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WMD TerrorismScience and Policy Choices$
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Stephen M. Maurer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012980

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012980.001.0001

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Weapons of Mass Destruction: Are Our Political Institutions Adapting?

Weapons of Mass Destruction: Are Our Political Institutions Adapting?

(p.210) (p.211) 8 Weapons of Mass Destruction: Are Our Political Institutions Adapting?
WMD Terrorism

Eugene Bardach

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the capacity of policy institutions to respond to the WMD threat. It considers five elements of adaptive capacity in the institutional system, and asks whether these are currently effective and cost-efficient or are moving on a reasonable trajectory in these directions. They are (i) mobilizing sufficient resources; (ii) expending resources wisely; (iii) involving the private sector; (iv) creating and improving institutional capacity; and (v) governmental learning. The mainstream consensus among experts is that the mobilization of resources falls short, though probably not disastrously so. Such resources as we deploy are targeted about as well as government does such targeting generally. But spending and targeting money appears to be easier than building the needed institutional capacity — that is, fixing our public bureaucracies and getting them to work together — and in this regard homeland security resembles government generally.

Keywords:   policy institutions, adaptive capacity, WMD, terrorism, terrorist threat, national security, homeland security

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