Technology as Terrorism: Police Control Technologies and Drone Warfare

In Scott Robbins, Alastair Reed, Seamus Miller & Adam Henschke (eds.), Counter-Terrorism, Ethics, and Technology: Emerging Challenges At The Frontiers Of Counter-Terrorism,. Springer. pp. 1-21 (2021)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Debates about terrorism and technology often focus on the potential uses of technology by non-state terrorist actors and by states as forms of counterterrorism. Yet, little has been written about how technology shapes how we think about terrorism. In this chapter I argue that technology, and the language we use to talk about technology, constrains and shapes our understanding of the nature, scope, and impact of terrorism, particularly in relation to state terrorism. After exploring the ways in which technology shapes moral thinking, I use two case studies to demonstrate how technology simultaneously hides and enables terroristic forms of state violence: police control technologies and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones. In both these cases, I argue that features of these technologies, combined with a narrative of precision and efficiency, serves to mask the terroristic nature of the violence that these practices inflict and reinforces the moral exclusion of those against whom these technologies are deployed. In conclusion, I propose that identifying acts of terrorism requires a focus on the impact of technologies of violence (whether they are “high tech” or not) on those most affected, regardless of whether users of these technologies conceive of their actions as terroristic.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
First archival date: 2020-09-22
Latest version: 4 (2021-11-05)
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
342 ( #22,143 of 69,040 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
51 ( #15,840 of 69,040 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.