Unravelling Organisational Power Dynamics: Towards a Theory of Accountability for Crimes Triggered by Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems

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Abstract

The advent of lethal autonomous weapon systems creates a necessity for developing a framework to hold individuals involved in designing, manufacturing and procuring these technologies accountable when such systems perform in an unintended manner and trigger an international crime as a result. The article develops a test for attribution to hold accountable non-state actors, ranging from a corporation’s employees to members of terrorist groups, who are involved in designing and manufacturing lethal autonomous weapon systems. Additionally, it proposes a test for locating accountability with procurement officials and operators. In order to develop an accountability framework for the robotic context, the lens of power is utilised to examine the nature of the interface between the government procurement officials, individuals working for an organization involved in designing the lethal autonomous weapon system, the operator and the lethal autonomous weapon system. Subsequently, theories about the mechanism through which power is exercised are applied to understand the nature of the interactions between individuals involved in designing and manufacturing a lethal autonomous weapon system. The article draws on the fields of management theory, philosophy and anthropology to map the complexity of power dynamics present within organizations/groups as well as between organizations/groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-61
Number of pages59
JournalLoyola University Chicago International Law Review
Volume15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Crime
Accountability
Manufacturing
Operator
Procurement
Anthropology
Employees
Management theory
Robotics
Attribution
Non-state actors
Trigger
Government procurement
Interaction

Keywords

  • accountability, lethal autonomous weapons systems, international criminal law

Cite this

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