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Conferences, 2006, Security, CCTV, Surveillance

Eric Töpfer:Unleashed: The World Cup 2006 as Catalyst

Public area CCTV has become an essential strategy of space control and criminal justice in the post-Fordist entrepreneurial city and the neoliberal competitive state: In symbolic terms it is used to appease revanchist middle classes and in material terms it is utilized to purify shopping areas aiming to attract affluent consumers.

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Missing picture of a lot of surveillance cameras
Copyright: darkwing2204

However, the mere existence of new control technologies is far from a sufficient reason for them to be used extensively. In Germany the rise of public area CCTV has been contained by the legal and institutional framework at both the national and regional level though it is tested since the mid-1990s. The paper will trace the diffusion of public area CCTV in the German context and aims to demonstrate how the World Cup 2006 marks a breakthrough as anti-terrorism and public order are utilized to legitimize its expansion. Drawing on examples of other recent major sport events such as the Athens Olympics 2004 it finally discusses whether this process entails the development of an enduring network of visual surveillance such as in Britain and other nations under siege of the electronic gaze.

Eric Töpfer is social researcher at the "undefined"Centre for Technology and Society of the Technische Universität Berlin where he coordinated "undefined"URBANEYE, a comparative EU-funded project on CCTV in Europe. He studied Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin. His research interests are technologies of social and political control, the transformation of policing and statehood and violent urban conflict. Recent publications: Videoüberwachung in Europa. Entwicklung, Perspektiven und Probleme, in: Kreowski (ed.): Informatik und Gesellschaft. Verflechtungen und Perspektiven, Münster: LIT (forthcoming); Die Kamera als Waffe. Videoüberwachung und der Wandel des Krieges, in: Hempel/Metelmann (eds.): Bild-Raum-Kontrolle. Videoüberwachung als Zeichen gesellschaftlichen Wandels, Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp 2005.