Understanding Terrorism

Module Leader:
Ákos Erzse
2018-2019 Summer
Immersion 1
Social Sciences

The module engages with the central questions of terrorism and responding to terrorism. The primary aim of the lectures is not only to provide a comprehensive introduction to the concept of terrorism, its various strategies, theories of radicalisation, and the responses liberal democracies have given to acts of terror, but to enable moving beyond the established categories of knowledge by recognising their limitations. By considering terrorism and the terrorist figure as ‘socially constructed’ and not as pre-given or static ideas, the module encourages critical thinking and careful evaluation of what is learnt, prompting constant critique of the material. In addition to discussing other groups, the module will rely predominantly on the case study of the so-called Islamic State. The module will use examples of social media and propaganda material—in addition to the accounts of defectors—for the analysis and discussion of contemporary topics, ranging from online terrorist propaganda, suicide bombing and suicide attacks, radicalisation, the roles of men and women in terrorist organisations, the role and significance of religion, to the effects of the War on Terror launched after 11 September 2001.

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