University of Twente Student Theses


Fear the Flying Dead : The Neo-Luddite Influence on Discussing the Future of Warfare

Blome, David (2018) Fear the Flying Dead : The Neo-Luddite Influence on Discussing the Future of Warfare.

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Abstract:This thesis aims to find out, to what extent Neo-Luddite arguments and ideas are used in today’s discourse on malicious technology. This aim is approached by conducting a discourse analysis, applying a case study on the debates on Lethal Autonomous Weapons at the Munich Security Conference. To unmask the discourse and to find patterns, a theory-driven coding scheme is created, focusing on the typical Neo- Luddite features technology criticism, resistance against technology, uncertainty about the future, and the use of science fiction narratives. It is observed, that there is a constant notion of the rapidly evolving technologies causing challenges such as preserving human values. Furthermore, the discourse on the so- called Killer Robots is oriented towards a regulation of this technological advancement for the better of humanity. The possible loss of control of this technology and the probable abuse of autonomous weapons lead to a high degree of uncertainty about the future. The findings of this research lead to the result, that the examined discourse is pervaded by anti-technological thoughts, in line with the ideology of Neo-Luddism. Opposing the opinion of other scientists, this thesis shows that this ideology continues to live on. The results of this study indicate that approaching a debate on a certain technology by applying the method of discourse analysis to search for Neo-Luddite elements can be beneficial to understand the motivation, fears, and hopes of those involved.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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