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Explaining attitudes to secret surveillance in post-communist societies
Stockholm Univeristy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3562-7722
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Political Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9081-7302
2018 (English)In: East European Politics, ISSN 2159-9165, E-ISSN 2159-9173, Vol. 34, no 2, p. 123-151Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article seeks to explain public attitudes to secret surveillance. Secret surveillance, for example wiretapping by intelligence agencies, is a controversial activity that affects fundamental civil liberties in any democratic system. Several large research projects have recently attempted to explain how people form opinions about surveillance in general. Thereby privacy concerns and institutional trust are often highlighted. In this article, we argue that earlier research uses a too narrow definition of attitudes to surveillance and that secret surveillance is particularly sensitive due to its opaque character. We introduce a two-dimensional concept that focuses on rationalistic and emotional responses to surveillance. Drawing on new data from three post-communist societies – Estonia, Poland, and Serbia – we show how institutional trust is mainly responsible for explaining acceptance of secret surveillance, but not how one feels about it. Instead, it is the level of ontological insecurity and privacy concerns that explains this second dimension. The results are theorised and implications for future research are discussed. © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 34, no 2, p. 123-151
Keywords [en]
Central and Eastern Europe, post-communism, privacy, security, Surveillance, trust
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34837DOI: 10.1080/21599165.2018.1454314ISI: 000433053300001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85044391889OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-34837DiVA, id: diva2:1197402
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, A051-12Available from: 2018-04-12 Created: 2018-04-12 Last updated: 2018-10-01Bibliographically approved

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Svenonius, OlaBjörklund, Fredrika

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
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