This work examines the effects of the contemporary American surveillance apparatus and situates these effects within the classical negative liberal tradition. Using Michele Foucault’s analysis of disciplinary power, I demonstrate how surveillance techniques, particularly those established post 9/11, affect American subjects. Further, I situate the mechanisms of power operating as a consequence of contemporary American surveillance within the classical liberal tradition. For this analysis, I draw upon negative notions of liberty such as the harm principle established by John Stuart Mill. This entire work reveals what type of power, in a Foucaldian sense, is presently functioning in America as a consequence of surveillance, in addition to determining whether this new regime of power is consistent with the most fundamental notions of American liberty.


Weber, Désirée


Political Science

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



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