The Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU: a new panopticism

Sokhi-Bulley, Bal (2011) The Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU: a new panopticism. Human Rights Law Review, 11 (4). pp. 683-706. ISSN 1461-7781

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The Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union (FRA) is the European Union’s newest, and only, human rights institution. The FRA represents a new way of speaking about rights in the European Union, using ‘governance’ language. It was not conceived as a traditional human rights monitoring body and the monitoring mission was actively abandoned in favour of an advisory one. This article examines how the FRA’s governance-related role actually reveals a type of monitoring best understood as ‘surveillance’ in a critical, Foucauldian sense. In exercising surveillance tactics, the FRA represents a model of panopti- cism which allows it to carry out a new form of government. This is an interesting observation not only because of the implications it has for a European Union that is striving to move away from government to- wards governance, but also because it challenges the assumption of the FRA as a ‘beacon on fundamental rights’ and a model of apolitical progress.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Depositing User: Bal Sokhi-Bulley
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2016 13:43
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2016 13:43
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