Governing the Future: Risk, Armed Drones and State of Exception

Anders Høgh Andersen, Caroline Elmquist-Clausen, Mikkel Steen Dahlgaard & Patrick Schack

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This project examines how drones has been the technological manifestation of political risk-management in the War on Terror and how the armed drones illustrate a perpetual state of exception as understood by the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben. Using the theoretical framework of Ulrich Beck’s Worlds Risk Society, we examine the American presidential rhetorics of terror threats and the drone policy applied in the War on Terror and how terrorism is staged as a imagined future catastrophe. On this background we examine how a dispositif of precautionary risk has manifested as the armed drone in terms of an assemblage of discourse and technology. This implies the rationalities of zero risk, reversing the burden of proof and worst case scenario which the drones exemplifies in the War on Terror. On this we analyse the three aspects of body, technology and space in context of our chosen theoretical perspective. In the body segment we look at the political bodification of the targets of drone strikes. The technology aspect in turn looks at the evolving technology of drones, and how that technology is used in a risk society setting. The last segment dealing with space, looks at the theoretical aspect of state of exception as expressed by Agamben in relation to the political decisions preceding drone strikes. Our research shows that there is a certain procedure of bodification and dehumanization occurring through a political process of risk management. This procedure is carried out in certain spaces of exception, both imaginative and physical, with armed drones serving as the embodiment of risk management.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato12 jan. 2015


  • Amoore
  • state of exception
  • Terrorism
  • Obama
  • Risk
  • Drone
  • technology
  • World Risk Society
  • body
  • George Orwell
  • War on Terror
  • Armed drones
  • 1984
  • Beck
  • dystopia
  • janus
  • future
  • spaces
  • Agamben
  • de Goede