Under Construction: Making Homeland Security at the Local Level

Paperback | January 15, 2009

byKerry B. Fosher

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In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, security became the paramount concern of virtually everyone involved in governing the United States. While the public’s most enduring memories of that time involved the actions of the Bush administration or Congress, the day-to-day reality of homeland security was worked out at the local level. Kerry B. Fosher, having begun an anthropological study of counterterrorism in Boston a few months prior to the attacks, thus found herself in a unique position to observe the formation of an immensely important area of government practice.
 
Under Construction goes behind the headlines and beyond official policy to describe the human activities, emotions, relationships, and decisions that shaped the way most Americans experienced homeland security. Fosher’s two years of fieldwork focused on how responders and planners actually worked, illuminating the unofficial strategies that allowed them to resolve conflicts and get things done in the absence of a functioning bureaucracy. Given her unprecedented access, Fosher’s account is an exceptional opportunity to see how seemingly monolithic institutions are constructed, maintained, and potentially transformed by a community of people.

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In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, security became the paramount concern of virtually everyone involved in governing the United States. While the public’s most enduring memories of that time involved the actions of the Bush administration or Congress, the day-to-day reality of homeland security was worked out at the local ...

Kerry B. Fosher is the Command Social Scientist with the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity and a research and practice associate at the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:January 15, 2009Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226257444

ISBN - 13:9780226257440

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Part 1. Background and Context

1 Positions

2 Context: Policy and Geography

3 Muddling Through: Methods, Ethics, and Writing

4 Finding the Community

Part 2. What Is Homeland Security Practice?

5 A Brief Introduction to Homeland Security Work

6 Daily Tasks

7 Conceptualizing Security

8 Maintaining Flexibility: How the Work Gets Done

Part 3: Conclusion

9 Opportunities and Problems: Final Comments

 

Appendix: Sample Organizations in the Boston Area’s

Homeland Security Policy Community

References
Index

Editorial Reviews

Under Construction is extraordinarily well written, original, timely, and its subject matter is extremely important. Fosher’s demonstration of the usefulness of an ethnographic approach to the topic is truly valuable—practitioners, planners, and policy-makers especially need to read this book.”--Anna Simons, Naval Postgraduate School