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Surveillance, authoritarianism and “imperial effects" in Pakistan

Ahmad, Mahvish and Mehmood, Rabia (2017) Surveillance, authoritarianism and “imperial effects" in Pakistan. Surveillance and Society, 15 (3-4). 506 – 513. ISSN 1477-7487

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Identification Number: 10.24908/ss.v15i3/4.6721


To speak of ‘Surveillance and the Global Turn to Authoritarianism’ presupposes a moment with little connection to that which has gone before, or places outside of North America and Europe. While Trump and Brexit inaugurate a consequential shift, even rupture, in the political terrain, we must not lose sight of places and peoples where American Wars – with European support – were overtly and covertly waged in the decades preceding this ‘global turn’, nor the fate of these places today. We argue that the sustained transfer of sophisticated surveillance technologies, as part and parcel of both direct military assault and more expansive support for security states, has had lasting imperial effects outside imperial centres that reverberate today. We take our point of departure in Pakistan – the site of hundreds of drone bombardments under Obama, one of the top recipients of US military aid, and the largest known recipient of funding from the National Security Agency (NSA) – to argue that ’global turns’ must not forget the rest of the world, and Surveillance Studies may have far to go before it fully addresses its Eurocentrism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
U Military Science
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 12:54
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 01:23

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