Like all projects, this book would not have been possible without the labor and love of so many people. I am humbled by all those who contributed to, supported, and sustained this work. Of course, any shortcomings remain my own, although I hope I have done some justice by those who gave their time, ideas, and love.
I am indebted to the national security policymakers, practitioners, and scholars who provided insight into their daily work. Though they cannot be named here, I learned so much from our time together and their perspectives continue to shape my thinking, in and through our discussions, disagreements, and deliberations. I am grateful for the time they gave, the debates they inspired, and the stories they shared about the possibilities and limitations of contemporary security regimes.
Although this project began as an exploration into the lifeworlds of national security workers, I quickly encountered thriving organizing communities working to end the criminalization of Muslim youth. I appreciated the opportunity to learn from and contribute to these efforts. The nuanced perspectives, critiques, and organizing of activists enhanced this book’s analysis and my research’s role in the movement to end targeted criminalization. I hope I did this work ethically and with humility.
Local coconspirators offered intellectual engagement and encouragement through the UIC Race and U.S. Empire Working Group, Teachers for Social Justice, Communities against Surveillance, and other incubators of critical praxis in Chicago. I especially thank Iván Arenas, Andy Clarno, Rod Ferguson, Rico Gutstein, Kim Lawless, Patrisia Macías-Rojas, Nadine Naber, Akemi Nishida, Marlynne Nishimura, and Atef Said. Pauline Lipman and David Stovall offered support, clarity, and reprieve from the constant assault on critical scholarship that continues to define the neoliberal academy. Stacey Krueger contributed immensely to this research project by conducting interviews, providing sharp analyses, and pushing me to think and act more critically. Erik Love and Lisa Stampnitzky provided important critiques that strengthened my analyses. Sari Knopp Biklen taught me to think like an ethnographer and remains ever-present in my work.
I also thank my students whose scholarship has enhanced my own: L. Boyd Bellinger, Nico Darcangelo, Chris Emerling, Glenance Green, Cecily Relucio Hensler, Aja Reynolds, Hafsa Siddiqui, Jessica Suarez, Gia Super, and Asif Wilson. Each year, graduate students in my Criminalization of Youth in Urban Schools class deepen, challenge, and enliven my thinking. Thank you.
Further afield, community organizers and scholar-activists challenged me and held me accountable: Fatema Ahmad, Shannon Al-Wakeel, Mike German, Gerald Hankerson, Bri Hanny, August Hastings, Arifa Ibrahim, Zareen Kamal, Nesreen Hasan, Faiza Patel, Sangeetha Ravichandran, Muhammad Sankari, Debbie Southorn, Sue Udry, Yusuf Vidal, Lesley Williams, Mary Zerkel, and so many others from the #StopCVE coalition. News reporters Aaron Leibowitz and Alex Ruppenthal filed Freedom of Information Act requests and provided additional data vital to this project.
I wrote this book at the same time I began running and I owe a debt of gratitude to Chandni Desai, Alison Mountz, Jackie Orr, and all those who taught me how to find time for health, healing, and happiness within academic life. Many thanks to R. Tina Catania, Dan Cohen, Sol Gamsu, Alice Huff, Emily Kaufman, Amrit Kaur, Elizabeth Kubis, Yasmin Ortiga, Megan Scanlon, and Julia Snider, whose constant friendship helped sustain this work.
At the University of Minnesota Press, I thank editorial director Jason Weidemann, editorial assistant Gabriel Levin, assistant managing editor Mike Stoffel, and the many others who worked hard to finish this book. I also thank Doug Easton, who developed the index.
I am grateful for the administrative staff at University of Illinois–Chicago, especially Alejandra Cantero, Karen Dop, Sharon Earthely, and Adrienne Gilg, whose invisible labor and hallway chats supported the development of this book.
And finally, many thanks to my parents, Eric, and Kristin—and to Eleanor, who has brought so much joy to our lives.