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'Lost' surveillance studies : a critical review of French work on CCTV.

Klauser, F. (2009) ''Lost' surveillance studies : a critical review of French work on CCTV.', Surveillance & society., 6 (1). pp. 23-31.


In recent years, the rapidly developing field of ‘Surveillance Studies’ has sparked a remarkable and revealing body of research, which has led to repeated claims to recognise ‘Surveillance Studies’ as a cross-disciplinary field of research in its own right. However, the almost exclusive reliance of these independency claims upon Anglophone references raises a series of important questions: Must we conclude that other linguistic traditions in surveillance studies do not exist at all, or are we to assume that such studies are heading in a broadly similar direction as their English counterpart? In order to address these questions, the paper suggests engaging with ‘lost’ CCTV studies published in French academia. It succinctly discusses three specificities of the French CCTV context – the legal regulation of CCTV through the 1995 ‘Loi Pasqua’, the specialised economic journal, En toute sécurité, and the quasi absence of publicly mandated statistical evaluations of open street CCTV systems – thus providing a reading of how they are reflected in the existing CCTV literature. From an analytical standpoint, this approach provides an exploratory framework not only for investigating the key elements that French studies about CCTV can add to the relevant Anglophone literature, but also for examining the broader processes of knowledge generation about surveillance issues and on how these may depend on particular national characteristics.

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Record Created:22 Feb 2010 13:50
Last Modified:13 Dec 2011 14:09

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