This article argues, on the basis of a discussion of current Dutch databases, that we are witnessing what can be called prepression. This combination of prevention and repression entails the archiving of risky individuals and their selection for 'early intervention'. Such databases can be seen in light of their work of social imagination: they visualize the constitutive outside of 'society', and in so doing function as part of a governing imaginary. Crucial in contemporary prepression is the archive, which is interpreted not as a recording but also as a recoding of the past, that is, as an ordering principle in the fields of law and order, social work and health. The cases on the basis of which this article develops a preliminary sketch of a theory of prepression are drawn from recent developments concerning actuarial archiving systems in the Netherlands.

'pre-crime', actuarialism, social imagination, surveillance, the archive,
Theoretical Criminology
Department of Sociology

Schinkel, W. (2011). Prepression: The actuarial archive and new technologies of security. Theoretical Criminology, 15(4), 365–380. doi:10.1177/1362480610395366