Dr Elke Schwarz

Lecturer in International Politics

Office: Attenborough Tower 905

Office Hour (Semester 2 2017/18): Mondays 12- 1pm and additional office hours on Wednesdays by appointment only.

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2708

Email: es304@le.ac.uk

Personal details

  • BBA (Belmont University, USA)
  • MA (King’s College London)
  • PhD (LSE)


  • Twitter: @elkeschwarz


  • PL3141 Technology, Politics, War
  • PL2022 Foreign Policy Analysis
  • PL7095 Human Rights, Ethics and Intervention In Action
  • Campus-based Postgraduate Programmes Director 

I have also taught

  • international relations theory
  • international security
  • international organisations and theories of rights and justice
  • ethics of war


  • (2018) Death machines: The ethics of violent technologies. Manchester University Press (forthcoming)
  • (2018) 'Technology and moral vacuums in just war theorising', Journal of International Political Theory (forthcoming)
  • (2017) 'Hybridity and Humility: What of the Human in Posthuman Security?' in Reflections on the Posthuman in International Relations, E-IR
  • (2017) 'Pursuing Peace: The strategic limits of drone warfare'. An INS special forum: intelligence and drones. Intelligence and National Security 32(4): 422-425.
  • (2016) 'Prescription drones: On the techno-biopolitical regime of contemporary ethical killing'. Security Dialogue, 47(1): 59-75.
  • (2016) 'All Means no End? Economies of Life Management', Special Forum on P. Owens' Economy of Force. The Disorder of Things. 7 January 2016
  • (2015) (ed) Zwijnenburg, Wim and van Hoorn, Katja, ‘Unmanned and Uncontrolled: Proliferation of unmanned systems and the need for improved arms export controls, PAX NL.
  • (2015) Ethical Encounters – Taming of the Infinite: Applying Ethics for Political Violence - A Brief Critique. The Disorder of Things, 27 April 2015
  • (2015) Embracing Indecision: Free Improvisation and Ethics as Action. The Disorder of Things, 7 April 2015.
  • (2014) @hannah_arendt: An Arendtian critique of online social networks. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 43(1): 165-86.



My research focuses on ethics and unmanned and autonomous military technologies.

I am particularly interested in the types of ethics these technologies produce, and how they shape the character and politics of contemporary warfare.

I am also researching discourses of trans- and post-humanism in relation to contemporary technology more generally.

Current research

My current research explores the relationship between military ethics and Artificial Intelligence in weapons systems. This project is funded by a British Academy / Leverhulme Small Grant.

My other projects comprise three interlinked strands:

The first strand explores the ethical, legal and political debates on the use of UAVs and lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS) and the politics that follow on from that, with a specific view to EU policy.

The second aspect contributes to developing explorations of the shifting nature of warfare today, focusing on just war traditions and conceptions of the ethics of war.

The third aspect of my research draws on an interdisciplinary and philosophical approach to engage with the shaping of technologically conditioned human subjectivities and the role of the human in technologised warfare.

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Contact Details

School of Politics and International Relations

University of Leicester
University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2702
Email: HyPIR@le.ac.uk


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College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Masters Excellence Scholarships

The Masters Excellence Studentships are available to new UK/EU applicants registering for a full- or part-time, campus-based Masters degree in our College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities starting in the 2017-18 academic year. Four nine-month Masters Excellence studentships are available, each providing a full fee waiver. The deadline for applications is 9 June 2017.

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