Skip to main content

The Algorithmic Turn in Security and Warfare

Conference hosted by the ERC-funded AutoNorms project, 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 invites 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). We are interested in submissions that draw upon methods and frameworks of various social sciences, such as science and technology studies, political theory and ethics, critical geography, history, cultural analysis, international law, and International Relations (IR).


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 five-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 an in-person event (1,5 days) but can be adjusted to a virtual or hybrid format subject to COVID-19 travel restrictions and risk assessments. 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 a leading scholar in the area, 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. The participation of outstanding PhD candidates and early career researchers is further encouraged through a mentoring session with senior researchers on academic writing. Here, senior researchers will be invited to share their personal writing advice and best practices for writing academic journal articles.

Submission Guidelines

Please submit a 300-word abstract via this form. Abstracts must be submitted by October 22nd, 2021. For any queries in relation to the conference, please contact Anna Nadibaidze ( We will notify you regarding the status of your submission by November 1st, 2021.

Editing was completed: 14.10.2021