Modern mechanisms of state surveillance reinforce gendered, raced, classed and sexed power hierarchies. Forms of control and regulation of "problem bodies" are framed as neutral or benign forms of bureaucratic bookkeeping (Dubrofsky and Magnet, 2015). This thesis explores the possible Islamophobic and Anti-Black dimensions of Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) program, a counterterrorism community outreach program initiated by the federal government in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, which targets the Somali community. I will be evaluating whether CVE programs, initiated by state agencies, transform into a site of surveillance. This thesis will examine declassified state documents from sources such as Homeland Security and the FBI relating to CVE programs, which detail program rationale, function, and implantation. My research will examine the presence of Anti-Black racism and Islamophobia in the purpose and deployment CVE programs. Additionally, I will be analyzing how mechanisms of surveillance operate at the intersections of Anti-Black racism and Islamophobia and how do CVE programs impact and shape the lived realities of Somali Muslims. This study of CVE programs is, by necessity, an analysis of power relations, and relies on an intersectional feminist approach to surveillance studies. Through this, I will produce a coherent understanding of how surveillance mechanisms build on the criminalization and over-policing of Black communities to surveil, mark and easily monitor Somali Muslims in Minnesota. The recent election of Donald Trump and the looming threat to activate a Muslim registry makes this research more relevant and necessary.


Laura Harrison

Committee Member

Danielle Haque

Committee Member

Nick Clarkson

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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