Comparative International Homeland Security

This self-study course will provide an introduction to comparative international homeland security policies in several democratic countries. Each module will focus on the policies and practices of four countries with respect to four areas within the homeland security enterprise: counterterrorism, policing, emergency management, and defense support for civil authorities. The study and analysis of other countries’ homeland security policies is vast and includes other areas of the homeland security enterprise, such as: critical infrastructure protection, transportation security, border security, and cybersecurity. Consequently, this course will look at a small subset of these broad topic areas. This course is based directly on the course author’s book, Comparative Homeland Security: Global Lessons, 2nd Edition. 

Learning from other countries is important for two primary reasons. First, it makes sense for American decisionmakers to learn from the experiences of foreign governments. Many countries have decades of experience dealing with terrorism, policing challenges, emergency management and preparedness, and the use of the military to support civil authorities in counterterrorism, policing, and emergency management missions. Just as American policymakers will want to look at practices, strategic approaches, frameworks, and policies in other jurisdictions in the United States, they can do the same with respect to foreign countries, thus expanding the pool of potential policy frameworks and options.  

Second, because many threats are transnational, safeguarding the security of the United States requires cooperation with other countries. Whether the threat emanates from radicalized Europeans accessing the United States under the Visa Waiver program to execute terrorist attacks, or aircraft passengers flying into the U.S. from an Asian city carrying the latest viral or bacterial pandemic with them (as likely occurred with COVID-19), many homeland security threats emanate from abroad. Addressing these threats will not only require international cooperation, but also an understanding of how other countries, particularly allied democratic nations, address these issues within their borders.    

This course will look at five countries: Israel, the United KingdomFranceCanada, and Germany.

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