August, 2015

Drones Come Home: Foreign Intervention and the Use of Drones in the United States

  • Christopher Coyne

    Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Abigail Hall

    Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Tampa
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Read more at Emerald Insight.

This paper analyzes how the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or “drones” in foreign interventions abroad have changed the dynamics of government activities domestically. Facing limited or absent constraints abroad, foreign interventions served as a testing ground for the domestically constrained U.S. government to experiment with drone technologies and other methods of social control over foreign populations. Utilizing the “boomerang effect” framework developed by Coyne and Hall (2014), this paper examines the use of drones abroad and the mechanisms through which the technology has been imported back to the United States. The use of these technologies domestically has substantial implications for the freedom and liberties of U.S. citizens as it lowers the cost of government expanding the scope of its activities.