Title Making Surveillance States
Subtitle Transnational Histories
Author Robert Heynen, Emily van der Meulen
ISBN 9781487522483
List price USD 39.95
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 360
Book size 147 x 229 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher University of Toronto Press
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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Making Surveillance States sets a high bar for future work in surveillance history. Providing a sorely needed transnational perspective, the authors show just how essential surveillance was to the development of the medical, judicial, and political systems we have today. This book is especially urgent in this politically explosive moment, as we try to grapple with what the future holds in store for ‘surveillance states’ around the globe.”

Joshua Reeves, New Media Communications, Oregon State University

Making Surveillance States is a new and exciting take on the history of surveillance that will prove to be a valuable addition to the scholarship.”

William Staples, Department of Sociology, Director, Surveillance Studies Research Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence

“An invaluable book combining histories of the micro-practices of administrative control with the broad sweep of imperial politics in parts of the world long neglected by historiographies of surveillance and state building.”

Keith Breckenridge, The Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg


Making Surveillance States: Transnational Histories opens up new and exciting perspectives on how systems of state surveillance developed over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Taking a transnational approach, the book challenges us to rethink the presumed novelty of contemporary surveillance practices, while developing critical analyses of the ways in which state surveillance has profoundly shaped the emergence of contemporary societies.

Contributors engage with a range of surveillance practices, including medical and disease surveillance, systems of documentation and identification, and policing and security. These approaches enable us to understand how surveillance has underpinned the emergence of modern states; sustained systems of state security; enabled practices of colonial rule; perpetuated racist and gendered forms of identification and classification; regulated and policed migration; shaped the eugenically inflected medicalization of disability and sexuality; and contained dissent. While surveillance is thus bound up with complex relations of power, it is also contested. Emerging from the book is a sense of how state actors understood and legitimized their own surveillance practices, as well as how these practices have been implemented in different times and places. At the same time, contributors explore the myriad ways in which these systems of surveillance have been resisted, challenged, and subverted.


List of Illustrations

Foreword by David Lyon





Chapter 1. Unpacking State Surveillance: Histories, Theories, and Global Contexts (Emily Van Der Meulen and Robert Heynen)

Section One: Medical, Disease, and Health Surveillance

Chapter 2. “Coolie” Control: State Surveillance and the Labour of Disinfection across the Late Victorian British Empire (Jacob Steere-Williams)

Chapter 3. Surveillance, Medicine, and the Misterios de la Naturaleza: Campaigns to “Cure” Deafness in Late Nineteenth-Century Mexico City (Holly Caldwell)

Chapter 4. “Masquerading as a Woman”: The South African Disguises Acts and the Ghosts of Apartheid Surveillance, 1906-2004 (B Camminga)

Section Two: Identification, Regulation, and Colonial Rule

Chapter 5. The Penal Surveillant Assemblage: Attainder and Tickets of Leave in Nineteenth-Century Colonial Australia (Ian Warren and Darren Palmer)

Chapter 6. Controlling Transnational Asian Mobilities: A Comparison of Documentary Systems in Australia and South Africa, 1890s to 1940s (Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie and Margaret Allen)

Chapter 7. Bodies as Risky Resources: Japan’s Colonial Identification Systems in Northeast China (Midori Ogasawara)

Chapter 8. A State of Exception: Frameworks and Institutions of Israeli Surveillance of Palestinians, 1948-1967 (Ahmad H. Sa’di)

Section Three: State Security, Policing, and Dissent

Chapter 9. Dossierveillance in Communist Romania: Collaboration with the Securitate, 1945–1989 (Cristina Plamadeala)

Chapter 10. The FBI and the American Friends Service Committee: Surveilling United States Religious Expression in the Cold War Era (Kathryn Montalbano)

Chapter 11. “When under Surveillance, Always Put on a Good Show”: Representations of Surveillance in the United States Underground Press, 1968–1972 (Elisabetta Ferrari and John Remensperger)

Chapter 12. “That’s Not a Conversation That Belongs to the Museum”: The (In)visibility of Surveillance History at Police Museums in Ontario, Canada (Matthew Ferguson, Justin Piché, and Kevin Walby)


Afterword (Simone Browne)


List of Contributors


About the Editors:

Robert Heynen is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at York University.
Emily van der Meulen is an associate professor in the Department of Criminology at Ryerson University.

Target Audience:

Useful for people interested in communication and cultural studies, criminology, history, science and technology, legal studies and sociology.


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