Sociology and Criminology
Critical Perspectives on Terrorism
Module code: L4110A
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay
This module takes an interdisciplinary approach to investigate critical perspectives on terrorism by drawing upon a range of important theories from across the disciplines of terrorism studies, sociology, criminology, social psychology, and others. Within the lectures and seminars, we will discuss both established and emerging (primary) research in the field in order to explore a range of contemporary issues within the study of terrorism. We will ask such questions as, what does radicalisation mean? And how and why do people become radicalised?
We will explore the interesting relationships that develop between petty and street criminals and terrorists within the ‘new crime-terror nexus’, the existential attractions of violent extremism, the use of the internet by terrorists and how we can begin to disrupt them, and, more generally, counter-terrorism approaches and policy. The topics studied will change every year to reflect and keep up with important developments in the field.
Module learning outcomes
- Demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach, through the use of theoretical concepts and empirical evidence, to examine the concept of terrorism, and how and why some people become terrorists.
- Develop and sustain theoretical and conceptual arguments pertaining to critical perspectives on terrorism
- Demonstrate a detail knowledge and systematic understanding of relevant contemporary and established research in this area, including an appraisal of its limits, ambiguities, and uncertainties.
- Recognise, and be able to discuss key arguments around the definitional complexities of key terms covered in the module, such as 'terrorism', 'extremism', and 'radicalisation'.
- Demonstrate an ability to critically analyse policy documents in relation to the themes covered in the module, where empirical evidence is used to substantiate arguments.