New Terrorism and Globalization (in English)
ISA Study Center with Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo-Sevilla
Area of Study
Intelligence Studies, International Affairs, International Politics, International Relations, International Studies, Peace and Conflict
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.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
Course Objective: The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and The Pentagon in Washington DC on September 11th 2001 were a defining moment in recent history. Nevertheless, terrorism has been around much longer. This course will examine the history and definitions of terrorism from a global perspective to allow the student to get a very broad view of this major topic.
- acquire an understanding of the historical foundations of contemporary international terrorism, examining terrorism in a historic context;
- identify main terror groups
- understand their main activities: recruiting, financing, and operating strategies;
- understand the psychological impact of terrorist activities and its methods as well as its global impact
- assess the future threats and trends relating to global terrorist activity.
Unit 1: Theoretical framework and historical perspective
· What is terrorism?
- A military perspective: asymmetrical or irregular warfare.
- A political perspective: the force of the weak and the oppressed?
· The moral dilemmas:
- The theological justification of rebellion and tyrannicide
- The political justification: “terrorist” or “freedom fighter”?
· Historical antecedents of modern terrorism?:
- Biblical antecedents: the plagues against Egypt’s Pharaoh; zealots against Romans
- Tyrannicide: the assassination of Caesar (I B.C.)
- The sect of the Assassins and Hassan Ibn Sabbath (XII A.C.)
- The Spanish guerrillas against Napoleon (XIX A.C.)
- The partisans: resistance militias in WWII (XX A.C.)
Unit 2: Anarchists: the first modern terrorists
· The philosophers of violence (Bakunin, Nechayev, Kropotkin) and “propaganda through action”
· Marxism versus Anarchism: mass revolution versus individual action
· Revolution by dynamite: from the Russian narodniks in the 1860 to the Spanish trade-union - anarchists in the 1930s
· A survey of half a century of anarchist political violence: from the assassination of Tzar Alexander II, to the Sarajevo attack of 1914
· The consequences of anarchist terror: was it effective?
Unit 3: Terrorism and wars of liberation (de-colonization) in the Third World
· A practical distinction: guerrilla warfare versus urban terrorism
· The Algerian example in the 1950s
· The Mau-Mau guerrillas in Kenya, in the 1950s
· The Vietcong terror tactics in South Vietnamese cities
· The seeds of Che Guevara: Argentinian Montoneros and Uruguayan Tupamaros
· Festering wounds in South Asia: the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, the Jammu and Kashmir insurgency in India
Unit 4: Nationalist and leftist terror in Europe during the Cold War
· An ideological ferment: the student revolution of May 1968
· The Baader Meinhof band in Germany
· The Red Brigades in Italy (complicity in high places)
· The IRA: the protracted legacy of Irish independence
· ETA: Basque ethno-terrorism in Spain
Unit 5: Terror goes international
· The PLO`s strategy: forcing a forgotten cause onto the international scene
· Israel’s counter-terror tactics: the Iron Wall doctrine of massive reprisals
· State sponsored terrorism: Libya, Iran, Syria, Pakistan
· The United States sponsored insurgencies (Nicaragua and Afghanistan): did my “freedom-fighter” become a “terrorist”?
· Terror and the Russian bear: the war in Chechenia and the Kremlin’s scorched earth response
Unit 6: Islamist terrorism: local movements versus global jihad
· Not the same: Islam, Islamism, radical islamism, violent islamism, global jihadism
· Local resistance movements (more than terror):
- Muslim Brotherhood (Egypt and beyond)
- Hamas (Palestine)
- Hezbollah (Lebanese shiites)
- Taliban (Afghan and Pakistani Pashtuns)
· Global jihadism: the Al Qaeda network and the quest for a modern-day Caliphate:
- Salafism and the concept of jihad
- Osama Bin Laden’s loose confederation of terror: a phantom leading through the Web
· The impact of 9/11: the “War on Terror”: a failed strategy?
· How to deal with radical Islam? New strategies and age-old realities
Unit 7: The future of terrorism
· The ultimate threat: Weapons of Mass Destruction and catastrophic terrorism
· Terror and the Internet: propaganda and organization in the Web
· Terror and the media: multiplying the impact (“kill one, scare millions”)
· What works? Counter-terrorist strategies: legality, morality and expediency
· To talk or not to talk: when (if at all) is it right to negotiate with terrorists?
· Addressing the underlying causes: reversible political and cultural grievances versus irreversible ideological evil
20% Tasks and attendance 40% Final exam 30% Projects 10% Subjective evaluation (students are expected to come prepared to class and the professor will value that students are showing a mark of improvement)
Spanish Grading Scale:
Matrícula de Honor 10 Sobresaliente 9 – 9,9 Notable 7 – 8,9 Aprobado 5 – 6,9 Suspenso 0 – 4,9 No Asistencia (Student has exceeded the allowed number of unexcused absences)
Please find as a reference the following grading scale conversion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student’s home university or institution to determine the final grade equivalencies.
Matrícula de Honor = A+ Suspenso = F Sobresaliente = A No presentado = Incomplete (attended Notable = B classes but did not take final exam) Aprobado =C No Asistencia = Incomplete (enrolled in the course but did not attend class)
Appealing grades: The deadline for disputing grades is 30 days from the reception of the certificate at the home university.
Class Attendance: class attendance is mandatory, and attendance is taken at every class meeting and is reflected in the course attendance sheet that is sent to the university.
An 85% of attendance is required for the successful completion of the course. Not missing any class will be considered positively.
If a student exceeds this limit, the grade in the transcript for this subject could appear as “not attended course”.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations