Understanding the role of interagency coordination in national-level maritime security

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Understanding the role of interagency coordination in national-level maritime security an examination of cross-governmental support for maritime security resilience through a collective action lens
Egli, Dane S
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xv, 267 leaves : ; 28 cm


Subjects / Keywords:
Interagency coordination -- United States ( lcsh )
Shipping -- Security measures -- United States ( lcsh )
Merchant marine -- Security measures -- United States ( lcsh )
National security -- United States ( lcsh )
Interagency coordination ( fast )
Merchant marine -- Security measures ( fast )
National security ( fast )
Shipping -- Security measures ( fast )
United States ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (leaves 249-267).
General Note:
Department of Public Affairs
Statement of Responsibility:
by Dane S. Egli.

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Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
781206460 ( OCLC )
LD1193.P86 2011D E55 ( lcc )

Full Text
An examination of cross-governmental support for maritime security resilience
through a collective action lens
Dane S. Egli
B.S., U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 1979
M.A., George Washington University, 1987
M.S., National Defense University, 2004
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Public Affairs

This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Dane S. Egli
has been approved
Brian Gerber
Paul Teske

Egli, Dane S. (Ph.D., Public Affairs)
Understanding the Role of Interagency Coordination in National-level
Maritime Security
Thesis directed by Professor Brian Gerber
This study examines the most significant challenges in the practice of
interagency coordination to support maritime security and offers potential
collective action solutions to improve security, safety and resilience in the
maritime commons. The central purpose of this study is to identify the major
requirements to advance national-level maritime security policieswith a
particular focus on interagency coordinationby conducting expert interviews,
document reviews, and case studies.
The literature supporting maritime security policy and interagency
cooperation covers military, cross-governmental, homeland security, academic,
and commercial industry imperatives with a focus on the post 9-11 threat
environment. Collective action theory provides the theoretical underpinning
and analytical framework for a unique study of interagency coordination within
the field of maritime securitymaking it highly relevant to the fields of
homeland security and national strategy policy implementation.

The following themes are examined: (1) utility of collective action theory
to support interagency coordination; (2) conditions under which interagency
coordination supports maritime security objectives; (3) ability of maritime
security players to implement policy under current constructs; and (4)
remedies to close gaps in maritime transportation safety.
Major findings include: (1) lessons from this study in collective action
theory and interagency coordination have practical utility and can be
generalized to broader homeland security challenges; (2) further study is
needed to add systems, leadership, and structures foci to collective action
research; (3) awareness of Americas economic dependence upon maritime
commerce and the global supply chain is lacking; and (4) there is a need for a
single national authority to implement existing policies, and strengthen
maritime security resilience.
The most likely impact of this study will be to bring suggested remedies
and systemic solutions to a fragmented and uncoordinated maritime security
policy area within the U.S. maritime community of interest.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Brian Gerber

I dedicate this thesis to my wife Annemarie who was a loving source of
encouragement to stay on task; and certainly our children, Caleb, Corrie,
Constance, and Colson who wereand remaina significant joy and major
source of life inspiration.
I also dedicate this study to my parents, Harold and Connie Egli, who provided
the vision through their unwavering support and confidence, and have
modeled for me what it means to live life with purpose and passion.
Finally, I extend my enduring gratitude to my siblings, Dan, Diane, Debra, and
Denise, as well as Aunt Linda Stein, who have always offered their grace and
hearts to me with indefatigable generosity.

I wish to extend special thanks to my academic advisor, Dr. Brian Gerber, who
provided strong support and thoughtful advice throughout the research
process by offering timely guidance to significantly improve the quality of my
I am also indebted to the members of my committee: Dr. Paul Teske, Dr. Mary
Guy, Senator Gary Hart, and Admiral James Loy. They encouraged me to
follow my interests in this topic and offered new perspectives from their
experience, urging me to become not just as consumer, but a producer of
research. I am particularly grateful to Dr. Teske and Dr. Guyas previous
classroom professorswho helped me formulate my initial thoughts on this
research topic and expanded my vision through their skillful instruction. I was
also privileged to work with Senator Hart and Admiral Loy who brought a
lifetime of public service and unique insightsfrom the front lines of national-
level leadershipto help me examine the boundaries of national, homeland,
maritime and transportation security.
I would be remiss if I did not thank the faculty and staff members of the School
of Public Affairsand my cohort classmateswho provided helpful feedback
to stay focused on the destination. And I am particularly grateful to Dr. Peter
de Leon and Dr. Chris Weible who provided encouragement along the way and
challenged me to build a persuasive theoretic framework.
This study would not have been possible without the generous contribution of
35 intervieweesa collection of impressive experts across the country; as well
as Coast Guard Headquarters, Office of Law Enforcement, especially Mr. Lou
Orsini, who helped select maritime case studies and made critical research
information available.
Finally, I would like to thank two other groups that invested in this effort; first,
I am grateful for the generous support provided by my employer Integrity
Applications Inc. who encouraged me to sail these waters; and secondly, I was
inspired tremendously by the courageous friendship of my band of brothers
at Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs.

List of Figures....................................................xii
List of Tables....................................................xiii
1. INTRODUCTION...............................................1
Structure of Dissertation...............................7
2. BACKGROUND AND POLICY DOMAIN...............................n
Historical Perspective..................................n
Maritime Security Imperatives..........................13
Basic Assumptions......................................18
Collective Action Theory Literature Review.............26
Interagency Coordination Literature Review.............37
Intersection of Collective Action & Interagency Coordination... 43

Field Experience...................................54
Policy Implications................................56
Relevant Theories & Models...............................58
Supporting Policy Frameworks.............................67
Collective Action Theory...........................72
Interagency Coordination...........................72
Maritime Case Studies..............................73
Expert Interviews..................................73
Research Questions.......................................75

Research Hypotheses...................................79
Data Collection and Analysis...........................90
5. MAJOR INFERENCES FROM RESEARCH............................95
Maritime Case Studies.................................95
Case Study Profiles, Pre-NSMS..........................97
F/V GISSAR (1999)................................98
F/V LINA MARIA (2004)...........................105
M/V WARM SEAS VOYAGER (2005)....................112
Case Study Profiles, Post-NSMS........................121
M/V MAERSK ALABAMA (2009).......................122
M/V SUN SEA (2010)..............................131
S/V TORTUGA (2010)..............................138
Linkages to Theoretical Framework and Hypotheses......146
Expert Interview Findings.............................154
Maritime Transportation System..................156
Leadership and Understanding....................159
Cultural Factors................................161
Policy Implementation...........................164

Maritime Security Structures
Formal Coordinating Mechanisms......................173
Private Sector Role.................................178
Intelligence Cooperation............................185
Budget Factors......................................190
Information Sharing.................................192
International Collaboration.........................196
Academic Participation..............................198
6. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSIONS....................................203
Major Findings and Implications of Research................203
Collective Action Theory Missing Elements...........206
Conditions Which Support Interagency Coordination.. 209
Maritime Case Study Category Comparisons............211
Limitations & Biases.......................................218
Suggested Remedies.........................................221
Collective Action Theory (Ri).......................222
Homeland Security Policies (R2).....................225
Maritime Security Imperatives (R3)..................227

Awareness & Understanding............228
Systems Approach.....................228
Policy Implementation................229
Leadership Focus.....................230
B. TYPES OF EVIDENCE EMPLOYED........................245
C. LIST OF INTERVIEWEES..............................246

1.1 National Maritime Security Policy............................7
2.1 The Maritime Transportation System in action................18
2.2 The Maritime Transportation System of Systems...............21
3.1 Problem Definition..........................................22
5.1 F/V GISSAR (1999)...........................................98
5.2 F/V LINA MARIA (2004)......................................105
5.3 M/V WARM SEAS VOYAGER (2005)...............................112
5.4 M/V MAERSK ALABAMA (2009)..................................122
5.5 M/V SUN SEA (2010).........................................131
5.6 S/V TORTUGA (2010).........................................138
5.7 Expert Interviews..........................................154

3.1 Intersection of Collective Action & Interagency Coordination....57
4.1 Research Questions..............................................78
4.2 Hypotheses......................................................88
5.1 Maritime Case Studies Summary...................................96
5.2 Case Studies, Pre-NSMS..........................................97
5.3 Case Studies, Post-NSMS........................................121
5.4 Linkage of Case Studies, Hypotheses, and Theory................148
5.5 Linkage of Interviews and Hypotheses...........................201
6.1 Collective Action TheoryEmpirical Research Comparison.........209
6.2 Maritime Case Studies by Category..............................212

AIS AMIO CA CBP CIA COCOM CONOPS COP COTP CN CNO COI CPR CT DEA DHS DOD DOJ DOS DOT DTRA EA FBI GAO GCC IC ICC ICE IED IG IMO JLATF Automatic Identification System Alien Migration Interdiction Operations Collective Action U.S. Customs and Border Protection Central Intelligence Agency Combatant Commander Concept of Operations Common Operating Picture USCG Captain of the Port Counter Narcotics Chief of Naval Operations Community of Interest Common Pool Resources Counter Terrorism Drug Enforcement Agency Department of Homeland Security US Department of Defense US Department of Justice US Department of State US Department of Transportation Defense Threat Reduction Agency Executive Agent Federal Bureau of Investigations US Government Accountability Office Geographic Combatant Commander Intelligence Community Intelligence Coordination Center (USCG) Immigration and Customs Enforcement Improvised Explosive Device US Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General International Maritime Organization Joint Interagency Task Force

JTTF Joint Terrorism Task Force
LPOC Last Port of Call
MARAD Maritime Administration
MDA Maritime Domain Awareness
MDM Maritime Domain Management
MIFC Maritime Intelligence Fusion Center (USCG)
MLE Maritime Law Enforcement
MOTR Maritime Operational Threat Response
MS Maritime Security
MTS Maritime Transportation System
MTSA Maritime Transportation Security Act
NCIC National Crime Information Center
NCTC National Counter Terrorism Center
NGB National Guard Bureau
NTC CBP National Targeting Center (Cargo & Personnel)
NIE National Intelligence Estimate
NIMS National Incident Management System
NPM New Public Management
NPOC Next Port of Call
NPS New Public Service
NRP National Response Protocol
NSC National Security Council
ODNI Office of Director of National Intelligence
OMB Office of Management and Budget
ONI Office of Naval Intelligence
OSD Office of the Secretary of Defense
SLOC Sea Lanes of Communication
SOP Standard Operating Procedures
SVS Small Vessel Security
TWIC Transportation Worker Identification Credential
UN United Nations
USCG United States Coast Guard
USG United States Government
USN United States Navy
USTR United States Trade Representative
WMD Weapons of Mass Destruction

Terrorist elements are intent on inflicting harm on U.S. interests, and
security planners are actively studying potential vulnerabilities to the American
homelandespecially within critical transportation systemswhich includes
the maritime domain and global supply chain (Flynn 2007, McNicholas 2008).
And since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, American officials have
actively re-examined strategic priorities and policies in light of the unique
threats to national security and homeland security within the maritime
domain. A key challenge for policymakers is prioritizing the nations maritime
security activities among a virtually unlimited number of potential attack
scenarios. Maritime security systems are of particular significance because they
are vulnerable to disruption or attack, and play an essential role in the
economic vitality of the nation (NSMS 2005, CRS 2007).
Over the past decade, the U.S. has dramatically enhanced its intelligence
capabilities, both foreign and domestic, to counter terrorism and protect the
homeland. However, threats to U.S. national security, including the maritime
transportation system, continue to evolve. Notable maritime events, such as
the seaborne terrorist attack in Mumbai, India in 2008 and the growing piracy

threat off the Horn of Africa, including the attack on the sailing vessel QUEST
in February 2011, highlight relevant maritime threats to the United States.
Interagency planners and policymakers recognize that the global maritime
commons present a range of significant safety and security threatsincluding
enemy naval forces, piracy, and using vessels to smuggle people, drugs,
weapons, and other contrabandwhich could harm the U.S. and its vital
interests. But, adversaries of America will also examine U.S. homeland
vulnerabilities and seek to exploit the capability gaps and infrastructure
weaknesses in the U.S. maritime security system, and maritime homeland
defensewhich underscores the need to better understand the state of
interagency planning and coordination across U.S. agencies, departments, and
organizations with maritime equities (NSCT 2006, Flynn 2007, GAO 2011-195,
GAO 2011-661).
In a January 2002 speech, President George W. Bush noted, The heart of
the maritime domain is accurate information, intelligence, surveillance, and
reconnaissance of all vessels, cargo, and people extending well beyond our
traditional maritime boundaries (NSMS 2005). Against this national security
backdrop and complex environment of maritime challengeswith overlapping
interests, uncoordinated players, and fragmented policiesthis study examines
the role of interagency coordination, and identifies the most critical variables

and policy options across the U.S. government that enable improved maritime
security. This approach focuses on cross-governmental multi-agency
collaboration that drives policy formulation and execution because the
hypotheses of this study assert that significant improvements are possible by
leveraging the benefits of interagency coordination. The whole-of-government
approach (Page 2005, Kettl 2008) also serves as a harbinger for other
independent variables that emerge in this study and contribute directly to the
dependent variablemaritime safety, security, and resilience.
Collective action theory provides a useful tool to help identify and
evaluate cross-governmental issues and potential remedies within the national
maritime security community. This theory asserts that groups of individuals
with common interests are more likely to act on behalf of their common
interestsa framework shaped by several influential models, including
cooperative behavior (Olsen 1965), common-pool resources (Schlager 2002),
tragedy of the commons (Hardin 1968), logic of social dilemmas (Dawes 1980),
and free riders (Olsen 1965, Hardin 1982). Collective action theory informs the
research questions used in the interviews, as well as the hypotheses; and helps
uncover interagency themes throughout the case studies and interviews.
By examining salient policy documents and conducting maritime case
studies as well as interviews of subject matter experts, this research identifies

key elements within the area of interagency coordination relative to maritime
security, execution of maritime policy, and expansion of global Maritime
Domain Awareness (MDA).1 Evidence showsfrom interviews and case
studiesthat further maritime security analysis and research is needed to
identify the areas of vulnerability across all elements of the U.S. government
(Flynn 2007, NRC 2008).
The selected maritime case studiesinvolving high-profile merchant or
recreational vessels interdicted within a national policy contextwill
illuminate the maritime security challenges associated with interagency
coordination and their theoretical structures. This is a small-n case study
approach employing interviews of subject matter experts, and careful
examination of relevant documents, policies, and literature. The six case
studies selected represent three maritime interdictions that occurred prior to
promulgation of the new maritime policy in 2005the National Strategy for
Maritime Security (NSMS)and three maritime cases from the time period
after the policy was established. These six cases draw from a broad range of
routine and non-routine operational scenarios to reflect the complex variables
1 Maritime Domain Awareness is the knowledge and sense-making of all activity in the maritime
commonson, under, or above the seasthat contributes to safety, security, economic and
environmental requirements (NSMS, 2005).

as well as overlapping authorities and jurisdictions within the maritime
environment, and the real challenges planners and policymakers face.
The seminal document that informs this study is the NSMS (Figure 1.1).
To understand its genesis, in December 2004, the first national-level maritime
security policy was introduced when the President signed National Security
Presidential Directive 41 (NSPD-41), and Homeland Security Presidential
Directive 13 (HSPD-13), which directed the preparation of the NSMS and its
eight supporting plans. The NSMS, signed by the President in 2003, includes
interagency and international dimensions, as well as public and private
requirements; and is being implemented sporadically across the U.S.
government (NSMS 2005, NRC 2008).
Since the maritime case studies selected for this study took place before
and after the NSMS was promulgated, they will help identify the operational
gaps and interagency imperatives this policy was intended to address. To date,
there has been an uncoordinated and fragmented response to the emerging
threats and lessons-learned in the maritime domain, which lacks the benefit of
organized research and analyses needed to inform the way ahead (Flynn 2007,
NRC 2008). Therefore, the research questionsinformed and operationalized
by collective action theorywere utilized with the six case studies and 35
expert interviews across the maritime security community, including

government agencies, commercial maritime industry, military departments,
national-level policy makers, and academic institutions.
In review, this study employs collective action theory to address national-
level, multi-agency, cross-governmental maritime security policy challenges
attempting to bridge two very different arenas. By drawing upon two arguably
complementaryyet inherently differentapproaches (an abstract theoretical
framework and discrete national security requirement), the study addresses
this apparent inconsistency. The literature reveals that collective action theory
is largely applied to narrowly-bounded geographic, ecological, and social
structures (Ostrom 1990, Schlager 2002); whereas the problem under
examinationmaritime security requirementsdeals with organizing an
expansive security regime based on a policy mandate to protect public-private
safety interests (NSMS 2005, NRC 2008). Against this backdrop of conceptual
and operational challenges this qualitative exploratory study will uncover the
major findings of this study regarding interagency coordination and maritime
security, as well as help evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of collective
action as a theoretical framework.

Figure 1.1 National Maritime Security Policy 2
Structure of Dissertation
This dissertation consists of six chapters including this introduction. The
second chapter provides an historical perspective of the global maritime
commons, including the evolution of U.S. maritime security policy
development, focusing on modern threats in the maritime domain, imperatives
of the global supply chain and maritime transportation security. This chapter
2 Three of the eight supporting plans have received strong interagency focus while the remaining five
are less mature or undeveloped and therefore, are shown as separate and uncoordinated elements of the

also highlights the central role of maritime commerce in connecting the
ligaments of global and domestic economic systems, especially focusing on the
importance of safety, security, and environmental requirements in U.S. ports,
harbors, waterways, and coastal regions. Nine assumptions are suggested
which offer explanations and antecedents to the research and assert the highly
interdependent global supply chain and maritime transportation system.
The third chapter states the problem definition and presents literature
reviews for both collective action theory and interagency coordinationlaying
the groundwork for the subsequent sections that establish the conceptual
linkages of these two focus areas. The primary themes of collective action
theory are introduced, drawing from the supporting areas such as public goods,
tragedy of the commons, social dilemmas, transaction costs, free-riders, and
bounded rationality. The evolution of multi-agency, cross-government
interagency coordination is reviewed along with a contemporary focus on
whole-of-government approaches. Further, in this chapter, a clear argument is
made for the complementary intersection of collective action and interagency
coordination (Table 3.1)presenting 12 overlapping themes to highlight that
public and private stakeholders make decisions in both areas, working in
separate domains, while facing parallel collective choices. Chapter three closes

by presenting a summary of social science theories to cast this study in the
broader public policy and public affairs context.
The fourth chapter outlines the research design employed, data collection
and analysis methodologies. The data collection and analysis section shows
that this study depends chiefly upon qualitative data collected from case
studies, document reviews, and expert interviews, followed by narrative and
deductive written summaries linked to research questions and hypotheses.
The heart of this chapter is the list of 13 research questions which
operationalize collective action theory; and 12 hypotheses that test the
conditions and factors of interagency coordination in executing maritime
security policies.
The fifth chapter presents the major inferences from six maritime case
studies and 35 expert interviews; and distills the salient points relative to
interagency coordination based on the research questions and hypotheses. The
case studies were selected from a wide range of operational, law enforcement,
and maritime security scenarios using routine and non-routine selection
criteria, and time variables based on when the cases occurredbefore or after
the NSMS (2005). The next section summarizes the actual interviews of
maritime security experts from across public, private, academic, industry,
policy and technical fields and correlates those results with collective action-

interagency coordination precepts and test hypotheses. At the end of each
section there is a summary (Tables 5.4 and 5.5) which provides qualitative
analysis and shows linkages between interagency themes, research findings,
collective action theory, and research hypotheses.
Finally, chapter six summarizes the major findings and implications of
this study to advance maritime security objectives, specifically highlighting the
value of collective action theory in addressing this thesis and utility for future
research efforts. There is a comparative analysis of the case studies to examine
the significance of their operational complexity, and timing (before and after
the NSMS was promulgated). The final section offers major findings, suggested
remedies, and recommendations to close the gaps uncovered during the

Historical Perspective
For the past 200 years the U.S. has enjoyed relative freedom of navigation
and maritime trade routes as part of a global transportation system, influenced
by actors such as the interagency, commercial maritime industry, and
operating agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Merchant
Marineprotecting people on the sea and protecting the maritime commons
from threats delivered by sea. In recent times, and particularly in the past
decade, threats to maritime security have evolved, and policies have emerged
to address new maritime security requirements (Ullman 1983, GAO 2007, GAO
For example, the International Maritime Organization (IMO)a
permanent UN body responsible for international standards to promote
maritime safety and prevent pollution from shipstook strong measures after
the terrorist attacks of 2001 to expand its traditional regulatory focus beyond
safety and environmental protection to include security considerations. More
specifically, in 2004, IMO introduced a comprehensive security regime for

international shipping, including the International Ship and Port Facility
Security (ISPS) Code, implemented under the International Convention for the
Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). These international maritime security initiatives,
in part, established a new emphasis on security in the global maritime
commons and pointed to the need for national-level policies to directly counter
maritime threats and enhance maritime security protocols in the homeland
(SOLAS i960, ISPS 2004).
Domestically, the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee
(NMSAC) was established under the authority of the Maritime Transportation
Security Act of 2002, and operates in accordance with the provisions of the
Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The NMSAC provides advice to the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary through the USCG on
matters such as national security strategies and policies, actions required to
meet security threats, international cooperation on security issues, and security
concerns of the transportation industry (NSMS 2005, MTSA 2002).
In the past, sea-borne threats to America usually came in the form of
foreign navies. However, modern threats come by way of self-propelled semi-
submersible drug-smuggling vessels, pirates trying to hijack merchant vessels
and disrupt the global supply chain, individuals who illegally enter our ports
with the intent of committing nefarious acts, and transnational crime such as

smuggling contraband, including humans, weapons, and bulk cash (NSMS
2005, USN/USMC/USCG 2007, Allen 2008). This study highlights how the
interagency process has adapted to face these challenges in the maritime
domain by attempting to focus on collective efforts and coordination with
maritime stakeholders in the military, law enforcement, and intelligence
communities, as well as the commercial maritime industry.
Maritime Security Imperatives
This study offers a critical understanding of national security imperatives
beyond the land and air domains, focusing on the specific steps necessary to
improve maritime security,3 through stronger interagency coordination within
the national context. This research opportunity will contribute directly to the
improved theoretical and epistemological foundation of our nations vital
maritime transportation systems. There is a needbecause of safety, security,
economic, and environmental risk factorsfor maritime security practitioners
to systematically study this issue, shining an analytical light across multiple
levels of government agencies, departments, and organizations, to better
understand the theoretical foundation and benefits of further research relative
3 Maritime security involves the prevention of intentional damage through sabotage, subversion, or
terrorism, and supports the protection of ports, vessels, and facilities (NSMS 2005).

to collective action theory and improved interagency coordination (NRC 2008,
The security, environmental protection, and economic prosperity of
America depend upon its ability to safely operate within the global maritime
commons, ports, and waterways. Ships are the primary mode of transportation
for world trade, and the U.S. maritime transportation system (MTS)4 is vital to
domestic and global economies. Globally, maritime trade constitutes over 80-
percent of all international trade. With 95,000 miles of shoreline, over 25,000
miles of navigable waterways, 361 commercial ports, and a vibrant economic
exclusion zone (EEZ), America conducts more than 95-percent of its
commercial trade (total imports and exports) via maritime conveyances. The
U.S. maritime transportation system, in turn, drives the global supply chain,
and as the worlds leading maritime trade nation, the U.S. contributes nearly
20% of the annual world ocean-borne overseas trade (CRS 2007, USN 2007,
DOT 2008). Commercial vessels also carry more than 90-percent of the
nations foreign trade by volume and 85-percent by value, and nearly one-third
of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is derived from maritime trade
(DOT 2006, CRS 2007, USN 2007).
4 The national Marine Transportation System (MTS) is a complex network of waterways, ports,
terminals, intermodal connections, vessels, people, infrastructure, and support services interconnected
with the public and private sectors (Allen 2008).

Tens of millions of shipping containers enter U.S. seaports every year
surpassing $1.5 trillion in value (Rudzinski et al, 2010). U.S. ports, waterways,
and vessels handle more than $700 billion in merchandise annually, and any
disruption to this network would have a widespread impact on global trade and
the U.S. economy (GAO 2011). U.S. seaports handle over two billion tons of
domestic and international freight annually, and a terrorist attack in a major
port could paralyze the maritime transportation system because it is an
interconnected and interdependent network. By one estimate, the cost to the
U.S. economy of port closures on the West Coast due to a labor dispute (in
2002) was over $1 billion per day for the first five days, rising sharply thereafter
(Frittelli 2008). In addition to its economic significance, the maritime
transportation system and global supply chain are vital to national security.
According to USG reports on waterborne foreign trade, the top 175 U.S.
seaports moved over one billion metric tons of commerce in 2005, and over 95-
percent in volume of North American foreign tradesuch as commodities and
foreign oilarrived by maritime conveyances (DOT 2006). The Departments
of Defense (DOD) and Transportation (DOT) have designated 17 U.S. seaports
as strategically important because of their role in the event of major military
deployments. And 80-percent of these strategic ports are loaded at privately-
owned commercial facilities (Flynn 2004, Frittelli 2008). Clearly, international

trade, maritime transportation systems, global supply networksand
especially Americas economic welfaredepend heavily upon secure maritime
infrastructure and commerce, enabled by strong public-private collaboration
within the global maritime commons (DOT 2006, USN 2007,
The maritime transportation system continues to expand and underwrites
global and national economies. According to the American Association of Port
Authorities, $1.3 billion worth of U.S. commerce passes through American ports
daily (GAO 2011). Increasingly, U.S. corporations rely heavily upon just-in-
time deliverieshighlighting certain vulnerabilities and choke points: 42-
percent of U.S. container imports pass through the Ports of Long Beach and
Los Angeles, California; and 52-percent of U.S. tanker imports flow through the
Gulf of Mexicos Lower Mississippi Waterway and the Houston Ship Channel
(Flynn 2004, DOT 2006).
U.S. seaports and waterways are not only vital economic arteries for the
nation, but increasingly so for international partners as well. Every day, over
1.000 ships enter American ports; and 8,000 foreign-flagged vessels manned by
200.000 international merchant mariners, enter U.S. ports each year. Further,
cruise ships visiting foreign destinations depart from 16 American ports; and
the U.S. ferry system moves some 113 million passengers and 32 million vehicles

annually. Over the next twenty years, experts predict that the importance of
maritime transportation and maritime infrastructures will continue to expand
in the U.S. and global marketplace (NSMS 2005, NSS 2006, NSCT 2006, Allen
The oceans not only provide the sea lanes for world commerce, but are
also a major source of food, minerals, and recreation for the nation. The U.S.
has a vital national security and economic interest in the preservation and
protection of resources in its 200-mile wide EEZthe largest EEZ in the world,
spanning over 13,000 miles of coastline, and containing over three million
square nautical miles of ocean. The EEZ contains vital natural resources
including fisheries, oil reserves, and minerals (NSMS 2005, UNCLS 1982).
Within this context of broad maritime security and economic variables
that impact the global supply chain and maritime security resilience this study
examines the most significant elements associated with interagency
coordinationinformed by collective action theoryamong the principle
maritime security actors in the U.S. government.

Figure 2.1 The Maritime Transportation System in Action
Basic Assumptions
Assumptions offer effective explanations and antecedents to ones
research (Friedman 1984). They are basic facts and ideals which inform ones
study, and help assess causal mechanisms within individual case studies
(George and Bennet 2005,139). The following assumptions are derived from
the review of primary maritime security sources:
U.S. national security relies heavily upon global transportation systems,
including air, land, and maritime conveyances (USN 2007, DOT 2006).
Since September 11, 2001, there has been a growing demand for maritime
security policies, recognizing land and air domains have more mature
security regimes in place (Ritter, Barrett and Wilson 2006, McNicholas

There is a prevailing security threatmanifested in asymmetric
terrorismthat requires improved interagency coordination and strong
cooperation among all elements of the national security community
(NSCT 2006, NRC 2008).
In the U.S. there are 361 commercial ports that provide countless high
value targets for terrorist organizations to exploit, including container
vessels, bridges, chemical and nuclear plants, and waterfront facilities
(Loy 2001).
Maritime securityas a subset of national securityrequires the
collaborative efforts of government, industry, and academic institutions
and organizations (NSMS 2005, NSS 2006).
The commercial maritime industry is dependent upon secure trade
routes and the global supply chain to provide services and support for the
U.S. and global economies (NSPD-41/HSPD-13 2004).
The maritime sector must operationalize national policy in a dynamic,
ubiquitous, and interconnected joint military, interagency, multinational,
and commercial environment (Ullman 1983, NSMS 2005).
Effective execution of U.S. maritime strategy and policy requires the
cooperative efforts of the public and private sector, built upon mutual
trust, information sharing, and interoperability (NSMS 2005, Flynn 2007).
The U.S. is an island-nation with proximity to oceans that have
historically offered a sense of security. Over 90% of Americas war
fighting capacity flows from strategic seaports of embarkation (NSMS
2005, Flynn 2007, Frittelli 2008).
These assumptions establish the fundamental premise for the
relationships between collective action theory, cross-governmental themes,
operationalizing research questions, and maritime case studies (Appendix A).
Once assumptions have been established for qualitative measures at the basic

level one can construct secondary-level dimensions, building upon these
preliminary structures (Goertz 2006, 35). These maritime security precepts
focused specifically upon the role of interagency coordinationare supported
by strong references and external validity, and help identify critical cross-
governmental issues and definitions, and most importantly, lead to appropriate
research questions and hypotheses.
Further, these assumptions are best understood within the context of a
highly interdependent maritime global supply chain, which includes a dynamic
network of vessels, people, cargo, infrastructure, ports, communications, and
transportation nodes. As reflected in Figure 2.2, maritime trade represents a
major security challenge because it takes place in the loosely-regulated
maritime commons on a daily basis and is conducted by a domestic and
international oceangoing fleet of government-sponsored, and private industry
vessels that transport a variety of cargoincluding an international network of
shipping containers within an interconnected and highly-complex global
maritime domain.
This security challenge is amplified by the vast openness of the global
maritime commons and large number of crewmembers sailing on various
vessels, including small unmonitored recreational craft, commercial fishing
vessels, coastal freighters, bulk cargo carriers, and cruise shipsmany carrying

crew, passengers, and individuals of various nationalities. The major
commercial shipping ports of entry and countless number of non-commercial
and un-monitored locations over 91,000 miles of U.S. coastline further
highlight the nature of domestic maritime security vulnerabilities.
Global Supply Chain
Maritime transportation system with
complex safety, security, economic,
environmental, and cultural factors
361 US commercial ports
17 strategic ports (DOD/DOT)
Over 10K cargo ports globally
Small Vessels
Vessels under 300T
Major tracking challenge
50K in LA/LB basin alone
Maritime Transportation System
Over 80% of global trade and commerce
Over 90% US trade (total imports & exports)
Trillion-dollar industry
Oceangoing Fleet
135,000+ vessels over 100T
40K+ commercial ships
198 international shipping flags
Cargo Containers
20M+ moving globally
354M moves per year
971M tons shipped annually
Cruise Ships Crew
Over 11M passengers worldwide Over 1M merchant mariners
80% passengers from the US Multinational crews
Figure 2.2 The Maritime Transportation System of Systems

The problem definition establishes the boundaries of this qualitative
study in the context of maritime security policy and interagency coordination,
introducing the problem under examination. Also, the problemor need for
the studyis framed within existing literature, addressing a gap in this field of
study. Case studies, document reviews, and expert interviews are employed to
provide historical context, document interagency experience, develop research
questions, and test the hypotheses (Marshall & Rossman 2006, Creswell 2007).
National-level maritime security governance, policy guidance, and interagency
coordination are fragmented, and therefore, impede the ability to adequately
secure maritime infrastructures and transportation systems in the maritime
Figure 3.1 Problem Definition
The maritime security community of interest is a complex network, in
which many operational, political, and policy actors with different goals,
resources, and mandates participate to achieve their own goals. The diverse
policy environment and loosely-regulated maritime industryincluding

political structures, budgetary constraints, economic realities, and
organizational culturesimpact the homeland and maritime security fields
(Flynn 2004, NSMS 2005, DOT 2006). In the larger public policy field, a variety
of theories and frameworks have been developed to explain the landscape of
policy processes; including those that focus on functions, policy networks,
institutional arrangements, and the systems within the policy process itself
(Easton 1965, Brewer & deLeon 1983, Jordan 1990, Marsh & Rhodes 1992,
Scharpf 1997, Ostrom 1998). This body of literature has contributed
significantly to better understanding the range of policy structures; however,
there remains an open field of study to examine maritime security systems and
the role of government policy actorsspecifically within the realm of cross-
governmental interagency coordination.
Based on existing literature in this field, this dissertation examines the
role of multi-agency whole-of-government efforts in advancing national-level
maritime security policy within the context of a collective action theoretical
framework. More specifically, it draws upon maritime case studies and expert
interviews to answer the research questions, as well as test the hypotheses.
This chapter also asserts a fundamental linkage between collective action
theory and interagency coordination, laying the foundation for research
findings and suggested remedies.

Maritime security as a public service enabled, in part, by interagency
policy execution andas reflected in the literature and demonstrated
empirically in this studyis considered a public good. Public goods are goods
that are hard (or impossible) to produce for private profit, because the market
fails to account for their large positive externalities. National security and
maritime security are viewed as public goods because they are non-rivalrous,
non-excludable public services; consumption of goods by one member does not
reduce availability for others, and no one (agency or person) can be excluded
from using the goods (Samuelson 1954). And collective action suggests that
groups share intentions regarding public goods through shared activity that
requires common knowledge to support the provision of public services
(Gilbert 1989)in this case, maritime security.
Following this argument, maritime security is a public good whichif not
addressed in a coordinated mannerwill suffer the potential shortfalls raised
by collective action themes such as tragedy of the commons, prisoners
dilemma, free riders, principal-agents, focal points, bounded rationality, and
common pool resources (Olsen 1965, Hardin, G. 1968, Dawes 1980, Hardin, R.
1982, Ostrom 1999, 2000, 2002, Schlager 2002). Further, while collective action
literature often targets issues as people problems, there are many examples
where collective choice involves organizations because collective action is

rooted in relationshipsamong individuals and institutions (Ostrom 1990,
1999, 2000, 2002). Therefore, this theoretical framework supports the
examination of collective behavior among individuals as well as organizations
and agencies. And this study places a particular focus on the conditions and
factors under which cross-governmental multi-agency interaction and
coordination does and does not occur, evaluating the subsequent impact on
the ability to provide maritime security for the homeland.
At its core, this study examines a collective action problem involving
public and private groups operating in a shared domainthe maritime
commons. Some actors are unaware or overlook the maritime security
imperatives while other groups focus on the challenges, yet overlook or fail to
enlist the cooperation of potential collaborators. To further understand the
variables involved in maritime security, this study examines potential
hindrances to collective action such as communications, negotiations of
agreements, and monitoring responsibilities.
Finally, this study does not attempt to leverage collective action theory to
achieve a desired outcome, because this theoryas with other analytical tools
and modelsis a neutral epistemological framework being employed in this
qualitative study to operationalize research questions, test hypotheses, and
verify research Findings against existing disciplinary knowledge (Greco & Sosa

i999> Crawford & Jarvis 2001). Collective action theoryas an emerging
framework with gaps that will be explored in this studyis also utilized to help
uncover the conditions and circumstances under which interagency
coordination does or does not occur within the maritime community of
interest (COI). Drawing upon the elements of collective action theory, this
study identifies themes, conditional effects, and circumstances (within and
among federal agencies) that support the most important maritime security
objectives; and offers suggested remedies and recommendations to overcome
policy hurdles based upon research findings. The following two sections
examine the literature and principles surrounding collective action theory and
interagency coordination.
Collective Action Theory Literature Review
Collective action theory is concerned with the provision of public goods
through the collaboration of two or more individuals, and the impact of
externalities on group behavior. The foundational work in collective action
was Mancur Olsons, The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the
Theory of Groups (1965). The logic of collective action involves the conflict
between individual interests and achievement of shared interests for a group of
individuals or organizations; and has enabled society to produce and distribute

a great variety of goods. Groups of individuals with common interests are
expected to act collectively much as individuals may act on behalf of their
personal interests, following the premise of rationale self-interested behavior;
but in reality, individuals do not always act voluntarily to achieve the common
interest unless there is coercion or incentives to compel action (Olson 1965,
Ostrom 1990, Donahue & Zeckhauser 2006).
Historic literature portends the principle of collective action, being
recognized as far back as Platos Republic where there is an argument against
obedience to the law if only one can escape sanctions for violations. Arguably,
Adam Smiths (1776) assertion of the invisible handthat ensures sellers are
competitive rather than in collusionis an economically important element of
the logic of collective action. The back of the invisible hand deters the
temptation of price collusion, thereby influencing producers to be creative.
Even Hume (1739) seems to invoke the collective action theme when he
describes the action of two neighbors who agree to drain a meadow, which
they possess in common because of a common understanding; yet the same
action would be nearly impossible with a large group trying to concert so
complicated a design.
Further, John Stuart Mill (1848) alludes to collective decisions in his
defense of laws to require maximum hours of work. He claims that all workers

would benefit if the workday were shorter, but individual workers would be
better off working extra hours if most others did not. Therefore, the only way
to benefit from the reduced workday would be to make it illegal to work longer
than a certain number of hours a day. And Pareto (1935) refers to collective
action logic when all individuals refrain from a certain action that all members
of the community benefit from; and if all but one member continue refraining
from the action, the overall loss is minimal; whereas the one individual who
chose to act may enjoy a personal gain far greater than the loss incurred as a
member of the overall community. This argument is often framed for a
negative case such as pollution or smoking, but it has positive applications as
well. In the case of maritime security, the action might be the collective efforts
of the cross-governmental agencies and departments.
Most collective action is based upon voluntary agreements among people
or groups; however policy analysts often deal with legitimate coercive powers
over private actions (Wiemer & Vining, 2005, p. 54). The literature suggests
collective action or collaborative governance (Donahue & Zeckhauser 2006),
may help understand the nature of maritime security challenges and the role of
interagency coordination in the maritime commons.
Since the foundational work of Mancur Olson (1965) the concept of
collective action has received significant application across the social sciences.

Collective action problems most often occur when individuals, as part of a
broader group, select strategies generating outcomes that are sub-optimal from
the perspective of the group. The challenge of collective action is finding ways
to avoid deficiencies and move closer to optimal outcomes. To that end, public
choice theorists have focused primarily on those collective action problems
related to public goods, common-pool resources, and club goods (Buchanan
1972, Mueller 1997).
In the case of a market-produced private goods, the focus is generally on
some attribute that provides a benefitthe flow of goods and services that one
individual appropriates. And consuming these goods is generally not
accomplished in a shared manner. The separation of production, personal
appropriation and use, are basic reasons that private goods are not plagued
with the panoply of collective action problems normally addressed (Ostrom
1998, 2000). Finding the right mix of incentive-compatible institutional
arrangements to yield optimal outcomes and acceptable rules to define the
boundaries of collective behavior is difficult. Further, creating institutions to
facilitate exclusion can further complicate collective choice mechanisms.
Ultimately, these challenges must be solvedwhether the environment is
fisheries, clean air, public lands, or the maritime commonsby those who wish

to efficiently utilize an array of common-pool resources over the long run
(Ostrom, Gardner & Walker 1994).
Social dilemmas occur whenever individuals or groups in interdependent
situationsas this study examines within cross-governmental interagency
coordinationface choices in which the maximization of short-term self-
interest produces outcomes that leave all participants worse off than feasible
alternatives. Said another way, social dilemmas involve large numbers of
situations in which individuals (or agencies) make independent choices under
interdependent conditions. In public good dilemmas all those who would
benefit from the provision of a public goodsuch as pollution control, weather
forecasting, port security, maritime safetyfind it costly to contribute and
would prefer that others pay for the goods and services. And if everyone
follows this utility-maximizing free-riding instinct, then the good is not
provided or is mismanaged or underprovided. Yet, everyone would be better
off if all players contributed (Samuelson 1954, Ostrom 1998, 2000).
Olson based his CA analysis on Samuelsons theory of public goods
Samuelson (1954) observed that some goods, once they are made available to
one person, can be consumed by others at no additional marginal cost, a
condition called joint supply, because ones consumption of the good does
not impact anothers consumption. There is a natural tendency toward free-

riding on the provision of such goods; and some examples include radio
broadcasts, national defense, clean air, and maritime trade. If any of these
goods are provided for anyone, they are de facto provided for everyone,
resulting in the impossibility of exclusion (Stanford 2003).
One can see collective choice social dilemmas in many aspects of life
leading to decisions ranging from global events down to routine family affairs.
These problems surface in many different forms and names, including public-
good or collective-good problems (Samuelson 1954, Olson 1965), the free-rider
problem (Grossman & Hart 1980), moral hazard (Holmstrom 1982), and tragedy
of the commons (Hardin 1968). And within contemporary scholarship, the
prisoners dilemmademonstrating why people may not cooperate even if it is
in their mutual interest to do sois a notable social dilemma with collective
action implications (Dresher 1961, Poundstone 1992).
The prisoners dilemma (Hardin 1971,1982) provides logic structure for
collective behavior and free rider cases. In this context, collective action is
essentially a large-number exchange where each actor or agency exchanges
some effort or resources in return for benefiting from some collective
provision. One can also cheat in a large-number exchange by free riding on
the contribution of others, whereas such cheating in a small-n case would be

considered illegalrequiring one taking from another without exchanging
something in return.
There are often incentives to try to free ride on the efforts of others; ones
personal benefit from having the group contribute is normally far greater than
the status quo benefit of having no one contribute. Still, ones benefit from a
single contribution may be limited; therefore one individualand possibly
everyonehas an incentive not to contribute and to free ride on the
contributions of others. If we all attempt to free ride, however, there is no
provision and no ride (Olson 1965, Hardin 1982).
Over the past twenty years, researchers have examined collective action
theory in the context of acting together (Gilbert 2006), which can be
extended to maritime security policy and interagency assessments. The
concept of joint commitment emphasizes a unique contribution to a common
cause, where taking ownership for the action builds organizational solidarity
over time. Further, some studies (Gilbert 1989, 2006) emphasize that the heart
of collective action is the participants we-intention, which animates the
actions of a group through collective intentionality, while other literature
proposes that two groups share an intention through collective activity that
requires common knowledge between participants. The question of mutual
obligations and common group behavior contributes to contemporary

examination of collective action theory (Gilbert 1989, Bratman 1993, Gilbert
2006, Searle 1990).
Other theories also provide a useful reference point for collective action.
For example, rational choice theory views the universal actions of citizens,
politicians, and public servants as consistent with the actions of short-term
maximizing producers and consumers. The primary elementsa self-
interested actor, competition among producers, and a largely unregulated
marketdefine this neoclassical economic model, which has application across
wide areas of public policy and social sciences. From a safety and security
viewpoint, this can help explain the actions of interagency stakeholdersby
viewing them as utility maximizers with varying degrees of commitment to
public interests, providing common pool goods and services (Tullock 1965,
Downs 1967, Niskanen 1971, Buchanan 1972, Becker 1978).
Elinor Ostrom (1990) offers an integrated approach that helps frame the
maritime domain as an environment of common pool resources drawing on
public choice theory. She asserts that social dilemmas occur in all areas of
life, including when trusting others to cooperate in a long-term endeavor, and
also in an interdependent situation facing choices where utilitarian short-term
self-interest prevails, leaving all players worse off than when they started. In a
public-good social dilemma, some of those who benefit from provision of a

public good (pollution control, national security, clean water, and weather
forecasts) consider it too costly to contribute and prefer to free ride, allowing
others to pay for the goods and services. Although all actors would be better
off if everyone contributed, the public goods may go unprovided or
underprovided (Ostrom 1990). This is an issue of growing concern for analysts
and practitioners alike, and although public and private control has been
suggested, both sectors struggle to manage the public good, common-pool
resource challenge (Ostrom 2000, Schlager 2002). Building upon these themes,
how does the literature point to the need for collective behavior within the
interagency to support maritime security as a public good?
In the public sectoras in the maritime commonssome transactions
may lead to a market failure, where uncoordinated markets driven by parties
working in their own self-interest are unable to provide sufficient goods or
services. These issues are known as public goods problems, and there is
extensive debate in the literature on how to measure their significance to an
economy or community, such as the global commons (Baumol 2002).
Examining the relationships among the stakeholders involved in a maritime
event may help measure the relative contribution to national security made by
various parts of government. And viewing maritime security as a public good
may offer solutions in redefining security and carefully examining what factors

motivate individuals and organizations to make collective contributions under
various conditions (Ullman 1983, Bernheim, 1986).
The literature reveals that maritime security is the collective obligation of
a dispersed community where services that benefit everyone are sometimes
delivered well and in other cases, in an uncoordinated manner (NRC 2008).
Maritime security is also a significant challenge to the international community
where no two countries face exactly the same impacts or costs from a breach in
maritime security; and no country can unilaterally take effective action to
manage the complexity of maritime risks. To tackle the problem, a new level of
interagency coordination is required because maritime security is a critical
global issueand collective action approaches can potentially reduce the
associated transaction costs (NSMS 2005, NRC 2008).
This study argues that maritime securitylike national defense, law
enforcement, lighthouses, and clean airis a public good. Public goods are
goods that are hardor even impossibleto produce for private profit,
because the market fails to account for their large beneficial externalities.
Since public goods are non-rivalrous and non-excludable,5 incentives are
needed to motivate participation, and collective behavior may not occur even
5 Non-rivalrous means the public goods benefit fails to exhibit consumption scarcity; once it has been
produced, everyone can benefit from it without diminishing others enjoyment. Non-excludable means
that once it has been created, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to prevent access to the public good
or service (Weimer & Vining, 2005).

when large groups with common interests exist (Weimer & Vining 2005). An
important factor to consider is how transaction costs and benefits impede or
foster social coordination, evaluating how causes and consequences interface
with organizational coordination challenges (Samuelson 1954, Medina 2007,
Rainey 1997).
The general concept is that when people who work together share a sense
of identity and some level of dependence on the resources in question, and
they also share norms and goals, they are more likely to develop institutions
suitable to address the public good or common pool challengesand work
together. In other words, they are more likely to overcome self-interested
obstacles to collective choices, the temptation to be a free-rider, and appeal of
cashing-in and defecting, and engage in collective behavior (Ostrom 2002,
385). Sharing a sense of identity builds solidarity as well as some expectation of
a shared future. These are important variables in the development of trust and
reciprocity, which are essential ingredients in forming cooperative
relationships (Ostrom 1998).
Interagency Coordination Literature Review
In parallel with the review of collective action theory, it is important to
examine relevant references regarding interagencyalso referred to as whole-

of-government or cross-governmentalcoordination among federal agencies,
offices, and departments in the maritime security policy domain. As Dwight
Eisenhower remarked at the end of his career, although organization cannot
make a genius out of an incompetent, disorganization can scarcely fail to result
in inefficiency and can easily lead to disaster (Eisenhower 1963). The U.S.
government organizes and reorganizes itself across federal agencies in order to
centralizein some casesand de-centralize in others, seeking to improve the
role of the interagency and execution of national governance (Daalder and
Destler 2001). The literature reveals that lack of multi-agency cross-
governmental cooperation and interagency coordination as it relates to
implementation of national-level policyparticularly in the national security
fieldrepresents a continued vulnerability of the maritime transportation
system (Flynn 2006).
We know that national and homeland security analysts struggle to
forecast security risksespecially when faced with ill-defined and asymmetric
threats in the maritime domainbecause conducting threat assessments is a
highly uncertain process (Andreas 2003, NSMS 2005). Major security
challenges, such as preventing an attack, asserting interagency cooperation, or
deterring a breach in transportation systems, make maritime security a
complex puzzle because, at any one time there are tens of thousands of ocean-

going vessels plying the oceans of the world. Oftentimes, limited information
is available about their movements, the vessel, crew, or cargo (Ritter, Barrett,
and Rosalyn 2006, DOT 2006, USN 2007).
There is a significant body of literature addressing the criticality of whole-
of-government or interagency coordination in a broader context, which can be
applied to maritime security, drawing from various references, including
journal articles, congressional testimony, and government reports. This review
targets the unique role of interagency coordination in supporting improved
maritime security, as well as the threats, opportunities, gaps, and systemic
challenges that can be identified with the assistance of collective action theory
and supporting research. For the public and most government agencies, the
maritime domain is viewed as a highly-complex system characterized by
overlapping authorities and jurisdictions, and a wide range of operational and
legal oversight responsibilities (NSS 2006, NRC 2008). And there is a wealth of
expert congressional testimony, media reports, and public documents that
highlight the uncertain and often-conflicting nature of this issue.
Within this general context, the goal of interagency coordination is to
improve the effectiveness of cooperation, planning, and partnerships among
federal, state, regional, tribal, and local government agencies, organizations,
and departments (NSS 2006, NRC 2008). The challenge is reflected in the

confusing labyrinth of policies, legislation, departments, and authorities that
comprise interagency maritime activity; and the fact that the interagency itself
is a collection of public actors which is largely autonomous in assigned roles
and missions.
For example, when the Congress and Bush Administration were
considering formation of the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of
9-11 terror attacks, it found that the responsibilities for homeland security
functions were widely dispersed across the government. The number of
federal departments, agencies, and offices involved in homeland-related tasks
was nearly impossible to quantify (Daalder & Destler 2001, 5-6, Kettl 2004).
And according to the Office of Management and Budget, nearly 70 agencies
spend funds on counterterrorist activitiesand that excludes the Defense and
State Departments as well as the intelligence community (OMB 2001). The
organizational and political scope of the interagency process can be
overwhelming to those inside or outside government.
Christensen and Laegreid (2007) discuss whole-of-government
initiatives as a reaction to the negative effects of New Public Management
(NPM) reforms such as structural devolution, single-purpose organizations,
and performance management, but also as a reaction to a more uncertain 21st
century security environment. Despite widespread support for a whole-of-

government approach, several issues require careful consideration. Areas of
potential difficulty include accountability for publicly-funded activities,
overcoming silos created by departmentalism or vertical styles of
management, and balancing interagency participation with the effect of too
many handswhich yield fragmentation and lack of coordination. Further,
and largely missing from much of the public administration literature, is
attention to the role of interpersonal relationships and individual behavior as
they impact the organizational values, ethics, and culture of the interagency
process (Hunt 2005).
Within the U.S. government, the National Security Council (NSC) plays
the central coordinating role for the interagency process and cross-
governmental policy formulation; and within the maritime community of
interest (COl), it overcame institutional and cultural challenges to publish the
first national-level maritime strategy (NSMS 2005). This document reflects the
demanding requirements of interagency coordination across multiple
functional areas to bring together communities of experts, policy makers,
politicians, and bureaucrats to address maritime governance. Overcoming the
obstacles that hinder greater interagency coordination remains a challenge as
revealed in case studies and national security policymaking throughout U.S.
history (Allison 1971, NSMS 2005, NRC 2008).

The interagency challenge often revolves around building organizational
consensusamong a constellation of government agenciesthat can endure
the interagency policy formulation process, where negotiations of the
instrumental perspective are based on the notion that the public apparatus is
internally heterogeneous, with different units having different structures, roles,
functions, and interests in the interagency process. Conversely, according to
the hierarchical perspective, political and administrative leadership is
homogeneous and there is agreement about the use of interagency measures
often leading to a top-down directive style within government (March & Olsen
Interagency, whole-of-government, approaches are generally viewed in a
positive light; however it is important to examine potential conflict areas. For
example, the silo mentalities that interagency coordination is designed to
confront often exist for good reasons (Page 2005). Well-defined vertical and
horizontal organizational boundaries should not be viewed solely as a symptom
of obsolete or obstructionist-thinking, but as an established division of labor
and specialization that may enable the functioning of modern organizations
presaging that interagency initiatives will be difficult to implement. Moreover,
coordinating horizontally across agencies and departments is a very time- and
resource-consuming activity; and raises other difficulties, such as unintended

risks, ambitious agendas, and uncontrolled consequences (Pollitt 2003, Perry et
al. 2002).
Strategic links and interactions involving political design and
management, by contrast, arise when actors seek to forge intentional
connections among institutions in the interests of pursuing individual or
collective goals (Ostrom et al. 2002). Some exercises in political design are
motivated mainly by a desire to enhance institutional effectiveness, or for the
purposes of this study, to improve interagency coordination by means of
collective behavior. Efforts to nest regional regimes (e.g., the various regional
maritime working groups) into larger or more comprehensive arrangements
(e.g., the overall law of the sea or national maritime strategy), for example, are
viewed as initiatives intended to promote the effectiveness of the smaller scale
systems by integrating them into larger systems. Other strategic multi-agency
cross-government links reflect conscious efforts to cope with the side effects of
arrangements established for other purposes (Wilson 1989, Raach & Kaas 1995,
Donley 2005).
In the United States, there is growing interest in collaborative public
management that is focused on managing networks in public administration,
on the collaboration process, and on the design and implementation of cross-
sector interagency coordination (Agranoff 2006, Kettl 2006, McGuire 2006,

Thompson & Perry 2006). Building on this historical review of interagency
coordinationa primary point of analysis for this dissertationthis study
examines maritime security imperatives (with the help of maritime case studies
and expert interviews) to uncover the elements of collective action theory that
are most relevant in answering the studys research questions. To further
understand the genesis of multi-agency coordination and cross-governmental
attempts to address the complexities in government, the next section
establishes the theoretical connection between collective action and
interagency coordination themes.
Intersection of Collective Action and Interagency Coordination
The central argument of this study is that when faced with the challenges
and complexities of interagency coordination in the support of maritime
security, new operational and policy remedies are needed to leverage the
benefits of collective action. In addressing the intersection of interagency
coordination and collective action in the maritime domainsimilar to
interpenetrability (Kettl 2002) and cross-scalar (Ostrom, et al 2002) issues in
the public arenaone sees the need for further study of public organizations
and modern policymaking processes (Jenkins-Smith 1990).

Building upon a review of academic and professional literature, this
section will inform the subsequent research questions, suggested hypotheses,
and research design on the subject of maritime securityby providing an
integrated interagency, cross-governmental approach, within a collective
action framework. To address the complications and multiplicity of
interagency coordination this section is informed by collective action precepts,
and establishes theoretical linkages between these two key areas of study.
Events such as the September u, 2001 terrorist attacks and aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina show that public policymakers struggle with the same large-
scale puzzles of years past, and our government structures remain ill-matched
for the problems they face (Kettl 2006). Over the years, key stakeholders
within the interagency have been granted increased decision-making
autonomy while operating within separate organizations, agencies, and
domainsresulting in collective action barriers and negative impacts on
interagency coordination. The research that followscase studies, document
reviews, and expert interviewswill provide the analytical details to test this
assertion, and the suggested hypotheses.
Drawing from various theoretical frameworks, the interface of collective
action and interagency cooperation underscores the need to overcome three
broad tendencies within public policy in general and the maritime domain in

particular: (1) ad-hoc approaches to policy formulation and analysis (Viteritti
1982, deLeon 1988), (2) the inability to identify the complexity of joint actions
(Pressman & Wildavsky 1973, Kettl 2002), and (3) complex governance chains
that strain accountability systems (Romzek & Dubnick 1987, Ingraham 2005).
These realities serve as a reference point in the further linkage of collective
decisions and interagency coordination imperatives.
While not necessarily explained by the existing theories, the elements of
collective action in large measure support the justification for the form of
governance we observe in America and elements of multi-agency interaction.
People engage in collective action for mutual defense, homeland security, child
rearing, environmental protection, and many large-scale activities where
individuals or agencies do not have strong relationships with each otheras
we see in the interagencyand therefore, suggests that: (1) there are ways to
impact the incentives of group members to make it worthwhile to contribute;
(2) motivations other than utilitarian self-interest are involved; and (3)
interagency players in seemingly collective action events fail to understand
their own interests (Buchanan 1972, Hardin 1982, Donley 2005). All of these
scenarios reflect the parallel structures that exist in the interagency and
collective action domains.

When collective goods such as maritime security can be supplied by
government elements within the interagency, maritime stakeholderspublic
and privateobserve decisions being made that reflect social dilemmas.
Social dilemmas occur whenever agencies or individuals in interdependent
situations face choices in which the maximum benefit of short-term self-
interests yields outcomes which leave all participants worse off than feasible
alternatives: i.e. if everyone followed the status-quo, the public goods
(maritime security) are not provided or are under-provided; and everyone
would be better off (more safety and security) if all elements of the interagency
were to contribute (Ostrom 1990, 2002). One can see the implications to
maritime security factors that must be addressed by the interagency as
potential public goods in the homeland and global commons: information
sharing, intelligence analyses, international collaboration, transaction costs,
private industry participation, cross-domain solutions, policy formulation, etc.
Social dilemmas occur within the interagency, but do not necessarily
conform to collective action terminology: public good or collective good
problems might be called collective security; shirking, free-rider problems, or
moral hazards could be services-in-kind provided to another agency; and
tragedy of the commons might be referred to as lack of teamwork. But the
reality is that organizational survival within both constructs (interagency

cooperation and collective action) depends upon a dynamic pursuit of both
self-interests and cooperationpractical reciprocity to solve operational social
dilemmas. Within the maritime context, this study examines the collective
choices of the interagency and determines where barriers exist and what
remedies are available. As behavioral scientists and political philosophers have
long observedand one expects to see validated within this studyhuman
nature is a complex mixture of pursuit of self-interests, compromise of internal
norms, and adherence to enforced rules. These observations indicate potential
common ground for collective action and interagency coordination within the
maritime security policy arena.
Rational choice theory offers a helpful resource for understanding humans
as utilitarian, short-term maximizers within the interagency and collective
action context. In experiments, cooperation levels for most individual, finitely-
repeated social dilemmas exceed the predicted levels and are affected by
variables with no theoretical role in affecting outcomes. Further, field research
indicates that individuals consistently engage in collective behavior to provide
local public goods or manage common-pool resources without an external
authority to offer inducements or impose sanctions.
This study examines collective action variables that incentivize cross-
governmental organizations to achieve the highest-possible levels of

cooperation within the interagency; and how certain actions or inactions
conditions and factorsidentified in case studies and expert interviews, impact
achievement of key operational goals and policy objectives in the maritime
Further evaluating the nexus of interagency coordination and collective
action frameworks, Ostrom (1998) suggests the need to develop a behavioral
theory of boundedly rational and moral behavior. As one expects to observe
in the research phase regarding interagency characteristics, behavior in social
dilemmas is affected by many structural variables, including size of groups,
heterogeneity of participants, dependence on benefits received, monitoring
techniques, and the information available to participants. Many of the current
public policy analyses are based on the assumption that rational individuals are
helplessly trapped in social dilemmas from which they cannot extract
themselves without external inducement or sanctions. Yet, policies based on
the assumptions that individuals (or agencies) can learn how to devise tailored
rules and cooperate conditionally when they participate in the design of
institutions affecting them are more successful in the fieldas opposed to a
centralized authority (Olzak 1989, Ostrom 1998, 2000).
Within the interagency, the collective action challenge raised by social
dilemmas is to find ways to avoid inefficient (Pareto-inferior) conditions and

move closer to the optimum. For example, to incentivize stakeholders across
the interagency, contributors who support strategies in some fashion might
receive a cooperators dividend equal to the difference between the predicted
outcome and the results achieved. Further, there are structural factors that
surface in both areas which must be considered when studying collective
action and interagency cooperation (Ostrom, Gardner, & Walker 1992, Ostrom
et al 1999).
Structural variables often dictate the likelihood of participating in
collective action; some of those factors are: (1) group size; its easier to catalyze
cooperation with face-to-face interaction; (2) symmetric interests and
resources, so arriving at agreements regarding shared responsibility would not
be difficult; (3) ability to monitor or enforce agreements between parties; (4)
conformance to previous agreements is easy to verify, and (5) during meetings,
participants can influence members who dont comply (Ostrom 1990). Further,
event analysis suggests other variables such as duration, number of
participants, and issues of definition, measurement, and methods of estimation
and predictions. And viewing collective action as a process involves factors
such as time, sequence of repeatable events, and how events unfold over time
(Olzak 1989).

As summarized in Table 3.1, these literature reviews suggest 12
overlapping themes of collective action theory with interagency cooperation:
transparency, rationality, reciprocity, cooperation, communications, culture,
investments, research, field experience, trust, institutions, and policy
implications; and the next section provides a brief primer for each variable:
In solving collective action problems across various domainsfacing
different kinds of citizen, agency, or institutional activitythere must be
monitoring mechanisms and risk-reduction practices based upon appropriate
control and organizational transparency (Micheletti 2003). All participants
expect common knowledge of the exogenously-fixed structures of the situation
and of payoffs to be received by all individuals under all combinations of
strategies; and no external actor or central authority is present to enforce
agreements among participants about their choices (Ostrom 1998).
Theorists using rational choice theory assume real uncertainty about the
duration of a situation, or that some players are irrational in their willingness
to reciprocate cooperation with cooperation. Agencies often want to change
the rules and bring about structural change when they observe that the

common-pool resources are being depleted. Boundedly-rational agencies
expect other boundedly-rational elements to follow a diversity of heuristics,
norms, and strategies, rather than adopt a single rational strategy (Simon 1957,
Ostrom 1998).
There are families of strategies that can be expected in assessing the
likelihood that others will cooperate; the basic norm in societies is that groups
tend to react to positive or negative actions of others in-kind. There is strong
evidence that reciprocity is a core norm of many individuals in collective action
and social dilemma situations. Humans and organizations have a similar
strong capacity to learn reciprocity norms and social rules that enhance the
opportunities to gain benefits in coping with a multitude of social dilemmas.
In general, researchers observe a tit-for-tat pattern where one party
cooperates first, and another party does whatever the original party did in the
first round (Axelrod 1984, Ostrom 1999).
In any particular population, one is likely to find the following potential
collective response norms when facing a repeated social dilemma: (1) always
cooperate first, and stop cooperating if others do not reciprocate; punish non-
cooperators if feasible; (2) cooperate immediately only if one judges others to

be trustworthy; stop cooperating if others do not reciprocate; punish non-
cooperators if feasible, (3) once cooperation is established by others, cooperate
oneself; stop cooperating if others do not reciprocate; punish non-cooperators
if feasible; (4) never cooperate; (5) mimic (1) or (2), but stop cooperating if one
can successfully free-ride on others; and (6) always cooperatewhich is very
rare in all cultures (Ostrom 1990, 280-285).
Communications facilitate cooperation because they involve transferring
information from those who can figure out an optimal strategy to those who do
not fully understand what strategy would be optimal; it fosters mutual
commitment and increased trust by adding additional value to the subjective
payoff structure; and reinforces organizational values by developing group
identity. Good communications allows individuals or organizations to increase
their trust in the reliability of others (Smith 2010).
Particular rules adopted by participants within the system or relationships
under consideration vary significantly to reflect local circumstances, cultural
ethos, and history. Cultural analyses must include an effort to understand how
institutions, coalitions, and international agreements are vulnerable to
corruption, manipulation, legislative irregularities, extortion, or nefarious

activity. Democracies are fragile institutions that are inherently subject to
manipulation if citizens and officials are not vigilant. One of the most crucial
factors in determining if it is possible that voluntary, rational pursuit of
individual interests will result in group-oriented behavior is the size and
culture of the group (Olson 1971).
Research indicates that organizations temporarily caught in a social
dilemma are more likely to invest resources to innovate and change the
structure itself in order to improve joint outcomes or collective action. The
explanatory link to solving collective action problems revolves around
transaction costs (Ostrom 1990,1992). The more community investments
there are, the lower the costs of acquiring information, bargaining, monitoring,
and enforcement; and people are more likely to communicate with each other
about coordination problems that need to be resolved and, what to do (Wilson
& McCay 1998).
There is a need for more qualitative and quantitative research supporting
development of a reliable theory to explain why cooperation levels vary so
much and why specific configurations (independent variables) of situational
conditions increase or decrease cooperation (dependent variable) in first or

second level dilemmas. Also, one cannot assume that one type of institution
exists for all social dilemmas (e.g. competitive markets, private industry, and
government working groups). Most contemporary research questions that
need to be addressed using models of organizational behavior relate to the
effects of structural variables on the likelihood of organizing for successful
modes of collective action (Ostrom 1990, Gilbert 2006).
Field Experience
The ability to cooperate in collective action problems, such as those
relating to the use of common pool resources or the provision of public goods,
is a key determinant of economic and operational performance. Practical field
experience has a significant impact on influencing institutions to encourage
opportunistic behavior and promote cooperation, and helps shape the
characteristics of individuals or agencies involved and the degree to which they
cooperate. Practitioners tend to use reliable heuristicsrules of thumbthat
have been learned over time and tend to give them good outcomes and
consistent results in particular situations. Also, in frequently encountered,
repetitive situations, individuals and agencies learn better methods that are
tailored to particular situations (Ostrom 1990,1999, Smith 2010).

Trust plays a fundamental role in solving social dilemmaswhere the
experience of one agency with another impacts the first agencys choiceand
action must be taken before the actions of others is known. In collective
decisions, trust affects whether an agency or individual is willing to initiate
cooperation with the expectation that it will be reciprocated. At the core of
behavioral reason are links between trust, the investment others make in
trustworthy relationships, and the probability that agencies will follow
reciprocity norms. Trust, as a mutually-reinforcing principle, is impacted by
structural variables as well as past experiences of participants (Rainey 1997,
Scharpf 1997, 86).
There needs to be an examination of how different types of institutions
support or undermine norms of reciprocity within hierarchies and among
members of groups facing collective choices. Policies that provide alternative
opportunities for institutions caught in dysfunctional networks are as
important as those that stimulate positive networks and institutions (North
1990). Non-violent conflict resolution is a feature of successful institutions
when arenas exist to process conflict cases constructively and to form new rules
to cope with conflict more effectively (Yamagishi 1986).

Policy Implications
If individuals or agencies are ineffective collective action contributors,
then the state is an essential external authority that must resolve social
dilemmas. And if agencies or individuals can draw from positive heuristics and
norms to solve problems and create new structural arrangements to solve
others, then the image of what a national government might do is very
different. Collective action implies a considerable role for large-scale
governments: national defense, monetary policy, foreign affairs, global trade,
international diplomacy, economic stability, and strategic communications. In
general, national governments are too small to govern global commons, and
too big to handle small-scale policy problems (Hardin 1982, Searle 1990, Gilbert
In review, Table 3.1 provides a summary of the above 12 overlapping
themes of collective action theory and interagency coordination, based on the
body of literaturereinforcing the theoretical and operational groundwork for
further analyses, research findings, and inferences in this study:

Table 3.1
Intersection of Collective Action & Interagency Coordination
Collective Action Theory Overlapping Themes Interagency Coordination
Full disclosure of payoffs to be received by all individuals under all strategies; monitoring mechanisms needed (Ostrom 1998, Micheletti 2003). Transparency Agencies must expand coordination, close gaps, and increase transparency; policy changes needed to increase info sharing (NSMS 2005, NRC 2008).
Unless small group or coercion forcing group to act in common interest, rational, self-interested forces dominate (Simon 1957, Ostrom 1998) Rationality Expand whole-of-government connectivity among agencies at local, state, federal levels; to deal with complexity (GAO 2003, NRC 2008).
Expect a family of strategies where groups tend to react to positive or negative actions of others with a similar response (Axelrod 1984, Ostrom 1999) Reciprocity Agencies bring a range of factors that impact their decisions, especially the importance of efficacy and concern about the collective good (Olson 1963).
In any population, one is likely to find a range of potential collective responses when encountering a repeated social dilemma (Carney 1987, Ostrom 1999) Cooperation Within the interagency, all departments must cooperate fully to address threats and anticipate actions by nefarious elements (Donley 2005, NRC 2008)
Communications foster cooperation by transferring info; allow organizations to increase (or decrease) trust in others. (Melucci 1996, Smith 2010). Communications Open lines of communications across agencies, close barriers on data controls, certification, classification concerns (GAO 2005, Frittelli 2008)
Rules adopted by participants within a system of relationships vary to reflect local circumstances, cultural ethos, and organizational history (Olson 1971). Culture Group members shape agencys willingness to contribute to the greater good based on cultural norms, and historical boundaries (Carney 1987).
Organizations caught in a social- dilemma will invest resources to improve joint outcomes or collective action (Singleton & Taylor 1992). Investments Collective action among agencies must leverage costs to implement policies; players can initiate action to improve systems (Gilbert 2006, Searle 1990).
Research is needed to develop a theory explaining why cooperation levels vary and certain actions increase or decrease cooperation (Gilbert 2006) Research Research is needed to clarify lines of responsibility within the maritime security community and operationalize policy (Brooks 1986, NSMS 2005).
Practical experience impacts agencies and institutions by encouraging behavior; and the degree to which they cooperate (Ostrom 1990, Smith 2010). Field Experience Agencies desire the benefits of collective action, while minimizing costs; using reliable heuristics based on previous experience (Hardin 1982).
In social dilemmas, trust affects an individuals willingness to cooperate; trust factors into the core of behavioral reason (Rainey 1997, Scharpf 1997). Trust Public-private partnerships are based on trust and directly impact collective action, and expectations of reciprocity (Searle 1990, Bratman 1993)
Institutions support or undermine reciprocity within hierarchies and among group members facing collective action challenges (North 1990). Institutions Interface among institutions involve constructive conflict resolution; formulation of rules to underwrite teamwork (Yamagishi 1986).
If agencies are ineffective collective action contributors, then the state must solve social dilemmas through policy measures (Searle 1990, Gilbert 2006). Policy Implications National policies are implemented across the interagency, but there is no central focal point for collaborative governance [Medina 2007, NRC 2008).

Relevant Theories & Models
By building on these overlapping themes and drawing upon other social
science theories, one can expand the understanding of collective action and
interagency coordination in the maritime security context, laying the
comprehensive groundwork needed to conduct research and make
observations. And consistent with an integrating, cross-governmental,
multiple-lens approach, interagency policymakers might draw from models
and frameworks such as Grounded Theory (Glaser & Strauss 1967), Stages
Heuristic (Lester & Goggin 1998), Multiple Streams (Kingdon 1995), Social
Construction (Ingram & Schneider 2005), Social Network (Dowding 1995),
Punctuated-Equilibrium (Baumgartner & Jones 1993), Advocacy Coalition
Framework (Sabatier 2007, Jenkins-Smith 1990), Institutional Analysis &
Development (Ostrom 2007), and Policy Diffusion (Berry & Berry 1990), among
other theories to leverage the benefit of organizing and simplifying a complex
area of study (Sabatier 2007, 293-319).
For example, consider markets failures, which are practical realities and
provide the economic rationale for public participation in private affairs
(Coase 1976)clearly a factor when studying the essential variables of
collective behavior and interagency coordination in the maritime domain.
There is the potential for inefficient allocation of goods and services due to

variables such as information asymmetry, natural monopolies, transaction
costs, or externalitiesyielding a market condition which is not Pareto
efficient (Arrow 1969, Weimer & Vining 2005). These market failures,
according to Teske (2004, 32) are the main normative reason to regulate,
offering the rationale for government intervention and improved interagency
coordination. Additional examples for preemptive public action to regulate
markets include: (1) regulatory consistency among firms, (2) jurisdictional
negative externalities, (3) administrative support for analytic and oversight
resources, and (4) national regulations are considered less susceptible to
interest group pressures (Ibid, 23-25). This reminds us that when complexity
and vulnerabilities are present in a public arena such as maritime security, the
government often intervenespotentially through interagency or collective
action remedies.
The major works of Pigou (1912,1920) further developed the concept of
externalitiescosts imposed or benefits conferred on others that are not
taken into account by those taking the action. He highlighted the distinction
between private and social marginal products, and the idea that government,
via a mixture of taxes and subsidies, can mitigate such market failuresor
internalize the externalities. This Pigou Effect, refers to the stimulation of
output and employment caused by increased consumption as a result of

government action. Casting a shadow on public intervention, Coase (i960,
1988) challenged the assumption that government solutions are the optimum
pathway to correct market failures, in the absence of transaction costs. He
highlighted the need to further study methods used by government to address
market failures. The Coase Theorem is an important basis for modern
economic analyses of government regulation, especially in the case of complex
public externalities (Becker 1978). Given the assertions of Pigou and Coase, this
study carefully examines the appropriate role of the interagency intervention as
an arm of the government, and seeks to address maritime market failures
based on collective action mechanisms.
Moving from economics to the role of citizens or agencies, according to
Denhardt & Denhardt (2003), the precepts of efficient public organizations and
effective governance are grounded in democratic citizenship and new public
service, suggesting the importance of understanding government challenges
including the complexity of interagency coordination and collective choices
within the historical context. The strength of government, based upon the
constitutional order established in 1776, lies in the virtue and responsible
involvement of citizens (Caldwell 1976). What does that mean for the study of
interagency coordination in the context of collective action theory and the
maritime commons? If the United States is a maritime nation with a deep

history and economic dependence on maritime commerce, then one could
argue that the attention of the American public, collective awareness of society,
and congressional attention should be more focused on maritime security.
This study asserts the need for increased national-level focus on policies and
operations in support of maritime security resilience; and this study addresses
potential multi-agency whole-of-government themes that may apply. The
following section offers further historical supportfrom public affairs and
public management historical literaturefor the linkage of collective action
and interagency factors within the public and private sectors.
In The New State, Mary Parker Follett (1918) urged a change in politics and
the democratic social process where the common will is gradually created by
the civic activity of citizens. Her writings assert that the unity of the social
process is advanced through group coordination, education, and collective
choices within the local community, particularly through the instruments of
community center organizations. Although the application of this concept
may conflict with todays high-tech, increasingly complex and transient society,
the principles are still relevant: public consensus, collective behavior, and
responsible interagency cooperation can only take place through the
integration of local, state, and national cooperation, starting at the grass-roots
level (Downs 1967, Niskanen 1971).

Standing on the shoulders of Moe, Coase, and Simon, March & Olsen
(1984) wrote The New Institutionalism: Organizational Factors in Political Life,
which introduced new views about public sector inefficiencies by suggesting:
(1) interdependence between relatively autonomous institutions, (2) complex
micro-processes and historical inefficiencies, and (3) the importance of
symbolic action to an understanding of politics. Institutionalism emphasizes
the endogenous nature and social construction of political institutions. And
they are not simply social contracts among self-seeking, calculating individual
actors or organizations for contending social forcesthey are collections of
structures and rules that have an integrating role in political life (Ibid, 734-736),
yet recognizing that public goods may often require interagency and collective
actions to address macro-level needs for safety, security, and resilience in a
fragmented policy environment such as the maritime domain.
As alluded to in the previous section regarding institutions, Douglass
North (1990), in his influential book, Institutions, Institutional Change, and
Economic Performance, addressed the differential performances of various
economies through time, claiming that the major role of institutions
including within the governments interagency processin society is to reduce
uncertainty by organizing human interaction. North asks two primary
questions: (1) How do institutions [or the interagency] evolve in response to

incentives, strategies, and choices, and (2) How do institutions [or the
interagency] impact the performance of political and economic systems (Ibid,
vi)? North stated that, institutions are the rules of the game in a society or,
more formally, the humanly-devised constraints that shape human
interaction. He also examined the nature of institutions or agencies and their
impact on economic performance, outlined the theory of institutional change,
explained how past behaviors influence present and future behaviors, and
studied the impact of incremental changes on the nature of path dependence.
The role of institutions in shaping all aspects of public policy reveals the
complexity and cross-scalar nature of governance systems (Tullock 1965)
further underscoring the potential utility of collective action as a catalyst for
improved interagency coordination and resilience within the maritime security
An enduring theme of public affairs is that public management can make
a difference in the success or failure of the implementation of public policy
(Sabatier & Mazmanian 1980, Lynn 2006). The need for improved policy
execution and broader transformation in cross-governmental efforts point to
the contributions of New Public Management (NPM) (Osborne & Gaebler 1992,
Barzelay 2001, Kettl 2002). NPM emerged out of the privatization-of-
government movement and focused on the role of public managers in

determining the success of government programs. Reinventing government
offered best practices through which public entrepreneurs can bring about
government reform through NPM (Osborne & Gaebler 1992). The NPM theme
portends the potential benefit of transformation within the maritime
community, which would yield expanded public-private partnerships and
increased participation in security efforts by the commercial maritime
industryan interagency collective action challenge that will be addressed in
this study.
NPM did not seek to privatize governmental functions, but rather to
leverage the strengths of management practices found useful in the private
sector, and thereby reduce the scope of government in favor of innovative
market approaches and operational efficiencies. NPM also introduced a new
lexicon in the public sector by framing public management as governance
rather than politics or bureaucracy among other terms of reference
(Frederickson 1996, Lynn 1998, 2006). While some authors claim NPM has
peaked and is now in decline (Hughes 2003), others herald its potential going
back to the National Performance Review during the Clinton Administration.
An alternative approach to NPM for reforming government is the New
Public Service (NPS) model, which builds on democratic citizenship,
community participation, and civil society (Denhardt & Denhardt 2000, 2003).

NPS contrasts with NPM by expanding the traditional role of public
administrators, which Denhardts call the Old Public Administration. Here,
the role of public administrators is considered more complex, because they
cannot simply act as managers in the business sense by performing cost-benefit
As Denhardts explain, In NPS, the public administrator is not the lone
arbiter of the public interest. Rather, the public administrator is seen as a key
actor within a larger system of governance including citizens, groups, elected
representatives, as well as other institutions. The role of government becomes
one of assuring that the public interest predominates (Denhardt & Denhardt
2003, 81)offering the premise for collective efforts within the interagency
process. NPM and NPS both assume that free market forces will draw self-
interested individuals into an equilibrium that affords maximum utility
through collective actionthe theoretical underpinning for this study,
operationalized within the interagency process to improve national-level
maritime security.
Knowing that complexity within governance can never be circumvented,
todays public managers can simplify their environment by taking a systems
approach to engage the policy process (Jervis 1997). After World War II, and
into the 1960s, the public affairs field saw a shift in focus to public policy in

response to an expanding government workforce and a call for more effective
management of public organizations (Allison 1971). Using tools from
macroeconomics, policy analysts have conducted assessments and employed
theories to establish the proper role of government vis-a-vis markets (Lindblom
1977, Ostrom 1990). And it has become increasingly apparent that political
science and governance structures must be evaluated by more than simply
effectiveness and efficiency criteriathere must be a values-based approach
(Lasswell 1951, Fischer 1980).
Governmentindeed interagency coordination and collective behavior
must also be measured by its ability to act strategically within complex policy
networks, enable better access to information, correct for power imbalances
and damaging social construction among stakeholders, as well as create
spheres of public discourse (Ingram & Schneider 2005). Clearly,
governments ability to remedythrough public policymaking efforts
systemic organizational problems and what American industry considers
market failures have often fallen short (deLeon 1988, Smith & Larimer 2009),
pointing to the imperatives in this study regarding the role of interagency
coordination, and national-level maritime security policy in general.
The inadequacy of government policy solutions is unveiled when one
considers the staggering complexity of the policy process and the challenge

faced by policymakers and analysts in attempting to simplify and understand
the goals and perceptions of hundreds of actors. The policy process includes
subsystems and units of analysis such as key actors, time-spans (of a decade or
more), programs at multiple levels of government, debates and disputes among
stakeholders, and deeply held values (Sabatier 2007, Jenkins-Smith 1991,
Baumgartner & Jones 1993, Ostrom 1983, 2002, Moe 1990). Notwithstanding
the various views on what constitutes a model, theory, or framework, it is safe
to say that one should take an inclusive approach and incorporate as many
analytic tools as possible in public policy research, and employ multiple
methods where possible, because different theories may have comparative
advantages in various settings (Platt 1964, Loehle 1987, Shoemaker, Tankard, &
Lasorsa 2005).
Supporting Policy Frameworks
This section will expand on two supporting policy frameworks (Multiple
Streams and Punctuated Equilibrium) that, although not employed directly in
this research, suggest the utility of theoretical tools in the study of interagency
cooperation, complexity in government, collective security, community
resilience, and cross-scalar issues in the maritime commons. Further, given the
lack of maritime-related data available to public policy researchers, these

theories also provide a useful reference point by helping understand the theory
that informs this studycollective action.
The Multiple Streams (MS) framework offers a versatile planning
approach because it introduces a perspective from which to evaluate policy
development in the political environment by emphasizing how policies are
made by national governments under conditions of ambiguity (Zahariadis
2007, p. 63). Drawing from the tenets of the garbage can model of
organizational choice developed by Cohen, March and Olsen (1972), John
Kingdon created the MS framework to describe the dynamics of governmental
decision making and agenda setting. According to Kingdon (1995), three
process streams flow through the active waters of the policy system: problems,
policies, and politics.
The problem stream involves problem identification and recognition often
based upon indicators or focusing events; the policy stream is populated by
disparate policy communities that produce alternatives and proposals; and the
political stream incorporates shifts in public opinion, administration changes,
and interest groups in determining actor receptivity. These streams, all flowing
independently and driven by differing forces, are joined by policy
entrepreneurs at critical points to influence agenda setting and create policy
alternatives (Kingdon 1993, Burgess 2002). A policy window will often open

in either the political stream or the problem stream and provide the
opportunity for development of policy proposals and alternatives. By
integrating the planning forces and variables across the policypolitical
problem environment, policy learning occurs, and policymakers gain a
simplifying model to evaluate complex streams and gain a better
understanding as the individual dynamics of each stream unfolds (Kingdon
1995, May 1992). While there might be an absence of maritime-related research
employing the MS framework, it offers a useful simplifying approach by
evaluating collective choices against policy, politics, and problem variables; and
helps identify focusing events in the maritime security area.
Punctuated Equilibrium (PE) theory was originally developed to help
planners and researchers better understand complex policy dynamics in
subsystems, but its use has been expanded to broader application in
policymaking (True, Jones, & Baumgartner 2007,172). This model was first
presented in 1972 as an explanation for the differences in species: rather than
changing slowly according to evolutionary models, development was explained
as a near statis punctuated by large-scale events (Ibid, 180). The application to
policy change was outlined by Baumgartner & Jones (1993), and has since been
examined in many public policy-related contexts and gained increased utility
across the field of public affairs. The theory states that policy generally

changes incrementally due to several restraints, namely lack of institutional
change and bounded rationality of individual decision-makers (Givel 2006).
Building on these findings, policy change will be punctuated by changes in
these conditions, especially change in party control of government or changes
in public opinion. Thus, policy is characterized by long periods of stability,
punctuated by large, but rare, changes due to major shifts in society or
government (Gersick 1991).
As with other approaches in this field, bounded rationality and
incrementalism form the decision making foundation of PE theory (Lindblom
1959), however it is based on serial processing of information and consequent
attention shifts. While stability and change are important elements of the
policy process, and most policy approaches appear to be best at explaining
either of the two (stability or change), PE attempts to capture the dynamics of
both realities in public policymaking (Leach & Sabatier 2005). While not
employed directly the literature review or research, MS and PE served as
supporting theories to help shape the study of interagency coordination
prepare for conducting research. The next section of the dissertation will
operationalize collective action principles, reinforced by the above theoretical
themes through research questions and hypotheses that support the research

This study explores national-level imperatives and potential
improvements of maritime security by building on the foundation of
interagency coordination and the framework of collective action theory
uncovering the conditions under which interagency forces do or do not
support maritime security. The research design draws from six maritime case
studies that span a period of 11 years (1999 to 2010), and interviews of 35
subject matter experts from across the U.S. government interagency, senior
policy officials, academic institutions, and commercial maritime industry. By
integrating each part of the research planin an iterative and complementary
mannerkey themes emerge to test the hypotheses, and uncover shortfalls
within the area of interagency coordination, and evaluate collective action as a
theoretical framework. The study then identifies major findings and collective
action remedies that will improve national-level maritime safety, security, and
resilience. The following summary outlines the steps taken to ensure a
coherent research process:

Collective Action Theory
Collective action theory asserts that groups of individuals with common
interests are more likely to act on behalf of their common interestsa
framework shaped by several influential models, including cooperative
behavior (Olsen 1965), common-pool resources (Schlager 2002), tragedy of the
commons (Hardin 1968), logic of social dilemmas (Dawes 1980), and free riders
(Olsen 1965, Hardin 1982). This theory informs the research questions used in
the interviews, as well as the hypotheses, and helps uncover interagency
themes and factors throughout the case studies and interviews. The
subsequent chapters show how the research data, case study information, and
interview outcomes relate back to the literature, with a clear connection to the
concepts of collective action theory, and collective security in the global
maritime commons.
Interagency Coordination
The cross-governmental multi-agency collaborationthat drives the
policy formulation and execution process at all levels of the U.S. government
is the focusing theme under examination because the hypotheses of this study
assert that major improvements are possible by leveraging whole-of-
government initiatives in the maritime security COI. The focus on an

interagency, whole-of-government approach (Page 2005, Kettl 2008) is a
harbinger for other independent variables which emerged in this study and
contribute directly to the dependent variablemaritime safety, security, and
Maritime Case Studies
Explored through maritime cases, public documents, unclassified law
enforcement reports, and expert interviews, this study employs a joint military,
interagency government, and multinational lens to discover linkages between
interagency coordination, collective behavior, and maritime security. Through
six comparative case studies one gains a unique real-world perspective on
operational factors and focusing themes within the policy process, public-
private relations, and interagency challenges at the local, state, regional, tribal,
and national level.
Expert Interviews
Qualitative research information was collected from maritime and
interagency experts, including officials at the Departments of Homeland
Security, Justice, Defense; organizations such as the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast
Guard, Customs & Boarder Protection, and Defense Intelligence Agency; as well

as Maersk Line Shipping, Port of Los Angeles, and Africa Command in
Stuttgart, Germany. They provided general policy information regarding
interagency coordination themes and specific observations relative to the
maritime case studies. Some interviewees could address both policy and case
study questions, while some focused exclusively on elements of interagency
coordination or collective behavior in government.
The interaction of the above elements enabled the operationalization of
concepts into research questions, validated the suggested hypotheses,
identified relevant linkages between collective action theory and interagency
coordination, uncovered remedies to the most significant maritime security
challenges, and evaluated the utility of the theoretical framework selected.
The case studies selected for this research involve commercial vessels
whichfor certain security or law enforcement reasonswere being
monitored by elements of the intelligence community and involved the
coordinated efforts of U.S. interagency government agencies in support of
maritime transportation safety and security. These cases provide unique
sources of conceptual information to scope the boundaries under
examination (Goertz 2006,180-183), within this study. Cases were selected for
comparison across several key dimensions: (1) those occurring before and after
promulgation of the National Strategy for Maritime Security (NSMS) in 2005;

(2) different types of operational protocols related to categories of vessel, cargo,
crew, and company ownership; and (3) routine and non-routine incident
classification, based on the level of complexity.
Research Questions
The boundaries of this study were framed by these four fundamental
research areas (collective action theory, interagency coordination, maritime
case studies, and expert interviews), allowing one to distill a wide range of
information and establish an information baseline of themes, expectations, and
propositions. Appendix A represents a summary of this information, drawing
from ten major maritime security themes; their associated imperatives and
definitions at a strategic level; a proposed linkage to a primary element of
collective action theory; and prospective operationalizing questions. This table
helped forecast an initial linkage of themes across these four broad
categoriesproviding a harbinger of factors that could emerge from the actual
research findings.
Building upon the content of Appendix A, which was developed from
general maritime security assumptions, collective action theory, cross-
governmental interagency factors, and the most significant maritime security
challenges, this study proceeded to the next phase employing the research

questions contained in Table 4.1. These questions provided the primary
direction for this study and represent the expected themes this research is
designed to uncover at the intersection of collective action theory and
interagency coordination principles (Table 3.1). To that end, Appendix A
suggested the explanatory variables (interagency themes), strategic
imperatives, concept definitions, theoretical underpinnings (collective action),
and operationalizing questions as a precursor for conducting expert interviews
and maritime case studiesseeking answers to the research questions.
As an assessment tool to help operationalize collective action theory and
formulate research questions, the information matrix (Appendix A) reflects an
initial estimate of expected relationships between maritime security variables,
interagency themes, and operationalizing questions based upon definitions,
supporting references and precepts of collective action theory (i.e. strategy
implementation linked to transaction costs, and intelligence cooperation
to public goods). The content and order of collective action themes in
Appendix A were subject to change during the case studies because the
objective was for the research findings (case studies, document reviews, expert
interviews, etc.) to determine the actual variables, and uncover generalizable
outcomesresisting the temptation to pre-identify research outcomes.

Informed by this initial baseline of maritime factorsthemes,
expectations and propositionsfrom which collective action theory could be
operationalized; the research questions (Table 4.1) pointed the study to the
most significant qualitative findings. These questions relate directly to the
maritime domain, government agencies within the maritime security COl, and
maritime operationsdesigned to resolve specific collective action problems or
interagency cooperation challenges.
Further, a major objective of this studyin answering the research
questionswas to address the shortcomings of interagency coordination and
maritime security policy by applying the precepts of collective action theory
examining the degree to which the expected maritime security and interagency
themes comport with the threats to collective action (free-riding, tragedy of the
commons, coordination, public goods, social dilemmas, transaction costs, focal
points, externalities, etc.). To the extent maritime security and interagency
coordination variables align with collective action themes, one can begin to
understand the impact of these findings on the essential role of collective
choices in maritime security policy execution. The cross-linking variables of
Appendix Ainformed by the research questionssupport the studys
construct validity and help identify the causal relationships needed to test the
hypotheses in Table 4.2.

Table 4.1
Research Questions
Number Contents
Qi What are the most significant barriers to interagency coordination and collective action in supporting national-level maritime security?
Q2 What practices or conditions represent successful or unsuccessful interagency coordination within maritime security operations?
Q3 Drawing from collective action theory, what remedies are suggested to address the interagency coordination challenges identified?
Q4 What collective action differences are observed in maritime cases after implementation of the National Strategy for Maritime Security?
Q5 What attributes of non-routine maritime cases make them more or less difficult to accomplish collective interagency coordination?
Q6 How is national-level maritime security policy developed and executed within the U.S. government interagency and operating agencies?
Q7 What interagency mechanism is in place to leverage the benefit of international cooperation in supporting maritime security objectives?

Table 4.1 (contd)
Q8 What causes government agencies and departments to interact the way they do in a maritime security collective action context?
Q9 What role should the private sectorcommercial maritime industryplay in supporting national-level maritime security policy execution?
Q10 What barriers impede private sector participation in national- level maritime security efforts within the interagency?
Q11 How might key elements of the interagency be incentivized to participate in expanded sharing of information?
Ql2 What role do intelligence products play in supporting multi- agency maritime security objectives?
Q13 How would national-level maritime security be accomplished more (or less) effectively if a single coordinating authority was assigned within the interagency?
Research Hypotheses
The research hypotheses are based on the logic of collective action theory
and interagency coordination principles in the maritime security context.
Further, each hypothesis is linked directly to a specific collective action barrier

or interagency coordination variable, which will be further justified before
explaining subsequent research findings. All these factors contribute to the
internal validity of this research and examination of the dependent variable in
the maritime commons: adequately secured maritime critical infrastructures
leading to improved maritime security resilience.
All domains face various collective action problemschallenges in
leveraging cooperation to optimize resultswhen the preferred move from a
self-serving point of view yields inferior collective outcomes. These hypotheses
reflect collective mechanisms for improved interagency cooperation,
recognizing limitations in large-group dynamics, social dilemmas, and cross-
scalar complexity (Ostrom 1990, Smith 2009).
There are numerous related frameworks within collective action theory
and the literature urges caution because there is no single right way to model
collective actiondifferent frameworks offer different assumptions about each
situation and lead to different conclusions (Ostrom 1990, Schlager 2002). The
hypotheses focus on several levels of analysis within the common pool, public
good resource area, starting with operational linkages where agency or
institutional change is examined in the context of collective safety and security.
Remedies are sought within a cross-governmental multi-agency environment
where organizational rules dictate what actions are allowed, and what

information must be provided (Rainey 1997, Kettl 2004, 2006). To examine the
logic of collective action and proposed linkages to interagency coordination in
achieving improved maritime security, this study targets the ability of agencies
to act with common interest, and overcome utilitarian, self-interested
tendencies to serve broader group interests (Olson 1965, Olzak 1989). These
assertions are tested with the following hypotheses: Useful remedies to
address maritime security threats are found within interagencycollective
action linkages of the maritime domain (Hi); and, Maritime security is a
public good and can therefore be addressed through collective action measures
to improve maritime security. (H2)
The maritime stakeholders in the interagency face their own version of
tragedy of the commons if collective action barriers are not addressed with
innovative solutions in the maritime domain. The consequences of inaction, or
insufficient solutions, within the interagency could yield significant
degradation in maritime safety and security with cascading impacts on
domestic and global economies. The unique role of cross-governmental forces
influencing economic conditions is based on the assertion of common pool
resources, interdependency of maritime transportation systems within the
broader global supply chain, as well as economic theory and common property
research (Hardin 1968, Gordon 1954). The following hypotheses were designed

with those principles in mind: Interagency coordination strengthens
execution of maritime security policies and yields improved safety and security
in the maritime commons (H3); and Collective action barriers are
surmounted when maritime security policies are implemented by interagency
cross-governmental elements (H4).
Within collective action theory, the prisoners dilemma is a non-
cooperative interaction where participants attempt to incrementally process
complex information and communication is impossible, forbidden, or
unevennot unlike the multi-agency policy environment in the maritime
sector; and individually rational strategies often lead to collectively irrational or
fragmented outcomes (Hardin 1968,1971, Axelrod 1984). This social dilemma
represents a fundamental problem in game theory that demonstrates why two
people (or agencies) might not cooperate even if it is in both their best interest
to do so, and underscores organizational challenges involved in coordination of
any kind. This problem is amplified within the interagency if there is no focal
point where authority is assigned. If coordination is hindered by lack of
ownership, and coordination is needed to overcome collective action barriers,
it is essential that clear lines of responsibility be established. Collaborative
governance and collective behavior with assigned rules help resolve the conflict
between individual interests and achievement of shared equities for a group of

agencies (Medina 2007, Donahue & Zeckhauser 2006). To test these
arguments, the following hypotheses were formulated: National-level
maritime policies are implemented in a fragmented manner, resulting in a
proliferation of uncoordinated maritime initiatives (H5); and The absence of a
single authorityresponsible for maritime security governancecontributes
to the lack of interagency coordination in the maritime commons (H6).
Routine and non-routine activity in the context of maritime case studies
hinges upon the sufficiency of existing policies and procedures (routine), and
need to establish new protocols or operational practices (non-routine). A
complementary studyfound within rational choice theoryuses a narrow
definition of "rationality" simply to mean that an individual acts as //balancing
costs against benefits to arrive at an action to maximize personal advantage, or
follows the optimum path. Although models used in rational choice theory are
diverse, all assume individuals choose the best action according to unchanging
and stable preference (routine) functions and constraints facing them (Felson
1994, Schlager 2002, Givel 2006). In a post-September 11 security
environmentmore than everthe calculation regarding best practices within
the maritime community and calculations of routine/non-routine variables,
depend heavily upon the presence of international factors. Global collective
action involves principles of international collaborationfactors that can

ultimately impact collective security in the Homeland. Several researchers
have suggested operationalizing these concepts through a global maritime
information exchange system (Haas 1980, Sandler 2004, NRC 2008). Testing
the following hypotheses enables examination of these issues: Interagency
coordination is easier to accomplish for routine maritime security cases, and is
more difficult for non-routine cases (H7); and Given the current maritime
threat environment and interconnected nature of the global supply chain, there
is an insufficient level of collaboration with international partners (H8).
Another research concern of this study is the effectiveness of cross-
governmental information-sharing and the contributing role of the private
sector in advancing the strength of maritime security resilience. Too often,
closed silos of information exist within government systemsisolated by
policies, regulations, or cultureprecluding the movement of critical
information across agency boundaries (Melucci 1996, NRC 2008). Collective
security and interagency coordination in the interconnected global supply
system requires more transparency and information-sharing across
organizational seams of government, industry, and academia (Relyea 2004,
GAO 2005, 2006, Frittelli 2008). A primary example of information-sharing
challenges is the interagencys relationship with the commercial maritime
industry. While the merchant seamen are the practitioners in the maritime

commons, and have the necessary information and experience to advance
maritime security, they are often absent from the national policy picture. Some
literature points to the lack of incentives for the private sector to participate
while other sources consider government obstacles the culprit. Others argue
that if maritime security is a public good being provided by the government,
the private sector is essentially free-ridingenjoying the benefits of a secure
environment to transport maritime commerce and make financial gainon the
backs of public sector policies and security provisions (Olson 1965, Ostrom
1990, Bratman 1993). By testing the following hypotheses, this study will
spotlight this issue: Lack of information-sharing across organizational seams
of government, industry, and academia increases maritime security risks (H9);
and, Limited participation by the commercial maritime industry weakens the
content and impedes implementation of maritime policies (H10).
From Pearl Harbor to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, intelligence
collection, analyses, sharing, and subsequent signals and warnings are often
considered the missing keystone in the bridge of national security (Wohlstetter
1962, USG 2004). Despite the formation of new intelligence organizations to
better coordinate collection, analyses, and dissemination of products,
intelligence data remains an area of concern within the maritime domain
(NSCT 2006, NSMS 2005). The literature reminds us that public goods (like