30. November 2018

Conflict driven technological change

Im November 2018 habe ich an der Chinesischen Universität für Politikwissenschaft und Recht in Peking unter anderem an einem Workshop zum Thema Governance und Technologischer Wandel teilgenommen und zur Frage gesprochen, wie Regierungen technologischen Wandel im militärischen Bereich ermöglichen und mit initiieren – am Beispiel des zunehmenden und massiven Einsatzes unbemannter Technologie in den letzten 20 bis 30 Jahren. Hier mein Vortragsskript, der Text wird voraussichtlich noch veröffentlicht; bei Bedarf bitte gegebenenfalls Rücksprache mit mir halten.

Conflict driven technological change (Beijing edition)

Input by Norbert Schepers at the Forum “Modern Governance and the Challenge of Rapid Technological Change”, on November 10, 2018 at the China University of Political Science and Law.
· The rapid technological development, especially digital technological change, not only changes people's lives, but also profoundly changes the operating environment of public politics, and challenges modern governance. How does the rapid change of technology change the content and form of modern governance? How should the government, in face of the challenge of technological change, deal with numerous governance issues?
· Around these problems, the School of Political Science and Public Administration (SPSPA) of China University of Political Science and Law and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (RLS) Beijing Office jointly organized an academic forum on "Modern Governance and the Challenge of Rapid Technological Change", inviting experts and scholars from different fields to conduct a dialogue on this issue.
Technological change is not necessarily a force which only pushes governments forward in a dynamic process – and with which governments struggle to keep pace with – but also one which in its beginning may be unleashed by governmental initiative and resources. So we must acknowledge that we have also to look at technological change driven by governments.

I am a political scientist and one of my interests lies in the field of the complex relationship between technological development and society, especially in conflict and warfare. Technology is of course a transformative force in our societies and at the same time the production of our technologies is driven by conflict: to say the least, research and development are more likely assigned with relevant resources if a new technology is promising to give advantage in a major conflict.

My example I want to talk about today are the Drone Wars – by which I understand the phenomena of growing and massive use of unmanned technology by the US military and their allies in the last 20 to 30 years – and about the historical and technological background of this development.