Assessing the Technologies of Political Control

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Rappert, Brian (1999) Assessing the Technologies of Political Control , Journal of Peace Research 36(6): 741–750.

In recent years, governments around the world have spent significant amounts of money researching, developing and deploying new technology for their security forces. This article seeks to further the understanding of these so-called 'technologies of political control', by exploring three questions: How can we understand the consequences of this technology? What kind of knowledge is important in assessing them? What strategies could form a basis for controlling them? It is maintained that answers to these questions depend on the underlying assumptions made about the relation between technology and wider societal relations. Developing a more adequate understanding of technologies of political control requires a further examining of these assumptions in light of the 'politics' of technology.