Surveillance and resilience: Relationships, dynamics and consequences

Richard Jones, Charles Raab, Iván Székely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

‘Resilience’ is a contested term with varying and ambiguous meaning in governmental, business and social discourses. Surveillance is increasingly relied upon as an instrument for resilience, enhancing the capability of anticipating, preventing or recovering from adversity, thus preserving the fabric of society and the state. However surveillance itself might undesirably erode social freedoms, rights, and other public goods. In the present study we focus on the interrelationship of surveillance and resilience. Studying the relationships between surveillance and resilience requires not only the theoretical study of possible examples but also the exploration and evaluation of the resilient entity’s core properties, strategies and tactics and the external observer’s stance towards the entity in question. Furthermore, different contexts may exhibit different effects of surveillance on resilience. For example, an increase in surveillance by a democratic state may lead to increasing resilience of the state in the face of terrorist attacks but may also lead to the decreasing resilience of that society’s ability to exercise democratic values. The various models generated by these differing relationships will be explored with relation to three examples: the surveillance of international migration, the surveillance of extremist views, and the surveillance of digital financial transactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-275
Number of pages39
JournalDemocracy and Security
Issue number3
Early online date29 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • surveillance
  • resilience
  • democracy
  • public goods
  • counter-terrorism
  • rights
  • security


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