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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Ivar Vargas Rivas

Ivar Vargas Rivas
Ivar Vargas Rivas
Politics and International Relations School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
International Security, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, International Humanitarian Law, Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems, Pierre Bourdieu, Ontological Security Theory, Chile, International Relations, AI ethics, Disarmament, ethnography

PhD Title

The international debate on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems: a Chilean perspective


Dr Nicola Perugini

Dr Andy Hom 


Between 2015 and 2019, I worked as a Bilateral Affairs Officer for the International Relations Department at Chile's Ministry of Energy. I was resposible for advancing the process of energy integration and cross-border power interconnections between Chile and neighbouring countries, particularly involved in the negotiation of several Additional Protocols (No 2830 and 31to the Economic Complementation Agreement No 16 between the Republics of Chile and Argentina.

In that role, I was also in charge of attracting international funds of technical cooperation from Multilateral Development Banks (IADB, CAF, etc.) to support Chile's Sustainable Energy Programme and Chile's Energy Agenda, as well as energy integration studies with Argentina and Peru. In parallel, I was also involved in the negotiations and implementation of the German-Chilean Energy Partnership along with the German BMWi.

Previously, I worked as a Multilateral Projects Coordinator for the International Cooperation Programme at the Chilean National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (2011-2014). I was in charge of implementing several international projects of scientific and technological cooperation between Chile and the EU financed by the FP7 (CHIEP-II, ENSOCIO-LA and CEST+I).


2019-present PhD Politics, The University of Edinburgh, UK.

2014-2015 Master of International Relations, The University of Melbourne, Australia (First Class Honours, 2015)

2006-2010 Bachelor of Political and Administrative Sciences, Major in Political Science, University of Concepción, Chile (Highest Distinction, 2011).

Funding and Awards

2019 - International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP), "U.S. Energy Policy - Security, Independence, and Innovation", U.S. Department of State.

2019 - Foreign Doctorate Studies Scholarship, Becas Chile, Conicyt.

2013 - Foreign Master's Studies Scholarship, Becas Chile, Conicyt.  

2006 - Excellence Scholarship, University of Concepción. 

Conference Presentations

2020: 'Chile and the Debate on Autonomous Weapons', abstract presented to the Technology and Global Governance Virtual Forum, The University of Warwick, 31 July 2020, <>

2020: 'The international debate on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems: 'Reality Appropriation' and 'Technological Necessity', poster [to be] presented to the Critical Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence Ethics Conference (CPAIE20), The University of Edinburgh.