Journal Article

National ID Cards: Crime-Control, Citizenship and Social Sorting

David Lyon

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 1, issue 1, pages 111-118
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
National ID Cards: Crime-Control, Citizenship and Social Sorting

Show Summary Details


New ID card systems are appearing in countries around the world, based on biometrics and using searchable databases. High technology companies promote these, governments seek them for administrative efficiency and post-9/11 demands for ‘security’ provide a rationale for their introduction. The surveillance issue is not so much the cards themselves but the national registries that provide for processing the personal data. These foster a ‘culture of control’ whose reach expands geographically as identification measures are harmonized and integrated across national borders. They also encourage less inclusive notions of citizenship, and facilitate the sorting of ‘desirable’ and ‘undesirable’ mobilities, based on the criteria of ‘identity management’. The social sorting capacities of new IDs are underplayed, as are the implications for governance of ‘multiple function’ ID systems, with consequences for social justice.

Journal Article.  3969 words. 

Subjects: Policing

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.