Legitimering av övervakning i lokal säkerhetspolitik

  • Ola Svenonius


Video surveillance in public space is common in contemporary urban environments. It is thought to be an efective deterrent against crime and terrorism. According to evaluation research, this is a false assumption. Yet cities and transport agencies continue to invest in video surveillance programs. This article uses public transport as a starting point to compare urban security governance in Berlin, Stockholm, and Warsaw. The aim is to explain the continuing difusion of video surveillance as a tool in urban security policy. Particular focus is attributed to local policymakers’ understanding of goals and merits of video surveillance, and to the way that surveillance is legitimized. Results point towards a strong influence of privatization and commercialization of urban space in the difusion of video surveillance. However, the degree in which citizens experience surveillance as threatening play a certain role as well, highlighting the crucial role of critical democratic citizenship.