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Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security Paperback – October 7, 2011


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Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security + Radical, Religious, and Violent: The New Economics of Terrorism
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (October 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199795762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199795765
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Our political and media systems often seem paralyzed or even deranged by the prospect of terrorism. Very few people can talk rationally about the threat, the possible defenses, and what we gain and lose through increased security measures. John Mueller and Mark Stewart are notable exceptions. If you wonder whether airport security really makes sense, or how much is "enough" in protecting against attacks, consider the calm and convincing case they lay out in this book."--James Fallows, The Atlantic


"Just when you thought that nothing more could be said about the war on terror, John Mueller and Mark Stewart offer a brilliant new analysis and call to action, filled with insight, intelligence, and sharp writing. It's one of the rare books for which one can say that every politician and informed citizen should read it."--Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of our Nature


"Terror, Security, and Money is enlightening, hard-hitting, and packed with common sense. Mueller and Stewart's evenhanded analysis of homeland security's costs and benefits is essential reading for anyone concerned whether our massively expensive security regime is worth the price."--Bruce Schneier


"Overall, Mueller and Stewart have moved the ball forward quite a bit. Their assumptions are reasonable, their analysis cautions..." -- Political Science Quarterly


About the Author

John Mueller is Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies, and Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University. He is the author of Atomic Obsession (O.U.P. 2009). Mark G. Stewart is Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability at the University of Newcastle in Australia.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason D on January 12, 2013
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I wish every politician would read this book. There must be a balance between security, liberty and the ability to pay for it.
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Mueller has published many articles on this topic, often working with Mark Stewart, usually using similar arguments. (For a really concise version look at their article in journal Homeland Security Affairs.) I find it quite valuable to have people questioning the effectiveness of our homeland security expenditures and really wish more people were doing so. Mueller and Stewart seem to be the only ones taking a critical look from an economics perspective.

Unfortunately, Mueller's arguments are overly simplistic, based on huge assumptions and failing to take into account other benefits of homeland security funding. He assumes that all our spending was meant to defend against terrorists and no other benefits come from it (when in reality almost every system is designed to battle all hazards). By using insurance valuations of the hazard he is ignoring that much of the cost of terrorist attacks--not to mention other disasters--are externalized onto and paid by the public through government support, and that we tend to chronically underestimate risks as explained by Nassim Taleb.

In sum, it's a valuable argument to read and consider, but not detailed or comprehensive enough to be more than a conversation starter.
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By Christopher Stevens on September 15, 2013
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Unless you are prepared to waste lots of money as we did during the Cold War, read this and be prepared to voice your opinion to the ruling class.
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By Amazon Customer on August 18, 2014
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Great read! Everyone should read this book, but especially those working in the field of homeland security, defense, etc. Mueller makes his economic analysis easy to read for those without an econ background, but is rigorous enough that economics masters will not find (much) fault with his analysis. Yes, there are quite a few assumptions, but not only are assumptions necessary when analyzing non-monetary markets, but he explains the basis for his assumptions, and tries to skew it most favorably to the DoD and other agencies. This isn't a "definitive" cost/benefit analysis of defense policies, but it isn't meant to be, and that's likely impossible given the lack of transparency in this realm. This is a successful attempt to frame the issue of defense spending in economic terms, something that hasn't really been done before. Nobody will agree with Mueller on 100% of the issues, but it will at least re-frame the issues in a more useful light. He gives slightly more than lip-service to other non-defense/protection reasons for defense spending, but as that's not the main point of his argument, it's not a focus. For more on Mueller's views on the social impact of defense policy, read his book "Overblown" - it addresses exactly what others say he overlooks in this book. This is a must-read, regardless of your political views.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shopbills on January 8, 2013
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This is a great book on this subject. I highly recommend this author even when I don't agree with him all the time :)
His research is very thorough and presents some great arguments from different points.
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