About us

Surveillance in the Majority World Research Network aims to expand the scope of surveillance studies to include non-Northern / Western discourses and practices. It is a place for exchange, collaboration, and activism against the undemocratic use of surveillance technologies. Surveillance in the Majority World Research Network facilitates global exchange across groups and institutions active in surveillance-related issues to collaborate, build support networks, disseminate the outcomes of their projects, and make resources and knowledge publicly accessible. These documented ideas, reports, and research outcomes contribute to knowledge production and policymaking but also aim to create a safe and supporting space for researchers and activists who work in politically and socially precarious environments.

Our Story

Surveillance in the Majority World Research Network (formerly Surveillance in the Global South) was founded in 2019 by Azadeh Akbari before finishing her PhD research on controlling women’s compliance with compulsory Hijab in Iran through surveillance technologies. As she published and communicated her research results, it seemed Majority World research was (and is) considered ‘case study research.’ Therefore, the initial intellectual aim of the group was facilitating a dialogue to highlight how universal theories fail to reflect the realities of surveillance in the Majority World. The network insisted that integrating such realities is pivotal for understanding social, political, economic, and cultural aspects of surveillance in a globalised world. Surveillance in the Majority World Research Network is now a working group of the International Surveillance Studies Network. To expand its activities, the network has received funding from the Open Technology Fund (2024-25).

Board members

* Board members will be elected after the Surveillance Studies Conference 2024

Azadeh Akbari

Founder and Director

Assistant Professor in Digital Transformation

University of Twente, Netherlands