Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Ilsley, Paul J.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Civil defense--United States; National security--United States


The purpose of this study was to investigate the meaning of homeland security in post-9/11 United States and what it meant to establish the new Homeland Security Cabinet-level Office. The approach was ethnographic. Interviews were conducted with a variety of experts and officials at the federal, state, and local levels. Data were also collected from a variety of document sources, participation in meetings, and direct observation. Meetings were conducted in Philadelphia, Canberra, Australia, and Helsinki, Finland. The researcher herself is a strategist and a stakeholder in the establishment of new national security initiatives. A phenomenological analysis of critical issues of investigation was undertaken and an autobiographical account of critical events was compiled and analyzed to determine evolutions in thinking, action, and learning. Themes derived from data analysis suggest the fragmented nature of law enforcement in the U.S., as well as disconnectedness from military, judicial, and international stakeholders, and obstruction of cooperative efforts. Many historical reasons are presented as to why this is so, including the constitutional basis for states' rights and local control of policing. Another theme is the learning patterns and professional customs, values, and traditions of learning, especially among law enforcement professionals but also among other various stakeholders. In order for the U.S. to establish a coordinated response to terrorism, what kind of learning by individuals in law enforcement needs to occur? A variety of issues along these lines is explored, including international issues, the value of asymmetric leadership styles, and the promotion of active citizenship in light of evolving civil liberties. Conclusions are multifold. First, the establishment of Homeland Security means cross-cultural communication and cooperation, a daunting task by itself. Second, it means anticipating second- and third-order consequences of changes in intelligence gathering, sharing, and use. The final conclusion is unmistakable: in light of a far more dangerous world of terrorism, one that defies known criminal patterns, an overhauling of learning structures in law enforcement is called for, to learn anew what it means to be a professional and to learn new patterns of partnership, coordination, and internationalism.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [190]-199)


xviii, 260 pages




Northern Illinois University

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