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Terrorism & Counterterrorism - POL00040H

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. James Rogers
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19

Module aims

This module considers a wide range of questions in order to provide students with an understanding of the nature and the political and social implications of the threat of terrorism today. In particular, the module explores the complex interplay between the terrorist threat and governmental and international responses, introducing students to both theoretical analyses of terrorism, terrorist movements and motivations of terrorist actors, as well as to empirical case studies of terrorist groups, activities and operations. The module seeks to encourage students to think critically about the following questions: What is terrorism? How has the threat of terrorism changed over time? When does terrorism succeed and fail? What are the most effective ways to fight terrorism? What are the challenges faced by the liberal democratic state when fighting terrorism?

Module learning outcomes

The module is designed to enable students to:

  • Acquire a solid knowledge of key theoretical and empirical developments in the literature;
  • Develop the ability to think critically and originally about fundamental concepts in the field of terrorism and counter-terrorism studies;
  • Develop the ability to engage critically with the literature, providing comments, critiquing established explanations and proposing additional, original perspectives and hypotheses;
  • Develop and/or strengthen in-class participation and discussion skills;
  • Develop and/or strengthen oral presentation skills;
  • Develop and strengthen analytical writing skills, in particular by producing a piece of independent work that is intended to show an intention to understand material for oneself, vigorous and critical interaction with the content (both theoretical and empirical), as well as the capacity to relate ideas to one's previous knowledge and experience;
  • Develop the ability to survey extensive and complex bibliographical material and produce high quality assignments in an effective and timely manner.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay - 3000 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay - 3000 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor's feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 20 working days after submission; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor's regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, Columbia University Press, New York 2006.

Paul Pillar, Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy, Brookings Institution Press 2001.

Audrey Kurth Cronin (ed.), Attacking Terrorism. Elements of a Grand Strategy, Georgetown University Press, 2004.

Jane Boulden, Thomas G. Weiss (eds.), Terrorism and the UN, Indiana University Press 2004.

Lorenzo Vidino, The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West, Columbia University Press 2010.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students