Power, policies and algorithms - technologies of surveillance in the European border surveillance regime

  • Project team:

    Huber, Georg (Dissertation)

  • Start date:


  • End date:


  • Research group:

    Knowledge society and knowledge policy

Project description

The subject of the PhD project is the role of digital surveillance technology in the European border regime and the transformation in the border regime that is brought about by its digitalization. The aim of my project is not only to analyze their concrete function in border management, but to decipher their political function, as well as analyze the increase of surveillance, policies which come mostly in the form technologies and technologies relying on digital technologies, in the European border regime. This means analyzing the explicit and implicit aims of technological policies and the technologies that implement them. It also means taking the agency of digital surveillance technology in border regimes as a political, shaping and enabling factor serious. Policies of the extended application of predominantly digital surveillance technologies are analyzed as being part of broader long term strategies and policies. In order to analyze the role of border surveillance technologies in the European border regime they will be analytically embedded into the European border regime and its political, legal and technological phenomenology and history. The issue will be exemplified by two case studies: the already implemented multi-platform surveillance system Eurosur and the planned Entry -Exit System (EES). In both cases I will do a policy analysis supported by empirical research (interviews). Analyzing these technologies will link up their political function and their technical characteristics (for example sorting, the use of big data technologies or automated decision making as far as applicable).

The issue of power structures and power relations will run as a red thread through the work with a particular focus on power relations in the policy process and power relations inscribed into and effected by technology. My theoretical tool set will be made up by Power Structure Research as it is practiced by G.W. Domhoff and the work of M. Foucault as far as it concerns the field of surveillance studies and bio political aspects of the European border regime. My PhD project is situated in the field of surveillance studies and its intersection with technology assessment, political science, European studies and European law, STS and migration studies.

Administrative data

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald
Advisor: PD Dr. PD Dr. phil. Stefan Böschen
Doctoral students at ITAS: See Doctoral studies at ITAS


Georg Huber, M.A., LL.M.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe