This article argues that the use of just war theory as the principal framework for ethical assessment of the use of drones for targeted killing is hampered by the absence of a spatial dimension. Drawing on critical political geography, the article develops a concept of “distant intimacy” that explores the spatial characteristics of the relationship between drone deployers and their targets, revealing that the asymmetry of this relationship extends beyond conventional analysis to establish “dronespace” as a place where the autonomy of the target and the possibility of reciprocity are structurally precluded. This extends ethical critique of drone use beyond established concerns and establishes the importance of space and spatiality to the possibility of ethics in a way that just war theory has, to date, been unable to fully appreciate.
Williams, J. (2015). Distant Intimacy: Space, drones, and just war. Ethics & International Affairs, 29(1), 93-110. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0892679414000793