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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "PL 334"
COURSE NAME: "Terrorism and Counterterrorism"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Lyal Sunga
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 11:30-12:45 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: PL 209
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course will provide the student with an understanding and basic foundation to: explain and compare the varying definitions of terrorism; distinguish the different types of terrorist motivations including left-wing, right-wing, ethnonationalist, separatists, and religious; differentiate terrorism from other forms of violence including political violence, guerilla warfare, insurgency, civil war, unconventional warfare, and crime; understand and describe the historical foundations of terrorism and apply them to modern terrorist events and methods being used to combat them.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

This course explores the impact of terrorism and ambiguities in defining it. The course then underlines the connection between terrorism and armed conflict, while distinguishing between the two. Next are canvassed strategies of terror, organization and arms, how terror is used for political motives, the phenomenon of women terrorists, and the ‘terrorist or freedom fighter?’ conundrum. The course traces the internationalization of terrorism, the role of State-sponsored terrorism, and the character of both reactionary terror in support of a regime, and revolutionary terror to effect forcible regime overthrow. The course then explores the themes of nationalism and religious ideology in terror campaigns. Assassinations, the role of mass media, and the use of disinformation and propaganda campaigns then assist contextualization of how terrorist acts are used and excused. The final phase of the course delves into counter-insurgency warfare, counter-terrorism strategies, the role of media and social media, State surveillance of communications and human rights in counter-terrorism measures.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
  1. Solid introductory level knowledge of the key issues surrounding the dimensions, definition and characterization of terrorism and terrorist acts
  2. Appreciation of the multi-faceted uses, strategies and organization of terrorist perpetrators
  3. Enhanced capacity to critically analyze terrorism and counter-terrorism issues
  4. Understanding of the political, economic, social and ideological contexts of terrorism
  5. Development of analytical and argumentation skills on current terrorism and counter-terrorism issues
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Terrorism: A Very Short IntroductionCharles TownshendOxford978019880908  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Midterm exam75-minute exam comprising several essay questiions20%
Class participationComing to class prepared and contributing thoughtfully to class discussion10%
Research OutlineTimely Submission of Topic, Outline and Concept of the Research Paper10%
Research Paper10 to 12-page paper on a terrorism / counter-terrorism issue (approved by the instructor by e-mail)25%
Final ExaminationFinal Examination 2½ hour comprehensive exam with essay questions35%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

This course explores the impact of terrorism and ambiguities in defining it. The course then underlines the connection between terrorism and armed conflict, while distinguishing between the two. Next are canvassed strategies of terror, organization and arms, how terror is used for political motives, the phenomenon of women terrorists, and the ‘terrorist or freedom fighter?’ conundrum. The course traces the internationalization of terrorism, the role of State-sponsored terrorism, and the character of both reactionary terror in support of a regime, and revolutionary terror to effect forcible regime overthrow. The course then explores the themes of nationalism and religious ideology in terror campaigns. Assassinations, the role of mass media, and the use of disinformation and propaganda campaigns then assist contextualization of how terrorist acts are used and excused. The final phase of the course delves into counter-insurgency warfare, counter-terrorism strategies, the role of media and social media, State surveillance of communications and human rights in counter-terrorism measures.

ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

Week

Class Topic

1

 

What is terrorism? Dimensions and definitions

2

 

Terrorism and war: interrelationship and differences

3

 

Strategies of terror / organization and arms

4

 

Terror and politics

5

Women and terrorism

6

 

Terrorists or freedom fighters?

7

 

Internationalization of terrorism

8

State-sponsored terrorism

9

 

Reactionary terror: French Revolution, Italian Fascism, Hitlerism, Latin American regimes, Algeria

10

Revolutionary terror: Russia, Germany, France, Italy, USA, Cuba, Latin America, Belgium, France, Vietnam, Palestine, etc

11

 

Nationalism and terror

12

 

Religious terror

13

 

Assassinations / role of mass media / disinformation

14

 

Counter-terrorism and human rights / State surveillance of communications

15

 

Review