Call for Papers - Frist verlängert! (07.01.2015)

Die Frist für den CfP "Game Changers? Drones at the intersection of military and civilian use" wurde bis zum 15.01.2015 verlängert. Einreichung bitte an: Susanne Krasmann ( und Jutta Weber (

Call for Papers (21.12.2014)

Game Changer?

Drones at the intersection of military and civilian use

Drones have become popular. They are not always welcome, but the development of the technology has expanded dramatically over the last 15 years, as have the possible sites and purposes of its use. Today, drones are being deployed for military purposes and policing, and increasingly for commercial and private use.

In the context of warfare, drones are said to be a ‘game changer’ (Panetta 2012). They are praised for being precise, versatile and mobile, which supposedly qualifies them for meeting the standards of international humanitarian law as well as the requirements of effective warfare. Being uninhabited, drones are regarded as a technology of distance which contributes to sparing the lives of the soldiers of the global North and drives the increasing automation of lethal decision. Accordingly, drones have been recognized as ‘the silver bullet of democratic warfare’ (Sauer and Schoernig 2012), which also raises concerns about the emergence of new modes as well as an expansion of warfare, the global proliferation of drones and the lowering of the threshold of war entry.

In the civilian sector, drones have introduced new spaces and possibilities of action and intervention. They are being used for commercial services, for surveillance and control, while as toys, they are objects of joy and fun.

Like any technology, drones are not neutral. They take part in structuring human activities, change sociopolitical, economic and also visual practices. Drone technology can be seen as a complex, situated and heterogeneous process in which many different agents – not only institutions but also algorithms, concepts, machines, or human beings – produce meanings and norms. With the prevalent usage of drones, the temporal and spatial management, the symbolic dimension and everyday experience of warfare, policing, marketing or leisure will be reconfigured.

Drones literally provide new perspectives of the world, and they are as much contested, particularly as weapons for targeted killing operations or as flying objects threatening the integrity of private spaces, as they attract fascination.

Some authors have already hinted to the increasing entanglement of military and civilian realms – for example the entanglement of warfare, the politics of fear (Massumi 1993) and popular culture (Holert / Terkessidis 2002), of targeted killing, meta-data and ubiquitous surveillance practices (Gregory 2011, Krishnan 2012, Scahill/Greenwald 2014).

The special issue of Behemoth draws attention towards the world-making and governing capabilities of drones in the military and civilian contexts and especially at their intersections.

Contributions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives may address the following issues and questions:


1. Genealogy and historical aspects

- Drones as game changer of warfare and state-sponsored killing?

- Dis-/Continuities with imperialism and (post-)colonialism?

- Aerial perspectives throughout history

2. Technology

- Tele-operated and / or autonomous combat drones?

- Surveillance drones in military and civil space

- Dragon Stare & EuroHawk 24/7: surveillance, meta-data and drone strikes

- How does it work: on the production of targetability

- The production of visibility and the perception of hostility?

3. Intersections

- Targeted killing – normalization of the (state of) exception?

- How does the cooperation of military and intelligence agencies change the


- Drones and everyday life: towards the militarization of society?

- Drones and ‘humanitarian’ warfare

- Drones and invisible warfare

4. Culture

- Drone culture, (high-tech) masculinities and heroism

- ‘Romancing the Drone’ (Kopstein 2013): drones in popular culture

- Drone visualities in popular culture and warfare

5. Economy

- Drone technology and lobbying: actors and strategies

- Ethical concerns and economic interests – a conflict?

- The United States’, Israel’s and European politics of drones (and the related

  discourse) – differences and commonalities

6. Governing through drones

- Drone strikes as biopolitics

- Automatization of warfare and the human rights discourse

- Drones and everyday life: on visibility, privacy, and preparedness 

- Protest against the technology: arguments and forms of resistance


Contributions in English or German are welcome. Proposals (about 500 words) for articles are invited until 6 January 2015 and should be directed to the editors of the special issue: Susanne Krasmann ( and Jutta Weber (



The selection of papers will be announced by 19 January 2015.

30 June 2015: send final draft to the editors

July/August 2015: (peer) review procedure

August/September 2015: final revision of the manuscripts.

November 2015: publication of the special issue.

Mitteilung (1.2.2014)

Mit der vorliegenden Ausgabe erscheint der „Behemoth“ unter einem neuen Dach: Das Journal wird über das Open Journal System (OJS) der Universitätsbibliothek Freiburg veröffentlicht und ist unter der URL: zu finden. Dort sind auch die früheren, im Akademie-Verlag bzw. Verlag De Gruyter erschienenen Ausgaben weiterhin abrufbar.

Die Redaktion der Zeitschrift ist zum Jahreswechsel 2013/14 von Leipzig nach Freiburg gewechselt. Neue Redakteurin ist Alexandra Hees. Zu erreichen ist die Redaktion unter folgender Adresse:

Alexandra Hees
Institut für Soziologie – Universität Freiburg
Rempartstraße 15
79085 Freiburg

Der „Behemoth“ erscheint ab 2014  in Kooperation mit dem Centre for Security and Society der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Prof. Dr. Natascha Adamowsky (Medienkulturwissenschaft) und Prof. Dr. Ralf Poscher (Rechtswissenschaft) erweitern den Herausgeberkreis. Wir freuen uns auf die Zusammenarbeit.

Die Herausgeber danken der bisherigen Redakteurin Kathrin Franke für ihre Arbeit. Ohne ihr unermüdliches Engagement hätte der „Behemoth“ niemals die ersten sieben Jahre überstanden.

Die nächste Ausgabe mit dem Schwerpunktthema „Resilienz“ wird im Herbst 2014 erscheinen.