Between rhetoric and practice: technological efficiency and defence cooperation in the European drone sector
Csernatoni, Raluca (2019) Between rhetoric and practice: technological efficiency and defence cooperation in the European drone sector. Critical Military Studies, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/23337486.2019.1585652.
This article examines the European Union (EU)’s recent impetus to enhance military capacity building by funding the research and development of new and emerging technologies such as dual-use drones. A proactive agenda can be identified at the EU level to invest in and bolster the creation of modular and high-end capabilities for security and defence. In this regard, the article argues that there is an undeniable technologization and militarization trend to capitalize on civil innovation in the case of competitive dual-use drone technologies. Nevertheless, there is a puzzling element in the fast promotion of watershed developments in the case of complex and increasingly automated weaponry and what the research identifies as the ‘double-efficiency’ framing of civil–military drones as both highly proficient and cost-effective capabilities. What drives the normalization of dual-use drones as preferential technologies for internal and external security purposes in the EU? By drawing on critical technology theory and security studies scholarship, the article explores the ‘double-efficiency’ framing of dual-use drones and the technological expertise behind discursive strategies reinforcing the importance of European defence cooperation in the drone sector.