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The Business of Counterterrorism

Public-Private Partnerships in Homeland Security


Nathan E. Busch and Austen D. Givens

The Business of Counterterrorism focuses on the opportunities and challenges that public-private partnerships (PPPs) face in the post-9/11 world. Although these partnerships are a major topic of discussion and study among businesses and government agencies involved in homeland security efforts, they have received a much less thorough analysis by scholars. The Business of Counterterrorism identifies the essential role that PPPs are now taking in homeland security and explores the implications of this transformative shift in the field. In its discussion, it focuses on five areas in homeland security – critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, information sharing, security at U.S. ports of entry, and disaster recovery.
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1: Public-Private Partnerships in Homeland Security: Past and Present


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Chapter 1

Public-Private Partnerships in Homeland Security:Past and Present

Public-private partnerships have long been a part of homeland security in the United States. Today’s public-private partnerships in homeland security are a natural outcome of this extensive history. And the ever-present threat of natural and man-made disasters continues to shape these partnerships in new and unexpected ways. In this chapter, we examine the current status of public-private partnerships in multiple homeland security subfields, including critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, information sharing, port security, and emergency management. We also identify many of the benefits of public-private partnerships for homeland security, as well as the challenges and opportunities that these partnerships present. The chapter concludes by offering suggestions to help make these partnerships more effective over the long term.1

Government and businesses’ roles in homeland security can be traced back to America’s founding. For example, in the Federalist Papers, James Madison was careful to underscore the importance of the federal government in “times of war and danger,” while not diminishing the importance of the states in periods of “peace and security.”2 In 1803, following a devastating fire in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Congress authorized the suspension of federal bond payments for merchants affected by the disaster.3 For the first time, the U.S. government provided emergency relief for a community. Thus began an escalation of federal-level involvement ← 9 | 10 → that continues today, requiring close working relationships among the federal, state, and local levels of government,...

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