Article | Open Access
“Austerity Surveillance” in Greece under the Austerity Regime (2010−2014)
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: austerity; coveillance; Greece; surveillance
© Minas Michael Samatas. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.