The end of history and the hand-made drone

by Toby Manhire / 28 February, 2012
Francis Fukuyama has revealed his passion for building his own drone - and he's in a race with the law.
Most famous for his early-90s “end of history” theory, which suggested western liberal democracy might just be the inexorable destination for every country around the world, Francis Fukuyama has revealed a surprising hobby via his blog, “Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law”, at the American Interest.

He’s building his own surveillance drone.

“I have always wanted to have my own drone that could send back a live video feed,” he writes.

And so he’s been experimenting – with some success – by attaching cameras to remote controlled planes and helicopters.

The advances in technology, both in the aircraft and the cameras, mean that “it is extremely easy to build a drone now that can do not just surveillance but can carry rather large payloads”, writes Fukuyama, who is these days a senior fellow Stanford.

And he knows he needs to hurry.

I don’t have to spell out the implications of this. I want to have my drone before the government makes them illegal. The US has been fighting such low-tech enemies lately that we haven’t thought through the nature of a world in which lots of people have sophisticated drones, not just other countries but private individuals.


What is it with foreign policy theorists and drones lately? Foreign Policy published online yesterday a slide show, “Drones: A Photo History”, introduced thus:

We think of drones as a modern invention, but they've been part of warfare for longer than you think. Here's a look at the evolution of drones and the way they've changed how war works.

It’s here, if you like that sort of thing.
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