This study finds that the issue of preventing terrorist attacks has received surprisingly little attention by decision-makers and the news media, and only sporadic interest by pollsters. When it comes to homeland security, how to protect the nation and its people from actual attacks takes a back seat to press coverage of threats and other aspects of terrorism, particularly the administration's arguments for fighting the "war on terrorism" abroad as a means to prevent further terrorism at home. This inattention to the difficult task of preventing further catastrophic terror attacks by taking measures at home may affect the nation's vigilance as time has passed since 9/11.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
For able research assistance, the authors thank Jason Bello, Daniel Carinci, Michael Duran, Katherine Krimmel, and Ping Song. They are also grateful to Michael F. Meffert, Douglas A. VanBelle, and the anonymous reviewers for excellent comments and suggestions. Research support was provided by Columbia University’s School of Arts and Sciences and Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP). Robert Shapiro was a 2006–7 Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. An earlier version of this article was presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, August 30–September 2, 2007, Chicago, Illinois.
- News media
- Public opinion
- Strategic communication
- Terrorism prevention