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Navigating Canadian Drone Space: A Sociological Analysis of the Stakeholders, Narratives, and Policy

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Mackintosh-Corry Hall
Room: D411
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Surveillance Studies Centre Seminar Series


Ciara Bracken-Roche


Navigating Canadian Drone Space: A Sociological Analysis of the Stakeholders, Narratives, and Policy Shaping Canadian Unmanned Systems


Drawing from documents collected through Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) requests and interview data with Canadian drone stakeholders, this presentation argues that the Canadian drone space is driven by the surveillance-industrial complex. This research documents how the seemingly benign relationships between particular stakeholder groups in Canadian drone space are the product of a ‘revolving door’ in the surveillance-industrial complex. It argues that the adoption and use of drone technologies represents and perpetuates a politics of verticality that allows particular stakeholder groups to control Canada’s sociotechnical space through policy, and this contributes to a privileged vertical gaze. These dynamics result in Canadian drone space stakeholders a) only associating with specific stakeholder groups, b) upholding particular logics and predispositions about drone technologies, and c) perpetuating discourses and narratives about drones that impact the technologies themselves, their regulation, and Canada’s sociotechnical space more broadly. 


Bracken-Roche completed her PhD in the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University in 2017. 

Ozge Girgin
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