Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems and International Humanitarian Law: A mixed-methods study to understand and explain how states’ position themselves vis-à-vis lethal autonomous weapons systems compliance with international humanitarian law
The purpose of this study is to understand and explain how states’ position themselves vis-à-vis lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL). It is important to understand and explain why states’ position themselves in the debate on LAWS compliance with IHL due to its rapid development and limited knowledge in this area. In gaining better knowledge of what influences states’ to be more or less concerned regarding LAWS compliance with IHL, will give contributions to the disciplines of International Relations and International Law. I will conduct this study in a mixed-methods design of two complementary research approaches, a qualitative and a quantitative. In the qualitative method, I posed three analytical questions to statements from the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) meeting of 2019. The aim of the first quantitative analysis was to understand if the independent variables are factors to why states’ comply with IHL. All hypotheses were supported and reached the conventional levels of significance. In the quantitative analysis to examine states’ position on LAWS compliance with IHL, the results did not reach the conventional levels of significance, but mostly confirmed the hypotheses. The issue of LAWS is still at an early stage and much work is left to find convergence and consensus.
lethal autonomous weapons systems
convention on cluster munitions
international humanitarian law
just war theory