Perceptions and Politics in a World of Drones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


With an increasing number of states employing Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, there is a need to conduct a comprehensive evaluation
of the efficacy of this technology. Western politicians often praise drones for both their accuracy and precision. They may indeed be both of these, but their use also has significant, far-reaching consequences for the societies where they are
deployed. This paper makes the case for adopting a more comprehensive approach that will keep in mind the politics surrounding the use of drones and in particular how they are perceived by the communities at the receiving-end. There is a need to look beyond the narratives of precision, accuracy and lack of risk. We also need to be vigilant to ask our politicians why they decide to use the drones in a given situation. Finally, we should also be cognisant of the broader – at times negative – consequences of their use for the host communities, for the rule of law and for democracy at home.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-21
Number of pages12
JournalNação e Defesa (Journal of the Portugese National Defence Institute)
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


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