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Compliance-Industrial Complex: The Operating System of a Pre-Crime Society

New book by Tereza Østbø Kuldova is available for pre-order and will be out in November 2022.

This is the first book to examine the growth and phenomenon of a securitized and criminalized compliance society which relies increasingly on intelligence-led and predictive technologies to control future risks, crimes, and security threats. It articulates the emergence of a ‘compliance-industrial complex’ that synthesizes regulatory capitalism and surveillance capitalism to impose new regimes of power and control, as well as new forms of subjectivity subservient to the ‘operating system’ of a pre-crime society. Looking at compliance beyond frameworks of business management, corporate governance, law, and accounting, it looks as it as a social phenomenon, instrumental in the pluralization and privatization of policing, where the private intelligence, private security, and big tech companies are being concentrated at the very core of compliance, and hence, governance of the social. The critical book draws on transversal, rather than interdisciplinary, approaches and integrates disparate perspectives, inspired by works in critical criminology, critical algorithm studies, critical management studies, as well as social anthropology and philosophy.

"This landmark text demonstrates how compliance measures have morphed into an entire industrial complex that is reshaping the very fabric of the regulation, governance, and policing of both ordinary workers and elite corporate actors. Frightening in some of its implications, it shows that the drab and tedious realm of compliance is something to be taken very seriously and given our undivided critical attention. Kuldova achieves the impressive feat of making an otherwise dull subject crackle with life and political urgency. Essential reading for anyone who has ever completed a mandatory e-learning course."

-Thomas Raymen, Northumbria University, UK

"It's often been said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Kuldova's cutting-edge research into what she calls the 'compliance-industrial complex' reveals in fine detail how new hi-tech systems of algorithmic information gathering and social management, while claiming to make the world a safer and better place, are dehumanising our everyday lives, displacing democratic politics, threatening hard-won freedoms and pushing us along that very road at an increasing pace. Very few academic research monographs can be legitimately described as 'page-turners', but this is one of them."

-Professor Steve Hall, author of Theorizing Crime and Deviance

Tereza Østbø Kuldova is Research Professor at the Work Research Institute, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway. She is a social anthropologist and the author of How Outlaws Win Friends and Influence People (Palgrave, 2019), Luxury Indian Fashion: A Social Critique (Bloomsbury, 2016), co-editor of Crime, Harm and Consumerism (Routledge, 2020), Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs and Street Gangs (Palgrave, 2018) and Urban Utopias: Excess and Expulsion in Neoliberal South Asia (Palgrave, 2017).

This book is published based on research financially supported by The Research Council of Norway under project no. 313626 – Algorithmic Governance and Cultures of Policing: Comparative Perspectives from Norway, India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa (AGOPOL), and under project project no. 313004 – Luxury, Corruption and Global Ethics: Towards a Critical Cultural Theory of the Moral Economy of Fraud (LUXCORE).


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