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The Surveillance Consensus: Reviewing the Politics of CCTV in Three European Countries

Hempel, Leon; Töpfer, Eric

This article is inspired by Haggerty and Ericson's notion of the `surveillant assemblage', which draws on philosophical concepts of Deleuze and Guattari in order to analyse the dynamics of contemporary increasingly extensive and intensifying surveillance. The surveillant assemblage has a twofold character. On the one hand it aims to increase visibility and on the other hand it works invisibly, `beyond our normal range of perception'. The surveillant assemblage offers a surveillance consensus. To disentangle this consensus this article focuses particularly on CCTV as a technology that is still visible. We analyse three aspects of the surveillance consensus, namely, correlating with the aesthetical concept of consensus, what we call (after Luhmann) (1) the illusion of total inclusion, which is hardened by (2) media arrangements and eventually by (3) regulation. We will refer to these three aspects empirically along with examples from the development of CCTV in the UK, France and Germany.
Published in: European journal of criminology, 10.1177/1477370808100544, SAGE Publications
  • Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
  • This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.