Forschung zu humanitären Angelegenheiten: Normative Fragen, Forschungslücken und methodologische Herausforderungen

[Photo: Dmitri Popov/unsplash]

In seinem neuen Blogbeitrag analysiert Sassan Gholiagha den Stellenwert von humanitären Angelegenheiten (humanitarian affairs) in den internationalen Beziehungen. Im Detail geht er drei Fragen nach: Welchen Stellenwert haben normative Erwägungen in der Forschung zu humanitären Angelegenheiten, und wie können Wissenschaftler*innen ihre eigene Position innerhalb dieser kritisch reflektieren; trotz Platz – und Zeitbeschränkungen?

Welche Forschungslücken existieren gegenwärtig? Hier spricht sich Gholiagha für eine (Rück-) Besinnung auf feministische und konstruktivistische Ansätze aus, die Individuen und ihre soziale Konstruktion durch bestimmte Diskurse in den Blick nehmen.

Und letztlich: welche methodischen Herangehensweisen sind geeignet, um der Vielfalt menschlicher Erfahrungen in den IB gerecht zu werden? Während nach Ansicht des Autors quantitative und qualitative Methoden gleichermaßen ihre Berechtigung haben, liefert er dennoch Gründe dafür, warum zu Datenpunkten zusammengefasste Einzelakteure ihrer Stimme kaum Gehör verschaffen können.

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Researching Humanitarian Affairs: Normative Issues, Research Gaps, and Methodological Challenges

[Photo: Dmitri Popov/unsplash]

The study of humanitarian affairs – defined as international politics and policies that deal with the limitation of human suffering in situations of crisis and war – should be the core issue for many scholars of International Relations. In this blog post, I deal with three central themes relevant for studying humanitarian affairs: 1) issues and challenges, 2) research gaps, and 3) methodological challenges. In doing so, I am hoping to facilitate a larger debate about how we, as scholars of IR, can and should study humanitarian affairs. I will then conclude with some normative considerations on the relationship between International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law in the context of humanitarian affairs.

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The Rise of Killer Robots: Should machines be allowed to kill us?

© 2015 Russell Christian for Human Rights Watch

For the past four years, diplomats, academic experts, and NGO representatives have come together for a number of meetings in Geneva to discuss regulating the so-called Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. While drones have become a normal part of military operations, LAWS, or as those critical of them like to call them, killer robots, are still in a stage of early development. What makes them special is that they are capable of navigating through air space searching for potential targets, and once they have found them, they can use their weapons to select them and fire on them, all on their own. Put bluntly, these are machines that – once deployed – can kill humans on their own without human interference. While the use of drones – especially in so-called targeted killing operations – already raise a myriad of legal, ethical, and technical questions (which I discuss in some more detail here), LAWS add an additional layer of complexity, leading to three problems when it comes to granting them the agency to kill: the laws of war and the issue of emotions, responsibility, and de-humanization.

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