International Society's Challenge of Targeted Killing by Drones

Forthcoming, International Politics

29 Pages Posted: 31 May 2017 Last revised: 29 Sep 2017

See all articles by Jodok Troy

Jodok Troy

University of Innsbruck; Stanford University

Date Written: May 30, 2017


Targeted killing by drones is a systemic driven instrumental practice that overrides societal non-instrumental practices that are essential for international society. Doing so, targeted killing by drones is not simply another form of inflicting violence by technical means to political opponents. It also inflicts the agents applying this practice, tempting them to frame it as a permissible measure to preserve international society. The reliance on drones for targeted killing is a pursuit of non-societal practices that seek individual and retributive justice and anticipatory and preventive self-defence by means of force relying on technological advantage. Eventually, this practice permits military tactics to steer political strategy, mitigating standards and practices agreed on in international society’s norms, rules of conduct, and institutions.

Keywords: Drones, English School, International Society, Realism, Targeted Killing

Suggested Citation

Troy, Jodok, International Society's Challenge of Targeted Killing by Drones (May 30, 2017). Forthcoming, International Politics, Available at SSRN: or

Jodok Troy (Contact Author)

University of Innsbruck ( email )

Universitätsstraße 15
Innsbruck, Innsbruck 6020
+43(0)512.507.2849 (Fax)


Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States


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