This course examines the traumatic consequences of terrorism and disasters upon individuals and groups, as well as the individual and collective social behaviors that often occur as a result of these events. The course examines a range of psychological and social issues related to terrorism and disaster, including theories of trauma, trauma prevention strategies and crisis intervention, the impact of trauma upon first responders and those directly exposed to terrorism or disasters, the psychological goals of terrorism, and posttraumatic stress. Individual and group dynamics and reactions are examined.

The events of September 11, 2001, including pre-incident and post- occurrence activities, have resulted in the US and other nations re-writing the meaning of national security and the management of reaction to catastrophe.  Included in the US response is the creation of a new Cabinet level Department of Homeland Security, built from portions of more than a dozen other agencies and bureaus.  This policy oriented course is designed to examine the largest re-engineering of the US Government since post World War Two. The creation of the new bureaucracy responsible for ‘homeland security’ and the impact on the country will be examined from organizational and legal perspectives.  Students will examine the impact of these developments on state and local resources committed to “security” in communities and evaluating the strengths – and weaknesses – of the new “homeland security” efforts on the national, state and local levels.

By inquiring into the effects of human social organization and relationship with the natural environment on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being, this course will contextualize individual health issues and seek healing responses to imbalances in social, environmental, and personal health.