The Algorithmic Turn in Security and Warfare

6 – 7 January 2022

Hosted by the ERC-funded AutoNorms project and the Centre for War Studies (CWS)
University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Odense

Functional applications of artificial intelligence (AI) based upon machine learning algorithms are in the process of shaping a diverse spectrum of social, business, legal, and political fields. These developments can be succinctly captured via the notion of an “algorithmic turn”. “The Algorithmic Turn in Security and Warfare” conference brings together participants to discuss this framing in the context of diverse settings, including borders, surveillance, predictive policing, weaponised artificial intelligence, and military applications of AI (e.g., image recognition, computer vision). 

The “Algorithmic Turn” conference will be hosted by the European Research Council funded project “AutoNorms: Weaponised Artificial Intelligence, Norms, and Order”. Launched in August 2020, AutoNorms is a 5-year project that brings together a research team under Dr Ingvild Bode’s leadership. It features research exploring how the development and application of autonomous weapon systems transform use-of-force norms. The AutoNorms project is in turn hosted by the Centre for War Studies (CWS) at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), an interdisciplinary centre for the major debates on the past, present, and future of war, and its impact on societies.

The conference is planned as a hybrid event (1,5 days). To facilitate in-depth discussions, the conference is organised into six sessions of two hours, each featuring four papers. Participants are expected to read all submitted papers ahead of the conference. In addition, the conference will include a keynote speech by Dr Elke Schwarz (Queen Mary University of London), which will be open to the general public. A selection of conference papers will be turned into a Special Issue on the “Algorithmic Turn in Security of Warfare” to be published by an international peer-reviewed journal.

The conference is open to senior researchers, early career researchers, and PhD students that are interested in technology and security issues. The conference will serve as a critical space for academic communication among international scholars irrespective of their disciplinary background or geographical scope. 

For those interested in listening to the conference online, the full programme and a registration link will be provided soon. In case of any queries, please contact Anna Nadibaidze ( 

Upcoming events


28-29 October 2021

Ingvild Bode and Anna Nadibaidze will participate at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Danish Political Science Association (DPSA). Ingvild Bode will present her paper “Silently Negotiating Normativity: Community of Practice, Technology, and Loitering Munitions” and chair the panel “New Research in International Relations” on 28 October. Anna Nadibaidze will present her paper “Mapping the Russian Position in the Global Debate about Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems” on 29 October.


28 March – 2 April 2022

Guangyu Qiao-Franco will present her analysis of norm building activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the field of international information security at the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention 2022.  Her research builds on ‘communities of practice’ theories, analysing the strategies of SCO member states, such as China and Russia, in expanding the information security community through narrowing the conception of ‘others’.

AutoNorms is funded by

Hosted by

Past events


19 October 2021

Ingvild Bode presented her research at the “Critical Borders: Radical (Re)visions of AI” conference, jointly organised by the Centre for Gender Studies and the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge. Her paper entitled “Beyond the Terminator: How imaginaries draw boundaries in the debate about weaponised Artificial Intelligence” was part of the” AI Fact and Fiction” panel on 19 October 2021. Watch the recording here (starting at 4:39:55).


13 October 2021

Ingvild Bode participated in a webinar organised by the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP) as part of their Deterrence and Emerging Technologies (DET) webinar series. The panel covered the theme “Situational Awareness, Command, and Control: The Impact of AI”. Find the recording here.


13-17 September 2021

Guangyu Qiao-Franco presented her research on cross-level analysis in practice theories at the 2021 Conference of the European International Studies Association (EISA). Her research builds on an empirical study on China’s domestic and foreign policies on autonomous weapons, which is intended to complement international practice theory by providing an informative approach for conceptualising cases featuring divides between domestic and international practices.


13-17 September 2021

Hendrik Huelss presented two conference papers on the evolution of computer vision and implications for warfare as well as on the problem of meaningful human control at the 14th Pan-European Conference of the European International Studies Association (EISA).


8-10 September 2021

Ingvild Bode, Anna Nadibaidze, and Guangyu Qiao-Franco presented their research at the interdisciplinary Science Peace Security 21 conference.

Guangyu Qiao-Franco presented a two-level analysis (international and domestic levels) of China’s positions on autonomous weapons systems.

Anna Nadibaidze looked into the role of great power identity in Russia’s discourse on LAWS.

Ingvild Bode examined how existing weapons systems with autonomous features shape what counts as meaningful human control. 


9-13 August 2021

Anna Nadibaidze represented AutoNorms at the first session of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on emerging technologies in the area of the Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS), which took place in Geneva. During the informal part of the session, Anna presented AutoNorms’ research,  with an emphasis on the importance of examining existing weapons with autonomous and automated features for determining the elements of meaningful human control.


21-23 June 2021

Ingvild Bode presented two conference papers on non-verbal practices and norms as well as on visual analysis at the British International Studies Association (BISA) Conference

Hendrik Huelss also presented a paper on changing visual regimes and warfare.


25 June 2021 

Guangyu Qiao-Franco presented the research she conducted in cooperation with Ingvild Bode on China’s emerging understanding of what constitutes appropriate human control over the use of force at the 2021 annual meeting of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS).  It contains a detailed analysis of China’s international statements at various UN forms and a stocktaking of relevant practices within which opposing notions of permissible scope of human control/machine autonomy were internalised by the Chinese leadership.

Invited Presentation

2 June 2021 

Ingvild Bode presented her research on how non-verbal practices shape norms in the context of weapons systems with automated and autonomous features as part of the research seminar organised by the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, University of Hamburg. 


8 April 2021

Ingvild Bode delivered a talk on “Non-verbal practices and the making of norms” at the Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA).

Invited Presentation

4 May 2021 

Ingvild Bode presented her research on how non-verbal practices shape norms in the context of weapons systems with automated and autonomous features as part of the Sandhurst Defence Forum at the Royal Military Academic Sandhurst.  

Participation in a webinar

25 March 2021

Ingvild Bode participated in a webinar to launch the new report “Meaning-less Human Control” written by Ingvild Bode and Tom Watts. The event featured a presentation of the report’s main findings, as well as comments by two experts – Maaike Verbruggen (Institute of European Studies, VUB) and Richard Moyes (Article 36) – followed by Q&A. Peter Burt (Drone Wars UK) moderated the event. 

Watch a recording of the event here.