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’.
The Functioning of Surveillance in Its Relation to Space
The second broad level of analysis that runs through my investigation of the surveillance–space nexus consists of the critical exploration of the internal functioning of surveillance, in terms of the actor networks and mediations involved, which fundamentally shape the spatial articulations of the systems put into action. This analysis follows from the book’s conceptual approach as outlined in Chapters 2–4, that stipulates the need to focus on the actors and intentions behind surveillance, if we are to understand its spatial logics and implications (Raffestin, 1980). The discussion that follows thus incorporates questions of how, by whom and for what reasons surveillance is being planned, developed and practised ...