Homeland Security (M.A.)

Program Overview

The M.A. in Homeland Security provides students with a multidisciplinary program that goes beyond conventional studies of the subject. The degree is designed to give students broad training in the theoretical and applied nature of security studies and then to offer students the ability to specialize in Global or Domestic Security. The M.A. explores the causes and consequences of political violence and how the U.S.’s internal and global environment impacts issues of security within the nation and globally. Students will also learn about the institutions, actors and processes that support the security community. It explores the tools and actions the U.S. and other governments can utilize in maintaining security and the consequences of doing so. Finally, the graduate program in Homeland Security Policy provides students with the foundation for pursing careers in the security sector.

Degree Offered

  • Master of Arts in Homeland Security

Contact

Michael Brogan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Fine Arts 254
609-896-5000 ext. 7721
mbrogan@rider.edu

Program Website: www.rider.edu/polsci
Associated Department: Political Science

Course Requirements for the M.A. in Homeland Security 

To earn an M.A. in Homeland Security, a total of 36 credits must be completed from the following:

Required Foundation Courses (18 credits)
HLSP 501Homeland Security3
HLSP 502Development and Structure of the US Intelligence Community3
HLSP 505Civil Liberties and National Security3
HLSP 527Policy Analysis and Evaluation3
HLSP 530Data Analysis and Methods for Political Science3
HLSP 545Loyalty and the State of Exception3
Specialized Courses: Choose one of the following specializations (three courses in one specialization)
Global Security Specialization: Choose three courses from the following:9
Political Communication, Terrorism, and Security
Terrorism
Energy Security
International Law and Armed Conflict
Global Security
U.S. Foreign and Security Policy
Cyber War
Global Immigration Trends and Security Issues
Domestic Security Specialization: Choose three courses from the following:9
Political Behavior of Security and Conflict
US Constitutional Law and National Security
Congress and National Security
Counterterrorism
The Presidency and National Security
Defense Policy and Analysis
Critical Infrastructure Security
Disaster Management and Preparedness
American National Security
Elective Courses:6
Two additional courses in either specialization
Research & Creative Expression
Capstone: Choose one of the following:3
Master’s Thesis
M.A. in Homeland Security Internship

Courses and Descriptions

HLSP 501 Homeland Security 3 Credits

The course is designed to help students increase their knowledge and understanding of homeland security policy. The course will consider why and how homeland security problems impact the public agenda, why some solutions are adopted and others rejected, and why some policies appear to succeed while others appear to fail. The course will primarily examine policy making at the national level in the United States, but will also analyze examples at the state and local level, as well as placing U.S. policy in a comparative perspective.

HLSP 502 Development and Structure of the US Intelligence Community 3 Credits

The course is designed to help students increase their knowledge and understanding of homeland security policy. The course will consider why and how homeland security problems impact the public agenda, why some solutions are adopted and others rejected, and why some policies appear to succeed while others appear to fail. The course will primarily examine policy making at the national level in the United States, but will also analyze examples at the state and local level, as well as placing U.S. policy in a comparative perspective.

HLSP 504 Political Behavior of Security and Conflict 3 Credits

The course focuses on various analytical approaches in behavioral political science in order to better understand how individuals interact with the political system. It does so by advancing students’ knowledge of the cognitive aspects of whether citizens engage in various types of political behavior during periods of crisis and uncertainty. The course empowers students to conduct advanced research in order to test some of the leading theories of the subfield.

HLSP 505 Civil Liberties and National Security 3 Credits

During times of crisis, can our government maintain individual liberty? This course provides an in-depth exploration of the tension between the role of the state in balancing civil liberties with national security. In this context, the course provides a specific focus on freedom of speech, press and assembly, freedom of religion, the right to privacy and the courts’ role, or lack thereof, in the War on Terror.

HLSP 506 US Constitutional Law and National Security 3 Credits

This graduate seminar examines the origin and development of the American constitutional system and constitutional law. It further examines this system within the context of national security. Primary emphasis is on the US Supreme Court, which includes its developmental as an institution, the origins of judicial review and the court’s establishment of this process, as well as the decision-making process by Justices of the court. The course will then examine the interplay between the court and its political environment and the impact the court has had upon the functioning of the political system by considering the Marshall Court (1801-1835), the Hughes Court (1930-1941) and the Warren Court (1953-1969). We will conclude with a consideration of the role of the court in balancing the rights and freedoms of a democratic society within the demands of the national security state.

HLSP 508 Political Communication, Terrorism, and Security 3 Credits

This course explores how political communication affects terrorism and security. It is well known that media plays an important role in creating the narrative for understanding terrorism and national security issues. The question is whether that narrative tends to help protect that nation, or whether it actually interferes with that goal. In addition, social media has become a means by which terrorist groups recruit outside volunteers, while blogs and websites are often used to incite incidents in various countries. This course deals with the various ways in which political communication can support, or interfere with, the protection of national security.

HLSP 510 Terrorism 3 Credits

Politics is the study of power and its application, and hence the study of violence has always played a central role in the discipline. In the era of mass politics, violent political participation has been accentuated as evidenced by the prevalence of both domestic and international terrorism. The practice of terrorism itself has undergone changes in the new era and the appearance of groups and “lone wolfs “ bent on sowing death and destruction for its own sake is more common place. Moreover, the statelessness of today’s terrorists removes crucial restraints that once held even extreme terrorists in check. Perhaps more than any other organization, ISIS embodies these trends. It is therefore incumbent upon us to take a step away from the spectacular nature of the news, and ask fundamental questions concerning the motivations, modes of operation, and circumstances contributing to the appearance of terrorist movements, and the roles of the leaders as against the “foot soldiers” in such organizations. Special attention is laid on the emotional fervor of those engaged in the activity, the ideology that mobilizes them and rationalizes their behavior, within each case’s historical settings.

HLSP 514 Congress and National Security 3 Credits

The purpose of this course is for students to identify, examine, analyze, and interpret the role of Congress in shaping national security policy with a particular emphasis on the institution’s role in the Global War on Terror. In addition to an in-depth analysis of the US Congress, we also look comparatively at how legislatures in other nations have dealt with crafting their own security policies. The course will address the following questions: First, what is the role of Congress in national security policy, what does it do, and why? Second, what are the various ways of studying the relationship between the legislative and executive branches of government in the US system as it relates to the Global War on Terror?.

HLSP 515 Counterterrorism 3 Credits

One of the aims of analyzing the nature of terrorism , its goals , and the underlying deeper motives of those who partake in it , is to thwart as many terrorist efforts as possible and to bring terrorist campaigns to an end . Thus, the questions of how terrorism begins and how terrorism ends are intimately related. Because of the prevalence of terrorism in the national and international arenas and the spectacular nature of terrorist undertakings, the analysis of these questions is the subject of much media attention and public discussion that tends to obscure and politicize what should be a focus of attention of citizens, policy makers, and students of the social sciences alike . This course seeks to point out concrete measures for counterterrorism –of the type that sometimes is under public discussion –but in a more systematic manner that brings together methods of heuristic thinking in political science and adjacent disciplines , historical and comparative experience , and the literature on counter terrorism to analyze the range of possible strategies that could be adopted and the possible manner in which terror campaigns may be brought.

HLSP 516 The Presidency and National Security 3 Credits

This course is designed as an upper level graduate combination lecture and discussion section on the foundations of international security. It will examine the concept of security from both the macro and micro level. We will discuss a mix of security strategies (balance of power, alliances, rearmament, collective security, deterrence), theoretical perspectives on security (Neorealism, Neoliberalism, Critical Theory, Copenhagen School, English School), great power and third world security, democratic and non-democratic security, classic threats (changes in relative power, proliferation) and new threats (environment, population movements, terrorism), and concepts of security ranging from state survival, to societal security, to unit level-variables such as Human Security.

HLSP 520 Defense Policy and Analysis 3 Credits

The course begins with an overview of the structure of US defense policy and administration and explores issues associated with national defense. Throughout the course students become familiar with basic data, institutions, actors, trends, issues and options in the strategic implementation of defense and force. The primary focus of the course is on the Department of Defense (DoD) as well as on key committees and actors within the White House, State Department, Central Intelligence Administration and Congress.

HLSP 527 Policy Analysis and Evaluation 3 Credits

Policy Analysis and Evaluation fully addresses this problem by providing students with an in-depth study of public policy. It does so by linking theory with practice in helping students think systematically about public policy. The course addresses the policy process through leading theoretical models within the subfield as well as an evaluation of government’s response, or lack thereof, of contemporary policy problems. Our focus will be three areas of policy analysis: 1) descriptive 2) evaluative and 3) prescriptive. As part of our focus, we will address policy design, implementation, evaluation and failure. Overall, students will develop skills required to define and critically examine policy problems, articulate relevant decision-making criteria and assess alternative policy options.

HLSP 529 Energy Security 3 Credits

Energy Security explores the role of energy in shaping global politics, natural resource management practices and volatility in economic markets. The course begins with an overview of energy security and explores issues associated with energy production, national security, energy consumption, and environmental conservation. Throughout the course students will become familiar with basic data, trends, issues and options in the exploration and production of renewable and non-renewable energy sources.

HLSP 530 Data Analysis and Methods for Political Science 3 Credits

This course introduces students to quantitative and qualitative methods used by political scientists and security specialists in the study of social and political phenomena. Students will learn the logical structure of political analysis, and the quantitative measures used to supplement and support these logical structures. Overall the course draws on the fundamentals of statistics: Namely the ability to describe data samples and draw inferences about the populations from which they were drawn. It should also improve one’s ability to read data, interpret data, and judge others’ claims about data. After students learn these skills, they will apply them to a prepared data set. The emphasis of this course is on "hands-on" experience. Students approaching this subject for the first time will "learn by doing" this type of analysis.

HLSP 531 Critical Infrastructure Security 3 Credits

Overall the course draws on the fundamentals of risk management strategies and policies related to manmade and natural threats to critical infrastructure. The course provides students with tools and critical thinking skills in order to identify and analyze challenges and opportunities to the nation’s infrastructure. The emphasis of this course is on "hands-on" experience whereby students will "learn by doing" analysis.

Prerequisite(s): For MA students and can be offered to undergraduate students who are in the 4+1 program.

HLSP 532 Disaster Management and Preparedness 3 Credits

This course provides an overview of the following: 1) various types of natural and manmade disasters that communities are vulnerable to, and 2) how to develop corresponding preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation strategies. Upon completing this course, students will be able to assess and develop the following: 1) preparedness plans for disaster response, 2) monitoring and evaluation plans for disaster response, 3) early warning systems plans for risk reductions, and 4) response, recovery, and mitigation strategies. Students will also learn about existing and developing domestic and international Disaster Risk Reduction models. This includes, but is not limited to: 1) strategies that prevent and minimize causalities during disasters, and 2) logistic and operational challenges. Special consideration will also be given to the impact of the social and political processes associated with disaster policy and planning.

Prerequisite(s): For MA students and can be offered to undergraduate students who are in the 4+1 program.

HLSP 533 International Law and Armed Conflict 3 Credits

By literalizing the “war on terror,” governments have broken down the distinction between what is permissible in times of peace and what can be condoned during a war. In peacetime, governments are bound by strict rules of law enforcement. For example, lethal force can be employed in law enforcement only if necessary to meet an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. Those detained by police must be charged and tried. However, in wartime, law enforcement rules are supplemented by a more permissive set of rules embodied in international humanitarian law, otherwise known as the law of armed conflict. Under such wartime rules, unlike during peacetime, an enemy combatant can be shot without warning (unless he or she is incapacitated, in custody, or trying to surrender), regardless of any imminent threat. If a combatant is captured, he or she can be held in custody until the end of the conflict, without any trial. This course explores how these two sets of rules have developed, both by customary international law and by international conventions, analyzes under what sorts of circumstances one set of rules should apply instead of the other, and examines the legal consequences of governments fighting the “war on terror” by expanding the boundaries of the law of armed conflict beyond the traditional battlefield to wherever terrorists hide, run, or plan. Students will receive a solid foundation in the law of armed conflict and will analyze complex legal problems occurring at the intersections of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and national security law.

Prerequisite(s): For MA students and can be offered to undergraduate students who are in the 4+1 program.

HLSP 545 Loyalty and the State of Exception 3 Credits

The course enquires into cases ranging across Europe, the US, in which liberal democratic governments, under stress because of subversion, sabotage, invasion, rebellion, or the effects of economically caused chaos, have suspended, if not dissolved, constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties. Under emergency situations, organs of national security are energized; organs of opinion and electronic media including internet newsgathering, opinion expression and formation, may be censored; citizens may be enlisted to report to and inform on their neighbors. Regimes of exception may severely curtail academic freedom and university life; they may regulate voluntary associations by means of secret or not so secret surveillance of meetings, and a demand for lists of members and financial contributors. States of exception may deploy methods of coercion usually proscribed in “normal” times, e.g., suspension of habeas corpus rules; extended if not indeterminate periods of detention of suspects; and techniques of “enhanced interrogation” that may violate constitutional and international law. Using a number of case studies, the course inquires into the conditions under which liberal democracies transform themselves into states of exceptions; the effects of such transformations on individual and civic life; and the procedures by which states no longer under stress return to liberal democratic procedures and recovery of civil liberties.

HLSP 550 American National Security 3 Credits

The course is part of the foundational sequence of the M.A. in Homeland Security Policy. The course trains students to think strategically and critically about major issues facing American National Security.

HLSP 551 Global Security 3 Credits

This seminar critically addresses the foundations of international security. It will examine the concept of security from both the macro and micro level. We will discuss a mix of security strategies (balance of power, alliances, rearmament, collective security, deterrence), theoretical perspectives on security (Neorealism, Neoliberalism, Critical Theory, Copenhagen School), great power and third world security, democratic and non-democratic security, classic threats (changes in relative power, proliferation) and new threats (environment, population movements, terrorism), and concepts of security ranging from state survival, to societal security, to unit level-variables such as Human Security.

HLSP 552 U.S. Foreign and Security Policy 3 Credits

This course emphasizes the main theories of and themes in American foreign policy since the end of the Second World War. We will examine the patterns that have permeated American Foreign Policy since 1945, and discuss the roles that various actors play in the foreign policy process. We will use theoretical concepts to discuss the major events in American foreign policy over the last half of a century. The course will focus on both the conduct and formulation of American foreign policy. Detailed knowledge of the policy-making process, including legal and institutional restraints and standard operating procedures, is clearly essential for all students of foreign policy. Yet, only by exploring America’s past actions in the global arena and only by searching for historical precedents and patterns can students fully grasp the dilemmas facing the United States today.

HLSP 553 Cyber War 3 Credits

Cyber attacks are a growing concern for international community. When does a cyber attack constitute an act of war or is merely an inconvenience? Is cyber power military power? How prevalent are such attacks, and to what extent can cyber at-tacks lead to conventional conflicts? Will cyber attacks by non-state actors render more power to such players in destabilizing states? This course explores the differ-ent types of issues in cyber wars, including mechanisms through which targeting of communication technology could escalate tensions and lead to an armed conflict, and ways through which states and international organizations could limit the de-structive potential of cyber technology.

HLSP 567 Global Immigration Trends and Security Issues 3 Credits

Amidst the broader trends of international politics that address the growing flow of goods, capital, and information across state borders, the movement of people is a permanent and expanding feature. However, central to the notion of the political identity of the nation-state is the ability to control the entry of non-citizens. The regulatory power of the nation-state to control its borders is at least threatened by the migratory movements of people. People are driven from their homes by conditions of war, economic difficulty, or environmental disaster. Millions of people migrate permanently each year, and about 20 million are refugees and seek political asylum worldwide. The vast majority of refugees are women and children--this is the hidden truth of the post-Cold War order, huge numbers of displaced women and children. These numbers are significant, particularly since the general movement heads in one direction, toward advanced industrial states, mainly Western Europe and the United States. About 35 million legal and illegal immigrants live in the United States. Immigrants account for 11.5 percent of the total population, the highest percentage in 70 years. Critics warn that if current trends continue, by the end of this decade the immigrant share of the total population will surpass the all time high of 14.8 percent reached in 1890. Understanding immigration and refugee issues in this interdependent world will help us to gain insights into the workings of political, economic, and social forces both within receiving and sending states as well as the international regime which regulates these movements. The topics addressed in this course go beyond simple models of utility and efficiency since the questions of immigration and political asylum are often deeply emotional issues for societies; the issue also has a significant moral dimension.

HLSP 590 Master’s Thesis 3 Credits

Students will complete an original substantive research paper that will build on prior research in Security Studies or related discipline.

HLSP 591 M.A. in Homeland Security Internship 3 Credits

The course is part of the capstone requirements of the M.A. in Homeland Security Policy. The course will have students complete an internship, self-evaluation and write a reflection paper outlining their experience working in a security related position.

HLSP 690 Research & Creative Expression 1-4 Credits