Bentham, Deleuze and Beyond: An Overview of Surveillance Theories from the Panopticon to Participation

Galič, M., Timan, T. & Koops, B.J., Philosophy & Technology, 30(1), 9-37, 2017, DOI: 10.1007/s13347-016-0219-1

Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 13/2016

31 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2016 Last revised: 27 Mar 2017

Maša Galič

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT); Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society

Tjerk Timan

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)

Bert-Jaap Koops

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)

Date Written: August 3, 2016

Abstract

This paper aims to provide an overview of surveillance theories and concepts that can help to understand and debate surveillance in its many forms. As scholars from an increasingly wide range of disciplines are discussing surveillance, this literature review can offer much-needed common ground for the debate. We structure surveillance theory in three roughly chronological-thematic phases. The first two conceptualise surveillance through comprehensive theoretical frameworks, which are elaborated in the third phase.

The first phase, featuring Bentham and Foucault, offers architectural theories of surveillance, where surveillance is often physical and spatial, involving centralised mechanisms of watching over subjects. Panoptic structures function as architectures of power, not only directly but also through (self-)disciplining of the watched subjects.

The second phase offers infrastructural theories of surveillance, where surveillance is networked and relies primarily on digital rather than physical technologies. It involves distributed forms of watching over people, with increasing distance to the watched and often dealing with data doubles rather than physical persons. Deleuze, Haggerty and Ericson, and Zuboff develop different theoretical frameworks than panopticism to conceptualise the power play involved in networked surveillance.

The third phase of scholarship refines, combines, or extends the main conceptual frameworks developed earlier. Surveillance theory branches out to conceptualise surveillance through concepts such as dataveillance, access control, social sorting, peer-to-peer surveillance, and resistance. With the datafication of society, surveillance combines the physical with the digital, government with corporate surveillance, and top-down with self-surveillance.

Keywords: surveillance theory, discipline, control, surveillant assemblage, surveillance capitalism, participatory surveillance

Suggested Citation

Galič, Maša and Timan, Tjerk and Koops, Bert-Jaap, Bentham, Deleuze and Beyond: An Overview of Surveillance Theories from the Panopticon to Participation (August 3, 2016). Galič, M., Timan, T. & Koops, B.J., Philosophy & Technology, 30(1), 9-37, 2017, DOI: 10.1007/s13347-016-0219-1; Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 13/2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2817813

Maša Galič (Contact Author)

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

Tilburg
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/webwijs/show/m.galic/

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society ( email )

Tilburg, 5000LE
Netherlands

Tjerk Timan

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

Bert-Jaap Koops

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

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