Methodology and Policy Analysis DB1

Emergency management, homeland security, and criminal justice are all fields that may be approached academically but certainly have a large practitioner’s base. This means that while some social scientists may be intently studying phenomena and behaviors occurring within professions related to these areas of expertise, many professionals in these lines of work may or may not have academic degrees related specifically to what they do each day. A third group, practitioner scholars, has combined an educational background with professional expertise and serves as a bridge between the two ends of the spectrum. 

In your agency, the deputy uses old-fashioned techniques and does not necessarily embrace the idea that advanced degrees enhance an individual’s capabilities. However, a new chief has recently been appointed, and he believes education is tremendously valuable to crisis responders at any level. He also believes that theory and practice can be closely and successfully linked, even in daily operations.

You are considered a practitioner-scholar in your agency. Because of your remarkable education and demonstrated intellect, your manager has tasked you with drafting an information paper for your colleagues that explains how and why theory has a role in daily operations. You are informed you should also include arguments on the value of social science research and how such science can aid practitioners in performing their missions.


Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400–600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas:

  • In your own words, why do you think research theory has a daily role in the fields of homeland security and emergency management? Explain.
  • How valuable do you feel the use of social science research is to homeland security and emergency management practitioners? Explain.
    • Specifically, how do you think social science research can aid practitioners in performing their missions? Explain.
  • Why do you think some practitioners are resistant to seeking out higher education? Explain.
  • Should practitioners be required to obtain certain levels of education? Why or why not?
  • What homeland security or emergency management related research, if any, have you recently examined? Summarize.
    • Do you feel that the results of the research contain valuable data to the fields? Why or why not?
    • If you have not recently examined any homeland security or emergency management related research, what type(s) of research are you most interested in studying throughout this course? Why?

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