Surveillance and surveillance practices are not a new phenomenon in urban spaces. Among the traditional forms of surveillance are face-to-face surveillance, i.e., the physical presence of an observer and observed in the same space and time and paper files usually produced by bureaucracies. However, since the second half of the twentieth century, various technologies and their development have been adopted into surveillance practices, gradually driving out the traditional ones (Marx, 1998). The main distinctive feature of these technologies, including video surveillance, from the traditional forms of surveillance, is their ubiquity and systematic nature (Dandeker, 1990).

The number of installed video surveillance cameras in public urban spaces has been growing in most countries globally since the end of the twentieth century (Phillips, 1999; Welsh, Farrington, & Taheri, 2015). In the 1980–1990s, the authorities justified the installation of closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) by claiming that they would reduce not only crime rates but the fear of crime as well (Bannister, Fyfe, & Kearns, 1998). In particular, it was expected that a visible presence of a video camera would deter a criminal from breaking the law, as they would rationally estimate a probability of being caught and punished, which is higher than the benefits of committing a crime (Ratcliffe & Groff, 2019). At the same time, law-abiding citizens would feel more secure in the presence of CCTVs. In turn, this feeling of security would stimulate a higher usage of public spaces and economic activity (Cerezo, 2013).

So, the rationalization for the introduction of public video surveillance systems had a double logic: on the one hand, it should have deterred a rational criminal, and, on the other hand, it was supposed to improve the quality of life of citizens. However, later empirical studies demonstrate that the impact of video surveillance cameras on crime rates and the perception of insecurity is disputable, relatively low (if detected), and highly context-dependent (Piza, Welsh, Farrington, & Thomas, 2019; Welsh & Farrington, 2009).

In the academic literature, two main approaches have been formed to comprehend video surveillance in urban public spaces: surveillance society and security state. Both theoretical approaches are based on Foucault’s works. The former is grounded on the concepts of discipline and disciplinary power as presented by Foucault in Discipline and Punish (1995). The notion of the apparatus of security (Foucault, 2009) inspired the theorization of the security state. The theoretical approaches have a lot in common; however, they rarely communicate (Bigo, 2006). Simultaneously, as some research shows, such a dialogue could be very productive to deepen understanding of the phenomenon of video surveillance in urban spaces. In particular, one of the recent research projects demonstrates that surveillance technologies can enact several modes of governmentality within one city as their operationalization is context-dependent (Kitchin, Coletta, & McArdle, 2017).

The chapter follows the development of Foucault’s thoughts. Therefore, it first describes Foucault’s idea of disciplinary power (Foucault, 1995) and the theorization of the surveillance society inspired by it. Later in his life, Foucault (2009) presented the notion of apparatus of security that is discussed in the following section of this chapter, along with the theory of the security state. In particular, the two sections briefly overview Foucault’s thought and its further developments, focusing on the role of video surveillance as a technology of data collection and its implementation in urban spaces. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of the main similarities and disparities between the theories. Lastly, it suggests some considerations of a possibility to combine the theoretical approaches for conducting empirical research.

Video Surveillance in a Surveillance Society

Foucault’s notions of discipline and disciplinary power induced the theorization of a surveillance society (Lyon, 2011). Foucault considered discipline to be a spatial technology of power that exercises control over individuals and their bodies by generating knowledge about them (Foucault, 1997). The concept of a norm is crucial for understanding disciplinary power as the discipline aims at instilling norms that are dominating in a society. The disciplinary power is exercised by surveying individual bodies and normalization of their behavior, that is, modifying the behavior to conform to the existing norms. So, disciplinary power draws on the pre-established normative model (Foucault, 2007). Technologies of surveillance and inspection are vital for organizing individual bodies into “a field of visibility” and tailoring their functionality.

In Discipline and Punish (1995), Foucault illustrates the disciplinary potential of surveillance on an example of a perfect prison, the panopticon, developed by Jeremy Bentham. This prison should be ring-shaped so that all the cells are visible from the center of the building. In the center of the panopticon, a guard tower is located with an unseen observer who can observe the inmates, notice if their behavior deviates from the established norms, and introduce the punishment for it. So, at any given moment, the inmates of the panopticon are uncertain whether the guard is watching them or not. Eventually, the inmates become convinced that they are constantly watched over, and since then, the prison can work effectively even without the physical presence of the guard in the tower. Foucault refers to this process as the internalization of the knowledge of being constantly observed. In turn, this knowledge transforms the inmates as they start behaving in a normalized way like “docile bodies,” even without any concrete evidence that there is actual surveillance. In such a way, the main aim of the panopticon—“a prison without wardens”—is achieved.

According to this framework, reality consists of a multiplicity of activities, bodies, individuals, objects, etc. Disciplinary power is exercised in such a reality through individualization techniques (Foucault, 1995). Thus, it is capable of normalizing individuals by disaggregating a multiplicity of an individual into constituent components. Surveillance is used for collecting information on individual bodies, which is then analyzed. Based on this analysis, punishment may be implemented if a deviation from the norm is detected. Following the logic of the exercise of disciplinary power, it is possible to say that it is centralized and concentrated as it requires a centralized aggregation of data for further analysis.

However, disciplinary power is not exercised only over subjects from outside (for instance, by a sovereign or a surveyor) but also from inside subjects. Thus, Foucault states that discipline creates subjectivity as an individual “is subjected to the field of visibility, and who knows it, assumes responsibility for the constraints of power; […] he inscribes in himself the power relation in which he simultaneously plays both roles; he becomes the principle of his own subjection” (Foucault, 1995: 202–203).

The ideal of disciplinary power is an entirely transparent social and physical space that could create complicit individuals. At the same time, agency (sovereign) and agents (guards) exercising power can preserve their invisibility and anonymity (Forrester, 2014). Ideally, such social space should exist in an enclosed and fixed physical space designed to allow the individualization and disaggregation of multiplicities of observed bodies (Foucault, 1995). Besides, the organization of the physical space should correspond to a pre-established normative model and serve the aim of normalization (Foucault, 1995). Therefore, there is a rationality behind such spatial organization, including the economic one, as it implies individualization and self-discipline.

Based on these Foucauldian ideas, Deleuze (1992) proposes a theory of control society. According to Deleuze, modern society is characterized by expanding discipline from physically enclosed spaces (prisons, factories, schools, etc.) to whole societies (Deleuze, 1992). Under this framework, a state aims at managing and controlling its population. Technologies capable of collecting and accumulating data on the population underlie the mode of governmentality in the control society because they allow for extending and deepening surveillance (Deleuze, 1992). In particular, they can collect and accumulate data by tracking movement, transactions, and other routine actions determined by technologies. So, surveillance technologies are distributed across society and omnipresent. Besides, the ongoing technological development allows them to transcend borders (Hagmann, 2017); therefore, the control society is not territorially limited anymore.

Another direction in which Foucault’s ideas have been further developed and transformed is the surveillance society theory. G.T. Marx (1985), inspired by G. Orwell’s novel 1984, coined the term “surveillance society.” Such a society is based on technologies, their constant development, and ever-increasing adaptation. Thus, surveillance builds not only upon surveillance practices but also upon devices, technologies (Haggerty & Ericson, 2000). In particular, technologies serve daily collection, storing, retrieving, and processing of information on individuals (Lyon, 1994).

So, one of the underlying assumptions of a surveillance society is that technological development and its adaptation result in an increased amount of gathered information on the members of this society. In such a way, technologies eliminate “the inability to retrieve, aggregate, analyze vast amounts of data” (Marx, 1985: 26). Such inability was a mechanism of social control as bureaucracies were limited in their data aggregation and analysis capacity.

Due to technological development, the efficacy of surveillance systems in data collection, systematization, and individualization increases. For example, modern technologies have a growing ability to communicate and merge, which results in an increase in the extent and depth of surveillance (Gray, 2002). Thus, merging databases of biometric ID and CCTV systems with facial recognition can facilitate the systematization of the collected data and allow identifying a person within several seconds. Additionally, due to the spread of technologies, participation in modern (at least Western) society implies leaving electronic footprints during routine activities (paying with a bank card, using social networks, going outside and being caught by a CCTV, etc.) (Lace, 2005). So, surveillance becomes more profound, and individuals are subject to it on an ever-increasing scale.

Another outcome of the development of surveillance technologies is that they are rendered less apparent, visible to the subjects of surveillance (Lyon, 2001). This low visibility of surveillance instruments signifies a critical departure from the Foucauldian description of disciplinary power and its mechanisms. In particular, Foucault suggests that individuals should be aware that they are subjected to constant surveillance and monitoring. Quite contrary to it, as surveillance becomes subtler, individuals are less aware of being subjected to surveillance and its scope (Wood & Webster, 2009). Therefore, the major part of such interactions with surveillance is unnoticed and considered normal. For this reason, some authors suggest that it is not entirely correct to consider video cameras in public spaces as a modern embodiment of the panopticon. Instead, CCTV signage takes the role of instilling discipline as, according to the legislation of many countries, it should be highly visible and remind people that they are in a zone under surveillance (Lippert, 2009).

D. Lyon, who is among the founders of surveillance society theory, considers video surveillance to be one of the modes of disciplinary power. In particular, within this approach, CCTV is regarded as a context for collecting, storing, and structuring information on individual members of society (Lyon, 2007; Wood & Webster, 2009). An observer could detect and punish those who show deviance from “normal” behavior based on the collected information. Hence, within this framework, it is expected that individuals will internalize the knowledge of being watched over and will start behaving in compliance with rules, that is, in a normalized way (Ericson & Haggerty, 1997; Graham & Wood, 2003). Therefore, video surveillance aims to anticipate and pre-manage risks that could arise within society by imposing disciplinary power.

Video surveillance also takes the asymmetry between an observer and observed after the Foucauldian description of disciplinary power (Lippert, 2009). In the panopticon, the inmates cannot reconstruct the guard’s personal or social identity since they are invisible, hidden from the inmates. The operation of CCTV implies almost the same discrepancy. Video surveillance is “placeless and faceless,” as it is nearly impossible to verify the presence and character of an observer because CCTV does not require an observer to be physically present in a place of observation (Koskela, 2002).

Given the asymmetry between a surveyor and surveyed, increasingly low visibility of video surveillance cameras, and its decentralization, in many countries, the legislation obliges private or public bodies to inform through appropriate signs that it is they who operate CCTVs in a public space. However, this information is frequently limited in the content as it allows reconstructing where the observer works and maybe their position in the organization, but any further particulars about the observer’s personality are not publicly available. So, the amount of information provided is insufficient for rendering an “unobservable observer” into an observable one to potential subjects of surveillance (Goold, 2002). Simultaneously, workers of CCTV control rooms can access such information about those under surveillance as their sex, age, social status, ethnicity, frequented places, time patterns of being in some locations, and so on. They can reconstruct it by observing the behaviors and appearances of the individuals caught by the gaze of video surveillance (Lippert, 2009).

Due to this transformative power of video surveillance and the asymmetry between a surveyor and surveyed, a surveillance society can be considered a constant threat to privacy and liberty. In particular, just like G.T. Marx, Garfinkel (2000) also appeals to the novel 1984 and the image of Big Brother as an extreme example of a surveillance society. At the same time, contrarily to it, CCTV can be considered an instrument of providing better public services, in particular, enhanced security, including the national one, and improved fight against crime and terrorism (Garfinkel, 2000).

Therefore, there is a dichotomy between providing better services, which comprises security provision, and privacy invasion in implementing surveillance technologies. So, data collection technologies (CCTV, ID cards, mobile phones, etc.) represent in the terminology proposed by Taylor, Lips, and Organ (2008) “information capture” for both enhanced and better services and increased surveillance over people. These two sides of surveillance are interlinked and interdependent, therefore, they happen simultaneously, and there is no choice between a safe, efficient society and a surveillance society.

The spread of surveillance technologies also affects the design of public spaces as they should meet requirements of “omnipresent visibility” (Lyon, 2011) and risk anticipation (Koskela, 2002). Therefore, they should be transparent. In turn, this transparency could facilitate the collection of more data on people in such spaces.

The incorporation of video surveillance in urban planning might aim to increase surveillance over specific groups of population (Fussey & Coaffe, 2012). In particular, areas with a higher concentration of people showing deviant behavior can be under heightened scrutiny as the local government would like to instill discipline there. At the same time, as Lyon (2011) points out, disciplinary spaces emphasize and might even provoke disorder, misbehavior, and signs of physical disturbances (pollution, abandonment, etc.). It happens because such individuals start to perceive their bodies as being constantly subjected to surveillance and, consequently, they feel the need to “produce selves for the observer” (Lyon, 2011: 6).

Citizens have a rightful expectation of privacy in the public spaces; however, video surveillance revokes this liberty as it allows a surveyor to scrutinize one’s behavior and patterns of everyday routine (von Hirsch, 2000). As a consequence, video surveillance could lead to the erosion of privacy. Thus, it can be used to track an individual for the purposes of security provision (someone shows deviant, suspicious, “abnormal” behavior, seems somehow different) and for the abuse of power (increased surveillance of someone who is known to CCTV operatives) (Smith, 2012; Webster, 2009). Therefore, the challenge is to prevent surveillance tools from evolving into more significant threats to the urban fabric than the ones they are utilized to solve (Gray, 2002).

Curry (1997) claims that individuals should be able to decide what pieces of information about themselves they want to make public and what they want to keep to themselves. Video surveillance deprives them of this control and an opportunity to adjust or change their social identity that they believe to be best in a given context. Once it is recorded on the footage, it stays fixed. Moreover, there is an inequality in surveillance: based on their observable behavior, people are differentiated not by who they are but by whom they are perceived to be. As the spaces of surveillance expand and private spaces shrink in cities, urban inhabitants exercise less and less control over the data collected about them (Gray, 2002).

Despite increasing levels of surveillance, a surveillance society approach considers this exposure to surveillance to be usually benign. Relative anonymity is preserved due to “informatization” (Frissen, 1989): each individual’s data is relatively insignificant by itself, and personal details are not utilized in any meaningful way. So, collected information is analyzed in a generalized or aggregated way.

Video Surveillance in a Security State

The theorization of the security state is based on Foucault’s notions of governmentality, security, and security apparatus. According to Foucault, governmentality is a power modality with “the population as its target, political economy as its major form of knowledge and apparatuses of security as its essential technical instrument” (Foucault, 2009: 143). So, governmentality comprises the logic, rationality, and techniques that make populations governable and enable government and other agencies to enact governance (Foucault, 1991). As logic, rationality, and techniques of governance change over time to correspond to the current needs and aims of government, the nature of governmentality evolves with time. Additionally, different power actors can simultaneously implement diverse or intersecting modes of governmentality. In turn, it contributes to the fluidity of governmentality.

Therefore, Foucault suggests examining reality as molded in a relativistic way within this framework. Constituent components of reality are constantly coordinated and adjusted in dependence on each other, and through it, the process of normalization happens. Consequently, security considers reality being plural and relative, and it does not have an “ideal” reality it should aspire to accomplish. Quite the opposite, the goals and circumstances of reality undergo a continuous change accounting for shifts in circumstances and contexts of the regulation (in particular, calculation of costs of interventions, availability of control techniques, public opinion, and others). Therefore, the improvement and optimization of the interplay of the components of reality is constant.

The apparatus of security starts normalization by disaggregating the reality on components. Then it identifies what normality is and, finally, it seeks to improve the interplay of the components of reality (Foucault, 2009). Just like reality, the process of normalization is also flexible as it depends on and accounts for reality and changes there. Therefore, one of the main problems of normalization is to identify the best ways to regulate such reality within a “multivalent and transformable framework” (Foucault, 2009: 35).

The proper work of the security apparatus requires disciplinary and juridico-legal techniques as they help identify conditions and boundaries within which the components or reality could be optimized. In particular, the former serves for enforcing control over individual bodies through surveillance over them, classification of their mental structures, pathologies, and so on (Foucault, 2009). In turn, the legal system is needed to establish and further sustain a force and strength relationship in society (Foucault, Simon, & Elden, 2017).

Security functions in a specific space called “milieu” in which a series of uncertain elements and events take place and which combines already existing givens (rivers, hills, etc.) and artificial ones (constructed by people) (Foucault, 2009). Hence, a milieu is “a medium of an action and an element in which it circulates” (Foucault, 2009: 36). The milieu is designed to regulate, optimize, and manage circulations of the population “in the very broad sense of movement, exchange, and contact, as a form of a dispersion, and also as a form of distribution” (Foucault, 2009: 92). The spatial design accounts for the flexible nature of reality because its basic principle is multidimensionality and the interplay of these dimensions.

A population, defined as a variety of individuals who are biologically bound to spaces of their inhabitation, exists in a milieu. The security apparatus serves to plan and organize a milieu and, consequently, exercise power over and govern the population. In particular, power structures actions that could have been different if the power had not been exercised (Foucault, 1991).

Given that governmentality seeks to rationalize every practice, the government’s main aim is to calculate risks arising within a population and choose measures for tackling and preventing them. At the same time, the political economy should be applied; therefore, benefits from the realization of preventive measures should exceed their costs. So, the security apparatus plays a crucial role in managing the population in modern states (Foucault, 2009).

Proponents of the security state develop the ideas of security, the apparatus of security, and governmentality. A security state considers a society to be in a “permanent state of emergency” or a “generalized state of exception” as it is engaged in a self-declared war against an invisible, permanent, and general threat—crime, terrorism, etc. (Agamben, 2017; Bigo, 2006). Although the state of emergency is usually limited in time, space, and object, a permanent and invisible threat removes these limitations. This theoretical approach considers a sovereign as the one who decides about the introduction of the state of emergency and who has the legitimate power to name the public enemy.

Being in a state of emergency makes it possible, under special circumstances, to act beyond the rule of law and justify the illiberal practices and violation of civil rights. The exploitation of security discourse, conjuring images of exceptional violence or threat, gives precedence to the speed and efficiency in identifying a (potential) criminal at the expense of liberal rights (Bigo, 2006). Simultaneously, a government can still adopt a liberal discourse appealing to the privatization of security, making security not a public good anymore but a private commodity (Loader, 1999). The privatization of surveillance is essential to rationalize the expenditures for the security provision. Therefore, video surveillance is not only increasingly ubiquitous but also privatized (Braithwaite, 2000). Besides, authorities stimulate inter-agency cooperation between state, private, and non-governmental bodies and exchange information between them (Crawford & Evans, 2017). For instance, private security organizations can hand in their videotapes if the police require them for crime investigation.

Among the drawbacks of the privatization of security is that the multiplicity of actors hinders creating a reliable data protection system. It happens because controls vary and might have different logic for different actors exercising surveillance; therefore, they might not be equal and target the same people in the same way (Zedner, 2003). Furthermore, despite the privatization of security, the penal state has not diminished, but on the contrary, expanded even more (Braithwaite, 2000). States introduced more strict and repressive penal codes, more stringent regulatory legislation, and provisions for licensing, inspection, and audit (Zedner, 2003).

The security state relies on the governmentality of unease. Practices of exceptionalism, profiling, and containing “others” characterize the governmentality of unease (Bigo, 2006; O’Malley, 2004). Therefore, a security state protects one part of the population from another. Monahan (2010) suggests that surveillance produces and sustains social inequalities in the security state because surveillance technologies are inherently biased and not neutral. Firstly, implemented through surveillance, social categorization facilitates the identification of one’s place in society and does not allow people to deviate from their category. Secondly, people are exposed to surveillance based on their social category. For instance, according to Monahan, marginalized people could be surveyed to a greater extent than other social groups. Besides, the process of surveillance affixes categories of risky, dangerous, or untrustworthy to these marginalized groups and, consequently, it contributes to the sustenance of the discrimination.

With time, the “state of exception” and governmentality of unease become unremarkable, mundane, and not even challenged (Agamben, 2005). Normalized populations silently consent to surveillance as it symbolizes protection from danger, “others” (Bigo, 2006). This positive attitude toward surveillance generates a lack of opposition to the implementation of video surveillance. On the contrary, the population might require it or ask for its enhancement (Bigo, 2006).

Following Foucault’s assumption about the lack of an “ideal” secure reality, authors suggest that, given the flexible and evolving nature of (potential) risks and threats, the pursuit of security is endless, and an absolute security state is practically unachievable (Freedman, 1992). Besides, security is not an objective state; instead, it is constructed continuously by an interplay of social and political processes (Williams, 2003). Powerful “securitizing actors” (for instance, policymakers, the media, big private corporations, and non-governmental organizations) play a significant role in constructing the notion of security (Taureck, 2006).

Under this framework, crime is considered rational and motivated by utility maximization (Clarke, 1995; Felson, 2002; Garland, 2001). Furthermore, it concerns the evolution of new forms of crime as criminals might be interested in developing crime activities only if they assume that their benefits would exceed the probability of being caught. Therefore, the main tools to tackle criminal activity are a statistical calculation of its probability and preventive interventions to reduce an opportunity for crime (situational crime prevention, risk assessment, monitoring, and surveillance) (O’Malley, 2004).

Video surveillance is among the tools facilitating the statistical calculation and prevention of dangerous situations as it allows observing, collecting, and analyzing patterns of behavior. Therefore, it is a proactive tool for tracing deviations from a normal behavior through analyzing observable characteristics caught on a record and their correlations (Zedner, 2003). In turn, it contributes to the governmentality of unease by facilitating the practices of exception of those who show deviance.

The way of tackling risks in a security state facilitates the proliferation of surveillance technologies. Expanding control and monitoring is possible due to technological advancements and their growing ability to transcend distance, physical barriers, and time. In a security state, bureaucracies have a deterministic belief that technologies and, especially, their capacity to trace people’s movements, recognize behavioral patterns, etc., can fix any political or security problem. Such technological determinism encourages technological adaptation as reflected in public policy and its further implementation (Bigo, 2006; Douglas & Wildavsky, 1983).

Therefore, authorities encourage and invest in technological development, especially in those allowing an increasing exchange of information that is collected and stored through different technologies. For instance, the information exchange between electronic ID systems and records of CCTV with facial recognition allows a surveyor to identify quickly those who are captured by video surveillance cameras. Authorities’ interest can be attributed to their expectation of high returns from these investments; therefore, they consider them profitable from an economic point of view (Bigo, 2006).

According to Garland (2001), urban fortification and intensified surveillance in private and public urban areas result from increased awareness of risk and governmentality of unease. This logic of dealing with threats affects how public spaces are designed. As Sorkin puts it: “if every person is under suspicion and every place is vulnerable, the only solution is to put everyone under surveillance and fortify every place” (Sorkin, 2008: viii). The possibility of a threat becomes an obligatory part of urban planning (Sorkin, 2008).

In addition, practices of exceptionalism penetrate urban design through gated communities and homogeneous gentrification that could result in radical segregation because any deviance can be banned from the gated territory (Sorkin, 2008). In turn, this urban design transforms people’s perception of others and trains citizens to be wary of others and anything different or suspicious.

This securitization and fortification of cities simultaneously threaten and encourage “the right to the city” (Lefebvre, 1996). On the one hand, situational crime prevention measures and increasing surveillance practices threaten social and political dynamism and civil disobedience, which are considered deviations from norms. On the other hand, the presence of, for instance, physical vehicle barriers and video surveillance can encourage more pedestrians to be present in the streets and more people to use public spaces (Simpson, Jensen, & Anders, 2017).

In a security society, the population is accustomed to accepting that the pursuit of security takes precedence over other public goods and services in particular situations (e.g., airport security checks, border checkpoints) (Zedner, 2003). This normalization of security precedence leads to a spillover of different security measures from “high-risk” situations and zones (airports, national borders) to everyday life (public transport, theaters, cinemas, city squares, etc.). In this expansion of security, video surveillance observes behavior and creates predetermined criminal profiles by collecting data. Simultaneously, CCTV is used as an instrument of management not only real but also perceived risks and threats.

Also, if previously some surveillance and biometric techniques (fingerprints and other biometric data collection) were applied to criminals only, since the beginning of the twentieth century, their application has expanded to all citizens and started to penetrate everyday life (Agamben, 2017). The whole population is put under surveillance, but those who show deviant, suspicious behavior require more intense and further surveillance, which can be realized not only through CCTV but also through checking the information in other databases. Any deviation from current norms is possible to detect due to constant social ordering, and measures should be undertaken to “alienate” deviant individuals from the population (Feeley & Simon, 1992; Goold, 2002; Zedner, 2003). Besides, with time, the biometric techniques are considered banal and go unnoticed that nobody from the population challenges its legitimacy and questions their efficiency in preventing risks (Bigo, 2006).

Discussion and Conclusions

This chapter has reviewed the key aspects of surveillance society and security space theories. More specifically, it focused on video surveillance, which facilitates data collection on members of society, and its implementation in urban spaces. As it follows from the previous sections, both theoretical approaches are deeply grounded in Foucault’s ideas. While the theory of surveillance society is primarily based on the concept of discipline, the approach of a security state draws on Foucault’s notion of apparatus of security and governmentality.

The theories have some points of coincidence and disparity. For instance, the extent and depth of surveillance are considered similarly. Thus, the proponents of both approaches suggest that surveillance technologies are the basis of exercising control in societies as they allow the collection, storage, and analysis of a vast amount of information. Furthermore, technological development could lead to deeper surveillance over members of societies by generating more knowledge about them. Therefore, the authorities usually facilitate it.

Simultaneously, the conceptualization of control is different. The surveillance society approach considers discipline as the only power and control modality; the security society theory offers a more complex understanding of control through governmentality and the functioning of the apparatus of security. Additionally, in a surveillance society, control aims to normalize all the members of the society and prevent deviance and security provision. Therefore, there is a dichotomy between, on the one hand, expanding control and surveillance and, on the other hand, provision of better services, which also entail security. In a security state, control extends as a state engages in a self-declared and constant war against crime and terrorism. Therefore, the state seeks to protect one part of its population from another, “dangerous” one. Such a battle against an invisible and permanent enemy allows for the expansion of control and surveillance as a mean of security provision.

Both approaches account for the invasion of one’s privacy due to increasing surveillance. Furthermore, the surveillance society and security state members are ready to sacrifice a part of their rights (in this case, a right to anonymity in public spaces) in exchange for security. At the same time, if the surveillance society approach suggests relative anonymity of “ordinary” citizens, the security society framework supposes that their further social ordering is needed. It also happens because video surveillance helps detect behavioral patterns that are then scrutinized by those in power to calculate risks or benefits.

The theories also differ in their understanding of those who can exercise surveillance. Thus, the disciples of a surveillance society suggest concentration and centralization of power, while the proponents of a security state allow for the privatization of security. Privatization also has implications for privacy concerns as there is a multitude of actors who can implement surveillance.

Within both approaches, the surveillance technologies are considered to serve the prevention of risks that could arise within societies, although the mechanisms of prevention are different. Thus, the surveillance society framework suggests that the knowledge of being watched over is internalized, and gradually the potential for deviance is eliminated. In contrast, the theory of the security state emphasizes the role of governmentality in prevention: calculation of possible crimes or deviations and their prevention.

Additionally, the theoretical approaches also perceive the presence of video surveillance in urban spaces differently. Thus, surveillance society theory highlights that urban design should account for increasing surveillance and provision of security; therefore, it should be highly visible and transparent. In contrast, the proponents of a security state suggest that the design of urban spaces should account for the declaration of war against crime and, consequently, be fortified against any possible threat.

Therefore, this brief discussion shows that the theories have some similarities and disparities. However, applying only one theoretical approach to conducting an empirical study and analyzing its results might lead to an insufficient understanding of the complexity of society. Thus, Borch (2015) suggests that applying surveillance society theory might lead to a tendency of finding traces of disciplinary power everywhere which might not account for some other processes evolving in society.

The empirical research indicates that there might be different logics of security provision and implementation of surveillance in contrasting contexts (for instance, affluent and marginal neighborhoods) within one city (Stefanizzi & Verdolini, 2018; Valente & Crescenzi Lanna, 2019). As to video surveillance, the research, conducted by Monahan (2010), indicates that the logic of surveying marginalized and wealthy areas of the same city could be different. If in the former, video surveillance is used for instilling discipline (surveillance society), in the latter, it serves for security as a tool for profiling and excepting those showing deviance (security state).

Therefore, drawing on the two theoretical approaches might enrich and inform the interpretation of the empirical findings, which, in turn, contributes to our understanding of society. Future research might investigate how these two logics of implementation of surveillance and security provision might coexist within one society, what are the implications of their coexistence, and what factors contribute to the dominance of one of the approaches in a given context.