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Chasing PhantomsReality, Imagination, and Homeland Security Since 9/11$
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Michael Barkun

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834701

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877692_barkun

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Two Models of Nonrational Action

Two Models of Nonrational Action

(p.96) Seven Two Models of Nonrational Action
Chasing Phantoms

Michael Barkun

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter argues that the appearance of nonrational considerations in terrorism and homeland security policy is not as surprising as it might at first seem when one considers the prominence of unseen dangers, which invite deviations from purely rational analysis. It generates a vocabulary of concepts essential to an understanding of collective reactions to unseen dangers. These will be derived from two models constructed with other kinds of behavior in mind, albeit behavior that bears some similarities to the responses that terrorism elicits. They are particularly useful because the behavior they examine has distinctly nonrational elements. The concepts drawn from these two models will be considered and, with some rearrangement, used to suggest how they might explain the unseen dangers problem.

Keywords:   nonrational considerations, terrorism, homeland security policy, unseen dangers, rational analysis

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