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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Charles Raab

Charles Raab
Professor Charles Raab FAcSS, FRSA
Professorial Fellow
3.18 18 Buccleuch Place Edinburgh UK
+44 (0)131 650 4243

Office Hours:

By arrangement


  • BA (Columbia)
  • MA (Yale)

Current and Previous Posts

Charles Raab is Professiorial Fellow, having held the Chair of Government from 1999 to 2007 and from 2012 to 2015. He has served as a member of the academic staff since 1964, and has held visiting positions in the Oxford Internet Institute, the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (Tilburg University, The Netherlands), Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, and the Victoria University of Wellington (NZ). He was a Fellow at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study) in Delmenhorst, Germany. With colleagues at the University of Stirling and the Open University, he is a Director of CRISP (Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy (see, and, and is a founder of the Scottish Privacy Forum. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Research Interests

His main general research interests are in public policy, governance and regulation, and more specifically in information policy (privacy protection and public access to information; surveillance and security; identity and anonymity; information technology and systems in democratic politics, government and commerce; and ethical and human rights implications of information processes). His research has been funded by the ESRC, the Nuffield Foundation, the National Science Foundation (USA), the European Commission (including 6th and 7th Framework Programmes), and the former Scottish Office. He participates in the Research Groups on Policy and Governance and on International Relations, serves on the Steering Committee of the Centre for Security Research (CeSeR), and was co-convener (with Andrew Neal and Juliet Kaarbo) of the ESRC seminar series, Security in Scotland, with or without constitutional change.

Other Activities

Charles Raab has engaged in advisory and consultancy work for UK and Scottish government departments, the Office of the Information Commissioner, the European Commission, the New Zealand Law Commission, Liberty, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Resarch (NWO), and the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), among others. He was the Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution for their inquiry, resulting in Surveillance: Citizens and the State, 2nd Report, Session 2008-09, HL Paper 18 and HL Paper 114. He is a member of the editorial or advisory boards of many journals in the fields of information policy and public policy, and sits on the advisory boards of several research projects. He is a member of the Surveillance Studies Network, participated in the Canadian-funded project on ‘The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting’,  and served on the Management Board of the European Union’s COST Action on ‘Living in Surveillance Societies’ (LiSS). He has given written and oral evidence to Parliamentary Select Committees. He   is Co-Chair of the Independent Digital Ethics Panel for Policing, established by the National Police Chiefs' Council in 2015.

Selected Books and Reports

(with W Webster et al., eds.) Surveillance and Democracy: Social, Political and Legal Perspectives on Europe (IOS Press, 2016, forthcoming; (with D Wright et al.) Privacy Impact Assessment and Risk Management, Report for the Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO, 2013); (with W Webster et al., eds.) Video Surveillance: Practices and Policies in Europe (IOS Press, 2012); (with B Goold) Protecting Information Privacy, Research Report 69 (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2011); (with C Bennett) The Governance of Privacy: Policy Instruments in Global Perspective (Ashgate, 2003; 2nd edition MIT Press, 2006); (with M Arnott, eds.) The Governance of Schooling: Comparative Studies of Devolved Management (Routledge/Falmer, 2000); (with M Anderson et al.) Policing the European Union (Clarendon Press, 1996); (with A McPherson), Governing Education: A Sociology of Policy Since 1945 (Edinburgh U.P., 1988). He co-authored the Surveillance Studies Network's Report on the Surveillance Society (2006), commissioned by the Office of the Information Commissioner, and an Update Report in 2010.

Recent Articles, Chapters and Blogs (2010-present)

(with R Jones et al.) 'Surveillance and Resilience in Theory and Practice', Media and Communication, 3, 2, 2015, pp. 21-41, available at:

(with D Wright et al.) 'Questioning Surveillance, Computer Law and Security Review, 31, 2, 2015, pp. 280-292

'Privacy as a Social Value and as a Security Value', pp. 119-120 in B Preneel et al, (eds.) Privacy and Security in an Age of Surveillance, Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop 14401 (Dagstuhl Reports, Vol. 4, Issue 9, 2015), pp. 106-123. DOI: 10.4230/DagRep.4.9.106, available at:; or

'Privacy as a Security Value', in D W Schartum et al. (eds.) Jon Bing: En Hyllest / A Tribute, (Gyldendal, 2014), pp. 39-58 (

(with D Wright et al.) 'Integrating Privacy Impact Assessment in Risk Management', International Data Privacy Law, 4, 2, 2014, pp. 155-170

(with D Wright) 'Privacy Principles, Risks and Harms', International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, 28, 3, 2014, pp. 277-298 (

'Ends and Means: Experts Debate the Democratic Oversight of the UK’s Intelligence Services', Democratic Audit blog, 14/1/14:

'Studying Surveillance: The Contribution of Political Science?' Political Studies Association blog, 29/10/13 at:

'Privacy, Social Values and the Public Interest', in A Busch et al. (eds.) 'Politik und die Regulierung von Information' ['Politics and the Regulation of Information'], Politische Vierteljahresschrift, Sonderheft 46, 2012, pp. 129-151

(with D Wright), 'Surveillance: Extending the Limits of Privacy Impact Assessment', in D Wright et al. (eds.) Privacy Impact Assessment (Springer, 2012), pp. 363-383

'The Meaning of "Accountability" in the Information Privacy Context', in D Guagnin et al. (eds.) Managing Privacy Through Accountability (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 15-32

'Regulating Surveillance: The Importance of Principles', in K Ball et al., (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies (Routledge, 2012), pp. 377-385

(with D Wright), 'Constructing a Surveillance Impact Assessment', Computer Lawand Security Review, 28, 6, 2012, pp. 613-626

(with E Keymolen et al.), 'Trust and ICT: New Challenges for Public Administration', in I Snellen et al. (eds.) Public Administration in the Information Age: Revisited (IOS Press, 2012), pp. 21-35

'Networks for Regulation: Privacy Commissioners in a Changing World', Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 13, 2, 2011, pp. 195-213

'Information Privacy: Networks of Regulation at the Subglobal Level’, Global Policy, 1, 3, 2010, pp. 291-302 

(with Perri 6 et al.) 'Information Sharing Dilemmas in Public Services: Using Frameworks from Risk Management', Policy and Politics, 38, 3, 2010, pp. 465-481 

Complete list of publications is available on request.

Current Research

Charles Raab took part in two EU FP7 projects: PRISMS (The Privacy and Security Mirrors: Towards a European Framework for Integrated Decision-Making) and IRISS (Increasing Resilience in Surveilance Societies), and chaired the Ethics Committee of a third project, SIAM (Security Impact Assessment Measures). He is also engaged in further writing for publication in the fields of privacy theory and regulatory practice, surveillance, personal identity, security, resilience, and related topics. 

PhD Supervision

Charles Raab is able to offer supervision on the above topics and on related ones in the broader field of public policy and governance.

If you are interested in being supervised by Charles Raab, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Politics