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The European Union and Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems: United in Diversity?

  • Esther Barbé
  • Diego BadellEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Norm Research in International Relations book series (NOREINRE)

Abstract

This chapter focuses on norm contestation in the emerging stage by exploring the possible prohibition of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), which is advocated by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. At the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons, there is a shared agreement regarding a new organizing principle on human control. But different normative views on how human control should be regulated are leading the debate to a deadlock situation. On the one hand, the group advocating for inaction and on the other hand, the group of countries willing to ban LAWS. To avoid this, Germany and France together with the EU delegation worked on a soft law instrument. At the intra-EU level, an interinstitutional agreement between the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of the EU has agreed to do not fund LAWS within the European Defence Fund. All in all, in both international organizations deliberation as a mode of contestation was dominant and resulted in a soft contestation of the emerging norm. As a result, the EU at the international level-triggered norm followership, where its fundamental norms and values of EU foreign policy proved to be resilient, while at the intra-EU level it enhanced internal cohesiveness.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)BarcelonaSpain

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