On the front line: American cities and the challenge of homeland security preparedness

Brian J. Gerber, David B. Cohen, Brian Cannon, Dennis Patterson, Kendra Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Municipal governments' efforts in preparing for possible terrorist events are critical to effective homeland security. Using data gathered from a nationwide sample of municipal officials, the authors identify determinants of homeland security preparedness in U.S. cities, across several attitudinal and behavioral indicators. The authors find that perceptions of terror threat vulnerability and response capacity are tied to factors such as city size and budgetary constraints. Perhaps more important, the authors show that administrative capacity demonstrates consistent explanatory power for both perceived policy commitment and specific preparedness actions. From these analyses, the authors outline several key policy implications for homeland security policy making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-210
Number of pages29
JournalUrban Affairs Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cities and terror
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Emergency management
  • Hazard management
  • Homeland security
  • Terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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