Re-envisioning Surveillance and Privacy through a Sustainability Lens

The 2023 CRISP Annual Lecture delivered by Professor Julie E. Cohen
Thursday, April 27, 2023 - 18:00

The Centre for Research into Information Surveillance and Privacy (CRISP) is pleased to announce the 2023 CRISP Annual Lecture, entitled:‘Re-envisioning Surveillance and Privacy through a Sustainability Lens’ delivered by Professor Julie E. Cohen

***A recording of the 2023 CRISP Annual lecture can be found here***

The lecture will take place at the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, the London School of Economics, Lincolns Inn Field, London on the 27th April 2023. Doors are at 5.30pm, the lecture starts at 6.00pm and there will be a drinks reception afterwards. CRISP would like to thank The University of St Andrews School of Management for its generous support of this year's annual lecture.

To attend the lecture in-person you will need to register with Eventbrite via the link below. To participate online you should contact


The lecture will explore the implications of the “doughnut” model of sustainable economic development for efforts to strike the appropriate balance between surveillance and privacy. Among environmental economists and some city planners, Kate Raworth’s (2017) theory of “doughnut economics” is all the rage. Raworth argues that, in an era when human well-being depends on sustainable development rather than on unlimited growth, economics as a discipline can no longer embrace models of welfare oriented exclusively toward the latter. As an alternative model to the classic upward-trending growth curve, she offers the doughnut: an inner ring consisting of the minimum requirements for human wellbeing, a middle band consisting of the safe and just space for human existence, and an ecological ceiling above which continued growth produces planetary disaster. The lecture will argue, first, that a similarly doughnut-shaped model can advance conceptualization of the appropriate balance(s) between surveillance and privacy, and second, that taking the doughnut model seriously suggests important questions about the uses, forms, and modalities of legitimate surveillance.

About the speaker

Julie E. Cohen is the Mark Claster Mamolen Professor of Law and Technology and a faculty co-director of the Institute for Technology Law and Policy at the Georgetown University Law Center. During spring term 2023, she is serving as the co-director of the Center for Transnational Legal Studies in London. She teaches and writes about surveillance, privacy and data protection, intellectual property, information platforms, and the ways that networked information and communication technologies are reshaping legal institutions. She is the author of Between Truth and Power: The Legal Constructions of Informational Capitalism (Oxford University Press, 2019); Configuring the Networked Self: Law, Code and the Play of Everyday Practice (Yale University Press, 2012), which won the 2013 Association of Internet Researchers Book Award and was shortlisted for the Surveillance & Society Journal’s 2013 Book Prize and numerous journal articles and book chapters. Professor Cohen is a member of the Advisory Board of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

How to join us

The lecture is free to attend but places are limited. If you are interested in attending in person, follow the instructions on our Eventbrite link.

If you would like to attend online, please send your email address to to register.  The lecture will be live streamed on Zoom and the link will be circulated the day before the event by email.