Discussion: federalism and national homeland security

Discussion: federalism and national homeland security


Please check the required readings below to response to the discussion question below 

 The United States has a unique system of federalism in which power, authority, and responsibility are divided or shared between the federal government and the state, tribal, and local governments. This decentralized, or fragmented, system helps the government remain responsive at the grass-roots level and avoid totalitarianism, but it also leads to inherent conflicts and inefficiencies. State and local governments often demand massive assistance from the federal government in major events, but they don’t want to relinquish control or to appear unable to fulfill their own responsibilities. Arguments often arise about the timing, type, and amount of federal assistance. Bureaucratic turf battles and the political “blame game” seem almost inevitable during response operations and continue into the recovery phase under the glare of media critiques. Homeland security in the United States is ostensibly a national or federalist system, which means that it involves shared authority and partnership between and among the federal, state, and local governments and the private sector, including volunteer and other nongovernmental organizations. But how effective is the federalist system and how can conflicts and inefficiencies be avoided or resolved? Are there varying degrees of centralization or decentralization that can be adjusted to achieve homeland security goals and mission areas? The national homeland security program in the United States cannot be fully understood without considering the context of American federalism in which it exists.

 To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the article, “Federalism, Homeland Security and National Preparedness: A Case Study in the Development of Public Policy.” Reflect on the theoretical models and definitions of federalism and the description of the homeland security preparedness environment.
  • Review the article, “Imperfect Federalism: The Intergovernmental Partnership for Homeland Security.” Reflect on the progress made and the improvements that still need to be made for developing effective partnerships among key stakeholders and all levels of government.
  • Review the article, “Dispersed Federalism as a New Regional Governance for Homeland Security.” Focus on the pros and cons of a centralized versus a decentralized approach to homeland security organization within the context of federalism.
  • Think about at least two implications of federalism on the national homeland security program and its mission areas.

 Required Readings

Bullock, J. A. , Haddow, G. D.  & Coppola, D. P. (2013). Introduction to homeland security (5th ed.). Waltham, MA: Elsevier Inc.  
Chapter 2, “Historic Overview of the Terrorist Threat”

Roberts, P. S. (2008). Dispersed federalism as a new regional governance for homeland security. Publius: The Journal of Federalism38(3), 416–443.
Use the Academic Search Premier database, and search using the article’s title.

Eisinger, P. (2006). Imperfect federalism: The intergovernmental partnership for homeland security. Public Administration Review, 66(4), 537–545.
Use the SocINDEX with Full Text database, and search using the article’s title.

 Clovis, S. H., Jr. (2006). Federalism, homeland security and national preparedness: A case study in the development of public policy. Homeland Security AffairsII(3). Retrieved fromhttp://www.hsaj.org/?fullarticle=2.3.4

Required Media

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Current issues in homeland security: National policies, laws, and authorities. Baltimore: Author.

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