Annotated bibliography

under construction...

Egbert, Simon; Krasmann, Susanne (2019): Predictive Policing: not yet, but soon preemptive? In: Policing & Society. Online first 02. Mai 2019.


Using the example of crime prediction software that is used in German-speaking countries, the article shows how current forms of predictive policing echo classical modes of risk calculation: usually employed in connection with domestic burglary, they help police to identify potential high-risk areas by extrapolating past crime patterns into the future. However, preemptive elements also emerge, to the extent that the software fosters ‘possibilistic’ thinking in police operations. In addition, following a general trend of data-driven government, crime prediction software will likely be integrated into assemblages of predictive technologies where criminal events are indeed foreclosed before they can unfold and emerge, implying preemptive police action.


Kaufmann, Mareile; Egbert, Simon; Leese, Matthias (2019): Predictive Policing and the Politics of Patterns. In: The British Journal of Criminology 59 (3), 674–692.


In this text we analyse predictive policing on an epistemological dimension by studying the key role of patterns in different crime prediction tools currently used around the world. Patterns, so our argument, are the epistemological core of predictive policing - when there is no pattern, no prediction is possible. And these patterns are both performative and socially constructed, limiting and preforming the range of predictable offences.


Egbert, Simon (2019): Predictive Policing and the Platformization of Police Work. In: Surveillance & Society 17 (1/2), 83-88.


In this paper I argue that because of its enablement of crime data analysis in general, predictive policing software will be an important incubator for datafied police work, because it has made police authorities aware that the massive amounts of crime data they possess are quite valuable and can now be easily analyzed. Significant transformative effects are to be expected for policing, especially in relation to data collection practices and surveillance imperatives.


Egbert, Simon; Paul, Bettina (2019): Preemptive „Screening for Malintent“: The Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) as Double Future Device. In: Futures Vol. 109, 108-116.


Modern technologies and approaches of lie detection are getting more and more common. In this paper, by drawing on the example of Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), we analyse this trend with reference to the underlying processes of technological development. In doing so, FAST is conceptualized as ‘double future device’, as it targets to detect intentions of people to cause harm and simultaneously is largely still an anticipated technology which is still largely in an experimental state. As a result, we highlight the importance of the sociotechnical status and discursive role of technologies in socio-technical futures.


Egbert, Simon (2018): On Security Discourses and Techno-Fixes – The Political Framing and Implementation of Predictive Policing in Germany. In: European Journal for Security Research 3 (2), 95-114.


In addition to technical and economic factors, the rise of predictive policing in Germany is above all a political phenomenon, involving the discursive shaping of domestic burglary as a security problem. These new prediction tools also facilitate rhetorical links for politicians and police authorities in legitimising their ambitions to fight crime and enhance public security, presenting their methods as innovative and effective, making these technologies important components of corresponding security discourses.


Paul, Bettina; Egbert, Simon (2016). Drug Testing for Evidence? A Sociotechnical Practice. In: O’Gorman, Aileen; Potter, Gary; Fountain, Jane (Hg.): Evidence in Social Drug Research and Drug Policy. Lengerich: Pabst, 99-112.


Throughout Europe, drug tests are deployed in evermore contexts of everyday life to examine  individuals  and  check  if  they  have  used  illegal  substances.  Drawing  on ideas from science and technology studies, in this paper we challenge the idea that on-site drug tests, as technical devices, are per se able to generate evidentiary results. Rather, we  argue  that  such  devices  are  genuinely  sociotechnical  instruments.  Hence, we conclude that on-site drug tests do not produce objective data as such, that they are not evidentiary instruments per se, and that their results have to be dealt with by taking account of context-sensitive and case-related material at the least.


Egbert, Simon; Paul, Bettina (2016): Devices of lie detection as diegetic technologies in the ‘war on terror’, in: Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 35 (3-4), 84-92.


Although lie detection procedures have been fundamentally criticized since their inception at the beginning of the 20th century, they are still in use around the world. Thereby, the links between science and fiction in this topic are quite tight and by no means arbitrary: In the progressive narrative of the lie detection devices, there is a promise of changing society for the better, which is entangled in a fictional narrative provided by many cinematic and literary examples. In this paper, we highlight the role of science fictional narratives in the historical development and current application of lie detection procedures. Our argumentation shows that the fictional engagement with possible new lie detection practices is in itself creating a legitimating ground for future security technologies.

Kuldova, Tereza (2020): Imposter Paranoia in the Age of Intelligent Surveillance: Policing Outlaws, Borders and Undercover Agents, Journal of Extreme Anthropology 4(1): 45-73.

This article explores the possible effects of algorithmic governance on society through a critical analysis of the figure of the imposter in the age of intelligent surveillance. It links a critical analysis of new technologies of surveillance, policing and border control, to the extreme ethnographic example of paranoia within outlaw motorcycle clubs – organizations that are heavily targeted by new and old modes of policing and surveillance, while themselves increasingly embracing the very same logic and technologies themselves. With profound consequences. The article shows how in the quest for power, order, profit, and control, we are sacrificing critical reason and risk becoming as a society not unlike the paranoid criminal organizations.

© 2020 by Tereza Østbø Kuldova