How are new technologies impacting the conduct of war? And what will be the impact more broadly on our societies and, in particular, our understandings of time, space, and self.
“Military revolutions” refer to major changes in the technologies required for prosecuting wars, which in turn fundamentally alter the organization and functioning of human societies. This phenomenon has been observed for the Napoleonic wars, the industrial age, and the nuclear age. The 4th industrial revolution (4IR), characterized by the fusion of the digital, biological, and physical worlds through technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, genetic engineering and quantum computing (among others), is already profoundly changing the conduct of war (warfare). Yet, it also has the potential to simultaneously alter our perceptions of time (hyper-velocity weapons, speeding up of warfare), of space (militarization of new domains such as cyber and extra-atmospheric space), and of self (transformed human bodies through “augmented soldiers”, robotization of the battlefield). Combined, 4IR military technologies may trigger a new “military revolution” with far-reaching consequences not only for warfare but also for the politics, self-understanding and functioning of human societies. This talk will discuss how 4IR technologies may transform our understanding of war and affect our societies.
Dr Schmitt is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the Center for War Studies, University of Southern Denmark. He also currently serves as Vice-president and Scientific Director of the French Association for War and Strategic Studies (AEGES).Before joining CWS in 2015, he obtained his PhD from the department of War Studies, King’s College London, and was a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Montreal Center for International Studies (CÉRIUM). He holds MA degrees from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva) and Sciences Po Aix. A reserve officer in the French navy, De Schmitt has policy experience at the French MoD and NATO. He also worked for two think-tanks: the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). He conducts research in two broad fields. First, he is interested in security and strategic studies, in particular multilateral military cooperation, comparative defence policies, arms control, military transformation and the changing character of warfare. Second, he looks at the role of ideas and norms in world politics, with research on strategic narratives, influence and propaganda, but also far-right ideologies. His current research project, entitled “Transforming Armed Forces in the 21st Century“, is founded by the Carlsberg Foundation (“Distinguished Associate Professor Fellowship“), the Independent Research Fund Denmark (“Research Project 1“) and the Gerda Henkel Foundation (special programme “Security, Society and the State“).