Surveillance and Democracy in Europe  book cover
1st Edition

Surveillance and Democracy in Europe

ISBN 9781138195523
Published August 8, 2018 by Routledge
154 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Many contemporary surveillance practices take place in information infrastructures which are from the public domain. Although they have far reaching consequences for both citizens and their rights, they are not always subject to regulatory demands and oversight. This being said, democratic fora where citizens and institutions may question such practices cannot be mobilised without widespread awareness of the dangers and consequences of surveillance practices and who is responsible for them.

Through an analysis of surveillance controversies across Europe, this book not only examines the troublesome relationship between surveillance and democracy; but also highlights the vested interests which maintain the status quo. Using a participatory theory lens, Surveillance and Democracy in Europe reveals the historical, social, political and legal antecedents of the current state of affairs.

Arguing that participation is a sensitising concept which enables a wide array of surveillance practices and processes to be interrogated, this insightful volume will appeal to students and researchers interested in fields such as public administration and policy, political studies, organisational behaviour and surveillance and privacy.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Surveillance Theory Meets Participatory Theory

Chapter 3: The Cases

Chapter 4: Automatic Number Plate Recognition

Chapter 5: Credit Scoring

Chapter 6: Neighbourhood Watch

Chapter 7: Discussion and Conclusions: Towards a New Analytical Language


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Kirstie Ball is Professor of Management at the School of Management, St Andrews University; and co-director of CRISP, the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy (

William Webster is Professor of Public Policy and Management at the Management School, University of Stirling; and co-director of CRISP, the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy (