Drone Warfare and the Emergence of Spaces of Exception

  • Andreas BehnkeEmail author


This chapter investigates the role the material practices of ‘drone warfare’ play in the emergence of an exceptional geopolitical space that transcends the distinction between the domestic and the international realm and which therefore has significant consequences for the laws and practices of war. In this space of ‘global borderlands,’ sovereignty defines its own parameters in the exercise of its (military) violence against ‘terrorists’ and other abject non-state actors, hostile to Western hegemony. Rather than adhering to territorial limits imposed by traditional conceptions of sovereignty, drone warfare enables this ‘meta-sovereignty’ to define its own exceptional space to surveille and patrol, and the foes it seeks to eliminate in it. Focusing on the legal and political debates and arguments about drones by recent US administrations, this chapter will examine the temporal, spatial and ethical changes entailed in drone warfare that establish this exceptional space in which the political and the legal interact in new and problematic ways.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ReadingReadingUK

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