The Review of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Structure in the Context of Punctuated Equilibrium

Fatih Karakus
DOI Number:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in the aftermath of 9/11 terror attacks which was highly an extraordinary period. The Bush Administration already had a policy agenda intended to make radical changes in the federal management structure. However, it lacked public and political support. 9/11 provided the administration with the window of opportunity. Oppositions from the Congress and unions were manipulated with national security rhetoric. Then, the creation of the DHS was decided by a small group of people in the administration. Experts and affected agencies were not included in the process which yielded to redundancies in organizational structure. Therefore, The DHS structure should be revised and reorganized to avoid these redundancies in responsibilities and budget, and network structures should be addressed more for better coordination and collaboration.


Department of Homeland Security, Punctuated Equilibrium, Large Leaps, Redundancy, Networks, Political Discourse.

Full Text:


Brook, D. A., King, C. L. (2007). Civil service reform as national security: The Homeland

Security Act of 2002. Public Administration Review, 67(3), 399-407

Jaccard, J., & Jacoby, J. (2010).  Theory construction and model-building skills:  A practical

                guide for social scientists.  New York:  The Guilford Press.

Kettl, D. F. (2003). Contingent coordination practical and theoretical puzzles for homeland

security.American Review of Public Administration, 33(3), 253-277

Lindblom,C.E.(1990).Inquiryandchange:Thetroubled attempttounderstandandshape


Moynihan, D. P. (2005). Homeland security and the U.S. public management policy agenda.

Governance: An international Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions,


O’Toole, L. J. (1997). Treating networks seriously: Practical and research-based 

agendas in public administration. Public Administration Review, 57(1), 45-52.

Perrow, C. (2006). The disaster after 9/11: The Department of Homeland Security and the

intelligence reorganization.Homeland Security Affairs, 2(1), 1-32

Rugy, V. D. (2008) Facts and figures about seven years of homeland security spending.

Working Paper, 08(2), 1-8

Smith,K.B.&Larimer, C.W.(2013).Thepublicpolicytheoryprimer(2nded.).Boulder,


Stachowiak, S. (2016, April 3). Pathways for change: 6 theories about how policy change

happens [Online Brief]. Retrieved from


The Department of Homeland Security organizational chart (2018, January 20).

Waugh, W. L. (2003). Terrorism, homeland security, and the national emergency

management network.Public Organization Review: A Global Journal, 3, 373-385

Wise, C. (2006). Organizing for homeland security after Katrina: Is adaptive management

what’s missing? Public Administration Review, 302-318