SP Seminar Series

Randy Lippert,
Associate Professor,
Department of Sociology and Anthropology,
University of Windsor,
"CCTV Surveillance, Business Improvement Areas and the Free Rider".

Thursday, March 29th
Location: Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room D411
Time: 12:30 to 2:00 pm

In downtown retail consumption zones in recent years, business improvement areas (BIAs) have facilitated 'open-street' CCTV surveillance and a range of new physical security provisions. Based on ongoing research, in this seminar Professor Lippert explores the BIA as a form of private urban governance that targets what are commonly called 'free riders'. He then examines in detail an effort to deal with free riders and an interrelated security crisis that recently erupted in one Ontario city's downtown core. Eventually implementing 'open-street' CCTV to confront the crisis, the role of the downtown BIA, privacy law and other forms of legality, and the transfer of a special form of knowledge, are elaborated with the aim of troubling some assumptions in recent studies of private security and CCTV surveillance.

Randy Lippert is an associate professor of criminology in the department of sociology and anthropology at the University of Windsor. His recent book, Sanctuary, Sovereignty, Sacrifice (Vancouver: U.B.C. Press, 2006), explores neglected powers and legal narratives that have shaped and made possible Canadian sanctuary practices (i.e., illegally harbouring migrants in churches) in order to question some dominant assumptions in "governmentality" studies. He has recently co-authored articles on private security and neo-liberalism in Policing and Society, Criminology and Criminal Justice, and the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice and is presently co-editing (with Kevin Stenson) a special issue of Canadian Journal of Law and Society on 'Urban Governance and Legality from Below'. His current research explores theoretical issues in relation to 'governmentality' and socio-legal studies in the context of private urban governance and security provision, including 'open-street' CCTV programs, and gated communities in three cities.

Everyone welcome!