Published: March 8, 2016

Ian Shaw, Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Glasgow, will speak on the "The contested geopolitics of US drone warfare" on March 11, 2016 in Guggenheim 205. He is the writer of the forthcoming book Predator Empire: Drone Warfare and Full Spectrum Dominance (University of Minnesota Press 2016).

Abstract of the talk: This paper argues that drone warfare is transforming the security logics of U.S. geopolitics. Crucial to this argument is the idea that technologies like drones can bend, distort, and fold their surrounding environment, producing hybrid “technogeographies” that lock uneven power relations into the planet. While geopolitics may have long foregrounded the geographical dimensions of state power, its focus has been on the physical features of the planet. A more-than-human geopolitics, conversely, studies the power of objects to intervene in international relations. Using this framework, the paper argues that American empire has been transforming during the war on terror, from a labor-intensive and topographic empire, to a machine-intensive and topological system of domination--what it labels a Predator Empire. It concludes by arguing how this modern empire targets the worldliness of the world: mediating its spatial composition, phenomenology, and psychogeographies. Accordingly, we must consider the military drone not only as a weapon, but as a geopolitical actor that polices the atmospheres of human coexistence.

This talk is sponsored by Project Society, IRISS, CU Grand Challenge.