The digital age is also a surveillance age. Today, computerized systems protect and manage our everyday life; the increasing number of surveillance cameras in public places, the computerized loyalty systems of the retail sector, geo-localized smart–phone applications, or smart traffic and navigation systems. Surveillance is nothing fundamentally new, and yet more and more questions are being asked: • Who monitors whom, and how and why? • How do surveillance techniques affect socio-spatial practices and relationships? • How do they shape the fabrics of our cities, our mobilities, the spaces of the everyday? • And what are the implications in terms of border control and the exercise of political power? Surveillance and Space responds to these modern questions by exploring the complex and varied interactions between surveillance and space. In doing so, the book also advances a programmatic reflection on the very possibility of a ‘political geography of surveillance’.
If we are to investigate how surveillance interacts with space, we need a solid conceptual framework to do so, and we need a clear definition of, and analytical focus on, surveillance. The four chapters that follow respond to these needs.
Chapter 1 delimits the book’s analytical take, focused on the everyday making, functioning and acting of surveillance in its interaction with space. Surveillance is understood as techniques of systematic, routine and focused attention for purposes of influence, direction, protection and/or administration. The chapter thus makes a double contribution to my endeavour, in that it defines surveillance and sets the book’s ‘scale of analysis’, the everyday, on which to approach the surveillance–space nexus.
Chapter 2 develops a mediation-centred understanding of surveillance, which allows for ...