Contemporary Technologies and the Morality of Warfare: The War of the Machines, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Contemporary Technologies and the Morality of Warfare

The War of the Machines, 1st Edition

By Jean-François Caron


168 pages

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Hardback: 9781138387560
pub: 2019-12-19
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Supported by genuine historical cases, this book argues that certain new technologies in warfare can not only be justified within the current framework of the just war theory, but that their use is mandatory from a moral perspective.

Technological developments raise questions about the manner in which wars ought to be fought. The growing use of drones, capacity-increasing technologies and cyber attacks are perceived by many as posing great challenges to Just War Theory. Instead of seeing these technologies as inherently unethical, this book adopts a different perspective by arguing that they are morally necessary since they can limit the potential violations of the moral rules of war and ensure that militaries better respect their obligation to protect their members. Caron’s research offers insights into how and under what conditions autonomous or semi-autonomous robots, artificial intelligence, cyberwarfare, and capacity-increasing technologies can be considered as legitimate weapons.

This book will be of interest to students, members of the armed forces, and scholars studying Politics, International Relations, Security Studies, Ethics and Just War Theory.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: The Nature of Current Military Technological Innovations

Capacity-Increasing Technologies

Semi-Autonomous and Autonomous Technologies


Chapter 2: Technologies and the Military’s Duty of Care

The Military as a Profession

The Military Profession and the Duty of Care

Military Technologies and the Duty of Care

Chapter 3: The Use of Military Technologies as a Way to Increase Morality

The USS Vincennes and the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655

The 1994 Black Hawk Shootdown Incident in Northern Iraq

The My Lai and Haditha Massacres

Military Technologies and the Control of Human Emotions

Chapter 4: Military Technologies, Respect for the Rules of Warfare, and Legal Accountability

The Question of Misused Technologies

Technologies and Individual Responsibilities

How Technologies Involving Human Beings Ought to be Tested

Chapter 5: The Morality of Killing

The Ethics of Killing in War

Contemporary Military Technologies and the Ethics of Killing in War: An Assessment

Chapter 6: Technologies and the Enhanced Risk of Warfare

The Correlation Between Military Power and the Risk of War

Military Technologies and the Prospect of Jus ad Vim


About the Author

Jean-François Caron is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Nazarbayev University where he teaches Political Theory. He is also a teaching fellow at the Institute of Political Science and Administration at the University of Opole.

About the Series

Emerging Technologies, Ethics and International Affairs

Emerging Technologies, Ethics and International Affairs
This series examines the crucial ethical, legal and public policy questions arising from or exacerbated by the design, development and eventual adoption of new technologies across all related fields, from education and engineering to medicine and military affairs. The books revolve around two key themes: ¢ Moral issues in research, engineering and design ¢ Ethical, legal and political/policy issues in the use and regulation of Technology This series encourages submission of cutting-edge research monographs and edited collections with a particular focus on forward-looking ideas concerning innovative or as yet undeveloped technologies. Whilst there is an expectation that authors will be well grounded in philosophy, law or political science, consideration will be given to future-orientated works that cross these disciplinary boundaries. The interdisciplinary nature of the series editorial team offers the best possible examination of works that address the ’ethical, legal and social’ implications of emerging technologies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights