POLS 082. Surveillance and Repression (CP)

All states collect information on citizens and use violence to counter certain threats to their authority.  But the extent of such activity, and its implications for the liberty and wellbeing of citizens, can vary widely across time and space.  Focusing on the United States and Latin America, this course examines the politics of state surveillance and repression.  We first investigate the growth of the US surveillance state in the second half of the 20th century and the role of surveillance and repression in several authoritarian regimes in Latin America during that time period.  We then consider how technological changes have amplified the capacity of states to surveil citizens in the 21st century and the struggles of different societies across the Americas to place appropriate limits on such activity, examining topics like mass communications collection, the spread of commercial spyware, the exportation of surveillance technologies to Latin American countries by both the US and China, and the role of big tech companies whose business models has been termed "surveillance capitalism."
Social Science.
1 credit.
Eligible for LALS, PEAC, FMST
Spring 2024. Handlin.
Catalog chapter: Political Science  
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/political-science

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