This course offers an introduction to the logic of terrorism. Terrorism has long been a common feature of world politics, enabling small groups of individuals to have a disproportionate influence on the politics of both developed and underdeveloped countries. How does terrorism work? The central goal of the course is to encourage students to think of terrorist activity not as the work of the mad but of self-interested and calculating political actors. As such, the course emphasises the principled interaction between terrorist organisations and the state, rather than the particular individuals involved. It explores some of the fundamental questions of terrorism: Why do collective non-state actors resort to terrorist activity, why do terrorist groups adopt certain tactics such as suicide bombing, how do terrorist groups organise themselves and which counterterrorism strategies are effective?
This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.