Techno-pessimistic and techno-optimistic visions of surveillance and resistance in Europe


  • Vaia Doudaki Charles University, Prague
  • Panos Kompatsiaris IULM University, Milan, Italy
  • Jim Ingebretsen Carlson Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). Department of Information and Communication Sciences
  • Judith Clares-Gavilán Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
  • Dessislava Boshnakova New Bulgarian University (NBU), Department of Media and Communication



surveillance, resistance to surveillance, techno-optimism, techno-pessimism, future, Europe


Our study explores peoples’ visions of surveillance and resistance to surveillance, enabled through communication and digital platforms in Europe. The research involves future scenario development and analysis, which allows us to sketch out future outlooks concerning surveillance/resistance in Europe, examining how these visions reflect the main assumptions, fears and hopes about the future of societies in Europe. The analysis, which is anchored in surveillance studies, shows how the visions of surveillance and resistance are informed by people’s dispositions towards technology, which centre around techno-optimism and techno-pessimism, focusing either on the empowering or liberating forces of technology or on technology’s disabling and destructive power. These dispositions instruct ideas about the futures of Europe, seeing Europe as either a regulator or protector of people’s privacy and freedoms or as a surveillant apparatus, curtailing peoples’ freedom and democratic rights.

Author Biographies

Vaia Doudaki, Charles University, Prague

Vaia Doudaki works as Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Charles University (Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism). Her research activity and publications lie in the fields of discourse studies, journalism studies, alternative media studies and environmental communication.

Panos Kompatsiaris, IULM University, Milan, Italy

Panos Kompatsiaris is an associate professor on cultural and media theory at HSE University and research fellow in media sociology at IULM. His forthcoming book is titled Curation in the Age of Platform Capitalism The Value of Selection, Narration, and Expertise in New Media Cultures (2024).

Jim Ingebretsen Carlson, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). Department of Information and Communication Sciences

Jim Ingebretsen Carlson works as a research fellow at the department of Communication Studies at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Department of Information and Communication Sciences). His research is focused on the areas of behavioural economics, behavioural medicine, and data science. 

Judith Clares-Gavilán, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)

Judith Clares-Gavilán works as Lecturer of Communication Studies at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Department of Information and Communication Sciences). She is Director of the Communication Degree. Her research activity and publications lie in the fields of audiovisual policy and audiovisual market in Europe, digital distribution, SVOD, connected TV and New business models.

Dessislava Boshnakova, New Bulgarian University (NBU), Department of Media and Communication

Dessislava Boshnakova, Ph.D., is a full time professor at the department of Media and Communication at the New Bulgarian University.  Since 2019 she is Head of the Department. Her research is focused on the areas of public relations, digital communication, crowdsourcing, event management, public speaking and education.


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How to Cite

Doudaki, V., Kompatsiaris, P., Ingebretsen Carlson, J., Clares-Gavilán, J., & Boshnakova, D. (2024). Techno-pessimistic and techno-optimistic visions of surveillance and resistance in Europe. Central European Journal of Communication, 17(1(35), 17-37.