Conceptual and Regulatory Challenges
Edited by Tjerk Timan, Bryce C. Newell and Bert-Jaap Koops
Chapter 4: A politico-economic perspective on privacy in public spaces
Starting at least with Adam Smith’s seminal book The Wealth of Nations (1776), there is a long tradition of politico-economic research investigating to what extent the state should intervene in the economy and other spheres of society. This chapter explores what ‘political economy’ as an interdisciplinary research program at the intersection of political science and economics can contribute to the debate on the governance issue of how to protect individuals’ privacy in public spaces. Following similar examinations of other phenomena in the existing politico-economic literature on the proper role of government, tools and insights from the toolkit of political economy are used to examine to what extent it is necessary for the state to secure individuals’ privacy in public spaces. Or, put differently, the authors take a market-liberal perspective in order to analyze to what extent individuals themselves are able to protect their privacy in public spaces.
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