Comparative Analysis of How Governments Introduce Non-Lethal Weapons

I will conduct a comparative analysis of how governments go about introducing non-lethal weapons to their targets and address public concerns over the proliferation of such technology. Non-lethal weapons are weapons, devices, and munitions that are specifically designed and used to quickly incapacitate targeted personnel while minimizing damage to the target and to the infrastructure or environment surrounding the target.

There are many different types of non-lethal weapons in use today. The most recent technological innovation is the Active Denial System (ADS). Unlike the non-lethal weapons of the past, ADS leaves targets with no visible marks on the body and causes no long-term, adverse health effects, making it impossible to detect once the beam has been removed. ADS also boasts great range and accuracy, allowing for specific individuals to be targeted with precision from a distance, and the beam cannot be defended against. Because ADS is so different from nonlethal weapons of the past, there is concern for how the United States government can control the proliferation of this ADS technology and set precedents for its use.

Using qualitative and quantitative data on how governments have implemented non-lethal weapons in the past, this project will address the question of how governments can introduce the technology that is being developed as we speak for use in the future, like ADS. In addition, my Monroe project will seek to further understand the benefits and risks associated with the proliferation of non-lethal weapons, particularly in the hands of illiberal or authoritarian regimes.