Persuasive Design and Targeting of insurgents in International Law
Summary, in English
Combining design studies and legal studies, we argue that war is ontologically a material and legal practice. Not because victory is achieved by legitimately destroying enemy’s material sources of power, but because wartime targeting is legitimised through certain material and visual practices that expands the authority and legitimacy to violence. We understand these practices as persuasive design. The primary site of persuasive design in war, and law, is the military uniform. From design’s perspective, a uniform is not an instrument but an interface, mediating a space between parties involved. It determines modes of action and meaning. This means that military uniform as a specific interface generates certain practices of looking that distinguishes legitimate targets of violence - i.e. combatants - from the illegitimate ones - i.e. civilians. When military uniform is abandoned in insurgencies, other technologies of looking, drones in particular, emerge primarily to provide the persuasiveness that once was provided by military uniform. Lastly we conclude that if the uniform as an interface persuaded limited possibilities of killing, the new interface; the screen provides unlimited possibilities as it moves to digitalised ways of looking.
- Department of Sociology of Law
Conference paper: abstract
- Law and Society
European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts 2016
2016-06-14 - 2016-06-17