Changing Homeland Security: What is Homeland Security?   [open pdf - 9MB]

This report published in the June 2008 edition of the Homeland Security Affairs Journal, attempts to address the question of what exactly is Homeland Security and what exactly do these words mean? The report mentions that even now there is not exact definition of Homeland Security. Furthermore, the report presents "seven defensible definitions of homeland security. These definitions -- and there may be more than seven -- are "ideal types" (as that phrase was used by Max Weber) and are based on assertions about what homeland security emphasizes or ought to emphasize. In a metaphorical sense, each definition represents a set of interests that claims a niche in the homeland security ecosystem. As in a biological system, these semantic entities struggle for resources to sustain themselves, to grow, and to reproduce their point of view within the rest of the ecosystem. As the homeland security ecosystem continues to evolve and interact with its environment, one can expect variation on particular aspects of the definitions, selection by others of the pieces of the definition that confer the most survival value, and reproduction elsewhere in the ecosystem of particular homeland security definitions." More specifically, the definitions include: Terrorism, All hazards, Terrorism and Catastrophes, Jurisdictional Hazards, Meta Hazards, National Security and Security Über Alles. Finally, the report argues that "the absence of agreement can be seen as grist for the continued evolution of homeland security as a practice and as an idea. Even if people did agree to define homeland security with a single voice, there would still be the matter of behavior. What people, organizations, and jurisdictions do under the homeland security banner is as instructive as how they define the term."

Author:Bellavita, Christopher
Publisher:Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.). Center for Homeland Defense and Security
Copyright:2008 Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.). Center for Homeland Defense and Security. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
Retrieved From:Homeland Security Affairs Journal: http://www.hsaj.org/
Media Type:application/pdf
Source:Homeland Security Affairs (June 2008), v.4 no.2, article 1
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