Knowledge and governance in the digital age: The politics of monitoring planetary life

Robert Latham


Planetary phenomena, such as global climate change and transborder disease transmission, are increasing subject to monitoring aided by advances in surveillance and data processing technologies. The most powerful governments of the world, especially the United States, are building monitoring systems they can control. Communities and activists around the world face a fundamental choice: become involved in shaping those systems so they better serve the needs and interests of the world’s population or build their own independent, unofficial monitoring systems.

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