Sandvik and Jumbert on humanitarian drones

Contributing to the Summer 2015 Special Issue of the journal La Revue internationale et stratégique (RIS), entitled Devenirs humanitaires [Humanitarian Futures], NCHS’ Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (PRIO) and Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert (PRIO) explore the humanitarian functions of drones by asking what drones can do for humanitarianism and what kind of work humanitarianism is doing for drones. In the peer-reviewed journal article Les drones humanitaires [Humanitarian drones] the authors highlight:

The literature engaging with the “humanitarian” as a frame shows that it is both a strategic label, as far as it comes with connotations of altruism, of doing “good” and of contributing to a better world, and a qualifier that can be filled with a range of different contents. We argue here that these multiple promises of doing “good” that come with the “humanitarian drone” are part of a broader tech-optimism trend, presenting new technologies as the solution to virtually any crisis or technical response problem. In this article we propose to unpack these promises to better understand their rationales and the purposes they serve. Aware that the “humanitarian drone” may mean a lot of different things according to the context or the actors who employ the term, how and why do different actors create and promote specific notions of “humanitarian drones”, and what do they aim to achieve.

The journal is published by the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS), which is one of the main independent European Think Tanks on geopolitical and strategic issues.

The article (in French), ‘Les drones humanitaires [Humanitarian drones]’, is available here

The article summary (in English) is available here.