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Grant number: FB-50258-04

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FB-50258-04

Robert Jackall
Williams College (Williamstown, MA 01267-2600)

The Demonics of Terror and Bureaucracy

This project examines the complex interplay between terror and bureaucracy. Terrorist networks approach the institutions and organizations of modern society with a destructive mentality that turns the normal workings of bureaucracies against themselves and, through the leverage they provide, against the social order itself. State organizations must respond to terrorism. Yet efforts to thwart future terrorist actions inevitably create new layers of bureaucratic structures, laws, and regulations, and thus more vulnerabilities to terrorist mayhem. This project will conduct intensive interviews with policymakers in Washington, D.C. and in New York City, as well as with corporate officials in New York. The interviews will seek to determine the occupational habits of mind of men and women charged with planning strategic organizational safeguards to ensure public safety. This fieldwork will be supplemented by a systematic assessment of the public records of terrorist trials and congressional hearings to determine how terrorist networks utilize the normal workings of large public and private organizations and how policymakers respond. The large question of the project is: what are the social, political, and cultural consequences of bureaucracies' necessary responses to organized terror and threats of terror?

Project fields:
Sociology

Program:
Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2004 – 6/30/2005