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COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY Department of Political Science
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
Department of Political Science
W3921, Section 002, Fall 2015: Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Tuesdays, 12:10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (711 IAB)
Dr. Brigitte L. Nacos
Phone: 212- 854-5254
[email protected]
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2:00-3.00 p.m.; Fridays 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
(my office is at 736 International Affairs Building)
Course Description: The seminar is designed to illuminate students’ understanding of
the most important aspects of domestic and transnational terrorism and counterterrorism
with emphasis on the United States as target of and responder to this sort of political
violence.
Course Requirements: Attendance of all sessions is required except for serious health
problems and absences on religious holidays for observant students. If a student misses
more than two classes without proof of sickness or other exceptional reasons, the final
grade will be lowered by ½ point for each missed class; if a student misses five or more
sessions without proof of serious sickness, he/she will fail the class.
Students must read the assigned material in preparation for each session and participate in
class discussions. To make sure that everyone is well prepared, each student will compile
a short list (one page or less) of interesting points, issues, and questions concerning the
assigned readings for each class. Each student will select one particular terrorist
organization, find and read relevant material and report on the chosen group in several
class sessions in which we discuss domestic and foreign terrorist organizations. If an
assigned reading is not available via the library’s reserve, please let me know as soon as
you discover the problem.
Every member of the class will write a research paper (20-25 type-written, double-spaced
pages) that examines one particular aspect of terrorism or counter-terrorism. We will
discuss suitable topics in class. The deadline for handing in short descriptions of your
paper topic is October 13th; a detailed outline with November 10th. Handing in both the
short proposal and the detailed outline before the deadlines is a good idea. The completed
term papers are due in our last class session. Grades will be based on class participation,
including the mentioned report on a selected terrorist group, (one third of the final grade)
and the research paper (two thirds).
1
Topics and Mandatory Readings:
Session 1
Sept. 8
Introduction: Asking the Right Questions in the Study of Terrorism
and Counterterrorism. How serious is the Terrorist Threat?
Discussion of Class Format and Requirements
Session 2
Sept. 15
A Perennial Dispute: What is Terrorism? What is Violence? What
is the Difference between Terrorism and Crime?
Readings:
Brigitte L. Nacos, Terrorism and Counterterrorism. Fourth Edition,
chapters 1 and 2.
Shawn Teresa Flanigan, “Terrorists Next Door? A Comparison between
Mexican Drug Cartels and Middle Eastern Terrorist Organizations.”
Terrorism and Political Violence 24(2) (April-June 2012), 279-294.
Phil Williams, “The Terrorism Debate over Mexican Drug Trafficking
Violence.” Terrorism and Political Violence 24 (2) (April-June 2012),
259-278.
Richard Bach Jensen, “The Pre-1914 Anarchist ‘Lone Wolf” Terrorist and
Governmental Responses.” Terrorism and Political Violence 26 (1)
(2014): 86-94.
(The Appendix in Nacos, Terrorism and Counterterrorism
summarizes major international and domestic terrorist incidents from the
early 1970s to more recent times so that students get a basic understanding
of past terrorist acts and respective perpetrators, victims, methods, and
outcomes. I urge you to read the appendix as soon as possible because
the material provides background information that will be helpful in
understanding many aspects of terrorism including comparisons between
various terrorism waves, groups, targets, methods, etc.).
Session 3
Sept. 22
Is Terrorism Ever Justified?
Readings:
Michael Walzer, Arguing about War, chapters 3, 4 and 10.
Ted Honderich, “After the Terror: A Book and further Thoughts.”
The Journal of Ethics 7: 161-181, 2003.
Paul Hollander, “Righteous Political Violence and Contemporary
2
Western Intellectuals.” Terrorism and Political Violence 25 (4), 2013,
pp. 518-530.
Roger Mac Ginty, “Look who’s talking: terrorism, dialogue and conflict
Transformation. Critical Studies on Terrorism 6(1) (2013): 216-223.
Session 4
Sept. 29
Global Context
Readings:
Nacos, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, chapter 3.
Christoph Reuter, “The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure
of Islamic State.” Der Spiegel, April 18, 2015,
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/islamic-state-files-showstructure-of-islamist-terror-group-a-1029274.html.
Audrey Kurth Cronin, “Why ISIS is not a Terrorist Group.” Foreign
Affairs March/April 2015.
Gerry Nagzaam and Pete Lentini, “Vigilantes on the High Seas? The
Sea Shepherds and Political Violence. Terrorism and Political Violence
20 (1) (Jan.-March 2008), 110-131.
George Michael, “The Ideological Evolution of Horst Mahler: The Far
Left-Extreme Right Synthesis.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 32 (4)
(April 2009), 346-366.
Emmanuel Karagiannis and Clark M. McCauley, “The Emerging RedGreen Alliance: Where Political Islam Meets the Radical Left.”
Terrorism and Political Violence 25 (2), 2013, pp. 167-182.
Session 5
Oct. 6
Domestic Context
Readings:
Nacos, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, chapter 4;
Read material on the “The Army of God web site:
http://www.armyofgod.com/
White Supremacy and Violence. See report by Southern Poverty Law
Center at: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligencereport/browse-all-issues/2014/summer/White-Homicide-Worldwide
3
Incidents tied to Violent Right-Wing Radicalization, see:
http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-allissues/2014/summer/For-the-Record
Ryan Lenz, “Republic for The united States of America Plagued by
Criminality.” Intelligence Report 146 (Summer 2012), available at the
Southern Poverty Law Center http://splcenter.org/getinformed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/summer/sins-of-thesovereigns
Session 6
Oct. 13
The Making of Terrorists (Causes, Conditions, Influences,
Traits)
Readings:
Nacos, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, chapters 5 and 6
Walter Reich, Origins of Terrorism
R. Kim Cragin, “Resisting Violent Extremism: A Conceptual Model of
Non-Radicalization. Terrorism and Political Violence 26 (2) (2014): 337353.
Christina Archetti, Terrorism, Communication and Recruitment in the
Digital Age. Perspectives on Terrorism 9 (1) (2015),
http://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/index.php/pot/article/view/401/794
Due Today, October 13th: Two or three paragraphs that explain the
topic of your term paper
Sessions 7/8
Oct. 20/27
Terrorist Groups: Discussion of Past and Present Organizations/
Networks
(Students report on groups they selected and studied with respect to
ideologies, goals, tactics, organizational make-up, durability, etc.)
Start to read material assigned for the October 28th session.
November 3rd is Election Day and no class. Time to work on your detailed paper
outline which is due on November 10th
4
Session 9
Nov. 10
Terrorist Goals, Tactics, Organizations, Sponsors
Readings:
Nacos, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, chapters 7, 8 and 9
Mia Bloom, Dying to Kill, chapter 4.
Louise Richardson, What Terrorists Want, chapters 4 and 5
Colin J. Beck, “The Contribution of Social Movement Theory to
Understanding Terrorism.” Sociology Compass 2/5, 2008.
Due Today, November 10: A Detailed Outline for your Research Paper
with Sources
Session 10
Nov. 17
Women and Children in Terrorism
Readings:
P.W. Singer, “The New Children of Terror”
http://www.brookings.edu/views/papers/singer/chapter8_20051215.pdf
P.W. Singer, “Western Militaries confront Child Soldiers Threat”
http://www.brookings.edu/views/Articles/fellows/singer20050115.pdf
Cindy D. Ness, “In the Name of the Cause: Women’s Work in Secular
And Religious Terrorism.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 28(5), 2005,
pp. 349-373.
Kathleen M. Blee, “Women and Organized Racial Terrorism in the
United States.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 28(5) (2005): 421-433.
Brigitte L. Nacos, “Young Western Women, Fandom, and ISIS.” eInternational Relations, May 5, 2015, http://www.eir.info/2015/05/05/young-western-women-fandom-and-isis/
Maura Conway and Lisa McInerney, “What’s love have to do with it?
Framing ‘JihadJane’ in the US Press.” Media, War and Conflict 5(1),
2012, 6-21.
5
Session 11
Nov. 24
Media and Communication in the Terrorist Calculus
Readings:
Nacos, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, chapters 14 and 15
Terrorism and Entertainment (I will email you a chapter from my
forthcoming new edition of Mass-Mediated Terrorism
In May 2013, a British soldier was brutally killed by two selfproclaimed Jihadists. The terrorist act was videotaped by witnesses. Read
the following article and view videos:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-theuk/10073910/Woolwich-attack-terrorist-proclaimed-an-eye-for-an-eye-after-attack.html
Session 12
Dec. 1
Responding to Terrorism: Hard Power, Soft Power, and Smart
Power
Readings:
Nacos, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, chapters 10 and 11
Louise Richardson, What Terrorists Want, chapter 8
Audrey Kurth Cronin and James M. Ludes, eds., Attacking Terrorism:
Elements of a Grand Strategy, chapters 3 and 7.
Audrey Kurth Cronin. How Terrorism Ends, Introduction and
Conclusion.
Lisa Blaydes and Lawrence Rubin, “Ideological Reorientation and
Counterterrorism: Confronting Militant Islam in Egypt.” Terrorism and
Political Violence 20 (4) (Oct.-Dec. 2008), 461-479.
Session 13
Dec. 8
Balancing Security and Civil Liberties/Human Rights in the Face of
Terrorist Threats
Readings:
Nacos, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, chapter 12
Mark Danner, Torture and Truth, pp. 215-275.
6
David Cole, “Obama and Terror: The Hovering Questions.” The New York
Review of Books, July 12, 2012.
Stephen Flynn, The Edge of Disaster, Introduction, chapter 6
John Mueller, Overblown, Introduction, chapters 1 and 2
.
I did not order books in the University Book Store but you may consider getting the
following two volumes for which I assigned all chapters as required readings.
Brigitte L. Nacos, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding Threats and
Responses in the Post-9/11 World, Fourth Edition. New York: Routledge , 2011
Walter Reich, ed., The Origins of Terrorism. Washington: Woodrow Wilson Center
Press; 1998.
All required books and articles are on reserve in Butler Library, in some cases I will
email articles or links to articles.
I will occasionally email additional articles pertinent to the discussion topics at the
time
Books:
Bloom, Mia. Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror. New York: Columbia
University Press, 2005.
Crenshaw, Martha, ed. Terrorism in Context. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State
University Press, 1995.
Danner, Mark. Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror. New
York: The New York Review of Books, 2004.
Flynn, Stephen. The Edge of Disaster. New York: Random House, 2007.
Keefer, Philip and Norman Loayza, eds. Terrorism, Economic Development, and
Political Openness. New York: Cambridge, 2008.
7
Kurth Cronin, Audrey. How Terrorism Ends. Princeton: Princeton University Press,
2009.
Kurth Cronin, Audrey and James M. Ludes. Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand
Strategy. Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2004.
Mueller, John. Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National
Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them. New York: Free Press, 2006.
Nacos, Brigitte L. Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding Threats and
Responses in the Post-9/11 World, Fourth Edition.. New York: Routledge, 2011.
Reich, Walter, ed. Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of
Mind. New York: Woodrow Wilson Center Press/ Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Richardson, Louise. What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy and Containing the
Threat. New York: Random House, 2006.
Sageman, Marc. Leaderless Jihad. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.
Walzer, Michael. Arguing About War. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004.
Articles:
Except for articles with URL references, articles are accessible electronically at the
Columbia Library web site under “course reserves” and can also be accessed via the
Courseworks site. I will provide a few articles not available in “course reserves”
Beck, Colin J. “The Contribution of Social Movement Theory to Understanding
Terrorism. Sociology Compass 2/5, 2008.
Blaydes, Lisa and Lawrence Rubin, “Ideological Reorientation and Counterterrorism:
Confronting Militant Islam in Egypt.” Terrorism and Political Violence 20 (4) (Oct.-Dec.
2008), 461-479.
Blee, Kathleen M., “Women and Organized Racial Terrorism in the United States.”
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 28(5), 2005, 421-433.
Cole, David, “Obama and Terror: The Hovering Questions.” The New York Review of
Books, July 12, 2012, 32-34.
8
Conway, Maura and Lisa McInerney, “What’s love got to do with it? Framing
‘JihadJane’ in the US Press.” Media, War and Conflict 5(1), 2012, 6-21.
Cragin, R. Kim, “Resisting Violent Extremism: A Conceptual Model of NonRadicalization. Terrorism and Political Violence 26 (2) (2014): 337-353.
Flanigan, Shawn Teresa, “Terrorists Next Door? A Comparison between Mexican Drug
Cartels and Middle Eastern Terrorist Organizations.” Terrorism and Political Violence
24(2) (April-June 2012), 279-294.
Ginty, Roger Mac, “Look who’s talking: terrorism, dialogue and conflict
Transformation. Critical Studies on Terrorism 6(1) (2013): 216-223.
Hershinger, Eva, “A Battlefield of Meanings: The Struggle for Identity in the UN
Debates on a Definition of International Terrorism.” Terrorism and Political Violence
25(2), 2013, pp. 183-201.
Hollander, Paul. “Righteous Political Violence and Contemporary Western Intellectuals.”
Terrorism and Political Violence 25 (4), 2013, 518-530.
Honderich, Ted. “After the Terror: A Book and Further Thoughts.” The Journal of Ethics
7, 2003, 161-181.
Jensen, Richard Bach, “The Pre-1914 Anarchist ‘Lone Wolf” Terrorist and Governmental
Responses.” Terrorism and Political Violence 26 (1) (2014): 86-94.
Kirby, Aidan. “The London Bombers as “Self-Starters”: A Case Study in Indigenous
Radicalization and the Emergence of Autonomous Cliques.” Studies in Conflict &
Terrorism, vol. 30, no. 5 (May 2007).
Karagiannis, Emmanuel and Clark M. McCauley, “The Emerging Red-Green Alliance:
Where Political Islam Meets the Radical Left.” Terrorism and Political Violence 25(2),
2013, 167-182.
***Kurth Cronin, Audrey. “Why ISIS is Not a Terrorist Group.” Foreign Affairs
March/April 2015.
Michael, George. “The Ideological Evolution of Horst Mahler: The Far Left-Extreme
Right Synthesis.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 32 (4) (April 2009), 346-366.
Nagar, Na’amar, “Who is Afraid of the T-Word? Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 33 (6),
2010, 533-547.
9
Nagzaam, Gerry and Pete Lentini, “Vigilantes on the High Seas? The Sea Shepherds and
Political violence. Terrorism and Political Violence 20 (1) (Jan.-March 2008), 110-131.
Ness, Cindy D., “In the Name of the Cause: women’s Work in Secular and Religious
Terrorism.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 28(5), 2005, 349-373.
Williams, Phil, “The Terrorism Debate over Mexican Drug Trafficking Violence.”
Terrorism and Political Violence 24 (2) (April-June 2012), 259-278.
10
Fly UP