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Radical Philosophy Review

Volume 23, Issue 1, 2020

Strategies of Resistance

Benjamin Stumpf
Pages 117-136

The Whiteness of Watching
Surveillant Citizenship and the Carceral State

This article seeks to develop a concept I term surveillant citizenship, referring to a historically-emergent civic national and moral discourse that prescribes citizen participation in surveillance, policing, and law enforcement. Drawing on philosophy of race, surveillance studies, critical prison studies, and cultural theory, I argue that the ideological projects attached to the ‘War on Crime’ and the ‘War on Drugs’ sought to choreograph white social life around surveillant citizenship—manufacturing consent to police militarization, prison expansion, and mass incarceration, with consequences relevant to the future of antiracist strategy.

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