A new volume, The Good Drone, has just been published with Routledge, edited by Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (Associate Professor at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law at the University of Oslo and Research Professor at PRIO) and Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert (Director, Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies and Senior Researcher at PRIO).
In addition to contributions by Sandvik and Jumbert, it includes chapters by Susanne Krasmann (University of Hamburg); John Karlsrud (NUPI) and Fredrik Rosén (Danish Institute for International Studies); Kristoffer Lidén (PRIO); Brad Bolman (Harvard University); Serge Wich (Liverpool John Moores University), Lian Pin Koh (University of Adelaide) and Lorna Scott (freelancer); and Mareile Kaufmann (UiO/PRIO).
While the military use of drones has been the subject of much scrutiny, the use of drones for humanitarian purposes has so far received little attention. This innovative new volume aims to explore that gap. It argues that the commercial and military prospects of using drones for humanitarian and other life-saving activities has produced an alternative discourse on drones, one dedicated to developing and publicizing the endless possibilities that drones have for “doing good”. Furthermore, it is suggested that the “Good Drone” narrative has been appropriated back into the drone warfare discourse as a strategy to make war “more human”.
This volume explores the role of the “Good Drone” as an organizing narrative for political projects, humanitarian action and development. Its essential contribution to the debate is to take stock of the multiple logics and rationales which identify drones as “good”, while initiating a critical conversation about the political currency of “good”. The many possibilities for the use of drones are recognized and taken seriously by the contributors to this volume through their critical examination of the difference that the functionalities of drones can make, but also what difference the presence of drones themselves – as unmarked flying objects – makes. The implications for the drone industry, user communities, and the areas of crisis where drones are deployed are discussed and analyzed.