Access our archived course, An Introduction to Security and Resilience, for a preview into the course offerings of the Master of Science in Security and Resilience Studies program.

Security and Resilience Studies is an emerging field of inquiry that focuses on how global, national, and subnational actors manage a range of chronic transnational challenges that can be destabilizing to societies.

Stay ahead of the curve and keep your finger on the pulse of what’s next! This is a preview into the Master of Science in Security and Resilience Studies program. Be introducted to the fundamentals of security and resilience.

About the Featured Faculty Experts

Dr. Max Abrahms
Assistant Professor of Political Science
College of Social Sciences and Humanities
See Dr. Abrahms’ bio

 

Dr. Daniel Aldrich
Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Urban Affairs
Director, Master’s Program in Security and Resilience
College of Social Sciences and Humanities
See Dr. Aldrich’s bio

 

Dr. Laura Kuhl
Assistant Professor, Public Policy and Urban Affairs and International Affairs
College of Social Sciences and Humanities
See Dr. Kuhl’s bio

 

Dr. Jennie C. Stephens
Director, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs
Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy
College of Social Sciences and Humanities
See Dr. Stephens’ bio

  • Module 1: Resilience


    This module will introduce the concept of resilience, ways to measure it, and how it can be applied to make our societies and institutions able to bounce back from shocks. While many of us think in terms of physical infrastructure – the roads, bridges and buildings that make up our built environment – this module focuses as well on the social infrastructure of relationships, social ties, and cohesion.

    Learning Objectives

    • Identify key resilience terms and actors
    • Describe approaches to measuring resilience
    • Identify factors that promote resilience
    • Classify reasons communities develop resilience

    Supplemental Materials

    Use the following links to support your learning experience.

    Publications

    Creating Community Resilience Through Elder-Led Physical and Social Infrastructure
    Natural disasters and rapidly aging populations are chronic problems for societies worldwide. Examine an investigation of the effects of an intervention in Japan known as Ibasho, which embeds elderly residents in vulnerable areas within larger social networks and encourages them to participate in leadership activities. This project sought to deepen the connections of these elderly residents to society and to build elderly leadership and community capacity for future crises.

    Videos

    Watch the featured videos in under an hour.

    Dr. Daniel Aldrich explains how social ties are the critical aspect of resilience in immediate survival, in mental health, and in community recovery. Despite common assumptions that money, governance, level of damage, and inequality are the most important determinants of recovery, Dr. Aldrich demonstrates that “disaster resilience comes from internal factors: How connected are we? How much trust do we have in each other? How often do we work together?”

    Atyia Martin, DLP’14, speaks about how Climate Resilient Boston will build on the work of Boston Living with Water, 100 Resilient Cities, and Climate Ready Boston by providing input to the City of Boston on potential solutions for the climate change and resiliency challenges faced by coastal communities. This initiative will continue to build a network of designers, engineers, and other practitioners to help advance Boston’s ability to address climate change risks.

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  • Module 2: Climate Change


    The effects of climate change are becoming more obvious as extreme weather events, flooding, and disasters make headlines weekly. Further, man-made disasters at nuclear power plants like Chernobyl and Fukushima have altered our risk perceptions of one of the few baseline carbon neutral energy sources. This module looks closely at ways that cities in North America have responded to these challenges and how cities and institutions have democratized energy sources.

    Learning Objectives

    • Recognize the multidimensional threat posed by climate change
    • Assess the challenges of devising policies that mitigate the effects of climate change
    • Determine the risks communities face due to sea level change

    Supplemental Materials

    Use the following links to support your learning experience.

    Publications

    Utilities Must Go Beyond “Hardening” the Current Grid
    Critics say greater regulation is needed to ensure utilities are bringing enough innovation to the grid. Others say the industry is already making rapid improvements.

    Renewable Energy for Puerto Rico
    Despite recovery efforts from Hurricane María, the continued vulnerability of the energy infrastructure threatens Puerto Rico’s future. But disruptions create possibilities for change. Hurricane María brought an opportunity to move away from a fossil fuel–dominant system and establish instead a decentralized system that generates energy with clean and renewable sources. This is the path that will bring resilience to Puerto Rico.

    Political Power and Renewable Energy Futures: A Critical Review
    Inspired by the energy democracy movement, explore the relationships between concentrated or distributed renewable energy and political power. Advocates assert that because the renewable energy transition is fundamentally a political struggle, efforts to shift from fossil fuels and decarbonize societies will not prove effective without confronting and destabilizing dominant systems of energy power.

    Potential Contributions of Market-Systems Development Initiatives for Building Climate Resilience
    Inspired by the energy democracy movement, explore the relationships between concentrated or distributed renewable energy and political power. Advocates assert that because the renewable energy transition is fundamentally a political struggle, efforts to shift from fossil fuels and decarbonize societies will not prove effective without confronting and destabilizing dominant systems of energy power.

    Videos

    Watch the featured videos.

    Dr. Jennie C. Stephens discusses resilience and renewable energy strategies. Learn about the role the smart grid plays into resilience planning and about additional trends in sustainability.

    Energy democracy is an emergent social movement advancing renewable energy transitions by resisting the dominant fossil-fuel based energy agenda while reclaiming and democratically restructuring energy policy. By focusing on the potential for renewable-based energy systems to redistribute economic and political power as well as electric power, the energy democracy movement is shifting energy policy discourse and connecting it with social justice and community resilience.

    Dr. Laura Kuhl discusses climate adaptation and resilience planning. Learn how trends in renewable energy impact organizational/community resilience.

    Podcasts – Bonus Content

    The Root of the Problem
    Few sectors are as deeply impacted by changing weather patterns as agriculture. More than 60% of the world’s population depends on it for their livelihood, and the rest of us depend on their work to feed ourselves. Listen to a discussion featuring Dr. Laura Kuhl, an expert in agriculture adaptation strategies, on the ways we must rethink development, in order to become more resilient.

    Tech in the Clouds
    Today, we have the power and technology to change the Earth’s climate, as we see fit. Tune into a discussion featuring Dr. Jennie C. Stephens, an expert on energy-climate resilience, on emerging technologies.

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  • Module 3: Terrorism and Resilience


    As we wrap-up this month’s Lifelong Learning: On Demand course, An Introduction to Security and Resilience, conclude your learning experience with this module on terrorism and resilience. Also, discover the learning programs and opportunities available focused on security and resilience available to you at Northeastern University.

    Learning Objectives

    • Explain the argument that governments are overreacting to terrorism
    • Examine the role government overreaction plays in terrorist strategy
    • Find out about the additional learning programs and opportunities available

    Supplemental Materials

    Use the following links to support your learning experience.

    Publications

    A Psychological Theory Explains the Mail Bomber Reaction
    Some blame right-wing extremism; others blame left-wing extremism. There isn’t even a suspect yet.

    Syria’s Extremist Opposition
    How western media have whitewashed the rebels’ record.

    Videos

    Watch the featured videos.

    Dr. Max Abrahms discusses resilience and terrorism. Learn about how countries have developed strategies to become more resilient and what the trends of the counterterrorism field are.

    Ever wonder why militant groups behave as they do? For instance, why did Al Qaeda attack the World Trade Center whereas the African National Congress tried to avoid civilian bloodshed? Why does Islamic State brag over social media about its gory attacks, while Hezbollah denies responsibility or even apologizes for its carnage? Max Abrahms explores these topics in a talk on his new book Rules for Rebels.

    The Master of Science in Security and Resilience Studies utilizes the interdisciplinary expertise of scholars from across Northeastern University. A cutting-edge academic program, it provides a unique combination of traditional security studies coursework with training in technical fields such as cybersecurity policy, business sustainability, and urban coastal resilience.

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