Just War Theory and Drone Warfare: Morality, Virtual Wars and Human Security in the War on Terror

Hamourtziadou, Lily (2023) Just War Theory and Drone Warfare: Morality, Virtual Wars and Human Security in the War on Terror. In: The Palgrave Handbook of International Political Theory. Springer International Publishing. ISBN 9783031361104

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Just war theory deals with the conditions that justify war (jus ad bellum) and the rules of warfare (jus in bello): the justifications of why and how wars are fought. Debates about the rules of war have been applied to wars across millennia and are relevant for practitioners and theorists today, in a new age of warfare: the drone era. Killer drones, employed in several recent and current conflicts, involve technologies that enable new ways of killing remotely, requiring discussions on just war to resume in the context of war technology becoming linked to artificial intelligence. This chapter examines the legality and morality of drones in warfare, claims of precision strikes, bombing-as-gaming and prospects of peace. Using America’s War on Terror as case study, it addresses issues of war as an amoral exercise of power, the international system as a state of nature, the legal and moral status of combatants and noncombatants, and concepts of military virtue in battles that lack, at least partly, the human element. Drone warfare, it concludes, blurs the distinction between war and peace, changes the nature of war and, rather than resolve the ethical dilemmas of armed combat, poses new moral challenges for the regulation of symmetric and asymmetric conflicts.

Item Type: Book Section
24 April 2023Accepted
16 October 2023Published
Subjects: CAH10 - engineering and technology > CAH10-01 - engineering > CAH10-01-01 - engineering (non-specific)
CAH10 - engineering and technology > CAH10-03 - materials and technology > CAH10-03-06 - others in technology
CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-03 - politics > CAH15-03-01 - politics
CAH16 - law > CAH16-01 - law > CAH16-01-01 - law
CAH20 - historical, philosophical and religious studies > CAH20-02 - philosophy and religious studies > CAH20-02-01 - philosophy
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Criminology and Sociology
Depositing User: Lily Hamourtziadou
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2023 14:34
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2023 14:34
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14580

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