Surveillance and Governance: Crime Control and Beyond: Volume 10

Cover of Surveillance and Governance: Crime Control and Beyond

Table of contents

(23 chapters)

This volume presents recent insights in the sociological study of surveillance and governance in the context of criminal justice and other control strategies in contemporary societies. The collected chapters provide a varied set of theoretical perspectives and substantive research domains on the qualities and quantities of some of the most recent transformations of social control as well as their historical precursors in diverse social settings. Drawn from several quarters of the world, the contributors to this volume testify to the increasing relevance of surveillance and governance across the globe and, at the same time, demonstrate the cross-national spread of scholarly ideas on the study thereof.

As political interfaces, national borders are subject to extensive surveillance and policing within the interstate system. But what happens when the state's gatekeepers emerge from within the social body? How do such instances impact scholarly understandings of governance and surveillance? This chapter investigates these questions empirically, analyzing the Minuteman Project, a grassroots vigilante movement dedicated to directly policing the nation's borders. Situating the movement within the existing literature on “governmentality” and “community policing”, I analyze its history, ideology, practices and interactions with authorities, arguing that, despite their status as non-state actors, its members appropriate, enforce and extend many of the principles of governance and statecraft; whether, surveillance, policing, security or territoriality. Like community policing, the Minutemen highlight the pervasive and decentralized nature of government, social control and surveillance. In occupying and monitoring the border, the group serves as the state's “eyes and ears” without impinging upon its juridical or coercive capacities. However, in contrast to community policing, the Minutemen are not an instance of the state or police engaging or reaching down into the public, but represent a distinct segment of the public reaching up and aligning itself with the “arms” of the state.

This chapter is about the politics of surveillance and more specifically about the politics of siting public closed circuit television (CCTV) systems within urban neighborhoods. Through an exploration of political contests waged around attempts by local police to install public surveillance systems in the City of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and Granville Mall districts, we argue that the success of public surveillance proposals is hardly inevitable. Instead, a combination of local factors play vital roles in variously supporting or constraining such attempts. Although this present chapter can be read as providing a useful counterpoint to the dominance of accounts about such developments in Great Britain, where public CCTV is a routine fact of daily urban life, we conclude on a cautionary note: with the current proliferation of public and private forms of surveillance throughout urban spaces, surveillance analysts risk missing the forest for the trees if we only concentrate on the fate of one surveillance tool or tactic.

Public space has traditionally been space of and for the people, a place where the community could congregate and engage in public expression, including expression of a political nature. In the current environment of increasing insecurity, police departments are encouraged to join the fight against terrorism by increasing surveillance and control over ever-larger areas, including public space, and over ever-greater segments of the community. This chapter examines two recent initiatives by the New York Police Department that are changing the nature of public space in the city.

This chapter approaches the question of government and surveillance through a comparison between the control practices observable in two types of places. First, we focus on international airports, specifically the French international airport of Orly. Airports are maximum security zones where persons perceived as having no legitimate business are expelled and where suspicious objects are destroyed. The second kind of places are the ones labeled as “no-go areas”, violent pockets within urban space. Social housing projects located in the bleak suburbs of French cities are such dangerous zones. Both kinds of places – airports and no-go areas – have very different time and space features: people briefly pass through anonymous airports where relationships are kept at an impersonal minimum, whereas the population of a housing estate area is made of “permanent transients” pinned down by a shared fate of which there seems no escape.

The chapter presents and discusses the development of a number of new transnational surveillance and information systems in Europe. It relates their development to the question of whether we here have an example of ‘law without a state’. Guenther Teubner's notion of a ‘lex mercatoria’, a system of global contract law developed by large law firms and international business lawyers, is paralleled by a ‘lex vigilatoria’, a system of global control in the making. The chapter provisionally concludes that the ties to the nation-state of an integrated surveillance system are increasingly diluted.

In this chapter, we argue that the practice of electronically monitored “house arrest” is consistent with Foucault's insights into both the workings of “disciplinary power” and “governmentality” and with the self-governing notions of a conservative, neo-liberal ideology, and mentality. Our interpretive analysis of a set of offender narratives identifies a theme we call “transforming the self” that illustrates the ways in which house arrest is experienced by some clients as a set of discourses and practices that encourages them to govern themselves by regulating their own bodies and conduct. These self-governing capabilities include “enterprise,” “autonomy,” and an ethical stance towards their lives.

Whenever America has fought wars, civil liberties are compromised. Led by Hoover, whose career began in the Library of Congress, the FBI has historically conducted questionable surveillance, often spying illegally on American citizens. There is a history of FBI surveillance in the Academy, including surveillance in libraries. Researchers, students, and librarians have been the subjects of FBI surveillance efforts. Today, the Patriot Act has reignited concerns about FBI surveillance in academic institutions. Librarians have often led the fight against limits imposed on accessing information. This is a short history of the conflict between the Academia and FBI surveillance.

This chapter examines the effects of covert forms of social control on social movement participants. Current social science literature addresses the effect of surveillance on social movement organizations, but stops short of exploring the experience of surveillance for political activists. We begin by reviewing how state social control has been incorporated into paradigmatic social movement models. Drawing on examples from the FBI's counterintelligence programs and the growing literature emphasizing the emotional components of social movement mobilization processes, we then demonstrate the range of direct and indirect costs exerted by social control agents on both organizational and individual targets.

This chapter aims to make a contribution to recent debates on the ‘governance of security’ (Johnston & Shearing, 2003) by drawing upon empirical research conducted by the author and other writers on ‘plural policing’ and the construction of closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance networks. The chapter attempts to avoid the tendency in some of the ‘governmentality’ literature to ‘airbrush out the state’ (Hughes, 2007, p. 184), whilst at the same time showing that the aims and intentions of dominant state forces and elites are not always realised in practice. The chapter also tries to avoid any simplistic notion of a shift in policing strategies from ‘crime fighting’ to ‘risk management’. The aim instead is to show how the construction of surveillance networks is blurring the boundaries of the ‘public–private’ divide along the ‘sectoral’, ‘geographical’, ‘spatial’, ‘legal’ and ‘functional’ dimensions (Jones & Newburn, 1998), giving rise to a plural policing continuum.

This chapter examines the ‘new lateral surveillance’, spearheaded by government anti-terrorism campaigns urging citizens to report any suspicious people and objects they encounter. Drawing a comparison between this and the community crime prevention (CCP) programmes of past decades, the chapter discusses the likely effectiveness of such campaigns in controlling crime and increasing security, suggests an alternative interpretation and discusses the consequences of the culture of suspicion generated by this form of surveillance. It concludes that the new lateral surveillance is a form of ‘high policing’ that is both political and dangerous in its vulnerability to errors.

Incorporating DuBois's concept of a racial “double-consciousness” and extending Foucault's work on the Panopticon, I examine current day racial profiling processes and the effects of hyper-surveillance on communities of color. DuBois suggests that the citizen of color has a sense of duality based upon minority status and being an American. This duality offers insight into the way race “works” that few Whites comprehend. Foucault argues that the permanent visibility of those subjected to the Panopticon generates awareness of the power differential between individuals and the state. The current examination is a contextualization of narratives from people of color who experience governance and surveillance via racial profiling.

Surveillance studies scholars have embraced Foucault's panopticon as a central metaphor in their analysis of online monitoring technologies, despite several architectural incompatibilities between eighteenth and nineteenth century prisons and twenty-first century computer networks. I highlight a number of Internet features that highlight the limits of the electronic panopticon. I examine two trends that have been considerably underestimated by surveillance scholars: (1) the democratization of surveillance, where the distributed structure of the Internet and the availability of observation technologies has blurred the distinction between those who watch and those who are being watched, allowing individuals or marginalized groups to deploy sophisticated surveillance technologies against the state or large corporations; and (2) the resistance strategies that Internet users are adopting to curb the surveillance of their online activities, through blocking moves such as the use of cryptography, or masking moves that are designed to feed meaningless data to monitoring tools. I conclude that these two trends are neglected by a majority of surveillance scholars because of biases that make them dismiss the initiative displayed by ordinary users, assess positive and negative outcomes differently, and confuse what is possible and what is probable.

An industry of description and interpretation has developed around the growth of surveillance, accelerated by: the development of the internet; volatile international relations since the collapse of communism; demographic mobility, segregation by class and ethnicity in the rich and poor worlds, sharpening inequalities, and post 9/11 fears of terrorism. Influential narratives have emphasised the diminishing power of sovereign nation-states in a marketised and globalised world. This chapter challenges the notion that coercive, sovereign modes of rule are a monarchical survival in decline. Rather, sovereign technologies of rule, in which surveillance is central involves strategies of governance from below as well as from above. They combine coercive with rhetorical, metaphorical communication and other ‘soft’ modes of rule. These make thinkable the nation-state as a discrete, defensible entity. Political communication translates between the complex technical expertise of evolving surveillance and security technologies and language intelligible to the public. Though surveillance technologies and information can be produced by commercial and other non-state sites of governance, metaphorically, much surveillance can be viewed as the extension of the eye of the sovereign. Although we are all targets of surveillance, those seen as threatening to the majority help to constitute and reproduce the social collectivity.

Educational testing launched under “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) brings unprecedented levels of surveillance to public education in the U.S. The testing regime is moving American pedagogy away from types of teaching which are either politically disfavored or not easily tested. The impact of NCLB will be strongest in lower-income schools which fare poorly on such tests; these schools can expect to see sanctions, shaming, and a concomitant departure of committed families and teachers. The reshaping of American education wrought by NCLB compels us to reimagine mass surveillance as not primarily a means of watching the world, but as expressions of power capable of effecting significant changes in institutions and behaviors.

This chapter is interested in the challenge of governing beyond crime, surveillance and control. It argues for the need to re-imagine the governance of security in ways designed to both build and enrol the capacities of different actors. The authors draw on regulatory theory and the ideas developed in the areas of ‘responsive regulation’ and ‘nodal governance’ to explore the opportunities for, and the challenges associated with designing governance institutions and processes that serve to de-centre hierarchy, command and interventionism as essential rationalities and practices. Its empirical focus is on the case of child protection, where the authors argue for the importance of nurturing the capacities of families and communities to govern both beyond and in tandem with hierarchical modalities. It is hoped that the theoretical issues raised and the agenda articulated can be engaged with across a variety of empirical domains.

This chapter demonstrates that while in most late modern societies there is a neoliberal hegemony to expand police Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance for crime control and antiterrorism, in Greece there is serious controversy and resistance against the post-Olympic use of more than 1,200 Olympic CCTV cameras. Drawing on the interesting politics of CCTV expansion and resistance, the chapter traces the reasons why, in the Greek context, this very expensive Olympic surveillance “dowry” has been opposed, even for traffic control. It critically attributes Greek citizens’ fear and mistrust primarily to their past police-state experience of authoritarian, thought-control surveillance.

Cover of Surveillance and Governance: Crime Control and Beyond
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Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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