Governance by pilot projects: Experimenting with surveillance in Dutch crime control

Grommé, Francisca. 2015. Governance by pilot projects: Experimenting with surveillance in Dutch crime control. Doctoral thesis, University of Amsterdam [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

Technologies that collect and analyse personal data about people and their behaviour, often referred to as surveillance technologies, are introduced in ever more parts of daily life. In this dissertation I investigate the experimental manner in which they enter crime control practices in the Netherlands. My concern is with how they change governance, including who and what are understood as criminal. My research question is: how do surveillance technologies and crime governance affect each other in experimental practices?
The experimental practices I focus on are pilot studies. The cases are a pilot study of acoustic aggression detection by a local police station; of data mining by a local government; and of Codemark, a spray with traceable liquid (‘synthetic DNA’) used by ticket inspectors in public transport to mark suspects of assault.

Together, these cases suggest that pilot studies are means of governance in which technologies take part in rearranging the world we live in. Authorities, norms and governable spaces in crime control were rearranged, although not always dramatically or permanently. Aspects of pilot studies deserving critical attention and care are, among others, their exclusionary character; the dismissal of test sites as disturbing; and the sporadic ways in which pilots respect leading principles of constitutional democracies, laws and regulations.

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Thesis (Doctoral)

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Date Deposited:

25 May 2016 10:21

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 11:35


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