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Understanding Homeland Security

Understanding Homeland Security

Third Edition
  • Gus Martin - California State University, Dominguez Hills, USA
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424 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Gus Martin’s Understanding Homeland Security provides students with a comprehensive introduction to U.S. homeland security in the modern world, with a focus on the post-September 11, 2001 era. This insightful resource examines the theories, agency missions, laws, and regulations governing the homeland security enterprise through the lens of threat scenarios and countermeasures related to terrorism, natural disasters, emergency management, cyber security, and much more. The Third Edition keeps readers on the forefront of homeland security with coverage of cutting-edge topics, such as the role of FEMA and preparedness planning; the role of civil liberty and countering extremism through reform; and hackings during the 2016 and 2018 U.S. elections. Readers will gain much-needed insight into the complex nature of issues surrounding today’s homeland security and learn to think critically to analyze and respond to various threat environments.

INSTRUCTORS: Understanding Homeland Security is accompanied by SAGE edge for instructors and students, which includes access to SAGE Premium Video! Learn More


1. History and Policy: Defining Homeland Security
The Past as Prologue: The Historical Context of Homeland Security  
Defining an Era: What Is Homeland Security?  
Domestic Security and Threats to the Homeland: Policy Options  
2. Homeland Security and the All-Hazards Umbrella
The Terrorism Nexus: Conventional and Unconventional Threats  
The All-Hazards Nexus: Nonterrorism Hazards and Threats  
Natural Hazards  
Technological Scenarios  
Global Perspective: Disaster in Japan: Tsunami and the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster  
3. The Legal Foundations of Homeland Security
Background: Legal Precedent and Homeland Security  
Homeland Security: Domestic Statutory Authority in the United States  
In Perspective: Homeland Security, Counterterrorism, and the Law  
4. Civil Liberties and Securing the Homeland
Security and Liberty: The Historical Context  
Achieving Security  
Balancing Civil Liberties and Homeland Security  
Global Perspective: Wrongful Prosecution in the United Kingdom  
5. Agencies and Missions: Homeland Security at the Federal Level
The Scope of the Homeland Security Bureaucracy  
The Department of Homeland Security  
The Homeland Security Missions of Other Federal Agencies  
The Role of the Military  
6. Prediction and Prevention: The Role of Intelligence
The U.S. Intelligence Community: Mission  
The Intelligence Cycle  
Intelligence Oversight  
Intelligence Agencies  
The U.S. Intelligence Community: Challenges  
Global Perspective: Actionable Intelligence: Israel and the Hunt for "The Engineer"  
7. Agencies and Missions: Homeland Security at the State and Local Levels
State-Level Homeland Security Systems  
Local Homeland Security Networking Initiatives  
Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Agencies  
Global Perspectives: Paramilitary Deployment of Police Units  
8. Sea Change: The New Terrorism and Homeland Security
Defining Terrorism: An Ongoing Debate  
Case in Point: The Political Violence Matrix  
Historical Context: The "Old Terrorism" Prior to Spetember11, 2001  
September 11, 2001 and the New Terrorism  
Plausable Scenarios: The New Terrorism and New Modes of Warfare  
Case in Point: The Al-Qaeda Network and ISIS  
Case in Point: Asymmetrical Warfare in Paris and Brussels  
Policy Options  
Global Perspective: Digital, Video, and Audio Terrorism  
9. The Threat at Home: Terrorism in the United States
Extremism in America  
Left-Wing Terrorism in the United States  
Right-Wing Terrorism in the United States  
Case in Point: Moralist Terrorsim  
The New Terrorism in the United States  
Lone-Wolf Terrorism in the United States  
Global Perspective: Lone-Wolf Terrorism in Norway  
10. Porous Nodes: Specific Vulnerabilities
Aviation Security  
Border Security  
Border Control: Securing National Entry Points  
Port Security  
11. Always Vigilant: Hardening the Target
Hardening Cyberspace: Cyberwar and Information Security  
Hardening Critical Infrastructure  
Transportation Security  
Global Perspective: International Law Enforcement Consortia  
12. Critical Resources: Resilience and Planning
Understanding Resilience  
The Role of Proper Planning  
Prevention and Mitigation Planning  
Chemical and Biological Hazard Planning  
Radiological and Nuclear Hazard Planning  
Global Perspectives: The European Approach to Homeland Security  
13. Critical Outcomes: Response and Recovery
National Response and Recovery: Fostering Administrative Coordination  
Federal Response and Recovery Coordination  
State and Local Response and Recovery Planning  
Final Consideration: Despite Best Efforts, Is Terrorism Effective?  
14. The Future of Homeland Security
Near-Term Projections  
Threat Environments in the Twenty-First Century  


Instructor Resource Site

SAGE edge for instructors supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students with:

  • a password-protected site for complete and protected access to all text-specific instructor resources; 
  • test banks (learning management system-compatible) that provide a diverse range of ready-to-use options that save time. Questions can be easily edited with personalized questions;
  • original author videos of interviews with author Gus Martin that provide contemporary examples that relate back to chapter content;
  • video resources that bring concepts to life for today’s media-savvy students; 
  • sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses that provide suggested models for structuring one’s courses;
  • editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation;
  • recommended readings that list useful books and articles for additional study; and
  • web exercises that challenge students to explore relevant government and academic sources for further exploration of key topics in the chapter.


Student Study Site

SAGE edge for students enhances learning, it’s easy to use, and offers:

  • an open-access site that makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime;
  • original author videos of interviews with author Gus Martin that provide contemporary examples that relate back to chapter content;
  • flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts;
  • quizzes that allow students to practice and assess how much they’ve learned and where they need to focus their attention;
  • learning objectives that reinforce the most important material;
  • exercises and meaningful Web links that facilitate student use of Internet resources, further exploration of topics, and responses to critical thinking questions.

"This is a valuable resource for teaching undergraduate students the basics of homeland security. It is comprehensive and covers all important topics."

Ron Lendvay
University of North Florida

"A well-written text that provides a variety of real-world examples coupled with factual information."

Thomas Carey
Monmouth University
Key features


  • New Chapter 6: Prediction and Prevention: The Role of Intelligence: Reflecting the importance of intelligence within Homeland Security, this new chapter examines the mission of the U.S. intelligence community and its presence as a member of the homeland security enterprise.
  • A streamlined organization: The content of several chapters has been reorganized to better reflect the changing homeland security environment.
  • New and expanded critical topics, including:
    • The role of FEMA and preparedness planning
    • The different types of bombs that can be used in terrorist attacks
    • The role of civil liberty and countering extremism through reform
  • Coverage of recent events, terrorist attacks, and cyber attacks, such as:
    • The pipe bomb clusters in Manhattan and New Jersey
    • The hackings during the 2016 and 2018 elections
    • The shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


  • Opening Viewpoints: At the beginning of each chapter, Opening Viewpoints present relevant examples of theories and themes discussed in each chapter and serve as “reality checks” for readers.
  • Chapter Perspectives: Chapters incorporate focused presentations of perspectives that explore people, events, organizations, and movements relevant to the subject matter of each chapter.
  • Global Perspectives: Selected chapters incorporate presentations of international perspectives that explore relevant people, events, organizations, and movements from across the globe.
  • Discussion Boxes: Discussion Boxes present provocative information and pose challenging questions to stimulate critical thinking and further debate.

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ISBN: 9781544355801