The Global Turn to Authoritarianism and After

David Murakami Wood

Queen’s University, Canada.

Surveillance & Society 15(3/4)


This editorial introduces the special responsive issue on the global turn to authoritarianism. It points out the lack of any systematic political theory of the way in which authority and surveillance relate within Surveillance Studies and sketches some possible outlines for such a theory, that involves relationships between surveillance, democracy, authoritarianism, colonialism and capitalism. It argues that the contemporary turn to authoritarianism is predominantly a Global North phenomenon, that adds to an already common situation in the post-colonial Global South, and that the fears that drive the turn to authoritarianism in the North are rooted in fears of the breakdown of a post-colonial global order that was so favourable to the Global North. Finally, it proposes three possible trajectories: multiplying and deepening authoritarianism; the return of neoliberalism on a planetary scale; and new forms of platform authoritarianism that emerging from surveillance capitalism. However, it rejects all of these in favour of the rediscovery of collective desires.



Multilayered surveillance in Israel/Palestine: Dialectics of inclusive exclusion

Ariel Handel                                                                         Hilla Dayan
Minerva Humanities Center                                             Amsterdam University College
Tel Aviv University, Israel                                                 The Nederlands                                                

The paper examines the surveillance apparatuses in Israel/Palestine as mechanisms aiming to secure support for the Israeli regime, and to preserve its domination over the entire territory in dispute. We analyze three layers of surveillance: “exclusionary surveillance” towards Palestinians; “normalizing surveillance” towards Jewish-Israeli citizens; and finally, “globalizing surveillance” using Zionist constituencies as agents for building a “domain of defense” for Israel in their own countries. Taking into consideration these power and surveillance dispositives, we draw insights on the global authoritarian turn and suggest a post- Foucauldian transnational approach to the study of the relations between surveillance, socialization, and subjectification processes.