looks interesting june 20

I am attempting to keep track of all the articles I come across that look interesting, that I’ll probably never read, but might read more of them if I keep track of them.

Accountability, denial and the future-proofing of British torture

By Ruth Blakeley and Sam Raphael in International Affairs

the British government’s response to torturous practices in Northern Ireland, at least on the face of it, seemed to suggest that lessons on the inefficacy and counterproductivity of torture from Britain’s post-colonial period had been learned. However, both the extent of UK collusion in torture in the ‘war on terror’ and systematic attempts to deny accountability leave us questioning how deeply this learning has gone. There is little evidence of cultural transformation: mistaken beliefs about torture’s supposed efficacy stubbornly persist within the intelligence services and, as statements from several government ministers show, among political leaders as well.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ia/iiaa017

Spin-on: How the US Can Meet China’s Technological Challenge

By David C. Gompert in Survival

the United States’ ability to compete with China depends on spin-on – in effect, a private–public strategy. However, given China’s technological and military challenge, spin-on is no longer merely desirable: it is essential. It would be a costly mistake to assume that Adam Smith’s invisible hand will eventually drive spin-on sufficiently to deliver US success against China…

Facilitating spin-on of AI, quantum computing and other key technologies will require five measures: continuous top-down engagement; conducive acquisition procedures; alignment with high-tech business models, expected returns and cultures; protection of intellectual property; and productive roles for LSIs – or else bypassing them.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00396338.2020.1763617

War in the Grey Zone: Historical Reflections and Contemporary Implications

By Geraint Hughes in Survival

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00396338.2020.1763618

Civil–Military Patents and Technological Knowledge Flows Into the Leading Defense Firms

By Manuel Acosta et al in Armed Forces & Society

Analysis of large dataset of patent applications and patent citations to examine inward and outward exchanges of knowledge between military and civilian spheres.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0095327X18823823

Norms Are What Machines Make of Them: Autonomous Weapons Systems and the Normative Implications of Human-Machine Interactions

By Hendrik Huelss in International Political Sociology

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ips/olz023

On the concept of international disorder

By Aaron McKeil in International Relations

greater attention to international disorder reveals its deeply historical character, where ordering institutions are shaped by the experience of disorder. This suggests, furthermore, that the study of international order has focused perhaps too narrowly on the role of hegemons and ordering powers, and can benefit from a closer study of the way the experience of disorder transforms the kinds of orders that people believe are valid and those that they strive to develop.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0047117820922289

Why we should see international law as a structure: Unpicking international law’s ontology and agency

By Adriana Sinclair in International Relations

Seeing international law as a structure enables us to see how it locates actors within a social hierarchy and how it behaves in similar ways to recognised structures like capitalism and racism.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0047117820916223

Grist to the mill of subversion: strikes and coups in counterinsurgencies

By Christian Gläßel, Belén González, and Adam Scharpf in European Journal of International Relations

strikes increase wartime coup risk, whereas demonstrations, riots, and guerrilla attacks do not. The findings highlight the backfiring potential of nonviolent resistance with important implications for post-coup political orders and democratization prospects.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1354066120923028

How (not) to stop the killer robots: A comparative analysis of humanitarian disarmament campaign strategies

By Elvira Rosert and Frank Sauer in Contemporary Security Policy

we set out to answer how an international, legally binding regulation of LAWS can be brought about. Humanitarian advocacy campaigns wield significant influence in general; the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots does so in particular. We thus focused on its strategy in engaging the international community at the CCW in Geneva, the epicenter of the debate surrounding a possible regulation of LAWS.

We found the campaign’s strategy to be less than optimal…

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13523260.2020.1771508

Mapping coercive institutions: The State Security Forces dataset, 1960–2010

By Erica De Bruin in Journal of Peace Research

Big new dataset on state security forces relevant to coup-proofing etc.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0022343320913089

War without contact: Berenhorst, Bülow, and the avoidance of violence as the core paradigm of military science

By Arthur Kuhle in War in History

Georg Heinrich von Berenhorst and Dietrich von Bülow were perhaps the most inspirational war theorists of the late eighteenth century. Following Berenhorst, Bülow developed a theory that interpreted war as a dynamic system without physical contact, prompting Carl von Clausewitz to write a crushing critique that up to the present day obfuscates Bülow’s ideas. However, Clausewitz’s critique is based on a fundamental misconception, which illustrates how this decisive swerve in war theory continues to be neglected. This article demonstrates how Berenhorst and Bülow strived for introducing Newtonian standards to human behaviour for a pacifist theory of war.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0968344519882729

Gun Control and National Defence in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Denmark

By Gunner Lind in War in History

Light firearms were a challenge for governments during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They not only were necessary in war but also posed a risk of poaching, crimes, and rebellion. Early modern gun control is often seen through the lens of social and political factors. This article highlights how the needs of war could constrain the desire to control. In the Danish case, military need completely reversed a trend towards less demand for popular armament and more restrictions on the guns of ‘common men’. This happened despite the existence of a large regular army and despite an aristocratic political system.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0968344519896814