Vision and transterritory : the borders of Europe

Follis, Karolina (2017) Vision and transterritory : the borders of Europe. Science, Technology, and Human Values, 42 (6). pp. 1003-1030. ISSN 0162-2439

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This essay is about the role of visual surveillance technologies in the policing of the external borders of the European Union. Based on an analysis of documents published by EU institutions and independent organizations I argue that these technological innovations fundamentally alter the nature of national borders. I discuss how new technologies of vision are deployed to transcend the physical limits of territories. In the last twenty years EU member states and institutions have increasingly relied on various forms of remote tracking, including the use of drones for the purposes of monitoring frontier zones. In combination with other facets of the EU border management regime (such as transnational databases and biometrics) these technologies coalesce into a system of governance that has enabled intervention into neighboring territories and territorial waters of other states to track and target migrants for interception in the “prefrontier.” For jurisdictional reasons, this practice effectively precludes the enforcement of legal human rights obligations, which European states might otherwise have with regard to these persons. This article argues that this technologically mediated expansion of vision has become a key feature of post-Cold War governance of borders in Europe. The concept of transterritory is proposed to capture its effects.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Science, Technology, and Human Values
Additional Information:
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Science, Technology, and Human Values, 42 (6), 2017, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2017 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Science, Technology, and Human Values page: on SAGE Journals Online
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? borderssurveillancedroneseuropean unioneurosursocial sciences(all)economics and econometricssocial sciences (miscellaneous)philosophysociology and political scienceengineering(all)anthropologyhuman-computer interaction ??
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Deposited On:
30 Jun 2017 09:04
Last Modified:
24 May 2024 01:56