Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Convergence – A Homeland Security and Educational Problem: A Mixed Methodological Study
by Ippolito, Steven Christopher, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2017, 495; 10624690
Abstract (Summary)

The Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, on April, 2017, at George Washington University, explained the dangers emanting from transnational organized crime (TOC), a rubric for convergent, crime-terror networked systems, as a joint homeland security and homeland security educational problem (HSE). The two-fold research problem for this mixed methodological concurrent-transformative study is: (1) a lack of knowledge regarding threat convergence by scholar-practitioner-administrators, and others, in various disciplines; (2) a lack of empirical data regarding threat convergence in research and Academia and its integration into HSE undergraduate-graduate curricula. The two-fold purpose of this study is: (1) to investigate, qualitatively and empirically (quantitatively) what scholar-practitioner-administrators, and others in various disciplines and occupations, know and understand about illicit threat convergence (e.g., narco-terrorism; crime-terror nexus phenomenon; (2) to consider the strategic implications of convergence and evolutionary, emergent potential to metastasize into higher-order, state-like systems (virtual states), including, al-Qaeda; Hezbollah, the Islamic State (ISIS), and transnational organized criminal networks, as manifestations of deviant globalization. The research participants, 62 scholar-practitioner-educators, first responders, and private citizens, arranged into two groups, completed a survey instrument that probed aspects of convergent interactivity. In the survey’s overall raw-scores, Group I, a criminal justice-first responder group, showed greater understanding of convergence than Group II, a civilian-oriented group, providing sufficient evidence to reject the Null Hypothesis of equality of means between groups. Here, the z-statistic of 2.53 was greater than z-critical of 1.95; p (two-tailed) of 0.01, lower than alpha (level of significance), at the traditional p = 0.05. Cohen’s d = 0.64; (r) of 0.30, indicated a significant effect size. However, elsewhere, in the ten Research Questions relating to cyber-crime, the Civilian Group II, showed greater awareness of specific, convergent phenomena, an unanticipated result. Accordingly, the present study’s findings empirically validated prior researchers’ recommendations for greater academic focus on convergent phenomena, in order to address the related failure of HSE to keep pace with best practices in the field.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Anthony, Kimberly
Commitee: Clowes, Meena C.
School: Northcentral University
Department: School of Business and Technology Management
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Business administration, Criminology
Keywords: Convergence, Crime-terror nexus, Deviant globalization, Threat convergence, Transnational organized crime, Virtual states
Publication Number: 10624690
ISBN: 978-0-355-49888-2
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