Emerging Threats: Invisible Threats

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Technology is progressing at record speed to produce insect-size robots (“spiders”) with lethal capabilities, potentially on a mass scale. Ultimately, spiders will enable individuals to harm other individuals from great distances and with little accountability, making people everywhere simultaneously vulnerable and threatening to others. This essay considers the possible effects of spiders on the incidence of violence, both political and interpersonal, and how this violence breaks down the traditional categories on which we rely for regulation (domestic/international, citizen/alien, war/crime). Finally, it explores how our conceptions of sovereignty, international relations, and the domestic social contract between citizens and governments must adapt to this new threat.