Call: Dialogues on Surveillance and Covid-19

As the Dialogue Editor of Surveillance & Society, I invite expressions of interest to write short (~2000-word) papers for an upcoming critical Dialogue section of the journal that takes stock of “the surveillance and privacy implications of COVID-19 one year on from its global emergence.” We aim to publish the section in the March 2021 issue of Surveillance & Society.

The big-picture questions we are seeking to examine are: Looking back over the past year, how has the global COVID-19 pandemic affected state or private surveillance around the world? Have new forms of surveillance emerged? How do these new surveillance systems (such as, but not limited to, automated contract-tracing programs) fit into or break out of existing models or theories of surveillance in society? Are we seeing very different surveillance responses in different parts of the world? Are these new developments examples of surveillance as a means of providing “care” (and, if so, how should we think critically about these forms of surveillance)?

Specifically, I am looking for short contributions that answer (some of) these questions and, in the process, also critically examine the (new) role that such surveillance may play in societies around the globe and suggest ideas, theories, or methods to approach surveillance studies research in the future. We are hoping to curate a small set of papers from scholars in various parts of the world, including in the Global South and areas not as commonly the focus of surveillance studies research. As such, we will prioritize submissions against those criteria, in addition to excellence and fit with the full set of accepted papers.

If you are interested in proposing a short paper for inclusion in this discussion, please send the following to me on or before the end of day on Dec. 13, 2020 (to

  • Your name, details of your institutional affiliation (if applicable), and information about your connection to the region of the world that you propose to examine in your proposed Dialogue paper.
  • A title and 300-400 word abstract for your proposed contribution (proposals should connect to the themes identified above and also have a strong normative element)

Please note that Dialogue pieces are not refereed, but are subject to editorial review and, if (tentatively) accepted, possible requests for revision. Depending on time constraints, we also hope to allow authors of accepted papers the chance to read and engage with the other accepted papers prior to publication, to create a real dialogue within the section. We will only be selecting a small number of pieces for inclusion in this special section.

I look forward to reading your proposals.