Current Western Reactions to Mass Surveillance: Movement or Just Protests?

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The chapter investigates social mobilisation going beyond our traditional understandings of social movement in a German context. Since the summer of 2013, an extensive system of surveillance came to the attention of the general public. It was learned that the American NSA, the British GCHQ and other Western agencies are extensively surveying billions of Internet users worldwide, employing a so-called 'collect-it-all' approach. The reaction was protests by a heterogeneity of different actors, however, a movement against surveillance is not to be found. This chapter conducts a ‘test’ of ten hypotheses regarding the question why a movement has not been formed. The chapter produces support for the hypotheses that a lack of anger, a lack of hope for change, the ab-stractness of the issue, a lack of a common antagonist and a perceived shrinking importance of privacy are influential variables for the non-formation of a movement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitics of Dissent
EditorsMartin Bak Jørgensen, Oscar Garcia Agustin
Place of PublicationFrankfurt
PublisherPeter Lang
Publication dateJun 2015
ISBN (Print)9783631660942
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


  • Surveillance
  • Protest
  • Social movement

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  • Dissent!

    Sandro Nickel (Organizer)

    16 Jan 201417 Jan 2014

    Activity: Attending an eventConference organisation or participation

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