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"Austerity surveillance" in Greece under the Austerity regime (2010-2014)

[journal article]

Samatas, Minas

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Abstract In this article we have tried to analyze "austerity surveillance" (AS), its features, and its functions under the extreme austerity regime in Greece during 2010-2014, before the election of the leftist government. AS is a specific kind of coercive neoliberal surveillance, which in the name of fighting tax evasion and corruption is targeting the middle and lower economic strata and not the rich upper classes. It is based mainly on "coveillance", i.e. citizen-informers' grassing, public naming, and shaming. Functioning as a domination and disciplinary control mechanism of the entire population, it works within a post-democratic setting without accountability or democratic control. We provide empirical evidence of these features and functions, including some indicative personal testimonies of austerity surveillance subjects. After presenting some cases of electronic surveillance as an indispensable supplement to AS, we then briefly underline the negative personal, and socio-political impact of this surveillance. In conclusion, a tentative assessment is made of AS' efficiency in the Greek case, comparing it with other types of past and present authoritarian surveillance in Greece and in other current surveillance societies, considering also the prospects for its abolition or its reproduction by the new leftist government.
Keywords monitoring; Greece; control; disciplinary measures
Classification Media Politics, Information Politics, Media Law; Political System, Constitution, Government
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 68-80
Journal Media and Communication, 3 (2015) 3
Issue topic Surveillance: critical analysis and current challenges (part II)
ISSN 2183-2439
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution