The God trick and the administration of military violence

Stef, reminds me of your drone post

geographical imaginations

JOC staring at screen 24afghan-600

Here is the abstract for my keynote at the Lancaster symposium on Security by remote control next month; it’s a development from my presentation at the AAG in Tampa, and I’ll provide more details as I develop the argument.

The God trick and the administration of military violence

Advocates have made much of the extraordinary ability of the full motion video feeds from Predators and Reapers to provide persistent surveillance (‘the all-seeing eye’), so that they become vectors of the phantasmatic desire to produce a fully transparent battlespace.  Critics – myself included – have insisted that vision is more than a biological-instrumental capacity, however, and that it is transformed into a conditional and highly selective visuality through the activation of a distinctively political and cultural technology.  Seen thus, these feeds interpellate their distant viewers to create an intimacy with ground troops while ensuring that the actions of others within the…

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About Nicholas

Associate Professor of Sociology, Environmental Studies, and Science and Technology Studies at Penn State, Nicholas mainly writes about understanding the scientific study of states and, thus, it is namely about state theory. Given his training in sociology and STS, he takes a decidedly STS-oriented approach to state theory and issues of governance.

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