On the Security discourse at the basis of surveillance practices





surveillance, risk, terrorism, COVID-19, society of control


This essay wishes to expose and dismantle the ontological and political premises giving its ground to contemporary surveillance practices. It argues that surveillance policies and technologies are not abuses, but rather the continuation of Western political theory and practice which has always been apprehended as a security project establishing social classes to secure and others to be protected from. Surveillance practices pretend to protect our lives from insecurity on the streets, terrorism or a virus, while they actually conspire against our individual and collective autonomy, define norms of legal and illegal behavior, criminalize precarious social groups, make terrorist networks harder to identify, create an over-expanding market for risk assessment companies and national states, undermine claims for social justice and colonize the public sphere with war language. The essay denounces how the security project led together by public and private actors is thus one of securing a lucrative business for the powerful and an exploitative social order for the powerless. It suggests a few paths to counter the discourse at its basis.


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Author Biography

  • Eline Marx, Paris School of International Affairs. Paris, France

    Escritora y cineasta. Tiene un posgrado en Ciencias Políticas de la Paris School of International Affairs.


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How to Cite

On the Security discourse at the basis of surveillance practices. (2023). Desde El Sur, 15(3), e0045. https://doi.org/10.21142/DES-1503-2023-0045

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