New Terrorism and Globalization
ISA Seville Study Center
Area of Study
Global Security and Intelligence Studies, International Relations, International Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Political Science
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
USF Course Code: INR 3084
Prerequisite: none; taught in English.
Students: ISA students
Contact hours: 45
I. Course Description:
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.
II. Learning outcomes:
- 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.
III. Course Contents (order of content may be modified):
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
IV. Course material and bibliography:
Course material will be compiled by the lecturer. Students are not required to purchase the list below that is provided as a reference.
Anderson, D. (2005). Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire. New York, W.W. Norton & Company.
Burman, E. (1988). The Assassins: Holy Killers of Islam, Inner Traditions International.
Byman, D. (2003). "Should Hezbollah Be Next." Foreign Affairs 82(6): 54-66.
Byman, D. (2005). Deadly Connections. States that Sponsor Terrorism. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Byman, D. (2008). The Changing Nature of State Sponsorship of Terrorism, The Saban Center at The Brookings Institution.
Carter, A., J. Deutch and P. Zelikow (1998). "Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger." Foreign Affairs 77(6): 80-94.
Coogan, T. P. (1991). Michael Collins, A Biography. London, Arrow Books.
Crawford, B. and R. D. Lipschutz (1998). The Myth of “Ethnic Conflict”. University of California, Berkeley.
Evans, M. (2005). For jihadist, read anarchist. The Economist, The Economist Newspaper Limited.
F. Gregory Gause III, F. G. (2005). "Can Democracy Stop Terrorism?" Foreign Affairs 84(5): 62-76.
Fanon, F. (1963). The Wretched of the Earth. New York, Grove Press.
Friedman, T. L. (1989). From Beirut to Jerusalem. New York, Farrar Straus Giroux.
Goodwin, J. (2006). "A Theory of Categorical Terrorism." Social Forces 84(4): 2027-2046.
Gunaratna, R. (2002). Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror, Columbia University Press.
Hobsbawn, E. (1996). The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991. New York, Vintage Books.
Jabotinsky, Z. (1923). "The Iron Wall." Razsviet.
Jabotinsky, Z. (1923). "The Ethics of the Iron Wall." Razsviet.
Jones, S. G. and M. C. Libicki (2008). How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qa’ida. Santa Monica, RAND Corporation.
Kaplan, R. D. (2000). The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post-Cold War. New York, Random House.
Kropotkin, P. (1976). The Conquest of Bread. New York, New York Vanguard Press.
La Guardia, A. (2008). A survey of al-Qaeda. Winning or losing? The Economist, The Economist Newspaper Limited.
Laqueur, W. (1978). The Terrorism Reader: From Aristotle to the IRA and the PLO. A Historical Anthology. New York, Meridian.
Laqueur, W. (1996). "Postmodern Terrorism." Foreign Affairs 75(5): 24-36.
Laqueur, W. (2004). "The Terrorism to Come." Policy Review 126.
Laqueur, W. (2005). Voices of Terror, Reed Press.
Laqueur, W. (2007). Anarchism and al Qaeda. http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/mesh/2007/12/anarchism_and_qaeda/.
Leiken, R. S. (2005). "Europe's Angry Muslims." Foreign Affairs 84(4): 120-135.
Lewis, B. (1998). "License to Kill: Usama Bin Ladin’s Declaration of Jihad." Foreign Affairs(November/December): 14-19.
Mamdani, M. (2002). "Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: A Political Perspective on Culture and Terrorism." American Anthropologist, New Series 104(3): 766-775.
Marighella, C. (1969). Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla.
Mohtadi, H. and A. Murshid* (2006). A Global Chronology of Incidents of Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear Attacks: 1950-2005, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Neumann, P. R. (2007). "Negotiating With Terrorists." Foreign Affairs 86(1): 128-138.
Pokempner, D. (2009). "Libertad de expresión y lucha contra el terrorismo." Política exterior 23(127): 161-172.
Powell, C. T. and A. Sorroza Blanco (2009). "La Unión Europea y la lucha contra el terrorismo global." Política exterior 23(127): 127-137.
Rapoport, D. (2004). The Four Waves of Modern Terrorism. Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy. A. K. Cronin and J. L. Ludes. Washington, Georgetown University Press.
Rapoport, D. and Y. Alexander (1982). The Morality of Terrorism: Religious and Secular Justifications. New York, Pergamon Press.
Reinares, F. (1998). Terrorismo y Antiterrorismo. Barcelona, Paidós Ibérica.
Reinares Nestares, F. (2009). "Atentados en Mumbai: ¿Yihadismo contumaz o violencia precursora?" Política exterior 23(127): 19-22.
Sánchez Cuenca, I. (2001). ETA contra el Estado: Las Estrategias del Terrorismo. Barcelona, Kriterios.
Simonsen, C. E. and J. R. Spindlove (2010). Terrorism Today. The Past, The Players, The Future. New Jersey, Prentice Hall.
Stern, J. (2003). Terror in the Name of God. Why Religious Militants Kill. New York, Harper Collins Publishers.
Turk, A. T. (2004). "Sociology of Terrorism." Annual Review of Sociology 30: 271-286.
Zabel, S. E. (2007). The Military Strategy of Global Jihad, Strategic Studies Institute.
V.I. How to succeed in this course
To successfully complete this course, attendance is essential as enables the necessary participation. Both spontaneous and prepared interaction are categories used in the evaluation.
Due to the variety of topics covered in this course, come prepared. Listening to lectures, watching videos and participating in class activities and discussions is much more effective than reading someone else’s notes or watching a video later. Remember that active and meaningful participation is taken into account as part of the evaluation. Reading prior to the class sessions is essential to keep track of the course due to all the material that will be covered and the pace.
Becoming an active learner is one of the best ways to finish successfully this course: come always prepared to class: use the syllabus to be aware about will be covered or due in class, do all assignments before class, review before the class and be organized. The professor might make controversial statements in the classroom to facilitate the analyses of the students.
VI. Grading scale
La calificación final del curso utilizará la siguiente escala/ Final grades will be calculated according to the following scale:
94 - 100 A
90-93 A -
87 -89 B +
84 - 86 B
80 - 83 B -
77 - 79 C+
74 - 76 C
70 - 73 C-
67 -69 D+
64 -66 D
60 -63 D-
VII. Course policies
Class attendance is mandatory and is taken every class day and reflected in the course attendance sheet.
An 85% attendance rate is required for the successful completion of the course. Perfect attendance will be taken positively into account in the participation section.
If a student exceeds this limit, 1 point will be taken off of the final grade (Spanish grade). Reaching a 20% of unexcused absences means that the transcript for this subject will show “not attended course”.
Excused absences: Medical Certificates that will be considered only if issued by a physician (not notes from the family explaining the student’s absence). The certificates must include the exact dates for which a student should be excused for having missed classes. Courses cannot be audited, so attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class.
Punctuality: Students are expected to arrive on time to class and to return directly to class after class breaks. Arriving 10 minutes late (or more) and/or early class departures are considered unexcused absences and will be taken into account as half an absence.
Attending class is not only the presence in the classroom. The professor will encourage active participation in the course and it will be taken into account as part of the evaluation.
Auditors: Courses cannot be taken as auditors, thus attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class.
VII.II. Conduct in class
Students who actively participate in classroom activities and who maintain a professional and respectful attitude will be evaluated positively. Students must not eat or use laptops during the class (unless specifically authorized by the teacher).
VII.III. Late work
One half point will be taken off (from the learning activities grade) for homework that is submitted late repeatedly. Late assignments will be corrected but will not be graded.
Missing a class does not release the student from completing the homework assigned or studying the topics covered in class that day.
VII.IV. Make-up Exams
If a student cannot be present for an examination for a valid reason (see V.II.) and approved by the professor and academic direction, a make-up exam will be given.
VII.V. Exam retention
After exams are graded, the teacher will review the examination with the class and collect all exams. The exams will be retained for one semester following the current one, and then they will be destroyed.
VII.VI. Academic Honesty
Students are expected to act in accordance with their university standards of conduct concerning plagiarism and academic dishonesty.
VII.VII. Special accommodations
Students with special needs who require reasonable accommodations, special assistance or specific aid in this course (either for properly making-up classes, taking exams, etc.) should direct their request to Academic Coordination during the first days of the course.
Teaching staff is required to report any disclosures harassment or violence of any kind.
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