Risk unbound: threat, catastrophe, and the end of homeland security
Anderson, Jacob S.
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Threat and catastrophe highlight the impossibility of providing perfect security, and demonstrate the limitations of risk-based security practices. This thesis presents an argument in three parts. First, the dangers homeland security agencies confront are increasingly beyond the reach of measures for control. The character of security risks is complex and volatile, while worst-case possibilities—not merely probable accidents and disasters—are particularly relevant to domestic security agencies and organizations. Second, the security response to such unbounded risks has been the creation of unconscionable maps—tools and concepts that presume a greater degree of knowledge, uniformity, and control than is available. Finally, there is a body of knowledge and capability better suited to security uncertainties, and homeland security agencies must find ways to cultivate these capacities. Contrary to current security practices, national adaptability is more desirable than perfect knowledge, control of crisis, or national uniformity.
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