Legal and Ethical Implications of Drone Warfare: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Legal and Ethical Implications of Drone Warfare

1st Edition

Edited by Michael J. Boyle


130 pages

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Over the last decade, the U.S., UK Israel and other states have begun to use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for military operations and for targeted killings in places like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Worldwide, over 80 governments are developing their own drone programs, and even non-state actors such as the Islamic State have begun to experiment with drones. The speed of technological change and adaptation with drones is so rapid that it is outpacing the legal and ethical frameworks which govern the use of force. This volume brings together experts in law, ethics and political science to address how drone technology is slowly changing the rules and norms surrounding the use of force and enabling new, sometimes unprecedented, actions by states. It addresses some of the most crucial questions in the debate over drones today. Are drones a revolutionary form of technology that will transform warfare or is their effect merely hype? Can drone use on the battlefield be made wholly consistent with international law? How does drone technology begin to shift the norms governing the use of force? What new legal and ethical problems are presented by targeted killings outside of declared war zones? Should drones be considered a humane form of warfare? Finally, is it possible that drones could be a force for good in humanitarian disasters and peacekeeping missions in the near future? This book was previously published as a special issue of The International Journal of Human Rights.

Table of Contents

1. The legal and ethical implications of drone warfare

Michael J. Boyle

2. Getting drones wrong

Stephanie Carvin

3. A means-methods paradox and the legality of drone strikes in armed conflict

Craig Martin

4. Clashing over drones: the legal and normative gap between the United States and the human rights community

Daniel R. Brunstetter and Arturo Jimenez-Bacardi

5. Drones to protect

David Whetham

6. Virtuous drones?

Caroline Kennedy and James I. Rogers

About the Editor

Michael J. Boyle is an Associate Professor of Political Science at La Salle University and a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. He is the author of Violence after War: Explaining Instability in Post-Conflict States (2014).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Air & Space
LAW / Conflict of Laws
LAW / Ethics & Professional Responsibility
LAW / International
LAW / Military
LAW / Securities
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Arms Control
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Law Enforcement
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism