Ppli3A96b terrorism and Counter-terrorism

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Terrorism and Counter-terrorism

Module Guide: 2014/2015

Level: Undergraduate, Third Year

Credit Value: 30

Convener: Dr. Lee Jarvis

School: Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies, UEA

Module Description

Although the term terrorism goes back to the French revolution, it was rarely employed until the 1970s. Contrast this with today when terrorism, it seems, is everywhere we look: in foreign policy decisions, military interventions, homeland security measures, legal frameworks, newspaper headlines, speeches and sermons, films and video games, and, of course, university modules such as this. In this module, we engage in a critical exploration of terrorism, counter-terrorism, and the academic field of terrorism research. We will begin by exploring the history of terrorism, and engage in debates around the definition and character of terrorist violence. Is it possible, necessary, or even desirable to separate terrorism from other forms of violence, for instance? The module will then introduce different perspectives on the causes, types and threat of non-state terrorism. This leads into an examination of a range of strategies for countering terrorism, and their political and normative implications. The module finishes by exploring the emergence and contribution of critical terrorism studies, examining issues including state terrorism, gender and terrorism and cultural representations or discourses of terrorism.

Module Aims

Knowledge and Understanding

Through this module, students will gain knowledge and understanding of:

• Key ontological, epistemological, normative and empirical debates around terrorism and counter-terrorism.

• Competing attempts to define terrorism within academic and political debate.

• Different attempts to explain terrorist violence by appeal to psychological, social, cultural, religious, political and other dynamics.

• Contemporary and historical case studies of terrorist violence.

• How terrorism is constructed or represented across social sites including the mass media, cultural practices, political debate, and public discourses.

• Factors, influences and actors that drive counter-terrorism policy.

• Different perspectives on the status of ‘terrorism studies’ as an academic discipline.
Intellectual Skills

As a result of participating in the module, students will be able to:

• Evaluate the extent to which terrorism represents a security threat to different actors and communities within the global system.

• Locate contemporary terrorist violence within and against historical trends.

• Engage with normative debates relating to terrorism and counter-terrorism, including issues such as liberal democratic torture, and consequentialist defences of terrorist violence.

• Select and apply appropriate conceptual tools for the analysis of relevant issues

• Analyse a wide range of relevant information and evidence.
Practical Skills

During the module students will further develop and demonstrate a range of practical skills, including the ability to:

• Analyse relevant primary and secondary sources

• Present findings in a variety of means.

• Discuss potentially controversial issues within a group environment.

• Produce appropriate academic work in a variety of media.

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