Combating Terrorism: Research Priorities in the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences   [open pdf - 4MB]

"Beyond the efforts of the newly created Department of Homeland Security, numerous federal agencies are investing in science and technology to combat terrorism...This impressive deployment of technology, however, is only part of a complete response to the threat of terrorism. Our ability to maintain our American way of life also depends on our understanding of human behavior, which is the domain of the social, behavioral, and economic sciences. We must investigate the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms of stress, fear and courage; the powerful networks of human social exchange that sustain individuals and families; the special needs and strengths of groups as a function of their history and culture; the principles of economic growth and decline; and the attitudes and beliefs that lead people to vote and sustain a democracy. The accompanying report describes the resources that the social, behavioral and economic sciences contribute to creating and maintaining effective anti-terrorism strategies. Some of these can help us understand the origins of terrorism, some address how we can prepare for terrorist incidents, and some deal with the effects of an attack and their mitigation. The report describes the powerful tools and strategies these sciences offer as we respond to the threats and actions of terrorists."

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Office of Science and Technology Policy: http://www.ostp.gov
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