School of Politics and International Relations

Death Machines: The Ethics of Violent Technologies

6 March 2019

Time: 6:00 - 7:30pm
Venue: Arts One Lecture Theatre, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, E1 4NS

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A book launch with Dr Elke Schwarz (QMUL), with commentary from Prof Kimberly Hutchings (QMUL) and Prof Mervyn Frost (KCL)

As innovations in military technologies race toward ever-greater levels of automation and autonomy, debates over the ethics of violent technologies tread water. Death Machines reframes these debates, arguing that the way we conceive of the ethics of contemporary warfare is itself imbued with a set of bio-technological rationalities that work as limits. The task for critical thought must therefore be to unpack, engage, and challenge these limits. The ethical concerned raised in the book help frame the use of drones, autonomous weapons systems and AI technologies and offers a deeper discussion on the limits of ethical thinking in our modern political landscape. Drawing on the work of Hannah Arendt, the book offers a close reading of the technology-biopolitics-complex that informs and produces contemporary subjectivities, highlighting the perilous implications this has for how we think about the ethics of political violence, both now and in the future.

“[Death Machines] is essential reading for those working with or on the issue of drones, autonomy and AI to engage with the ever-increasing use of violent technologies” (Joanna Frew, Drone Wars)

The event will be followed by a drinks reception to which all are invited.

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