Vol. 2 (2019): Surveillance societies under the microscope
Transparency is a concept that has been approached by surveillance theory and studies on privacy since the emergence of the field along with Bentham’s development of the Panopticon and Foucault’s re-appropriation of the concept. By establishing a framework where surveillance is regarded as an omnipresent disciplinary tool, Bentham and Foucault have also established the blueprints of a continuously evolving theory that has caught the interest of several scholars. Some scholars, such as Deleuze, Haggerty and Ericson or Zuboff have preferred to develop their thinking by stepping away from the Panoptic logic for they reproached its statism. Most of their research is thus dedicated to emphasising the dynamics of surveillance. Most scholars have nevertheless preferred to keep, yet modify panoptic features and adapt them to their own conceptualisation of surveillance: i.e. participatory/lateral surveillance (see Albrechtslund, Andrejevic, Jansson, Lyon…). Therefore, their underlying intention was to modernise the field due to the development of social media as a new, and quite powerful, means of surveillance. Indeed, the emergence of social media is what gives transparency its significant topicality. This is why, within a period of several months, eight students participating in the MaRBLe programme “Transparency in Perspective” have developed seven unique and individual research projects, which are all linked to the major topics of surveillance and privacy. Numerous individual as well as group meetings, countless hours of intensive reading, debating and summarizing, and differing theoretical as well as practical approaches have finally resulted in the following seven contributions to this volume.