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Master's Theses

A keystone of the CHDS mission is to lead the cultivation of homeland security as an academic field. Every CHDS Master's degree program participant serves this mission through the generation and synthesis of cutting-edge knowledge in the form of a thesis.

Browse or search almost all of the 586 CHDS Theses in the Homeland Security Digital Library. (Faculty, students, and staff can browse the Thesis Center for both completed and in-progress theses.)

Recent "Outstanding Thesis Award" Winners [show all]

DaVinci's Children Take Flight: Unmanned Aerial Systems in the Homeland
Jeanie Moore; Mar 2014 (cohort CA1205/1206)
Diana Sun (Solymossy); Dec 2013 (cohort NCR1203/1204)
Dan Cain; Sep 2013 (cohort CA1201/1202)
Michael Falkow; Mar 2013 (cohort CA1105/1106)
Richard Fleece; Dec 2012 (cohort NCR1103/1104)
Social Media, Social Networking, Facial Recognition Technology and the Future of Law Enforcement Undercover Operations
John Zambri; Sep 2012 (cohort CA1101/1102)

Instructor & Student Publications

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Books and Book Chapters

This is a list of books and book chapters authored by CHDS faculty and participants in the Master's, Executive Leaders, or Fusion Center Leaders programs.

Erik Dahl August 06, 2013 16:22

Dahl, Erik. Intelligence and Surprise Attack: Failure and Success from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 and Beyond. Georgetown University Press (July 2013).

How can the United States avoid a future surprise attack on the scale of 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, in an era when such devastating attacks can come not only from nation states, but also from terrorist groups or cyber enemies?

Intelligence and Surprise Attack examines why surprise attacks often succeed even though, in most cases, warnings had been available beforehand. Erik J. Dahl challenges the conventional wisdom about intelligence failure, which holds that attacks succeed because important warnings get lost amid noise or because intelligence officials lack the imagination and collaboration to "connect the dots" of available information. Comparing cases of intelligence failure with intelligence success, Dahl finds that the key to success is not more imagination or better analysis, but better acquisition of precise, tactical-level intelligence combined with the presence of decision makers who are willing to listen to and act on the warnings they receive from their intelligence staff.

Fathali Moghaddam June 05, 2013 11:27

Moghaddam, Fathali. The Psychology of Dictatorship. American Psychological Association (APA). (April 2013.)

 Ever since World War II, social scientists have recognized the crucial importance of these questions. Yet despite the great strides made in our understanding of dictatorships, most studies in this area are undertaken by academics in liberal democracies who view totalitarian societies from the "outside in," a perspective that has caused researchers to ignore crucial elements of everyday life and to misunderstand the role of ideology and brute force in totalitarian societies.

In this book, Fathali Moghaddam presents his "springboard model" of dictatorship, derived from both a substantive analysis of the common structures underlying dictatorial regimes and his own personal experience of life in a modern dictatorship. He discusses the importance of psychological processes such as displacement of aggression, conformity, obedience, fear, and cognitive dissonance as tools that aid the development and maintenance of dictatorships, as well as the crucial role of ideology in cementing the allegiance of elites.

Since even democracies contain an ever-shifting relationship between democratic and dictatorial tendencies, with elements that can pull democracies back to dictatorship, this book has important implications for citizens of all nations, even our own.

Nick Catrantzos September 07, 2012 10:30

Catrantzos, Nick. Managing the Insider Threat: No Dark Corners . CRC Press. (May 2012.)

An adversary who attacks an organization from within can prove fatal to the organization and is generally impervious to conventional defenses. Drawn from the findings of an award-winning thesis, Managing the Insider Threat: No Dark Corners is the first comprehensive resource to use social science research to explain why traditional methods fail against these trust betrayers. In this groundbreaking book, author Nick Catrantzos identifies new management, security, and workplace strategies for categorizing and defeating insider threats.

The book begins with problem definition and research findings that lead to the "No Dark Corners" strategy for addressing insider threats. With these foundational underpinnings, the book then examines agents of change within the workplace—namely, key players in positions to effectively support or undermine the No Dark Corners strategy, including corporate sentinels and leaders affecting application of this approach.

From there, the author goes on to examine key areas where No Dark Corners-style engagement can make a difference in the way an institution counters insider threats—through rethinking background investigations, recognizing deception, and using lawful disruption. Moving progressively from the theoretical to the practical in applying the strategy within an organizational framework, the book looks at implementation challenges and offers a framework for introducing new insider defense insights into an organization.

Each chapter offers questions to stimulate discussion and exercises or problems suitable for team projects. This practical resource enables those charged with protecting an organization from internal threats to circumvent these predators before they jeopardize the workplace and sabotage business operations.  

David Tucker March 08, 2012 09:34

publicationTucker, David. Illuminating the Dark Arts of War: Terrorism, Sabotage, and Subversion in Homeland Security and the New Conflict. Continuum. (March 2011).

Illuminating the Dark Arts of War is a comprehensive survey of the threats posed by terrorism, sabotage and subversion to the security of the United States. By looking at how these threats connect and what their limitations are, the book calls into question the belief that the United States is now facing unprecedented and unmanageable threats to its security from the "new conflict" carried on by al Qaeda, other non-state actors, and states using the dark arts of war. The book contrasts the limited threats posed by terrorism, sabotage and subversion with the resilience and power of America's government and political system.

The book should interest anyone concerned about America's security, particularly those involved in homeland security and those working to counter unconventional threats to the United States.  

Anders Strindberg November 15, 2011 00:00

Strindberg, Anders.  Islamism. Polity (2011).

Islamism has emerged as one of the most significant political ideologies of the 21st century. From the Islamic Revolution in Iran to the grinding struggle of Hizballah in Lebanon and the devastating 9/11 attacks by al-Qa'ida, Islam has become both a critical discourse and a framework for active resistance, which levels a potent challenge against the ideals of modern secularism and the structures of Western hegemony. This book offers a rigorous and balanced analysis of how and why Islamism has risen to the fore as the dominant voice of Islamic discourse and what accounts for the often vastly different political agendas, tactical choices and strategic objectives of individual Islamist groups. It shows how a common Islamist language of resistance and defiance acquires distinctive meanings and implications in different local contexts, as well as how these local struggles connect to each other. Drawing on important insights from social psychology, critical studies, and post-colonial studies, the book pinpoints the underlying dynamic that drives Islamist struggles in the world today, and shows how diverse experiences of repression and humiliation - real or perceived - are translated into an equally diverse collection of struggles aimed at promoting an alternative social order of independence and dignity framed by Islam. Islamism will be essential reading for students and scholars of Islamic Studies, as well as general readers with an interest in the role and status of Islam in contemporary international politics.

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Homeland Security Digital Library

The Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) is the nation's premier collection of documents related to homeland security policy, strategy, and organizational management. The HSDL collections are composed of homeland security related documents collected from a wide variety of sources. These include federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies, professional organizations, think tanks, academic institutions, and international governing bodies. Resources are carefully selected and evaluated by a team of librarians and subject-matter specialists.
Published by CHDS

Homeland Security Affairs

Homeland Security Affairs is the peer-reviewed online journal of the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS), providing a forum to propose and debate strategies, policies, and organizational arrangements to strengthen U.S. homeland security. The instructors, participants, alumni, and partners of CHDS represent the leading subject matter experts and practitioners in the field of homeland security. Homeland Security Affairs captures the best of their collective work, as well as that of scholars and practitioners throughout the nation, through peer-reviewed articles on new strategies, policies, concepts and data relating to every aspect of Homeland Security. These articles constitute not only the "smart practices" but also the evolution of Homeland Security as an emerging academic and professional discipline.