Terrorism and Political Violence.
This module offers a critical take on the study of security and violence, combining Sociological and International Relations approaches, and applying them to cases ranging from the macro-level (including guerrilla warfare/insurgency and most especially terrorism) through to micro-level sites usually considered
'private' or 'intimate ('domestic' violence, white supremacist bombing of historical black churches, etc). The module begins with a dive into the very concept of ‘terrorism,’ with questions such as: What is 'terrorism'? What is the difference between 'terrorism', 'war', and 'political violence'? And in what ways do these categories express historical and political relations of power?
We will proceed to investigate how social scientists have dealt with the problem of definition, with the causes of terrorism, and with the way in which social science research can be used to produce knowledge about “terrorism,” the logics and practices of counter-terrorism and “counter-radicalization,” and the relationship between terrorism and guerrilla warfare. Moving beyond a narrow understanding of terrorism as limited to sub-state violence, we will study the state as a perpetrator of political violence, both at home and abroad. Further topics include the role of gender, sexuality, and race in producing images of the terrorist, and the role of social media in terrorism and counter-terrorism.
This module is typically taught through a varied programme of workshops and seminars over the semester.
The module is assessed through a variety of means, which typically includes individual coursework and a portfolio of critical reflections. Students in this module produce critiques of expert analysis on terrorism.