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Program Type: 
Course Code: 
POLS 638
Course Type: 
Course Language: 
Course Objectives: 

This course is designed to acquaint students with an introduction to the theory and practice of international terrorism. The class will focus on understanding the concept of terrorism, and what role it plays in international as well as domestic politics. In addition, the course will cover practical aspects of planning and implementing effective anti-terrorist and counter-terrorist programs.

Course Content: 

Within this course, it is aimed to comprehend threoretical and practical aspects of political violent, conflict and terrorism at a level of analysis. Violence, Political Violence, Terrorism issues will be revealed with their subcontents such as nation-state and ethnic issues, people-separation-autonomy-self-determination in line with the international law dimensions. Then the terror organisations such as El Kaide, IRA, and ETA will be studied in considering their fight with relevant countries. At the last part, Turkish struggle with terrorrism is to be deepened in an historical context.

Viewing the lectures and reading the assigned papers is the most essential part of the course. Students are expected to arrive to class on-time with assignments completed. Moreover, students are required to present a class on the material from one or two topics.  There will be a midterm exam after the first half of the course. The final exam will be given after the entire course is completed.

Teaching Methods: 
1: Lecture, 2: Discussion based lecture, 3: Case study, 4:Small group work, 5: Seminar, 6: Group work, 7: Research paper, 8: Oral presentation/exam, 9: Survey, 10: Panel, 11: Guest speaker, 12: Activities within a Student Body or Research Project.
Assessment Methods: 
A: Exam, B: Homework, C: Presentation, D: Discussion

Vertical Tabs

Course Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes Program Learning Outcomes Teaching Methods Assessment Methods
Students will discuss the problem of definitions and motives in terrorism 2,7,13 1,2,3,4,5 B,C
Students will define the history and patterns of terrorism 1,2,3 1,2,3,4,5 B,C
Students will analyze the causes, characteristics, trends and typologies of international terrorism 1,2,3 1,2,3,4,5 B,C
Students will develop the ways of thinking, oral communications, and writing skills in English and Turkish 5,7 1,2,3,4,5 B,C
Students will describe the major typologies used to classify terrorism and terrorists 1,2,3 1,2,3,4,5 B,C
Students will argue the means and methods of terrorism in terms of terrorist networks, organized crime and finance 1,2,3 1,2,3,4,5 B,C
Students will evaluate the relations between terrorism and religious fundamentalism& ethno-nationalism  1,2,3 1,2,3,4,5 B,C
Students will investigate the motives behind the suicide bombings 1,2,3 1,2,3,4,5 B,C
Students will explain the media effect on terrorism 1,2,3 1,2,3,4,5 B,C
Students will discuss the strategies to combat the terrorism 1,2,3 1,2,3,4,5 B,C

Course Flow

Week Topics Study Materials
1 Political Violence, Conflict, and Terror: Theoretical aspects Richard Devetak and Christopher W. Hughes: The Globalisation of Political Violence, Routledge, 2008, p.76-143.
2 History of Terrorism,  What Is Terrorism? Classification and Categories, Causes of terrorism,  Tactics, Weapons, and Targets James M. Lutz and Brenda J. Lutz, Global Terrorism, Routledge, 2008, p.1-48.

Robin M. Frost, Terrorist psychology, motivation and strategy, The Adelphi Papers, 24 Nov 2006

3 Ethnic, Left-Right & Religious Terrorism Andrew T H Tan, The Politics of Terrorism, Routledge, 2011, p.25-80.

Jeroen Gunning & Richard Jackson, What's so ‘religious’ about ‘religious terrorism’? Critical Studies on Terrorism Publication Aberystwyth, UK, 16 Dec 2011.

4 Terrorist Organizational Models A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century                       15 August 2007, Chapter 3

Michael Jacobson, Terrorist Financing and the Internet a a Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism Publication, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy , Washington, DC, 09 Mar 2010.

5 State Terror Richard Jackson, Eamon Murphy and Scott Poynting (Edt.): Contemporary State Terrorism Theory and Practice, Routledge, 2010, p.12-27, 68-25, 196-202, Conclusions.

James M. Lutz and Brenda J. Lutz, Global Terrorism, Routledge, 2008,p.49-66.

Bill Calcutt, Just war theory and the war on terror, Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia,07 Sep 2011.

6 Counter-Terrorism I (Doctrin) Thomas Rid and Thomas Keaney (Edt), Understanding Counterinsurgency Doctrine, operations, and challenges, Routledge, 2010, p.1-59.

James M. Lutz and Brenda J. Lutz, Global Terrorism, Routledge, 2008, p.261-282.

Armin Krishnan, Targeting Individuals: Overcoming the Dilemmas of Secrecy, Contemporary Security Policy Publication, 28 Jun 2013.

7 Counter-Terrorism II (Operations & Challenges) Thomas Rid and Thomas Keaney (Edt), Understanding Counterinsurgency Doctrine, operations, and challenges, Routledge, 2010, p.73-255.
8 Mid-Term Exam  
9 USA and Al Qaeda Bruce Hoffman, Counterterrorism Strategy for the Obama, Terrorism and Political Violence Publication, Washington, D.C., 2010.

Megan Smith & James Igoe Walsh, Do Drone Strikes Degrade Al Qaeda? Evidence From Propaganda Output, Terrorism and Political Violence Publication, Washington, D.C., 2013.

Martin Rudnera, Al Qaeda's Twenty-Year Strategic Plan: The Current Phase of Global Terror, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism Publication, 2013.

10 England & IRA Cameron I. Crouch, Managing Terrorism and Insurgency Regeneration, recruitment and attrition, Routledge, 2010, p.84-120.

Mary L. Volcansek, British Experience with Terrorism; From the IRA to Al Qaide, Courts and Terrorism, 2008, p.89-109.

11 Spain & ETA Anthony T. Spencer and Stephen M. Croucher, Basque Nationalism and the Spiral of Slience, An Analysis of Public Perceptions of ETA in Spain and France, SAGE Publications, December 16, 2008.

Assia Alexieva, Targeting the Roots and Goals of ETA:  A Counter-Terrorist Strategy to Consider? Journal of IPS, Spring 2006, Vol.5, p.53-65.

12 Other Terror Organisations Benedetta Berti, Armed Groups as Political Parties and Their Role in Electoral Politics: The Case of Hizballah, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism Publication, 2011.

Thomas H. Johnson, Taliban adaptations and innovations, Small Wars & Insurgencies, Feb 2013.

Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rpic20

Lise Waldek & Shankara Jayasekara, Boko Haram: the evolution of Islamist extremism in Nigeria Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism (PICT) , 07 Sep 2011.

Khuram Iqbal & Sara De Silva, Terrorist lifecycles: a case study of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan a Center for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism (PICT) , Australia,29 May 2013.

US Deparment of State, Documents, Chapter 6 terror groups.

13 Terror Targeting Turkey Sait Yılmaz, Terör ve Türkiye, Kum Saati Yayınları, 2010.
14 Seperatist Terror in Turkey Sait Yılmaz, Question of Strategy in Counter-Terrorism: “Turkish Case”, International Journal of Business and Social Science, Vol. 2 No. 1, January 2011, p.140-151.

Yılmaz Ensaroğlu, Turkey’s Kurdish Question  and the Peace Process, Insight Turkey Vol. 15 / No. 2 / 2013, pp. 7-17.

15 Final Exam  

Recommended Sources

Textbook Mikkel Thorup, An Intellectual History of Terror War, violence and the state, Routledge, 2010.

Asaf Siniver (Edt.), International Terrorism Post- 9/11 Comparative dynamics and responses, Routledge, 2010.

Tushar K.Ghosh, Mark A.Prelas, Dabir S.Viswanath Sudarshan K.Loyalka (Edt.), Science and Technology of Terrorism and Counterterrorism University of Missouri  Columbia, Markel Dekker, 2002. 

Alexander Yonah (Edit.): Combating Terrorism Strategies of Ten Countries, The University of Michigan Press, (2005).

Cindy Combs: Terrorism in the Twenty – First Century, 2nd Edition, Prentice Hail, (New Jersey, 2000).

Haydar Çakmak: Terörizmin Finansmanı ve Ekonomisi, Barış Platin Kitabevi, (Ankara, 2009).

Rohan Gunaratna: The Changing face of Terrorism, Marshall Cavendish Academic, (Singapore, 2005)

Ingmar Karlsson: Din, Terör ve Hoşgörü, Homer Kitabevi, Çev. T.Kayaoğlu, (İstanbul, 2005).

David E. Long: Anatomy of Terrorism, The Free Press, (New York, 1990).

Ümit Özdağ: Türk Ordusu PKK’yı Nasıl Yendi? Türkiye PKK’ya Nasıl Teslim Oluyor?, Kripto Yayınları, (Ankara, 2010).

Richard Perle, David Frum: Şeytana Son, Terörde Savaş Nasıl Kazanılır? (İst., 2004).

Alex P. Schmid, Albert J. Jongman: Political Terrorism: A New Guide to Actors, Authors, Concepts, Data Bases, Theories and Literature, North-Holland Publishing Company, (Amsterdam, 1998).

Paul Wilkinson: Strategic Implications of Terrorism, in Terrorism and Political Violence, M.L.Sondhi (ed.), Indian Council of Social Science Research, Har-an and Publications, (India, 2000).

Fatma Taşdemir, Uluslar arası Terörizme Karşı Devletlerin Kuvvete Başvurma Yetkisi, Uluslar arası Stratejik Araştırmalar Kurumu, Ankara: Nisan 2006.

Additional Resources David H. Uckoa, Critics gone wild: Counterinsurgency as the root of all evil, a College of International Security Affairs (CISA), National Defense University, Washington, DC Published online: 28 May 2014.

Russell D. Howard, ‘’Understanding Al Qaeda’s Application of the New Terrrorism: The Key to Victory in the Current Campaign,’’ from Terrorism and Counterterrorism, Understanding the New Security Environment, Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer (eds.), McGraw-Hill, 2004.

Barry R. Posen, ‘’The Struggle Against Terrorism: Grand Strategy, Strategy and Tactics’’ International Security (Winter 2001/2002), reprinted in Terrorism and Counterterrorism, Understanding the New Security Environment, Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer (eds.), McGraw-Hill, 2004.

James Fallows (January/February 2005), A ‘’containment’’ Strategy for the Age of Terror, the Atlantic Monthly,

Samuel Huntington, ‘’The Clash of Civilization,’’ Foreign Affairs, Summer 1993.

Sebestyen L. v. Gorka published the article The New al Qaeda: generations two and three in The Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor, Vol. II. , Issue 14, and July 15, 2004.

James D. Fearon and David D. Laitin, ‘’Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War,’’ American Political Science Review, Vol. 97, No. 1, February 2003, pp.75-90.

Material Sharing

Documents -
Assignments -
Exams -


Mid-term / Final 1 30 %
Presentation 1 20 %
Participation and Homework 1 10 %
Total   100
Total   100

Course’s Contribution to Program

No Program Learning Outcomes Contribution
1 2 3 4 5  
1 Students will demonstrate their comprehensive knowledge of the basic concepts and theories of Political Science and International Relations as well as other related disciplines such as Law, Economics and Sociology.         X  
2 Students will interpret the structure, institutions and operation of national, international and supranational entities via utilization of the concepts and theories of Political Science and International relations and produce project reports that include possible solutions to problems of such institutions when necessary.       X    
3 Students will demonstrate that they have developed a comparative, analytical and interdisciplinary approach vis-à-vis human societies and political systems.     X      
4 Students will have improved their skills and awareness of personal responsibility and team membership through conducting group or independent research projects, doing internships and producing their graduation dissertations. X          
5 Students will demonsrate proficiency in quantitative and qualitative data collections methods. x          
6 Students will prove their understanding of  the rapidly-evolving dynamics of national and global environments requires  constant self-assessment, life-long learning, and the ability to formulate innovative solutions to maintain their personal and professional development.   X        
7 Students should be able to critically evaluate the body of knowledge in political science, assess self-competency and direct self-learning efforts accordingly.     X      
8 Students will implement written and oral communication skills in English and Turkish in both academic and professional settings.   X        
9 Students should be able to effectively demonstrate their knowledge of written,  oral and reading skills in English both in international institutional settings and follow and interpret the global dynamics of the International Relations discipline.     X      
10 Students will demonstrate their social skills and experience required by public or private institutions or in the academia.     X      
11 Students will show empathy and respect towards societies other than one’s own. x          
12 Students should be able to effectively utilize computer and information technologies commonly-used in the social sciences. x          
13 Students will interpret domestic and international developments and express opinions, having acquired advanced knowledge and proficiency in the via communication with international scholars and students.     x      
14 Students will respect personal, social and academic ethical norms.     x      
15 Students should understand the personal, social, and ecological dimensions of social responsibility, and show duties of active and global citizenship. X          
16 Students should know that universality of social-political and legal rights and social justice are the principle components of contemporary society, and that scientific thinking is an essential prerequisite for maintaining social advancement and global competitiveness. X          


Activities Quantity Duration
Course Duration (Including the exam week: 16x Total course hours) 16 3 48
Hours for off-the-classroom study (Pre-study, practice)      16     15 240
Mid-terms 1 30 30
Homework 2 15 30
Final examination 1 40 40
Total Work Load     378
Total Work Load / 25 (h)        15.12
ECTS Credit of the Course          15