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About Thomas A Birkland

I am currently most interested in policy learning. In particular, following Lee Clarke's idea that disaster plans are often fantasy documents, I believe that many post-disaster "lessons learned" documents are fantasy documents because no lessons are demonstrably learned. My goal in this research is to bridge my prior research on agenda setting with work on policy change, learning, failure, and implementation.


Present Faculty Member, Policy Studies Organization
Present School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), North Carolina State University

Research Interests

Defense and security, Environmental policy, Policy process theory, and Science and technology policy

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Contact Information

Campus Box 8102
Raleigh, NC 27511


Disaster Research (6)

Public Policy/SocietalIssues (2)

Homeland Security (2)

Emergency Management (4)

School Security (1)

Social Networks (1)

Federalism (1)