Social Science and Policy Team

The goal of the Social Science and Policy Team was to understand and articulate the context within which any HEU detection system must be designed and deployed and to evaluate the many policy-related parameters which will affect successful implementation and deployment of a viable detector system. The Social Science and Policy Team conducted research in five major research areas listed below and also worked to integrate its findings into the design and implementation strategies of the other SHIELD teams.

The five areas of research were: 1) a national public opinion assessment examining citizen attitudes and behaviors regarding national security issues; 2) a contextual analysis of national media and congressional hearings related to nuclear security issues and evaluation of policy-related parameters that impact successful implementation and deployment of a viable detection system; 3) an intergovernmental and institutional relations assessment looking at the general context of the domestic agencies in the U.S. governmental system that have jurisdiction for some aspects of the detection design and implementation system-emphasis was placed on identifying overlaps, conflicts and potential collaborative solutions; 4) an international assessment examining the negotiation paradigms that may be needed in securing agreement for U.S. detector placement in foreign ports; and 5) an in-depth examination of terrorist decision making options as they relate to interdiction strategies.

Research Subgroups:

  1. National Public Opinion Assessment: Public Opinion about Terrorism
  2. Media and Congressional Attention to Nuclear Terrorism
  3. Intergovernmental and Institutional Relations Assessment
  4. International Assessment
  5. In-depth Examination of Terrorist Decision Making Options as They Relate to Interdiction Strategies
  6. Integration