1st Edition

The Disruptive Impact of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems Diffusion Modern Melians and the Dawn of Robotic Warriors

By Austin Wyatt Copyright 2022
    248 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    248 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Challenging the focus on great powers in the international debate, this book explores how rising middle power states are engaging with emerging major military innovations and analyses how this will affect the stability and security of the Indo Pacific.

    Presenting a data-based analysis of how middle power actors in the Indo-Pacific are responding to the emergence of military Artificial Intelligence and Killer Robots, the book asserts that continuing to exclude non-great power actors from our thinking in this field enables the dangerous diffusion of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) to smaller states and terrorist groups, and demonstrates the disruptive effects of these military innovations on the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific. Offering a detailed analysis of the resource capacities of China, United States, Singapore and Indonesia, it shows how major military innovation acts as a circuit breaker between competitor states disrupting the conventional superiority of the dominant hegemonic state and giving a successful adopter a distinct advantage over their opponent.

    This book will appeal to researchers, end-users in the military and law enforcement communities, and policymakers. It will also be a valuable resource for researchers interested in strategic stability for the broader Asia-Pacific and the role of middle power states in hegemonic power transition and conflict.

    Chapter 1: Introduction:

    Chapter 2 - Literature Review and Theoretical Framework

    Chapter 3: Research Design, Methodology and Theoretical Framework

    Chapter 4: Development and Diffusion of Unmanned Combat Vehicles

    Chapter 5: The Rise of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems

    Chapter 6: Evaluating Indonesia’s Adoption Capacity

    Chapter 7: Evaluating Singapore’s Adoption Capacity

    Chapter 8: Discussing the Impact of AWS Diffusion on Relations of Power and Strategic Stability in Southeast Asia

    Chapter 9: Proposing a Regional ‘Soft’ Normative Framework for the Safer Deployment of AI-Enabled Autonomous Weapon Systems in Southeast Asia.

    Chapter 10: Conclusion and Directions for Future Research



    Austin Wyatt is a Research Associate at UNSW, Canberra. His research focuses on autonomous weapons, with a particular emphasis on their disruptive effects in Asia. He was awarded his PhD summa cum laude in 2020 from the Australian Catholic University. Dr Wyatt was a New Colombo Plan Scholar and completed a research internship at KAIST. Dr Wyatt’s latest published research includes "Charting Great Power Progress Toward a Lethal Autonomous Weapon System Demonstration Point", Defence Studies, 20(1), 2020 and "The revolution of autonomous systems and its implications for the arms trade". In Research Handbook on the Arms Trade.