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Home > Reviews > The Future of Violence

The Future of Violence

Author Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum

ISBN No 978-0-465-08974-1

Review date 21/04/2019

No of pages

Publisher Basic Books

Publisher URL

Year of publication 07/10/2015


The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones Confronting a New Age of Threat 2015 Visit

Our Review

The short conclusion of The Future of Violence begins with the disarming comment that by the time you read it, much of what’s inside the book may be out of date. For as the sub-title suggests, advances in robots, drones and computer networks - and the use made of them for good and bad - are changing so fast. This book by two American legal scholars goes over the relations between security, technology and violence. As they explain, the Romans made roads and the North Americans railroads. The very thing that made the two great eras possible, also were made use of by bandits and robbers. Hence the Roman legions and the Pinkerton agency. Weiss and Blum make the point that we regard security as a human basic - if nation-states don’t provide it, they lose legitimacy. Yet it’s not a question of security or liberty; we need both. Making the internet safe for all will take the co-operation of law enforcers internationally, and that is happening, the authors say - ‘to an extent’. It’s telling that this wide-ranging and thought-provoking work ends not with answers but with two questions.


Pictured: Graffiti, Brighton, Sussex.