Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Terrorism and Counter Terrorism

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Criminology

DESCRIPTION The events of 11 September 2001 highlighted not only the destructive capacity of terrorist activity but also its extraordinary and unforeseen impact on the international security system. This study-unit examines some of the key dimensions and issues of terrorism. This study-unit begins by examining what terrorism is. It identifies the difficulties surrounding the complex nature and identification of both the concept and phenomenon of terrorism, justifying the difficulty in producing a definition. Some particular terrorist types are then explored in detail. Subsequently the unit addresses the root causes of terrorism discussing the psychological issues in understanding both terrorism and the terrorist in particular. We examine options available to counter-terrorism, specifically focusing on the effectiveness of the local security forces and judicial instruments (local legislation). Finally, we turn our attention to the consequences of the attacks of 11 September and the ongoing fallout from the 'War on Terror'. We finally look to the future, both in terms of terrorism itself as well as what we in the social sciences can and ought to be doing to better contribute to conceptual and theoretical progress in the area.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Reich W, (Ed), (1990), Origins of Terrorism -Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind, Washington - Woodrow Wilson Center Press.
- Silke A., (2004), Research on Terrorism; Trends, Achievements and Failures; London - Frank Class.
- Silke A., (2003), Terrorists, Victims and Society; Psychological Perspectives on Terrorism and its Consequences; UK - Wiley.
- Harmon C.C. (2000), Terrorism Today; London - Frank Class.
- Bjorgo T. (2006), Root Causes of Terrorism; Myths, reality and ways forward; London - Routledge.
- Horgan J., (2005), The Psychology of Terrorism, London Routledge.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S George Cremona

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.