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Smart Surveillance

Special Issue of Surveillance & Society

Edited by David Murakami Wood and Valerie Steeves

Submission deadline: September 1, 2020 for publication March 2021.


This special issue will bring together research from across the social sciences and humanities about how smart technologies produce and construct surveillance in cities, municipal governments and local public sector organizations. Smart surveillance is the nexus of surveillance with pervasive or ubiquitous computing: sensors, algorithms, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). It concerns robots and automation, and the Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality (AR), voice assistants and smart homes, smart transport, smart health, smart schools, smart cities... smart everything. The questions we are interested in range from:

  *   the theoretical, e.g. Is ‘smartness’ always founded on surveillance? Is ‘smart surveillance’ just a development of new or digital surveillance, or potentially a bigger transformation in urban governance?

  *   the empirical, e.g. what are the surveillance features, relations and consequences of particular smart practices, models and technologies?

  *   the ethical, e.g. what are forms of smart surveillance that contribute to the “good”?

  *   and the political and political-economic, e.g. what interests are at play in proposals for ‘smart’ developments? Who benefits and who has most to lose? How are smart developments part of a shift to platform governance?

The issue will question how resources are brought together to create smart systems and the ways in which those systems (re)shape practices in education, healthcare, policing, the regulation of public streets and the delivery of other public services. It will seek to capture the legal, ethical, social and political consequences of smart governance and their implications for trust, discrimination, accountability and transparency. How, for instance, does algorithmically-driven teaching software shift educational practices either before or during the pandemic isolation? What are the implications of using algorithmically-driven hubs/situation tables to target persons at risk for service delivery? How does real-time situational awareness reshape policing? And many more.


Proposed topics might include (but are not limited to):

  *   Theories of smartness and surveillance

  *   Histories of smart surveillance

  *   Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, algorithms and surveillance

  *   Smart policing

  *   Smart surveillance, social divisions and social (in)justice

  *   Smart workplace surveillance

  *   Smart surveillance, schools and education

  *   Smart cities and surveillance

  *   Smart environments as laboratories and testbeds

  *   Smart surveillance and health

  *   Smartness and race, gender, class etc. - we particularly encourage intersectional analyses of ‘smart’

  *   Smartness and culture(s) / culture(s) of smartness

  *   Smart people / smart systems: What does it means to be human in a world of smart surveillance?


Submission Information:

We welcome full academic papers, opinion pieces, review pieces, poetry, artistic, and audiovisual submissions. Submissions will undergo a peer-review and revision process prior to publication. Submissions should be original work, neither previously published nor under consideration for publication elsewhere. All references to previous work by contributors should be masked in the text (e.g., “Author 2015”).

All papers must be submitted through the online submission system no later than September 1, 2020, for publication in March 2021. (When submitting, please indicate in the notes box that the paper is for the special issue on Smart Surveillance.)

Please submit the papers in a MS Word-compatible format. For further submission guidelines, please see: https://ojs.library.queensu.ca/index.php/surveillance-and-society/about/submissions

For all inquiries regarding the issue, please contact the editors: Valerie Steeves [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> and David Wood [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.



David Murakami Wood


Japan Foundation Fellow, ‘Security and Tokyo 2020’, Meiji University, Tokyo (2019-20).

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.

Co-editor-in-Chief, Surveillance & Society, http://www.surveillance-and-society.org<http://www.surveillance-and-society.org/>

[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

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