07 Dec

The Intimacies of Remote Warfare

Organized by:Utrecht University

This seminar investigates how in the highly securitized political climate of post 9/11, the resort to ‘countering threats at a distance’ by means of remote warfare intersects with notions of (in)security, citizenship, legality and human rights. It also seeks to analyze how technological advancements are making it increasingly possible for armed actors to operate across geographical borders, challenging traditional notions of the boundaries of the battlefield.

The spectacular occurrence and mediatization of ‘the terrorist threat’ has transformed Western political debates and institutional arrangements concerning retaliation, privacy, surveillance, exception, secrecy and control. We see how an expanding conglomerate of armed actors is engaged in forms of remote warfare by means of (coalition) air strikes, surveillance programs, training operations, targeted killings and manhunts, often outside conventional war zones in the Middle East and Africa.

This seminar aims to address a lack of evidence on the production, dynamics and impacts of remote warfare. The shadowy nature of remote warfare, and the mobility of its materials, practices and bodies seriously constraints independent research. It is particularly hard to assess local repercussions and trace lines of responsibility and legal accountability. An exchange of ideas, evidence and data-gathering strategies is therefore of key importance.

The Remote Warfare seminar will shed light on the dynamics of the instrumental role law can play in the context of contemporary military operations, but also will examine the histories and ‘intimacies’ of remote warfare as experienced by those actively engaged in, and targeted by remote military intervention. With this in mind, we explore the following questions and topics:

  • Analytical Vocabularies
  • Ethnographies of remote warfare
  • Histories of remote warfare
  • Business of remote warfare
  • Remote warfare and blowback
  • Lawfare
  • Investigating remote warfare

The full program and more information can be found here. 


Registration is manditory and seats are limited. When registering, please indicate which days you wish to attend. Please send an email to ConflictStudies.GW@uu.nl 

This event has been funded through the Platform’s Knowledge Management Fund, a mechanism that supports events, research ideas and other initiatives that contribute to improving the quality of knowledge generated by the Security & Rule of Law field, and its subsequent uptake. 

Raadzaal, Utrecht
Raadzaal, Achter Sint Pieter 200 3512 HT Utrecht Netherlands
Register here