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PhD defence

Understanding Continuity and Change in US Counterterrorism Policy Through Policymaker Profiles

  • A. Gallo
Wednesday 27 March 2024
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


  • dr. M. Dechesne
  • Prof.dr. R. de Wijk


The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 represent a seminal event in American history, catalyzing a 20-year period in which counterterrorism was the top priority for US national security. Yet, our understanding of US counterterrorism policy and the factors driving its evolution remains varied and unclear.

In this dissertation, two dimensions of policy perspective and mode of thinking are integrated into a framework called the Policy Profile Code (PPC), a model that helps us understand the options policymakers have when confronted with crisis. Through the PPC, we metaphorically named the profiles of a policymaker: The Commander, The Prosecutor, The Negotiator, and The Doctor.

When applying the PPC to each US presidential administration (Bush, Obama, and Trump) across the 20-year period following 9/11, we find overall change in US counterterrorism policy that included an evolution from The Commander, to The Prosecutor, to The Negotiator. We also find The Doctor policy profile was not adopted during this period.

PhD dissertations

Approximately one week after the defence, PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

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