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Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Editor-in-Chief: Renda-Tanali, Irmak

Managing Editor: McGee, Sibel

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.757

CiteScore 2018: 1.19

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.442
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.613

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The Fox and the Hedgehog: Myopia About Homeland Security in U.S. Policies on Terrorism

James K Mitchell
Published Online: 2003-09-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1547-7355.1000

Following the disasters of 9/11/01 the US government has embarked on what is intended to be a comprehensive response to the hazard of further terrorist attacks on Americans at home and abroad. This paper addresses the homeland component of the response and asserts that both the general approach and the measures being deployed are neither comprehensive nor well-balanced. The broad goal of security is losing ground to the narrower objective of defense; mitigation strategies are being overshadowed by preparedness and response alternatives; expert systems are preferred over grass-roots bottom-up ones; and possibilities for reducing human vulnerability are being ignored in favor of programs that aim to reduce risks or lessen the vulnerability of built structures and infrastructures. Preferences for the use of sophisticated technologies that are intended to quarantine terrorism and minimize its consequences far outnumber efforts to engage with the messier realm of ideas and behaviors related to terrorism. Yet it is the latter that shape the public interpretation of terrorism risks, structure patterns of exposure and affect the coping capabilities of threatened communities. Without substantial changes to policy that take account of these deficiencies, Americans are likely to find themselves little better prepared to confront the challenges of future terrorist attacks on targets in US territory and the nation’s ability to address other kinds of hazards may be seriously compromised.

Keywords: homeland security; U.S. policies; terrorism

About the article

Published Online: 2003-09-29

Citation Information: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Volume 1, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1547-7355, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1547-7355.1000.

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