Seeing population: census and surveillance by numbers

Ruppert, Evelyn (2012). Seeing population: census and surveillance by numbers. In: Ball, Kirstie; Haggerty, Kevin and Lyon, David eds. Routledge International Handbook of Surveillance Studies. Routledge, pp. 209–216.



The chapter outlines how the development of population censuses and their alternatives such as population registers and government administrative databases can be understood as different forms of surveillance by numbers. That is, it investigates how the gaze of these devices is fixed on surveilling whole populations and governing by numbers. Rather than being more or less surveillant or constituting better and cheaper ‘information’ about populations it argues that different numbering devices find, see and count different populations and have different governing consequences. It is these differences that the chapter explores.

Viewing alternatives

No digital document available to download for this item

Item Actions