Surveillance in Greece

From Anticommunist to Consumer Surveillance

by Minas Samatas

The variety of growing surveillance in contemporary Greece reflects the remarkable socioeconomic, political, and cultural changes in the post dictatorial Greek state and society. In fact, modernization, democratization, Europeanization, and globalization of the Greek state and society is reflected in the technological, legislative, and institutional modernization of surveillance in Greece, in relation to the European integration processes and a globalized information capitalist market. From the “ugly,” repressive, anticommunist, political control state/police monopoly of surveillance in the past, the Greek people are now subjects of a galaxy of multiple electronic surveillance by the state and suprastate, institutions and individuals, public and private, with and without consent, for legitimate and illegitimate purposes, for security and profit, and even for entertainment and self-monitoring.

This study, considering surveillance, either by the state or by the market, as a basic sociopolitical control mechanism, examines four surveillance periods in Greece; these periods reflect the changing sociopolitical control system from post-Civil War Greece up to the present, just before the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

In Greece, where privacy is traditionally not part of the dominant culture and civil society is not well organized, there is not an anti-surveillance movement yet. There is, however, a popular dissent against state and police surveillance, as a legacy of citizens’ fear of state political control of their beliefs and activities.

ISBN 0-918618-90-4    192 pp    $20.00    Qty: