Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Fall 2023



Course Number

DIPL 3450

Course Description

This course will introduce students to homeland security analysis and a survey of how different countries address internal security issues. Homeland security is a uniquely structured American concept, so fitting other nations’ policies and practices squarely into the U.S. model would not succeed. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States embarked on a wholesale reorganization of its internal security and border protection institutions. In parallel, European, and other countries largely preferred to stay with and work within their existing institutional architectures to combat terrorism and respond to other security challenges and disasters, both natural and man-made.

Our focus will be on the policies and practices of 10 countries with respect to key areas of homeland security, such as counterterrorism, policing, emergency management, defense support for civil authorities, critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, border security, transportation security, and public health. This course will also briefly explore the military reserve forces of various nations. Since military reserve forces are integral to homeland security and intersect with many of the key areas of homeland security covered in this course, it is important to understand how different nations utilize them.

Learning from the approaches of other countries is an important aspect of guaranteeing homeland security, and a comparative assessment serves as an important tool for prudent and effective policymaking. A historical overview is also warranted, because decision making in homeland security is taking place in a radically changed environment compared to the Cold War era. The days when intelligence agencies dealt primarily with a conventional threat that was rather predictable are over. Governments must assess and stay focused continuously on what they should consider integral parts of the dynamically changing homeland security landscape and how they should address the newly emerging security threats. These new threats have become increasingly global and asymmetric, following no rules or calculable timelines. Non-traditional threats pose risks to all countries surveyed, including not only the ones belonging to the democratic world but others as well.