Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Jacqueline Thomas


The way communities build resiliency and prepare for acts of terrorism is ambiguous in the United States; best practices remain unclear. Due to mobility and advancements in communication technologies, individuals and organizations share information, incite anger, recruit, and act on ideological grievances with ease. Such grievances are bolstered by the political and social exclusion of disparate groups through poorly designed policies and ineffective government structures. Using a combination of social constructivism and systems thinking theories, this case study explored collaboration efforts between government agencies and nongovernment experts in Oklahoma City, OK, identifying best practices as a result of lessons learned following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Data were acquired through public records related to the bombing, combined with a qualitative survey of 31 community leaders. These data were inductively coded and subjected to a thematic analysis procedure. Key findings indicate that while open communication with the community and increased coordination were suggested by participants, reports were kept internal to each agency and not widely shared or implemented effectively across the community. Sharing the identified best practices and acknowledging collaboration opportunities promotes positive social change by involving the broader community and building early resiliency to address ideologic grievances and create more effective community counterterrorism plans.