Securing Democratic Society

State Policies, Technological Surveillance and Spatial (Cross-)Boundary Practices

The rise of global terrorism has led to an increased attention to the construction and securing of (visible and invisible) borders. Through the implementation of a wide variety of security measures, the nature of public space has altered significantly, this affecting the experience by citizens of public space as well. Since the democratic nature of these spaces is at stake, we plan to map and analyse the effect of security measures on public spaces around borders and the way they change the public nature of these spaces.

The influence of new technologies on the surveillance and control of space will be part of this study, as will be the socio-spatial response of citizens to these security interventions. Ultimately, the results of this research project will provide insight into the effects of the contemporary heightened states of security alert of public space and will allow us to formulate policy recommendations helping to secure the democratic nature of public space.

Taksim Square protests, exemplary of democratic ‘desires’ confronting security ‘concerns’


Funder: Gerda Henkel Stiftung
Programme: Security, Society and the States
Grant amount: € 116.760
Role TU Delft:  Project initiator
Project duration: May 2017 - May 2022
TU Delft researchers:                 dr. Marc Schoonderbeek
John Hanna
Grazia Tona
Oscar Rommens
Fatma Aliosman
Guillaume Guerrier (External Researcher)



Dr. Marc Schoonderbeek