DOES HOMELAND SECURITY CONSTITUTE AN EMERGING ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE?
Falkow, Michael D.
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In the wake of 9/11, the enterprise now called homeland security rocketed into the limelight leaving an educational gap that many academic institutions rushed in to fill. Educators and scholars alike from various disciplines rallied together to form a useful curriculum, and in doing so, they established a new community that shares a common intellectual commitment to making insightful, valuable, and practical contributions to the sphere of human knowledge focused on societal resilience and prosperity. Once the dust settled, a debate began to unfold. Is homeland security an emerging academic discipline This paper seeks to answer the question by defining a common analytical framework for what constitutes an academic discipline including the concept of legitimacy and the interrelationships or co-evolution between academia, industry, and government. It then compares through qualitative research and weighted scoring several widely accepted disciplines to see how they fit within this model. Finally, given the persistent threat of natural and manmade disasters, steady funding and continuous career prospects, ongoing rapid advances in technology, and systematic widespread integration into university curricula, this research concludes that homeland security has begun its emergence as a formal academic discipline especially given the interdisciplinary nature of its dynamic and complex domain.
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