Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-jb2ch Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-03-01T13:57:21.725Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Rethinking the Political / -Science- / Fiction Nexus: Global Policy Making and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2016

Abstract

A burgeoning literature in IR asserts there is a relationship between pop cultural artifacts and global policy processes, but this relationship is rarely explored using observational data. To fill this gap, I provide an evidence-based exploration of the relationship between science-fiction narratives and global public policy in an important emerging political arena: norm-building efforts around the prohibition of fully autonomous weapons. Drawing on in-depth interviews with advocacy elites, and participant-observation at key campaign events, I explore and expand on constitutive theories about the impact of science fiction on “real-world” politics.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2016 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Arkin, Ronald, 2010. “The Case for Ethical Autonomy in Unmanned Systems.” Journal of Military Ethics 9(4): 332–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Asimov, Isaac, 1953. “Social Science Fiction.” In Modern Science Fiction: Its Meaning and Future, ed. Bretnor, Reginald. New York: Coward-McMann.Google Scholar
Bob, Clifford, ed. 2010. The International Struggle for New Human Rights. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
Bohland, Jon. 2013. “And They Have a Plan.” In Battlestar Galactica and International Relations, ed. Kiersey, Ben and Neumann, Iver. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Bolton, Matthew, Nash, Thomas, and Moyes, Richard, 2012. “Ban Autonomous Armed Robots.” Article36.org. Available online at http://www.article36.org/statements/ban-autonomous-armed-robots/.Google Scholar
Buzan, Barry. 2010. “America in Space: The International Relations of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica.” Millennium 39(1): 175–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carpenter, Charli. 2011. “Vetting the Advocacy Agenda.” International Organization 65(1): 69102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carpenter, Charli. 2012. “Game of Thrones as Theory.” Foreign Affairs. Available online at https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2012-03-29/game-thrones-theory.Google Scholar
Carpenter, Charli. 2013. “Beyond Robopocalypticism.” Duck of Minerva. Available online at http://duckofminerva.com/2013/08/beyond-robopocalypticism.html.Google Scholar
Carpenter, Charli. 2014. ‘Lost’ Causes: Agenda-Vetting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Carpenter, Charli, Cvijanovic, Hrvoje, and Mason, Wesley. 2013. “Security or Human Security? Civil-Military Relations in Battlestar Galactica.” In Battlestar Galactica and International Relations, ed. Kiersey, Ben and Neumann, Iver. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Carpenter, Charli, Duygulu, Sirin, Montgomery, Alexander, and Rapp, Anna. 2014. “Explaining the Advocacy Agenda.” International Organization 68(2): 449–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davis, Doug. 2008. “Science Fiction Narratives of Mass Destruction and the Politics of National Security.” In New Boundaries in Political Science Fiction, ed. Hassler, Donald and Wilcox, Clive. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.Google Scholar
Der Derian, James. 2001. Virtuous War. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Devetak, Richard. 2005. “The Gothic Scene of International Relations: Ghosts, Monsters, Terror and the Sublime after September 11.” Review of International Studies 31(4): 621–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dillon, Daniel. 2006. Technophobia! Science Fiction Visions of Post-human Technology. [city]: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
Dittmer, Jason. 2005. “Captain America’s Empire: Reflections on Identity, Popular Culture and Post-9/11 Geopolitics.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 95(3): 626–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dixit, Priya. 2012. “Relating to Difference: Aliens and Alien-ness in Dr. Who and International Relations.” International Studies Perspectives 13(3): 289306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Drezner, Daniel. 2011. Theory of International Politics and Zombies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Dyson, Stephen Benedict. 2015. Otherworldly Politics. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Denise, Garcia. 2014. “The Case against Killer Robots.” Foreign Affairs. Available online at https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2014-05-10/case-against-killer-robots Google Scholar
Denise, Garcia. 2015. “Humanitarian Security Regimes.” International Affairs 91(1): xxx–xxx.Google Scholar
Geraghty, Lincoln. 2008. “A Truly American Enterprise: Star Trek’s Post-9/11 Politics.” In New Political Boundaries in Science Fiction, ed. Hassler, Donald and Wilcox, Clyde. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.Google Scholar
Gierzynski, Anthony. 2013. Harry Potter and the Millennials: Research methods and the Politics of the Muggle Generation. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goff, 2006 – see n. 24Google Scholar
Grayson, Kyle, Davies, Matt, and Philpott, Simon. 2009. “Pop Goes IR?” Politics 29(3): 155–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hannah, Erin and Wilkinson, Rorden. 2014. “Zombies and IR: A Critical Reading.” Politics 2014. doi: 10.1111/1467-9256.12077 [supply correct information: vol., issue, pages]Google Scholar
Henne, Peter and Nexon, Daniel. 2013. “Interpret This Volume! What We’ve Learned about Battlestar Galactica’s International Relations Scholar-Fans.” In Battlestar Galactica and International Relations, ed. Kiersey, Ben and Neumann, Iver. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Holewinski, Sarah and Malinowski, Tom, 2011. “Post-Conflict Potter.” Foreign Policy. Available online at http://foreignpolicy.com/2011/08/11/post-conflict-potter/.Google Scholar
Human Rights Watch. 2012. Losing Humanity: The Case against Killer Robots. New York: Human Rights Watch.Google Scholar
Jackson, Patrick Thaddeus. 2010. The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jackson, and Nexon, 2003 – see n. 33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kiersey, Ben and Neumann, Iver, eds. 2013. “Introduction: Circulating on Board the Battlestar.” In Battlestar Galactica and International Relations. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kitchin, Rob and Kneale, James. 2001. “Science Fiction or Future Fact?” Progress in Human Geography 25(1):1935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krause, Keith, 2014. “Transnational Civil Society Activism and International Security Politics: From Landmines to Global Zero.” Global Policy 5(2): 229–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krishman, Armin. 2012. Killer Robots: Legality and Ethicality of Autonomous Weapons. London: Ashgate.Google Scholar
Lacy, Mark J. 2003. “War, Cinema, and Moral Anxiety.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 28(5): 611–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lin, Patrick, Abney, Keith, and Beckey, George, 2012. Robot Ethics. Cambridge: MIT University Press.Google Scholar
Lipschutz, Ronald. 2001. Cold War Fantasies: Film, Fiction and Foreign Policy. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
Livingston, Dennis. 1971. “Science Fiction Models of Future World Order Systems.” International Organization 25(2): 254–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Luane, Abigail and James, Patrick. 2012. The International Relations of Middle Earth. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
Masonville, Derek. 2013. “So Say Who All?” In Battlestar Galactica and International Relations, ed. Kiersey, Ben and Neumann, Iver. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
McNeal, Greg. 2013. “Fear and the Killer Robot Meme.” Forbes. Available online at http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcneal/2013/02/27/fear-and-the-killer-robots-meme/ Google Scholar
Milkoreit, Manjana. 2015. “Winter Is Coming? Game of Thrones and the Climate Change Blogosphere.” Presented at the International Studies Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, February 18–21.Google Scholar
Mizroch, Amir. 2014. “It’s Judgment Day for Killer Robots at the United Nations.” Digits: Tech News and Analysis from the Wall Street Journal. May 13. Available online at http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/05/13/its-judgment-day-for-killer-robots-at-the-united-nations.Google Scholar
Muller, Benjamin J. 2008. “Securing the Political Imagination: Popular Culture, the Security Dispositif and the Biometric State.” Security Dialogue\ 39(2–3): 199220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Neumann, Iver and Nexon, Daniel. 2006. “Harry Potter and the Study of World Politics.” In Harry Potter and International Relations. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
Nexon, and Gemmill, 2006 – see n. 24Google Scholar
Pax, Christi, 2014. Deadly Decisions: 8 Objections to Killer Robots. Netherlands: Pax Christi.Google Scholar
Peck, Michael, 2012. “Aircraft Carriers in Space.” Foreign Policy. Available online at http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/09/28/aircraft-carriers-in-space/.Google Scholar
Penley, Constance. 1997. NASA/Trek: Popular Science and Sex in American London. London: Verso.Google Scholar
Price, Richard, 1998. “Reversing the Gun Sights: Global Civil Society Targets Landmines.” International Organization 52(3): 613–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rasmussen, Mikkel Vedby. 2013. “Cylons in Baghdad: Experiencing Counter-Insurgency in Battlestar Galactica.” In Battlestar Galactica and International Relations, ed. Kiersey, Ben and Neumann, Iver. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Rockwood, Bruce, 2008. “Looking Within: Science Fiction Explores the Future of ‘Being Human.’” In, New Boundaries in Political Science Fiction, ed. Hassler, Donald and Wilcox, Clyde. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.Google Scholar
Rosenberg, Alyssa. 2011. “Realpolitik in a Fantasy World.” Foreign Policy. Available online at http://foreignpolicy.com/2011/07/18/realpolitik-in-a-fantasy-world/.Google Scholar
Ruggie, John. 1998. “What Makes the World Hang Together?” International Organization 52(4): 855–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schmitt, Michael and Thurnher, Jeffrey, 2013. “Out of the Loop: Autonomous Weapons Systems and the Law of Armed Conflict.” Harvard National Security Law Journal 4 . Available online at http://harvardnsj.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Vol-4-Schmitt-Thurnher.pdf.Google Scholar
Shawki, Noha. 2010. “Political Opportunity Structures and Transnational Campaigns.” Peace and Change 35(3): 381411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Singer, Peter. 2010. Wired for War. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
“Stop the Killer Robots before They Are Born.” 2013. Truthdig, available online at http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/stop_the_killer_robots_before_they_are_born_20130529.Google Scholar
Suvin, Darko. 2008. “Of Starship Troopers and Refuseniks.” In New Political Boundaries in Science Fiction, ed. Hassler, Donald and Wilcox, Clyde. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.Google Scholar
Tannenwald, Nina, 1999. “The Nuclear Taboo.” International Security 53(3): 433–68.Google Scholar
“Terminator or Robocop?” 2013. The Economist. Available online at http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/05/killer-robots Google Scholar
Troop, Donald, 2012. “Robots at War: Scholars Debate the Ethical Issues.” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 10. Available online at http://chronicle.com/article/article-content/134240/ Google Scholar
United States Department of Defense. 2012. Autonomy in Weapons Systems. Available online at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/300009p.pdf.Google Scholar
Wallach, Wendell and Allen, Colin. 2010. Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Watson, Scott. 2015. “Naturalization, Normalization and Contestation of the Essos/Westeros Binary.” Working paper. Presented at the International Studies Association Annual Conference, New Orleans.Google Scholar
Wareham, Mary. 2014a. “Robocop Hits the Right Messages.” Available online at http://www.stopkillerrobots.org/2014/02/robocop/ Google Scholar
Wareham, Mary. 2014b. “Science Fiction May Become Reality with Killer Robots.” Available online at http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/05/07/science-fiction-may-become-reality-killer-robots.Google Scholar
Webber, Julie. 2005. “Independence Day as a Cosmopolitan Moment.” International Studies Perspectives 6(3): 374–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weber, Cynthia. 2006. Imagining America at War: Morality, Politics and Film. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Weldes, Jutta. 2001. “Globalisation Is Science Fiction.” Millenium 30(3): 647–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weldes, Jutta. 2003. “Popular Culture, Science Fiction and World Politics.” In To Seek out New Worlds: Science Fiction and World Politics, ed. Weldes, Jutta. London: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wendt, Alexander. 2000. Social Theory of International Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Wendt, Alexander and Duvall, Raymond. 2008. “Sovereignty and the UFO.” Political Theory 36(4): 607–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Whitman, Ryan. 2012. “Is It Time to Ban Autonomous Killer Robots?” ExtremeTech, available online at http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/141155-is-it-time-to-ban-autonomous-killer-robots-before-its-too-late.Google Scholar
Wight, Colin. 2006. Agents, Structures and International Relations: Politics as Ontology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wilcox, Lauren. 2013. “Machines that Matter.” In Battlestar Galactica and International Relations, ed. Kiersey, Ben and Neumann, Iver. London: Routledge.Google Scholar