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’.

Surveillance and Power

Surveillance and Power

My task now is to link surveillance to the concept of power. This task is of central importance to my programmatic reflection on a possible political geography of surveillance, but also connects with my ambition to question the socio-spatial implications of IT-mediated regulation and control. More specifically, my objective is to develop a conceptual framework within which surveillance, understood from the perspective of its inherent mediations as developed in Chapter 2, can be approached as a mode of power that relies on techniques of systematic, routine and focused attention. I will do this by drawing upon Michel Foucault’s approach to power as a mode of action that ‘structure[s] the possible field of action of others’ (1982: 790).

Power Put Into ...

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