First Advisor

Phillip Cooper

Term of Graduation

Spring 2008

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Administration and Policy


Public Administration




Civil defense -- United States, National security -- United States, World Trade Center Bombing -- New York, N.Y., 1993 September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, ix, 459 pages)


The purpose of this study was to begin the effort to build a theoretical foundation for homeland security policy by analyzing the 1993 World Trade Center terrorist attack using multiple frame analysis (MFA). MFA consisted of three conceptual lenses: (I)-Homeland Security as a Criminal Justice Problem/Terrorism as Crime, (II)-Homeland Security as a International Relations Problem/Terrorism as War, and (III)-Homeland Security as an Organization Design Problem/Terrorism as a Network. These lenses were applied to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing using a case study methodology, thus creating a framework to analyze a singular critical event from multiple perspectives.

This research was successful at highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the dominant lenses used to understand homeland security at the time of the 1993 WTC bombing, as well as, the importance of using more than one lens to attempt to understand complex problems such as homeland security. Each lens, when used alone, captured only a small part of the problem we were seeing and severely limited our ability to predict the long term threat that was emerging at the time.

This research found that the fields of criminology, public administration, and international relations, each bring unique theoretical perspectives that contribute significantly to our understanding of homeland security. By identifying the theoretical gaps, as well as, the overlaps within each disciplinary perspective, a new approach to address homeland security can be developed in a holistic manner to explain this new phenomenon.

The study concluded with a list of future studies to consider and recommended that scholars and government leaders lead the process of continuing to analyze our conceptual lenses as they relate to homeland security, so that new conceptual lenses may be formed which are more integrated and comprehensive than those used in this study. This is a necessary next step toward creating a general theory of homeland security.


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