TERRORISM AND COUNTER TERRORISM
This course will deepen our understanding of the post-9/11 security environment by examining contemporary terrorist groups and the history from which they spring. We will address a number of questions, including, what is terrorism and how has the terrorist threat changed over time? What are the data that we use to understand terrorist behavior and the patterns of terrorism? What motivates terrorists to engage in political violence against non-combatants? At what point does violent militancy cross over into terrorism? Does terrorism ever succeed, and, if so, under what circumstances? How does terrorism end? While much of our focus will be on so-called 'Islamist terrorism,' we will also explore other types of terrorism, including secular and sacred groups active in the United States, Western Europe, and elsewhere. Time permitting, we will also consider a number of other topics, including 'cyber-terrorism,' deradicalization, and state terrorism. As befitting the complex nature of terrorism, we will draw on numerous academic disciplines in studying these topics, including political science, sociology, psychology, history, anthropology, and economics.