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How does the geography of surveillance affect collective action?


Penić, Sandra; Donnay, Karsten; Bhavnani, Ravi; Elcheroth, Guy; Albzour, Mai (2024). How does the geography of surveillance affect collective action? Political Psychology, 45(2):319-340.

Abstract

How does residing in the proximity of surveillance infrastructure—i.e., checkpoints, the separation barrier, and military installations—affect support for cooperative and confrontational forms of collective action? Cooperative actions involve engagement with outgroups to advance the ingroup cause (e.g., negotiations, joint actions, and peace movements), whereas confrontational actions involve unilateral tactics to weaken the outgroup (e.g., boycott, armed resistance). In the context of West Bank and Jerusalem, we combine geo‐coded data on the surveillance infrastructure with a representative survey of the adult population from 49 communities (N = 1,000). Our multilevel analyses show that surveillance does not affect support for confrontational actions but instead decreases support for cooperative actions. Moreover, we identify a new, community‐level mechanism whereby surveillance undermines cooperative actions through weakening inclusive norms that challenge dominant us‐versus‐them perspectives. These effects are empirically robust to various individual‐ and community‐level controls, as well as to the potential of reverse causality and residential self‐selection. Our findings illustrate how cooperative voices and the fabric of social communities become the first casualties of exposure to surveillance. They also speak to the importance of considering structural factors, with broader implications for the socio‐psychological study of collective action.

Abstract

How does residing in the proximity of surveillance infrastructure—i.e., checkpoints, the separation barrier, and military installations—affect support for cooperative and confrontational forms of collective action? Cooperative actions involve engagement with outgroups to advance the ingroup cause (e.g., negotiations, joint actions, and peace movements), whereas confrontational actions involve unilateral tactics to weaken the outgroup (e.g., boycott, armed resistance). In the context of West Bank and Jerusalem, we combine geo‐coded data on the surveillance infrastructure with a representative survey of the adult population from 49 communities (N = 1,000). Our multilevel analyses show that surveillance does not affect support for confrontational actions but instead decreases support for cooperative actions. Moreover, we identify a new, community‐level mechanism whereby surveillance undermines cooperative actions through weakening inclusive norms that challenge dominant us‐versus‐them perspectives. These effects are empirically robust to various individual‐ and community‐level controls, as well as to the potential of reverse causality and residential self‐selection. Our findings illustrate how cooperative voices and the fabric of social communities become the first casualties of exposure to surveillance. They also speak to the importance of considering structural factors, with broader implications for the socio‐psychological study of collective action.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
08 Research Priority Programs > Digital Society Initiative
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Clinical Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords:Political Science and International Relations, Philosophy, Sociology and Political Science, Clinical Psychology, Experimental and Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 April 2024
Deposited On:21 Sep 2023 12:49
Last Modified:30 Mar 2024 04:42
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0162-895X
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12925
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID171188
  • : Project TitleFostering pluralistic memories and collective resilience in fragile transitional justice processes
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID180684
  • : Project TitleGeographies of exclusionary surveillance and collective resilience in the occupied Palestinian territories
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)