Dispersed Federalism as a New Regional Governance for Homeland Security
Posted: 18 Aug 2009
State and local officials complain about their lack of involvement in disaster plans issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Their complaints point to a common theme: the reorganization that produced the DHS complicated shared governance. States and localities carry out most of the work of homeland security, but the federal government's guidelines and grants shape much of what subnational governments do. This article offers an interpretation of the complaints of emergency management officials and a proposal for dispersing federal homeland security personnel and resources out of Washington, DC, to FEMA regions. Dispersing federal agencies to the regions they oversee offers an alternative to pure centralization and decentralization that combines the task and location specificity of major approaches to federalism.
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