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Queen's University

David Murakami Wood

BA (hons.) (Oxon), MSc (Newcastle), PhD (Newcastle)
Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Surveillance Studies

Office: Mac-Corry D522
Phone: (613) 533-6000 ext. 74490

Cross-Appointed in the Department of Geography

Member of the Surveillance Studies Centre

Research Areas

  • Surveillance: surveillance and globalization; new technologies of surveillance; surveillance in film and literature, particularly science fiction; history, politics and ethics of surveillance; military surveillance and intelligence.
  • Technology and Society: ubiquitous / pervasive computing; implants.
  • Cities: Global Cities, in particular Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro; urban violence, insecurity, security and social control; urban restructuring; digital cities; futures of cities and utopianism; urban cultures.
  • Social Theory: Actor-Network Theory; complexity; process philosophy.


I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and hold a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Surveillance Studies. Until August 2009, I was Reader in Surveillance Studies in the Global Urban Research Unit at Newcastle University in the UK, where I have recently been appointed a Visiting Fellow. I had an ESRC Research Fellowship for a project called 'Cultures of Urban Surveillance', which looked at the globalization of surveillance in different global cities. I have been Visiting Professor in the Postgraduate Program in Urban Management at the Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, Curitiba, Brazil in 2009 and Visiting Fellow in the School of Social Sciences at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan in 2006.

I am a member of the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s. I am also Editor-in-Chief of Surveillance & Society, the international journal of surveillance studies, and a founder-member of the Surveillance Studies Network. In 2006 I coordinated the influential Report on the Surveillance Society for the UK Information Commissioner (ICO) and organised submissions to the UK House of Commons and House of Lords inquiries on surveillance. More recently I was one of the initiators of the European Science Foundation COST action, ‘Living in Surveillance Societies’ (LiSS), of which I remain an associate member.

Current Research Projects

I am a collaborator on The New Transparency Major Collaborative Research Initiative, run out of the Surveillance Studies Centre here at Queen's. I am also currently involved in two other major research projects:

1. I am a partner in Security Impact Assessment Measures (SIAM), a project which examines the relationship of security and surveillance technologies with people in urban transportation systems, with the aim of creating a methodology for assessing the likely impact of new technologies on human right and civil liberties. The is managed through GURU at Newcastle University, where my Research Associate on the project is Phil Boyle.

2. I am a consultant on Negotiating (In)visibilities A Network for Studies on the Seeable and the Hidden of Contemporary Culture", funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research, and which is being run by Claus Bech-Danielsen, Henrik Reeh, Henriette Steiner & Kristin Veel.

I hope to be back in Japan for 2013-14 for a major piece of research in my ongoing project on the globalization of urban surveillance.


I am supervising the follow students:

  • PhD Supervisory Team: Ozgun Topak - New European Borders and Immigration; Zdenka Chloubova - Psychologists as Worldmakers and the Extension of the Psychological Laboratory; Becky Pero (Geography) - Local Immigration Partnerships in Canada.
  • Visiting PhD students: Francesca Menichelli (Milano-Bicocca) - CCTV in Italy.
  • MA Lead Supervisor: Brandon Chung; Aliya Kassam; Becky Pero (completed 2011); Harrison Smith (completed 2011); Stephen Wettlaufer (completed 2011).

I am currently looking to supervise graduate students in the following areas:

  • Any aspect of surveillance.
  • Global comparative studies of surveillance, particularly in cities of the ‘global south.’
  • New and emerging technologies and urban social practices and culture, particularly ubiquitous computing, augmented reality etc.
  • Urban security and insecurity
  • Cross-overs between sociology and Cultural / Film Studies, particularly science fiction.

Please contact me to discuss your interests. The formal admission procedure can be accessed here.

I am also very happy to work with visiting Masters and Doctoral students, Postdoctoral researchers and faculty, particularly from Europe, South America and East Asia. If you are interested, please contact the Surveillance Studies Centre.

Consultancy and Media

I have previously consulted for the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the Canadian federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) and the International Committee of Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) and I am happy to discuss consultancy needs in the areas of surveillance, urban security and human rights.

I also do a lot of public speaking and media work about surveillance issues, and am very happy to be contacted to give addresses, interviews or comment. Please contact me directly or go through Queen's Communications and Public Affairs.

Recent Publications

Murakami Wood, D. (forthcoming) The Watched World: Globalization and Surveillance. Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Murakami Wood, D. (forthcoming 2012) ‘Risk, Fear and Surveillance’ in P. Cloke, P. Crang and M. Godwin (eds.) Introducing Human Geographies (3rd ed.)

Murakami Wood, D. (forthcoming 2011) ‘Cameras in Context: A Comparison of the Place of Video Surveillance in Japan and Brazil’ in D. Lyon and (eds.) Eyes Everywhere: the Global Spread of Video Surveillance.London / New York: Routledge.

Murakami Wood, D. (forthcoming 2011) ‘Surveillance’, in P. Taylor, B. Derudder, M. Hoyler and F. Witlox (eds.) International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities, New York: Edward Elgar.

Murakami Wood, D. and Abe, K. (2011) ‘The Aesthetics of Control: Mega-Event and Urban Governance in Japan’, Urban Studies, special issue on The City, Sport Mega-Events and Security (eds. Richard Giulianotti and Francisco Klauser) 48(15): 3241-3258.

Murakami Wood, D. and Abe, K. (2011) ‘The Spectacle of Fear: Anxious Events and Foreign Threats in Japan’, in C. Bennett and K. Haggerty (eds.) Security Games, London / New York: Routledge.

Full CV (PDF*, 272KB)


*PDF files can be viewed using Adobe Reader.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000