Political Terrorism

Dublin City University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Political Terrorism

  • Host University

    Dublin City University

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    International Politics, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The events of 9/11 spectacularly highlighted the destructive capacity of international terrorism, whilst also demonstrating its profound capacity to affect the international system. Though the phenomenon of ‘Islamist Terrorism’—as it is commonly denoted—has come to dominate modern conceptions of terrorism, it is important to recall the history of terrorism and the concomitant developments associated with it over time. As such, this course examines some of the key dimensions of international terrorism, both historical and contemporary, and provides students with a broad range of perspectives from which to engage with the subject. The conceptual framework for this course is structured around a central dichotomy between ‘old’ and ‘new’. In this sense, students will be challenged as to whether it is possible to distinguish between so-called ‘old’ and ‘new’ terrorism, and with the advent of more ‘critical’ approaches to the study of terrorism, whether one can discern between ‘old terrorism studies’ and an emergent ‘new terrorism studies’. As such, this course is placed at the cutting-edge of recent developments within the associated literature. This course also contains a unique aspect in that it engages an online collaborative approach to the study of terrorism across cultures. Students of this course will take part in joint discussions and activities—via Moodle—on shared resources and topics with students from Georgia State University. This course is extremely demanding, but with dedication to hard work, students will avail of a unique opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of the field of terrorism, whilst also attaining experience of working collaboratively across cultures on a highly topical and controversial subject. 

    Learning Outcomes
    1. Acknowledge the difficulties surrounding the definition of terrorism
    2. Comprehend the historical antecedents of, types, and purported causes of modern terrorism
    3. Debate current 'hot topics' within the relevant literature, particularly the alleged divisions between old versus new terrorism and 'traditional' versus 'critical' Terrorism Studies
    4. Compare and contrast states counterterrorism strategies
    5. Analyse the range of academic research that has been conducted in this area and the problems with same
    6. Critically engage with descriptions and analyses of terrorism/sub-state political violence appearing in the mass media
    7. Achieve an experience of cross-cultural engagement in orer to critically challenge many core issues pertaining to the study of terrorism