International relations

Politics of Terror and Global Histories of Violence

Module code: M1014S
Level 6
30 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay, Coursework

This module situates the rise of the contemporary politics of terror within the global histories of violence that have been part of the making of the international. From colonial settlement and the racial foundations of the modern order, to the deeper historical tensions between Europe and Arabs/Muslims that structure the present.

Using interdisciplinary perspectives, the module provides an in-depth understanding of:

  • historical formations of violence and the relations between state terror
  • political use of terror and resistance within different configurations of state power
  • political economies
  • gender orders
  • racial regime
  • colonial formations
  • anti-colonial struggles.

The politics and ethics of violence are examined in relation to the state practices and racializing discourses that have shaped the concepts of terrorism and counter-terrorism. The module concludes by locating the US led global war on terror within these global histories and their competing politics, visions, and struggles over the future of the international.

Module learning outcomes

  • Develop an historical overview of the global histories of violence that underlie the contemporary politics of terror.
  • Employ conceptual and theoretical frameworks to analyze the relations between state terror, terror and resistance in different contexts.
  • Historicize the concepts of “terrorism” and “counter-terrorism” within state discourses and practices.
  • Position the US led global war on terror within historical perspectives, global power relations and struggles over the international order.