Articles & Papers 2017-10-01T01:42:30+00:00

Articles and Papers

Defining and Distinguishing Homeland from National Security and Climate-Related Environmental Security, in Theory and Practice
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ABSTRACT: The worsening effects of human-caused climate change, as well as issues most Americans view as “homeland security” (HS) can be seen in the news almost every day. Yet most in the general public and even many in security-related fields do not connect the two arenas, even though climate change, and interrelated resource competition and conflicts that together make up the growing field of environmental security (ES), are increasingly important risk and response variables for homeland security and emergency management. Current climate change effects are already destructive and volatile, but the future projected impacts are likely to be severe and costly to the economic, political, and social health of many nations as well as to a large proportion of the world’s population. The focus of this paper is to describe and connect the evolving concepts of environmental security, homeland security, and national security (NS). Definitions and missions for each concept are discussed, consistent with current, even if contested, practice and theory. Better comparative analysis of these unique but intimately connected realms will help advance the development of more comprehensive and sustainable security policy and strategy. (Terrence M. O’Sullivan and James D. Ramsay)


Research and Policy in Homeland Security and Climate Change: Results from a Roundtable and Thoughts on Developing a National Research Agenda for Climate Change and Security
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ABSTRACT: To scientists, there is a clear consensus that human activities have a measurable effect on the climate, and that subsequently there are concerns about how a changing climate could impact global economies, trade relations, water (and other resource) access and logically therefore, also to security. Whether anthropomorphic climate change is a homeland or national security issue is a difficult distinction to make given the lack of consensus over the definition of modern homeland security. However, such distinctions may be moot given the recent and profound changes in the Arctic. On the one hand, Alaska shares a coastline with the Arctic Ocean; hence security concerns in the Arctic may be considered homeland security issues. On the other hand, given the Russian military interest/presence in the Arctic, security concerns in the Arctic may be considered matters of national security. The resulting challenge to the academic community is how to move the discussion about climate change and security forward. The authors recently held a roundtable at Penn State University that included several distinguished and accomplished policy makers, executives and scholars who collectively examined the impacts and threats posed by climate change. (James D. Ramsay and Kent Butts)


There’s a Pattern Here: The Case to Integrate Environmental Security into Homeland Security Strategy
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ABSTRACT: The time is long overdue to acknowledge that global climate and resource stresses, encompassed by the concept of environmental security (ES), are an increasingly important part of “homeland” security (HS) study and practice, by even the most restricted definitions of HS. Environmental security issues will affect global economic and political stability, US national interests, and the risk of war and terrorism. Just as homeland security encompasses many complex issues and interconnected sub-fields, environmental security (ES) is interdisciplinary by nature.  In essence, ES is an emergent discipline borrowing from a combination of environmental studies – which decades ago integrated environmental science with public policy – and the broader observations of how environmental change, extreme weather events and resource scarcity issues impact domestic and international security.  In a two-part argument, we first observe the growing environmental and resource related security threats at every level of analysis, from global to individual levels as consequences of warming-induced climate alterations.  Next, given the significant impacts on local, regional, and international geopolitical stability, we discuss why environmental security threats must be incorporated into both homeland and national security strategic planning.  Developing a theory of environmental security seems central to a more complete understanding of homeland security and a more modern concept of national security. (James D. Ramsay and Terrence M. O’Sullivan)


Perceptual Framing of Homeland Security
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ABSTRACT:  This article analyzes the phenomenon of homeland security through the development of four conceptual lenses that were created out of the existing literatures in criminal justice, public administration, organization behavior, risk management, international relations, and the overlap between them. Using terrorism as a proxy for the homeland security enterprise, these conceptual lenses include: (1) homeland security as a criminal justice problem which views terrorism as a crime; (2) homeland security as a international relations problem which views terrorism as a war; (3) homeland security as an organization design problem which views terrorism as a network of sub-state  transnational actors; and (4) homeland security as a collaborative nexus which views terrorism as a complex mixture of social, political, economic, and environmental issues; that is, lens 4 represents an overlap of lenses 1-3. Each conceptual lens consists of theories, practices, values, beliefs, and assumptions that serve to shape how homeland security is conceptualized. We recognize that homeland security is a broad field applied science that incorporates natural, technological, and manmade hazards and threats. Perhaps to best exemplify the complex and evolving nature of the homeland security enterprise, terrorism can be an effective proxy for how homeland security might be conceptualized and how a theoretical foundation might be structured. These conceptual lenses highlight how perceptual filters can significantly alter how individuals and organizations understand and explain phenomena or events. (Linda Kiltz and James D. Ramsay)