Austin Choi-FitzpatrickAug 14, 2020
The Good Drone
How Social Movements Democratize Surveillance
MIT Press 2020
The Good Drone: How Social Movements Democratize Surveillance (MIT Press), by Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, demonstrates that this technology – which is mostly associated with covert surveillance and remote warfare – has also served as a vital tool for activists, social movements, and defenders of human rights to effect pro-social campaigns.
Through stories of exemplar initiatives and analyses of thousands of civil uses of drones, Choi-Fitzpatrick argues that scholars and others interested in the implications of emergent technologies for democracy need to look beyond the networks of social media and consider as well the material devises that populate our world.
Despite the risks and the nefarious (and obnoxious) applications of drones, these machines also have the capacity to “democratize surveillance,” putting a preeminent tool of statecraft in the hands of civil society. By tracing such uses, The Good Drone is an inspiring call for creativity, experimentation, and optimism regarding the humanitarian possibilities of emerging material technologies.
Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick is Associate Professor of Political Sociology at the Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego and concurrent Rights Lab Associate Professor of Social Movements and Human Rights at the University of Nottingham's School of Sociology and Social Policy.
Lance C. Thurner teaches history at Rutgers Newark. His research and writing address the production of knowledge, political subjectivities, and racial and national identities in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Mexico. He is broadly interested in the pedagogical applications of the digital humanities and the methods and politics of applying a global perspective to the history of science and medicine. More at http://empiresprogeny.org.