Surveillance and Empowerment

I’ve just spent my Saturday getting the new issue of Surveillance & Society out…

8(2): Surveillance and Empowerment

edited by Torin Monahan, David J. Phillips and David Murakami Wood

  • James P Walsh – From Border Control to Border Care: The Political and Ethical Potential of Surveillance.
  • Katie Shilton – Participatory Sensing: Building Empowering Surveillance
  • Priscilla M Regan and Valerie Steeves – Kids R Us: Online Social Networking and the Potential for Empowerment
  • Dean Wilson and Tanya Serisier – Video Activism and the ambiguities of counter-surveillance
  • Marko M Skoric, Jia Ping Esther Chua, Meiyan Angeline Liew, Keng Hui Wong, and Pei Jue Yeo – Online Shaming in the Asian Context: Community Empowerment or Civic Vigilantism?
  • Ariane Ellerbrok – Empowerment: Analyzing Technologies of Multiple Variable Visibility
  • Gwen Ottinger – Constructing Empowerment through Interpretations of Environmental Surveillance Data
  • Anders Albrechtslund and Louise Nørgaard Glud – Empowering Residents: A Theoretical Framework for Negotiating Surveillance Technologies

+ all the usual book reviews

Coming soon: our forthcoming issues on ‘Surveillance, Marketing and Consumption’, and our ‘Global Surveillance Society?’ Conference specials.

Surveillance & Society | the international journal of surveillance studies

Call for Papers: Surveillance and Empowerment

Special Issue of Surveillance & Society: Issue 8(3)
Guest editors: Torin Monahan, David Murakami Wood, and David J. Phillips

Publication date: end of October 2010
Deadline for submissions: March 31st 2010

This issue of Surveillance & Society is seeking papers and other submissions that examine the social implications of contemporary surveillance with a particular interest in the complexities of empowerment. In the surveillance studies literature, there have been significant contributions unsocial sorting, digital discrimination, privacy invasion, racial profiling, sexual harassment, and other mechanisms of unequal treatment. In contradistinction, this issue seeks to explore the potential of surveillance for individual autonomy and dignity, fairness and due process, community cooperation and empowerment, and social equality. Key to this inquiry will be questioning the extent to which surveillance can be designed, employed, and regulated to contribute to democratic practices and/or the social good.

The very framing of the issue in terms of “surveillance and empowerment” begs the question of empowerment for whom and for what purposes. Thus, we invite critical attention to the ways in which surveillance practices may unfairly embody advantages for some groups over others and to explore alternatives. Possible research areas might include (but are not limited to):

  • Surveillance and human security
  • Surveillance and well-being / flourishing
  • Surveillance for safety
  • Ethical surveillance infrastructures and systems, e.g. ubiquitous computing environments that provide care for the vulnerable, dependent and elderly
  • Surveillance for sustainability, environmental management and environmental justice Surveillance of energy and resource consumption
  • Social networking tools employed by social movements
  • Surveillance of corporations, government agencies, or political parties by watchdog groups
  • Policies for ensuring privacy, accountability, and transparency with video or other surveillance systems
  • Surveillance in post-authoritarian societies – toward restrictions and counters to the unleashed surveillance of former regimes

We welcome full academic papers, opinion pieces, review pieces, poetry, artistic, and audio-visual submissions. Submissions will undergo a peer-review and revision process prior to publication. Submissions should be original work, neither previously published nor under consideration for publication elsewhere. All references to previous work by contributors should be masked in the text (e.g., “Author, 2009”).

All papers must be submitted through the online submission system no later than March 31st 2010, for publication at the end of October 2010. Please use submit the papers in a MSWord-compatible format. For further submission guidelines, please see:

For all inquiries regarding the issue, please contact:

For other current calls (including Issue 8(2) Surveillance, Consumers and Consumption) and announcements, please see: