Throughout Europe and North America, policing services, government agencies and private-sector interests have turned increasingly to open-street closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance to address crime, fear of crime and perceptions of social disorder. Although recent scholarly contributions have displaced the traditional explanatory reliance on the panopticon with mechanisms of consumer seduction, 'post-panoptic' insights into the establishment of open-street monitoring programmes have not advanced completely beyond the determinism reminiscent of the exercise of panoptical power. With the intention of supplementing the displacement of the panoptic paradigm with a less deterministic and more flexible framework, we conceptualize the establishment of public monitoring programmes in terms of the central role of communications and media in surveillance policy development and change. Presenting empirical data from an investigation of public camera surveillance in Canada, we develop theoretical and, necessarily, empirical insights that enable us to move beyond explanatory emphases on responsibilization strategies and social ordering techniques.

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Media, Culture and Society
Carleton University

Hier, S.P. (Sean P.), Greenberg, J, Walby, K. (Kevin), & Lett, D. (Daniel). (2007). Media, communication and the establishment of public camera surveillance programmes in Canada. Media, Culture and Society, 29(5), 727–751. doi:10.1177/0163443707080534