The Diffusion, Regulation and Governance of Closed-Circuit Television in the UK



Webster CWR (2004) The Diffusion, Regulation and Governance of Closed-Circuit Television in the UK. Surveillance and Society, 2 (2/3), pp. 230-250.

This article explores the introduction and diffusion of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance systems in public places across the UK. In particular, it seeks to examine the diffusion of CCTV alongside the emergence of regulation and governance structures associated with its provision. By doing so, it is argued here, that the processes of diffusion, regulation and governance are inherently intertwined, that they have evolved together over time, and that we must place CCTV within its institutional and policy setting in order to have a good understanding of the reasons for its diffusion. Initially, it appears t hat the CCTV policy arena is relatively unregulated. This is surprising given the nature of the technology and its potential to be used as a tool for surveillance and control. However, a closer examination of its diffusion points to a variety of regulatory mechanisms emerging from within the CCTV policy environment and evolving alongside the development of policy networks. It is argued here, that whilst it may appear that regulation has emerged from within these networks, government, despite limited legislative intervention, remains the dominant actor in the policy process through its ability to shape and influence networks.

Surveillance and Society: Volume 2, Issue 2/3

Publication date31/12/2004
PublisherSurveillance Studies Network
Publisher URL…rticle/view/3376

People (1)


Professor William Webster

Professor William Webster

Personal Chair, Management, Work and Organisation