First Advisor

Rachel Cunliffe

Date of Publication

Summer 9-26-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Conflict Resolution


Conflict Resolution




Electronic surveillance -- Government policy -- United States -- Public opinion, Electronic surveillance -- Technological innovations, Right of Privacy -- United States



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 98 pages)


This paper explores the complex relationship between securing the rights of citizens to privacy and national security priorities under conditions of government mass surveillance. The inquiry examines the conflict between those who support and those who stand in opposition of government surveillance, and is framed around the question of whether changes in technology and the concept of nationalism help inform our understanding of the increase in surveillance post-9/11. From a peace and conflict studies perspective, the work analyzes how the rise of nationalism in the post-9/11 era and the protracted wars against terrorism, in combination with the growth of technological power, have impacted the relationship between state-surveillance and democracy. Findings identify protracted warfare, technology and corporate profits as conflict drivers within the surveillance system, which gives rise to moral dilemmas and structural polarizations in the political culture and institutions of the state and society. The analysis concludes that these dilemmas systematically create an imbalance of power between the citizen to the state, and cannot be fully addressed unless the efficacy of war is critically questioned.


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