Award Date

December 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Policy and Leadership

First Committee Member

Emil L. Bernick

Second Committee Member

Anna Lukemeyer

Third Committee Member

Helen Neill

Fourth Committee Member

Michael Bowers

Number of Pages



Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts are documents issued by the United States Department of State to inform U.S. citizens traveling to other countries about the safety conditions of the desired destination. Travel Warnings are created for protracted conditions while Travel Alerts are meant for temporary circumstances. Scant research exists about official State Department travel advice, and there is an absence of knowledge about its components. This qualitative study seeks to answer the questions, what is the nature of State Department Travel Warnings and Alerts and what is their function? This study explores and seeks to describe the nature of Travel Warnings and Alerts and analyzes their function. The qualitative research design employs content analysis of archived Travel Warnings and Alerts and is anchored in Social Construction Theory, which provides a framework for understanding the social construction of target populations. This study then asks, is there a relationship between how a foreign country is socially constructed from the perspective of the United States and the issuance of State Department Travel Warnings and Alerts? Social Construction Theory is extended here to countries of the world and shows that there is indeed a relationship between the issuance of Travel Warnings and Alerts and the foreign countries for which they are issued based on their social construction.


State Department; Travel Alerts; Travel Warnings


Public Policy

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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