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  • Cited by 5
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
May 2023
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Book description

Through an analysis of the use of drones, Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi explores the ways in which, in the context of counterterrorism, war, technology and the law interact and reshape one another. She demonstrates that drone programs are techno-legal machineries that facilitate and accelerate the emergence of a new kind of warfare. This new model of warfare is individualized and de-materialized in the sense that it focuses on threat anticipation and thus consists in identifying dangerous figures (individualized warfare) rather than responding to acts of hostilities (material warfare). Revolving around threat anticipation, drone wars endure over an extensive timeframe and geographical area, to the extent that the use of drones may even be seen, as appears to be the case for the United States, as part of the normal functioning of the state, with profound consequences for the international legal order.


‘In this breathtaking and sophisticated book, Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi demonstrates how law helped institutionalize and normalize the coming of armed drones, with fateful consequences for the extension in time and expansion in space of war. Her damning revelation of the ways that law made possible the ubiquity of a new and more individualized form of violence places US program within a transnational survey, highlighting how practice and technology have in turn transformed law in the process.'

Samuel Moyn - Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and History, Yale University, author of Humane (2021)

‘Twenty-one years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, one might reasonably ask, ‘do we need another book on armed drones?'. The originality and insight yielded by the analysis and research found in this book answers the question: Yes, we need this one.'

Nehal Bhuta - Professor of Public International Law, University of Edinburgh

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