What is terrorism, when is it used, and how can we stop it? This course will tackle these challenging questions, examining both the use of terrorism in political conflict and the ways in which states have responded to these threats. Crucially, we will engage in critical discussions about the definition of terrorism - is one person's terrorist really another person's freedom fighter, as the saying goes? We will also explore the strategic logic of terrorism - why do individuals choose to engage in this practice and why it is an effective or ineffective tactic of political violence? Importantly, we will also examine the psychology of terrorism, investigating how the mass public and state leaders react to and cope with terrorist violence. Specific examples of potential topics include: the use of terrorism in anti-colonial and separatist movements, the history of terrorism in the United States from the Ku Klux Klan to jihadism, the post 9/11 "War on Terror," and the resurgence of white nationalist terrorism around the world. By the end of this course, students should have a clear understanding of what terrorism is, why groups choose this strategy, how citizens and political leaders respond to this violence, and the implications this has for countering terrorism and extremism around the globe today.
Note: This course counts towards the undergraduate International Politics subfield.
Course Attributes: AS SSC; EN S; FA SSC; AR SSC