88069 - Terrorism And Counter-Terrorism

Course Unit Page

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The objective of the course is to study terrorism, its aims and forms, with a particular focus on counter-terrorism and the measures implemented by the international community and individual states. Students will examine classic and current research on terrorism and counterterrorism, and explore many of the research puzzles that remain unanswered. Specifically, guided by the existing debate among scholars of terrorism, from traditional to critical positions, students will approach: the spectrum of terrorist motivations, strategies, and operations; the socio-political, economic and other factors that can create enabling environments for terrorist group activities; and finally, the means by which governments (especially liberal democratic states) reacted to contemporary forms of terrorist violence in different regions of the world. This comparative analysis will help students develop a complex understanding of historical trends, meanings, contemporary dilemmas and challenges related to this form of political violence.

Course contents

The course aims to study contemporary forms of terrorism, its definitions and origins as well as its objectives, functions and forms, with a particular focus on counterterrorism measures implemented both by individual states and the international community. Students will approach classic and current scholarship on terrorism and counterterrorism, and explore many of the research puzzles that remain unanswered. Underpinned by the existing debates among scholars of terrorism, ranging from mainstream to critical perspectives, students will examine the spectrum of terrorist motivations, strategies, and operations; the socio-political, economic and other factors and causes that can create enabling environments for terrorist group activities; and finally, the means by which governments (especially liberal democratic states) react to contemporary forms of terrorist violence in different regions of the world. Classes will be enriched by guest lectures that will present case studies and focus on specific geopolitical spaces that are of critical relevance for current and future trends and scenarios on terrorism and counterterrorism.

Lectures will follow the interactive in class seminars format. Seminars will be held in presence in Bologna with students that are willing and able to be present. Those who prefer it, or are not able to be present in Bologna can attend on line.

Students are required to read the materials in advance. You can find the readings and the other materials on the virtuale page of the course. Active participation is strongly encouraged.

Seminars will be different from traditional classes. They will be based on active participation and debates among students. Students will be invited to discuss different ideas and arguments, taking a position. The class will be further divided in subgroups that will be invited to support different sides of an argument on specific issues and topics.

As a consequence, preparing the readings in advance will be essential for the active attendance of the seminars.

For each student, the total amount of hours is 40 hours.

The evaluation will consist in class participation and presentations (30%), mid-term (30%) and final exam (40%).

Topics:

  1. Introduction, Class overview and the definition of Terrorism
  2. International Relations and Terrorism: theoretical approaches and gaps
  3. Politics and Terror: an historical background
  4. History of Terrorism: case studies and class discussion
  5. The Causes of Terrorism and Actors
  6. The Causes and Drivers of Terrorism and Extremism: case studies and class discussion
  7. Dynamics and Issues of Radicalization
  8. Patterns and Processes of Radicalization and Terrorism: class discussion
  9. Terrorism, Civil Wars and Insurgency
  10. Supranational Approaches: UN, counterterrorism and Preventing Violent Extremism. Guest Lecture with Dr. Alice Martini
  11. Mid-Term
  12. Foreign Fighters, lone wolfes and transnational alliances
  13. Counterterrorism: International and Domestic Issues. Guest Lecture with Dr. Philipp Sehm
  14. Geographical Focus: Transnational Terrorism and Counterterrorism in the Sahara Sahel region. Guest Lecture with Prof. Francesco Strazzari
  15. Supranational Approaches: EU, counterterrorism and countering radicalization
  16. Societal Effects of Counter-radicalisation
  17. Twenty years of Global War on Terror: Reflections & Discussion
  18. Documentary "The Worst Thing (aka To Germany with Love)" & Discussion
  19. Recap and Discussion: Take-Aways
  20. Final Exam

Readings/Bibliography

Useful Textbooks

  • Pisou and Jackson (2018) Contemporary Debates on Terrorism, Routledge
  • Erica Chenoweth, Richard English, Andreas Gofas, and Stathis N. Kalyvas (2019) The Oxford
  • Handbook of Terrorism
  • Silke (2019) Routledge Handbook of Terrorism and Counterterrorism.
  • Daniela Pisoiu (2018) Theories of Terrorism: An Introduction, Routledge.

    Bibliography for students not attending classes:

  • all the readings mentioned in the Programma/Schedule (see below) and additionally the following book Pisou and Jackson (2018) Contemporary Debates on Terrorism, Routledge
  • Please contact the Professor to discuss the assessment modalities

1 Introduction, Class overview and the definition of Terrorism

  • Richards, A. and Bryan, D. (2018) Is terrorism still a useful analytical term, or should it be abandoned? Yes and NO, Chapter 1, in Pisou and Jackson (2018), Contemporary Debates on Terrorism.
  • Stathis Kalyvas (2018) The Landscape of Political Violence, Chapter 2, in Gofas et al. (2018), The Oxford Handbook of Terrorism
  • Matt Scaton (2021) "The Etymology of Terror", The New York Review of Books, 12 November 2021

    2 International Relations and Terrorism: theoretical approaches and gaps

  • D’Amato, Silvia (2019) Introduction Chapter 1, in Cultures of Counterterrorism, Routledge
  • Colin Wight (2009) Theorising Terrorism: The State, Structure and History. International Relations, 23(1), 99–106. https://doi.org/10.1177/0047117808100615

    3 Politics and Terror: an historical background

  • Lavenia V (2019) "Holy Scripture, Theology and Violence. Terror and Samson in the Early Modern Era. In W. de Boer, V. lavenia and G. Marocci (eds). La ghianda e la quercia. saggi per Adriano Prosperi, Roma
  • Martin A. Miller (2018) European Political Violence During the Long 19th Century, in Gofas et al. (2018), The Oxford Handbook of Terrorism
  • Rapoport D C (2004) "The Four Waves of Modern Terrorism" In A.K. Cronin and J.M. Ludes (eds.) Attacking terrorism. Elements of a Grand Strategy. Washington, DC, Georgetown University Press: 46-73
  • Michael Livesey (2021) Historicising "terrorism": how and why?, Critical Studies on Terrorism 14(4)

    4 History of Terrorism: case studies and class discussion

  • Falciola, L.(2015). "A Bloodless Guerilla Warfare: Why the US White Leftist renounced Violence Against People During the 1970s" Terrorism and Political Violence, DOI: 10.1080/09546553.2014.982862

  • Sànchez-Cuenza, I. (2007). "The Dynamics of Nationalist Terrorism: ETA and the IRA," Terrorism and Political Violence, 19: 289-306. DOI: 10.1080/09546550701246981

    5 The Causes of Terrorism and Actors

  • Jeff Goodwin (2018) The Causes of Terrorism, Chapter 17, in Gofas et al. (2018), The Oxford Handbook of Terrorism
  • Jeroen Gunning & Richard Jackson (2011) What's so ‘religious’ about ‘religious terrorism’?, Critical Studies on Terrorism, 4:3, 369-388, DOI:10.1080/17539153.2011.623405

    6 The Causes and Drivers of Extremism and Terrorism: case studies and class discussion

  • Heath-Kelly, C. (2019). “Drivers of Extremism: Global Political Antagonisms reproduced in Cypriot and Italian Insurgencies,”
  • Bures, O. (2016). "Terrorism and Counterterrorism", In Routledge Handbook of Security Studies: Second Edition: 139-149. DOI: 10.4324/9781315753393

    7 Dynamics and Issues of Radicalization

  • Heath-Kelly, C. (2013), Counter-Terrorism and the Counterfactual: Producing the ‘Radicalisation’ Discourse and the UK PREVENT Strategy. The British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 15: 394-415. doi:10.1111/j.1467-856X.2011.00489.x
  • Rajan Basra, Peter R. Neumann (2016) Criminal Pasts, Terrorist Futures: European Jihadists and the New Crime-Terror Nexus, Perspectives on Terrorism, http://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/index.php/pot/article/view/554/1098

    8 Patterns and Processes of Radicalization and Terrorism: class discussion

  • Alonso, R. et al (2008). "Radicalisation Processes Leading to Acts of Terrorism". A concise report prepared by the European Commission's Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation.

  • Della Porta, D. and Haupt, HG. (2012). "Patterns of Radicalization in Political Activism: An Introduction", Social Science History, 36(3): 311-320

    9 Terrorism, Civil Wars and Insurgency

  • Kalyvas, S. (2004). The Paradox of Terrorism in Civil War. The Journal of Ethics,

    8(1), 97-138. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25115783

  • Zambernardi Lorenzo (2010) “Counterinsurgency Impossible Trilemma”, Washington Quarterly, pp. 21-34.

    10 Supranational approaches: UN, counterterrorism and Preventing Violent Extremism. Guest Lecture with Dr. Alice Martini

  • John Karlsrud (2017) "Towards UN counter-terrorism operations?" Third World Quarterly 38(6): 1215-1231

  • Andrea Bianchi (2019) "Counterterrorism and International Law" In the Ocford Handbook of Terrorism. Oxford University Press

    11 Mid-Term

12 Foreign Fighters, lone wolves & transnational alliances

  • David Malet (2019), Foreign Fighters and Terrorism, in A. Silke, Routledge Handbook of Terrorism and Counterterrorism.
  • Ariel Koch (2019): The Non-Jihadi Foreign Fighters: Western Right-Wing and Left-Wing Extremists in Syria, Terrorism and Political Violence, DOI:10.1080/09546553.2019.1581614
    13 Counterterrorism: International and Domestic Issues. Guest lecture with Dr. Philipp Sehm
  • Jesse P. Lehrke and Ivan Greenberg, Is mass surveillance a useful tool in the fight against terrorism? Yes & NO, Chapter 15, in Pisou and Jackson (2018), Contemporary Debates on Terrorism.
  • Andrew Neal (2009), The liberty/security discourse and the problem of the exception, in Exceptionalism and the Politics of Counter-Terrorism, Liberty, Security and the War on Terror:https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9780203867587/chapters/10.4324/9780203867587-6

14 Geographical Focus: Transnational Terrorism and Counterterrorism in the Sahara Sahel Region. Guest Lecture

  • **Special Guest Lecture: Prof. Francesco Strazzari – Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies
  • Readings tbc

15 Supranational Approaches: EU, CT and CR

  • Javier Argomaniz, Oldrich Bures & Christian Kaunert (2015) A Decade of EU Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence: A Critical Assessment, Intelligence and National Security, 30:2-3, 191-206, DOI: 10.1080/02684527.2014.988445
  • Monar, J. (2015). The EU as an Interntional Counter-terrorism Actor: Progress and Constraints, Intelligence and National Security, 30(2-3): 333-356 DOI:10.1080/02684527.2014.988448

16 Societal Effects of Counter-radicalisation (L)

  • Francesco Ragazzi (2016) Suspect community or suspect category? The impact of counter-terrorism as ‘policed multiculturalism’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 42:5, 724-741, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2015.1121807
  • Daniel Koehler and Charlotte Heath-Kelly (2018) Are counter-radicalisation approaches an effective counterterrorist tool? Yes & NO, Chapter 14, in Pisou and Jackson (2018), Contemporary Debates on Terrorism.

17 Twenty years of Global War on Terror: Reflections & Discussion

  • Leonie Jackson, Harmonie Toros & Lee Jarvis (2021) “Editors’ introduction: what place for 9/11 in critical terrorism studies?” Critical Studies on Terrorism 14(4): 397-399
  • Tahir Abbas (2021) “Reflection: the “war on terror”, Islamophobia and radicalization twenty years on”, Critical Studies on Terrorism 14(4): 402-404
  • Louise Amoore & Marieke de Goede (2021) “Datawars: reflections twenty years after 9/11! Critical Studies on Terrorism 14(4): 425-429
  • Eamonn Grennan & Harmonie Toros (2021) “9/11 as a policy pivot in the security community: a dialogue” Critical Studies on Terrorism 14(4): 438-440
  • James Fitzgerald (2021) “Forget 9/11” Critical Studies on Terrorism 14(4): 494-497

18 Documentary and Discussion

19 Recap and Discussion

20 Final Exam

Teaching methods

Lectures, seminars, class discussion, presentations and guest lectures

Assessment methods

Class Participation and Presentations: 30%

Mid-term: 30%

Final exam: 40%

Teaching tools

Power point, videos, documentaries

Office hours

See the website of Ervjola Selenica