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New Spring course on Terrorism

Contributed by Chip Gagnon on 01/08/20 

Interested in terrorism?  Check out this course which has just been added to the Spring 2020 schedule: POLT 34014 Terrorism and Insurgencies.  Details below.

The issues

Terrorism is in the headlines, with violent attacks within the US and around the world.  But what exactly is terrorism?  Are terrorists madmen, religious fanatics, or are they rational?  Why and under what conditions do people resort to violence?  Why would someone become a suicide terrorist?  How is terrorism related to insurgencies?

What we’ll be doing

We’ll be looking at these and other related questions to try to understand why people resort to violence as well as how they respond to violence.  We’ll explore these questions both theoretically and through specific case studies, drawing on a range of disciplines, from political science and international relations to anthropology, sociology, law, economics, criminology, philosophy, psychology, and history.

As we’ll see, acts described as “terrorism” are not a new phenomenon, and occur in every region of the world. We'll be looking at specific cases of violence, cases that range over time and around the globe, with in-depth looks at two of the movements that are receiving the most attention these days: right-wing extremists in the US and Europe, and ISIS.  Each student will also be researching a group of their choice and presenting their findings to the class.


The course is being offered MWF 2 - 2:50 pm. The CRN is 43652.

Registration is now open!

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