Over the last several years there has been an explosion of scholarly interest in drones, their impact on armed conflict, and the ethics of using such unmanned weaponry. While this attention and inquiry is to be welcomed, an examination of this scholarship reveals that much of it frequently gets drones wrong – focusing too much on the questionable ‘newness’ of the technology, misunderstanding or misapplying the legal principles which govern such conventional weaponry (especially proportionality) and searching for definitive answers from problematic data. This article highlights the trouble with the contemporary debate over drones and sets out a research agenda in a world of murky campaigns and imperfect information.

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International Journal of Human Rights
Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

Carvin, S.J. (2015). Getting drones wrong. International Journal of Human Rights, 19(2), 127–141. doi:10.1080/13642987.2014.991212