Call: Technoethics and New Military Technologies – Special issue of International Journal of Technoethics

Editor-in-Chief: Rocci Luppicini, University of Ottawa, Canada
Published: Quarterly (both in Print and Electronic form)

Special Issue on Technoethics and New Military Technologies
Submission deadline: August 1, 2013
Guest Editor: Marcus Schulzke, State University of New York at Albany

New military technologies are transforming warfare, allowing wars to be fought at longer distances, with greater asymmetries of risk, and at higher speeds than ever before. Some of these technologies seem to mark radical new directions in the way wars are fought by upsetting traditional military roles and introducing entirely new domains of conflict. Emerging technologies of war create many pressing ethical challenges, which call for a serious examination of these technologies and a reexamination of existing standards for determining the justice and morality during war.

Many of the ethical challenges associated with new military technologies arise from how these technologies are designed. Some devices or techniques may seem to be intrinsically unethical or intrinsically better suited to waging just wars. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other remote weapons allow their operators to carry out attacks from thousands of miles away, raising the question of whether these machines are essentially unjust or whether their power to carry out discriminate attacks makes their use ethically obligatory. Nonlethal weapons, cyberweapons, and nanoweapons likewise create new problems for determining what weapons can have an ethical use in war. Other challenges arise from how new military technologies are employed. Technological asymmetries that give some militaries substantial advantages over less developed opponents raise questions about fairness between combatants and whether risk asymmetry can be so extreme that it hinders ethical conduct. The use of advanced weaponry complicates ongoing debates about just war theory and military ethics, such as the debate over the morality of targeted killing, by changing the way attacks are carried out. Finally, new military technologies test the adequacy of the moral and legal concepts that are used to make normative sense of war. For example, new technologies and the techniques associate with their use strain conventional standards of determining combatant and noncombatant status by leading military personnel and civilians to play novel roles.

This special issue of the International Journal of Technoethics on “Technoethics and New Military Technologies” aims at exploring the many ethical issues surrounding the design and use of the many new technologies used to wage wars. Topics may include, but are not limited to, ethical issues relating to:

  • Unmanned weapon systems/drones
  • Remote weapons
  • Technological asymmetries during war
  • Cyberweapons
  • Military nanotechnology
  • Electronic surveillance
  • Nonlethal weapons
  • Semi-autonomous and autonomous military robots
  • Military communications systems
  • Digital targeting systems
  • Techniques of employing new technologies
  • Targeted killing using drones and other remote weapons
  • Civil-military cooperation in developing weapons
  • Reassessing the just war tradition in light of technological developments

Submitting to the International Journal of Technoethics:

Prospective authors should note that only original and previously unpublished articles will be considered. Interested authors must consult the journal’s guidelines for manuscript submissions prior to submission ( All article submissions will be forwarded to at least 2 reviewers. Final decisions regarding acceptance/revision/rejection will be based on the reviews received from the reviewers. Each research paper should be between 5,500 to 8,000 words in length. The submission deadline is August 1, 2013.

All inquiries and submissions should be directed to:

Marcus Schulzke
Project on Violent Conflict
Department of Political Science
State University of New York at Albany


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