Surveillance in Central and Eastern Europe
From Dictatorship of the Communist Party to Dictate of the Free Market
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During Communist rule, surveillance across Central and Eastern Europe was used primarily to secure political conformity and uphold the political regime. The profound political, economic, social and legal changes which have occurred in the region over the last 20 years, including the transition to a capitalist market economy, the introduction of private property and the denationalization and privatization of once only state owned assets and resources have led to a reshaping of attitudes towards specific surveillance practices and technologies, where private surveillance is less strictly regulated or, at least less under public scrutiny than state surveillance. Contemporary surveillance studies remain culturally biased to an Anglo-American milieu and that of ’older’ EU member states, despite considerable conceptual innovation. This volume fills this gap by providing insights from a part of Europe which has to date been unrepresented in the field. By analyzing and evaluating selected surveillance domains (road surveillance; public telecommunications surveillance; consumer surveillance; and border surveillance) in CEE countries from an ethical, legal and comparative historical perspective, we are better able to understand the consequences and impacts of technically enhanced surveillance practices in the region.
AleÅ¡ ZavrÅ¡nik is Assistance Professor in the Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.