
  • Dr Claudia Aradau
  • Dr Fillipa Lentzos
  • Professor James Gow
  • Professor Benjamin Bowling  

 

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