Between liberty and control: citizens’ attitudes towards Romanian state surveillance


Paul Tap


Surveillance was extensively analyzed in the literature from multiple standpoints. Some studies looked to the temporal development of surveillance, while others analyzed the traditional theories that influenced many of the contemporary surveillance studies. All these studies define surveillance as an activity that is ubiquitous and performed globally, by multiple private and public institutions, through the involvement of specific technologies. However, little attention was paid to the perceptions of citizens about surveillance. This article addresses this gap in the literature and analyses how state surveillance is perceived by the Romanian citizens according to the socio-demographic factors (i.e., age, education, income, gender and medium of residence). The aim of the study is to explain how socio-demographic factors influence the acceptance of state surveillance. It also controls for the left-right self-placement, and the use of Facebook as source of information. The statistical analysis uses individual level data from an original survey conducted between October-November 2020. The survey was completed by 1,140 respondents, and the article uses correlation and linear regression to analyze the data. The findings illustrate that the acceptance of state surveillance is influenced by the gender, level of education and medium of residence of the individuals. The age and income of the citizens have no effect on the acceptance of state surveillance.


Author Biography

Paul Tap, Babeș-Bolyai University

Department of International Studies and Contemporary History

Address: 7-9 Universității Street, 400084, Cluj-Napoca, Cluj County, Romania.


How to Cite
Tap, P. (2021). Between liberty and control: citizens’ attitudes towards Romanian state surveillance. Sociologie Românească, 19(1), 183-205.


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