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Political Science / International Relations Moritz Weiss

September - Oktober 2022

Weaponizing states in the digital age? Governments, firms and artifical intelligence (with Sven van Hove)

Digitalization is arguably transforming the traditional monopoly of large arms contractors to help governments in their attempt to provide national security. For instance, numerous states advance military applications of Artifical Intelligence (AI) to make their computer systems resilient or they even weaponize AI in the form of lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS). As a result, information technology (IT ) companies will arguably evolve in a powerful position as gatekeepers to relevant technology.
Some scholars thus stress the superiority of private actors over governments. It is argued that the state has been a latecomer in cyberspace, which has guaranteed IT companies a comparative advantage in their interactions with governments. By contrast, other scholars point out that governments are regaining the driver’s seat. While private firms remain relevant, they argue, it is politically accountable governments, which are shaping the future of cooperation and conflict.
Against this backdrop, we will tackle the question of what the effect of today’s digital revolution will be on the relationship between governments and increasingly capable IT-firms? The airm of our project is to address this challenge by considering both how states build capacities and how they set rules to govern the digital era; and we will focus on the interactions between governments and firms. In this collaborative effort, we will draw on our experiences in both academic research and policy-making to produce some insights into the political processes of weaponizing AI.


PD Dr. Moritz Weiss ist Privatdozent für Internationale Beziehungen und Europastudien an der LMU München. Er hatte Gastprofessuren in Hannover und München inne und war Jean-Monnet-Fellow am Europäischen Hochschulinstitut in Florenz. Seine Forschungsschwerpunkte sind der regulative Sicherheitsstaat, die politische Ökonomie der Rüstungsindustrie und Cybersicherheit.


Moritz Weiss hat unter anderem in Security Studies, Journal of Global Security Studies, Review of International Political Economy, Journal of Common Market Studies und Journal of European Public Policy veröffentlicht.

Ausgewählte Publikation

Weiss, Moritz (2021) ‘The rise of cybersecurity warriors?’, Small Wars & Insurgencies, 33(1-2), pp. 272-293, DOI: 10.1080/09592318.2021.1976574

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