From Uniforms to Monitors: Persuasive design and targeting in international law

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


US counterinsurgency, thanks to geographically unbounded reach of drones, is characterized by extending wartime violence from battlefield to the monitor. In this article, we claim that the significance of the ‘new technologies’ of looking and targeting lies in their capacity to negotiate laws of war into the material world, thus determining the legitimacy of their expansive violence. Such negotiations operate through a series of visual and design practices that produce and maintain a space of persuasion. Combining legal studies with design studies we examine the military uniform as law’s original visual marker mediating these spaces of persuasion between the parties involved. Once abandoned in insurgencies, other technologies of looking, drones in particular, emerge to provide the persuasiveness otherwise was provided by military uniform. Consequently, we conclude that the critical function of drone beyond its technological complexity is in its ability to maintain the continuity of this persuasive space of violence.


External organisations
  • Uppsala University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law and Society
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2018 Jun 7
Publication categoryResearch
EventLaw and Society association - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 2018 Jun 72018 Jun 10


ConferenceLaw and Society association