International relations

Terror, Security and the State in Global Politics

Module code: 965M1
Level 7 (Masters)
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay

This module offers an advanced level introduction to terrorism, state terror and security in global political context. Attending to case studies, academic literatures and primary sources the curriculum is divided into two sections. The first, 'Studying Terror: Conceptual Issues', offers a thematic exploration of terrorism and state terror, considering their historical development in modern societies; relation to other forms of organised violence; some of the animating ideas historically associated with the use of terror for political purposes; the phenomenon of `suicide terrorism' and the ideas, organisations and practices used by states in their efforts to counter terrorism. The second section, 'Cases and Contexts', situates terrorism and state terror within the changing context of state power, international and global politics, exploring the historical and contemporary relations between them.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate critical understanding of the ethical, political and analytical issues of definition associated with the terms 'terrorism' and 'state terror'.
  • Be cognizant of the impact of national, international and global politics in shaping terrorism, state terror and counterterrorism.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the policy dilemmas faced and principle methodologies employed by democratic and other states in countering terrorism.
  • Demonstrate an overview of debate on the causes of terrorism.
  • Demonstrate knoweldge of the role of media, mass communication and 'public discourse' in terrorism and counterterrorism.