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Review of Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies

The Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies, recently reviewed in Surveillance and Society, is the definitive work in this area. "This ground-breaking book contains over forty essays by some of the leading commentators on the burgeoning academic field of Surveillance Studies, covering most if not all of the critical challenges of surveillance and population control. The formidable profile, diversity, breadth and scope of the Routledge collection, make it quite simply, definitive." For the full review, click here.

This ground-breaking book contains over forty essays by some of the leading commentators on the burgeoning academic field of Surveillance Studies, covering most if not all of the critical challenges of surveillance and population control; policing, intelligence and war; the new social networking media; the emerging capacities of geo-location, identity recognition and real time tracking, as well as the thorny questions of future regulation and resistance, over a generous volume of some 437 pages.
Whilst there are other excellent Surveillance Studies readers, such as the work edited by Hier and Greenberg (2007), the formidable profile, diversity, breadth and scope of the Routledge collection, make it quite simply, definitive. Here we have authors such as James Rule, Gary Marx, David Lyon and Clive Norris—who essentially founded the field—mixed with new authors who take the insights of these pathfinders into new domains. The Handbook could not be more timely, as the pace of technological innovation in surveillance transcends many of the existing legal and cultural limits and understandings of its role and function. The year of its publication sees new evaluation and ethical initiatives by the EU,
such as the PACT project which will question 27,000 citizens on their perceptions of the trade-off between security and privacy. 2012 also heralded a new awareness of policy in research funding into security to fully evaluate the societal impacts of surveillance research which is now a formal EC requirement for all the work it funds. But the wave of second and third order impacts of the new surveillance capacity are affecting people world-wide, oftentimes with little comprehension of what can now be remotely seen.
The Handbook is divided into four substantive parts which cover (i) the broader issues of understanding surveillance; (ii) surveillance as sorting, (iii) the variable contexts of surveillance and (iv) the question of how we should limit surveillance: each part coming with an invaluable introduction to core concepts and background material.
The first section has a comprehensive overview of Surveillance Studies by the editors, Lyon, Haggerty and Ball, which provide key building blocks to understand surveillance covered by the introductory chapters. Contributions by Elmer, Bogart and Ceyhan take theories of surveillance beyond Foucault. Such theory is complemented in chapters by Koskela who examines the problematic of surveillance and gender, Steve Wright, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK
 

Related Products

  1. Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies

    Edited by Kirstie Ball, Kevin Haggerty, David Lyon

    Series: Routledge International Handbooks

    Surveillance is a central organizing practice. Gathering personal data and processing them in searchable databases drives administrative efficiency but also raises questions about security, governance, civil liberties and privacy. Surveillance is both globalized in cooperative schemes, such as...

    Published March 26th 2012 by Routledge