The United States has poured over a billion dollars into a network of interagency intelligence centers called “fusion centers.” These centers were ostensibly set up to prevent terrorism, but politicians, the press, and policy advocates have criticized them for failing on this account. So why do these security systems persist? Pacifying the Homeland travels inside the secret world of intelligence fusion, looks beyond the apparent failure of fusion centers, and reveals a broader shift away from mass incarceration and toward a more surveillance- and police-intensive system of social regulation.
Provided with unprecedented access to domestic intelligence centers, Brendan McQuade uncovers how the institutionalization of intelligence fusion enables decarceration without fully addressing the underlying social problems at the root of mass incarceration. The result is a startling analysis that contributes to the debates on surveillance, mass incarceration, and policing and challenges readers to see surveillance, policing, mass incarceration, and the security state in an entirely new light.
“Pacifying the Homeland is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how policing and surveillance have evolved in the twenty-first century. In this lucidly written account, Brendan McQuade introduces readers to fusion centers and how these are linked to mass surveillance and supervision. This book challenges us to ask better questions about how carcerality connects to capitalism and to the state. After you read this book for the first time, you will want to return to it again.”—Mariame Kaba, founder and director of Project NIA
“Brendan McQuade’s superb study explores a persistent legacy of the fading War on Terror—a hidden proliferation of federal-state fusion centers for mass surveillance that make entire communities into open-air prisons. The pacification of Iraq may have failed, but the effort's technology has come home to become America’s main mechanism for mass supervision of criminalized minority populations.”—Alfred W. McCoy, author of In the Shadows of the American Century
“Ostensibly about the fusion center, this book is in fact much, much more. Taking the fusion center as a springboard, McQuade makes a telling and profoundly important contribution to our understanding of the ways in which the contemporary state manages the surplus populations dispossessed and criminalized by capital. McQuade's argument is rich in its theoretical contribution and its empirical analysis. Under this scrutiny, the fusion center emerges not simply as a new development in homeland security, but rather as a key technique in the contemporary fabrication of order.”—Mark Neocleous, Professor of the Critique of Political Economy, Brunel University London