Jan 2018 – Dec 2020
Debates within research on the topic of armed drones often unfold within closed and self-reinforcing academic circles. This often leads to replicated arguments and dynamics of intradisciplinary, and to absence of communication between different strands of knowledge in the field.
TRANSAD aims at addressing this caveat by bringing together a diversified group of experts that work on the proliferation and usage of armed drones. The aim is to create a stable and long-term oriented transnational academic network for the study of drones in order to advance the study of this technology and to communicate its findings to the broader society outside academia. As the project develped, we have broaden the scope of our inquiry to encompass not only armed drones, but also civilian drones and other dual-use technologies, always from a security perspective.
The objectives of the network are threefold: firstly, to map the state-of-the-art and to identify the main current and future trends on the academic research on the topic; secondly, to bring together different specialists from fields to enable mutual knowledge exchange and fruitful cross-sectoral learning; and thirdly, to disseminate the academic debates to a wider audience and will allow and engagement with policy makers, NGOs, journalists and other interested members of the civil society.
One of the understudied aspects with in drone research is drone use and proliferation in Africa. TRANSAD aims to enhance the knowledge on this topic and it gathered experts for the first TRANSAD workshop "Drone proliferation and Use in Africa" that took place at PRIO, 30.-31. August 2018. The second workshop took place at the University of Bath on 23-24 May 2019 on the topic "Technology, Security and Warfare". The third workshop dealt with "Emerging Technologies and International Security in the Mediterranean Region" and took place in Barcelona in 21-22 November 2019.
The project is conducted in partnership with the Centre for War & Technology at the University of Bath and with funding from Open Society Foundations' Human Rights Initiative.
The members of the project's Core Network are:
Chantal Lavallée, Royal Military College Saint-Jean
Kristin B. Sandvik, Univ. of Oslo and PRIO
Wali Aslam, University of Bath
Jessica Dorsey, University of Amsterdam
André Barrinha, University of Bath
Arthur Holland Michel, Centre for the Study of the Drone, Bard College
Bruno Oliveira Martins, PRIO
Nicholas Marsh, PRIO
Bruno Oliveira Martins was interviewed by CNN for a news video focusing on the use of drones during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video report illustrates the different uses of drones, from humanitarian relief to surveillance, and it showcases both the potential of drone technology and the problems associated with it.
The Norwegian Ministry of Defense has awarded funding to the project proposal 'Counter-Drone Systems: Implications for Norway in an EU and NATO Context'. PRIO Senior Researcher Bruno Oliveira Martins will head the project. Arthur Holland Michel from the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College will also contribute.
The need for counter-drone systems has become apparent with a recent rash of incidents at airports, where a simple drone can shut down the entire facility. But the implications for greater threats, such as terrorism and warfare, are even more pressing.
PRIO Research Professor Kristin Bergtora Sandvik attended Digital Kontrovers in Berlin last week. The regular lecture series is put on by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. Sandvik spoke on the topic of drone technology in Africa, which she has researched extensively.
PRIO Senior researcher Bruno Oliveira Martins has been awarded a grant from the Open Society Foundations to lead the project TRANSAD – Transnational Academic Network for the Study of Armed Drones.
Journal Article in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Popular Article in Global Policy
Book Chapter in Emerging Security Technologies and EU Governance: Actors, Practices and Processes
Popular Article in Open Democracy
PRIO Policy Brief
Journal Article in Journal of Common Market Studies
PRIO Policy Brief
Journal Article in Global Affairs
Journal Article in Latin American Law Review