Non-Lethal Weapons as Legitimizing Forces? Technology, Politics, and the Management of Conflict


Whether in international military interventions or routine policing activities the use of force raises a host of questions about appropriateness, necessity and proportionality. Recent attention has focused on the possibility of so-called 'non-lethal' weapons to provide greater legitimacy to the use of force by minimizing injury. Acoustic weapons that shatter windows and cause internal damage, electromagnetic pulse beams designed to knock individuals down and cause seizures, and chemical agents that act as calmatives are all envisioned. Provides an empirically rich and conceptually informed study which describes the current 'state of the art' weapons and focuses on their justifications through a highly novel combination of insights from security and peace studies, criminology, and science and technology studies. Will be of interest to anyone concerned about past and future development of force and the operation of risky technologies.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • London
Publication year:
  • 2003


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