Never have so many possessed the means to be so lethal. The diffusion of modern technology (robotics, cyber weapons, 3-D printing, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence) to ordinary people has given them access to weapons of mass violence previously monopolized by the state. In recent years, states have attempted to stem the flow of such weapons to individuals and non-state groups, but their efforts are failing.
In Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow’s Terrorists
(Oxford University Press, 2019), Audrey Kurth Cronin
- Explains a fundamental shift in patterns of innovation for lethal technologies, and what it means;
- Looks at individuals and private groups, not states, as the most significant trend redefining the future;
- Presents contemporary case studies and discussion of paradigm-shifting technology from the late 19th century and mid-20th century;
- Combines history, science and technology, political science, security and terrorism studies, with a deep understanding of US and international security policy;
- Considers why certain lethal technologies spread, which ones to focus on, and how individuals and private groups might adapt the latest off-the-shelf technologies for malevolent ends; and
- Recommends a broad array of tactics and policies to contain and combat violent rogue actors worldwide.
Beth Windisch is a national security practitioner. You can tweet her @bethwindisch.