POLS 386: GLOBAL TERRORISM

Northern Illinois University, Fall Semester 2009

 

Class Time:              M-W-F, 1200-1250               Instructor:     Prof. Dan Pojar

Class Location:      DuSable 461                        Contact:        dpojar@niu.edu
                                                                                                            831-917-1257

                                                                                    Office Hrs:    M/W 12:50-1:50; F 2:30-3:30 DuSable 476

 

Overview:

Terrorism is a term of which we all have some degree of familiarity.  It has received endless media attention the past several years.  Yet, for something so regularly in the news, terrorism in many ways remains a puzzle.  You may be surprised by the amount of disagreement surrounding this issue.  What exactly is it, and how does one define it?  Who are terrorists, and what motivates terrorists to do what they do?  How does a state respond to terrorism?  What are the challenges in so doing?

This course allows you to come to terms with these and related questions.  As the course title suggests, we will take a global perspective in examining these issues.    

Objectives: 

By the end of this course, each student should be able to:

1. form his/her own defendable definition of terrorism

2. understand an array of motivations for and underlying causes of terrorism

3. know the fundamentals of several known terrorist organizations

4. understand a range of strategies for responding to and countering terrorism

5. know the challenges in responding to and countering terrorism

6. place the significance of terrorism in the larger political science context

Approach:

This course will be a combination of lecture and discussion.  As such, to succeed in this course you must listen and take notes during lectures as well as actively participate in class discussions.  Reading for each class will be fairly intensive and must be done prior to each class- pop quizzes will be given to ensure you do the reading.  Mondays and Wednesdays will be primarily interactive lecture, and Fridays will be class discussion on current events, case studies, and related materials.

Reading Requirements:

There is one textbook required for purchase:

Russell D. Howard, Reid L. Sawyer and Natasha E. Bajema, eds., Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 3d ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009). [You must purchase the THIRD EDITION].

The required readings for each class are given below in the class schedule.  Readings not from the purchased textbook are posted to the Blackboard under the dates for which they are to be read.

Course Requirements:

1. Preparation for each class is essential to your success.  You are expected to have completed all your class readings prior to the start of each class.  To ensure that you have done so, you will be given a total of twenty pop quizzes covering that day’s readings.  Each quiz will consist of five multiple choice questions, and will be given at the start of class.  Your quiz scores are worth 20% of your final grade.

2. Class participation includes both active participation in class discussions and active listening during lectures.  Your full attention is expected during every class.  You are not to use cell phones, other mobile devices, read newspapers, read materials for other courses, do crossword puzzles or sleep during class.  Engagement in these and other related activities will result in a downgrade of your participation score.  On Fridays, I may randomly select individuals to lead small group discussions.  Required presence in each class is part of participation.  Participation scores are based upon active listening during lectures, active and substantial contributions during discussions, observance of proper classroom decorum, and regular, on-time attendance in class.  Your participation score is worth 20% of your final grade.

3. You are required to keep a journal throughout the course.  In this journal, you are to write two-three pages (typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins) per week.  The content of these writings should be your reflections on each week’s central themes.  Your reflections should engage the week’s lectures, readings, and discussions.  Include what you see as strengths and weaknesses in the various arguments presented each week, as well as cogently defend your own point of view on the issues.  Journals will be collected three times throughout the semester (28 Sep, 26 Oct, and 23 Nov).  Your journal is worth 20% of your final grade.

4. There will be a midterm examination in class on Friday, 9 October, during the normal class period.  This exam will include multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank and short answer questions.  Exam duration will be 50 minutes.  Your midterm is worth 20% of your final grade.

5. There will be an in-class essay on Wednesday, 2 December, during the normal class period.  This essay will require you to answer one of three big-picture questions.  You are to answer the question in two-three written pages.  Essay duration will be 50 minutes.  This essay is worth 20% of your final grade.

6. You will not be given a final examination for this course.  Nevertheless, in accordance with university policy, you are still required to attend class during the scheduled final exam period, which is Monday, 7 December, 12:00-1:50.  Bring materials for other classes and use this period as a study hall.

Grading Summary:                                                Grading Scale

Quizzes                     = 20%                                     A = 90-100                            

Participation              = 20%                                     B = 80-89

Journal                      = 20%                                     C = 70-79

Midterm Exam           = 20%                                     D = 60-69

In-class Essay          = 20%                                     F = 59 or below

         

Class Schedule:

NOTE: Dates of graded requirements are highlighted in yellow. 

Week 1                      Course Introduction

Mon, 24 Aug             Syllabus & Course Requirements Overview

Wed, 26 Aug             Class Introduction

Fri, 28 Aug                Discussion: What does terrorism mean to you?

            - Charles Townshend, Terrorism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford

            University Press, 2002), 1-19.

 

PART I                       THE NATURE OF TERRORISM

 

Week 2                      Definition and History of Terrorism     

Mon, 31 Aug             Defining Terrorism

            - Textbook 1.1, 4-33.           

Wed, 02 Sep             History of Terrorism

            - David C. Rapoport, “The Four Waves of Modern Terrorism,” in Attacking

            Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy, eds. Audrey Kurth Cronin and James

            M. Ludes (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2004), 46-73.

Fri, 04 Sep                 Discussion: Current Events in Terrorism

            - Read posted news articles.

 

 

Week 3                      The Effectiveness of Terrorism

Mon, 07 Sep             Labor Day- No Class

Wed, 09 Sep             The Rationality of Terrorism

            - Textbook 1.3, 42-54.

Fri, 11 Sep                 Discussion: Is terrorism rational?  Is it effective?

            - Read posted articles.

                                   

Week 4                      State Facilitation of Terrorism

Mon, 14 Sep             States as Facilitators 

            - Textbook 2.3, 88-109.

            - Textbook 2.2, 79-87.

Wed, 16 Sep             The U.S. as Terrorist?

            - Textbook 1.2, 34-41.

Fri, 18 Sep                 Discussion: In what ways do the political, economic and social

                                    realities of the U.S. motivate terrorism?

            - Noam Chomsky, Pirates and Emperors, Old and New: International Terrorism

            in the Real World, (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2002). [posted excerpts]

 

Week 5                      Religious and Ideological Facilitation of Terrorism

Mon, 21 Sep             Religious and Ideological Explanations

            - Textbook 4.1, 207-224.

            - Textbook 4.2, 225-247.

Wed, 23 Sep             Religious and Ideological Explanations

            - Textbook 4.3, 248-262.

Fri, 25 Sep                 Discussion: Current Events in Terrorism

            - Read posted news articles.

                                   

Week 6                      Psychological Underpinnings of Terrorism

Mon, 28 Sep             Suicide Terrorism

            - Textbook 5.4, 311-322.

            - Textbook 5.5, 323-338.

First Journal Submission Due

Wed, 30 Sep             Psychological Explanations

- Jeff Victoroff, "The Mind of the Terrorist: A Review and Critique of Psychological Approaches," Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 49, no. 1, (2005):3-42.

Fri, 02 Oct                  Discussion: What goes on in the mind of a terrorist?

            - Elie Wiesel, Dawn, (New York: Bantam Books, 1982). [all of it]

 

Week 7                      Globalization and Attack Methods

Mon, 05 Oct               The Globalization Factor in the Information Age

            - Textbook 2.1, 57-78.

Wed, 07 Oct              Terrorist Attack Methods: CBRN

            - Textbook 5.1, 266-287.

Fri, 09 Oct                  Midterm Exam (in class)

 

 

PART II                      TERRORIST GROUP PROFILES

 

Week 8                      Specific Terrorist Organizations

Mon, 12 Oct               Jemaah Islamiah & Abu Sayaf Group

            - posted profiles

Wed, 14 Oct              FARC & Aum Shinrikyo

            - posted profiles

Fri, 16 Oct                  Discussion: Current Events in Terrorism

            - Read posted news articles.

 

Week 9                      Specific Terrorist Organizations

Mon, 19 Oct               Hamas & Hezbollah

            - posted profiles

Wed, 21 Oct              Al Qaeda

            - Textbook 3.3, 158-187.

Fri, 23 Oct                  Discussion: Current Events in Terrorism

            - Read posted news articles.

                                   

PART III                     RESPONDING TO TERRORISM

 

Week 10                    Defense and Security

Mon, 26 Oct               Conventional Military Responses           

            - Textbook 7.3, 410-427

            - Textbook 8.3, 483-491     

            Second Journal Submission Due

Wed, 28 Oct              Homeland Security

- Daniel Goure, “Homeland Security,” in Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy, eds. Audrey Kurth Cronin and James  M. Ludes (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2004), 261-284.

Fri, 30 Oct                  Discussion: The Effectiveness of Conventional Military Responses

- Read case study: American Military Retaliation for Terrorism: Judging the Merits of the 1998 Cruise Missile Strike in Afghanistan and Sudan.

 

Week 11                    Law and Cooperation

Mon, 02 Nov             Domestic Law & Law Enforcement

- Lindsay Clutterbuck, “Law Enforcement” in Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy, eds. Audrey Kurth Cronin and James M. Ludes (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2004), 140-161.

Wed, 04 Nov             International Cooperation

- Patrick M. Cronin, “Foreign Aid,” in Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy, eds. Audrey Kurth Cronin and James  M. Ludes (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2004), 238-260.

Fri, 06 Nov                 Discussion: Issues with Extradition

            - Read case study: Seeking the Extradition of Mohammed Rashid. 

 

 

Week 12                    Toward a Grand Strategy

Mon, 09 Nov             Negotiating & Addressing Causes

            - Textbook 8.5, 502-512

Wed, 11 Nov             Grand Strategy

            - Textbook 8.1, 444-459.

            - Textbook 8.2, 460-482.

Fri, 13 Nov                 Discussion: What do you think is the most effective, and least

                                    effective, strategy in responding to terrorism?

 

Week 13                    Intelligence and Iraq

Mon, 16 Nov             The Role of Intelligence

            - Textbook 7.2, 404-409.

            - The 9/11 Commission Report (First Edition): 339-348, 353-360, 399-419.

Wed, 18 Nov             Iraq

Fri, 20 Nov                 Discussion: The Use of Torture

            - Read case study: Tiltulim: Interrogation by Shaking in Israel.

 

Week 14                    Fighting Terrorism in Afghanistan

Mon, 23 Nov             Afghanistan 

                                    Final Journal Submission Due

Wed, 25 Nov             No Class- Thanksgiving Break

Fri, 27 Nov                 No Class- Thanksgiving Break

 

Week 15                    Staring into the Crystal Ball

Mon, 30 Nov             The Future of Terrorism and Counterterrorism

            - Textbook 10.1, 581-591.

            - Textbook 10.4, 647-660.

Wed, 02 Dec             In-Class Essay

Fri, 04 Dec                 TBD

 

Week 16                    Finals Week

Mon, 7 Dec                Final exam period 12:00-1:50; no final exam will be given, but students are required by NIU policy to be present in the classroom during this time.

 

 

Course Policies:    

1. Your presence in every class will help ensure a successful learning experience.  Thus, every student is allowed a maximum of 5 total absences, excused and unexcused.  For every absence over 5, five points will be deducted from your final grade.  For an absence to be excusable, the student must notify the instructor no less than 20 minutes prior to class start, via phone, email, or in person.  Notification as far in advance as possible is appreciated.  Further, for an absence to be considered excusable, the instructor must agree that the absence is for a legitimate reason.  

2. Continually coming to class late is a disruption to the whole class.  I will take class attendance each day at 12:00 sharp.  If you arrive in class after attendance is taken, it is your responsibility to see the instructor immediately after class to ensure your attendance is recorded.  If you don’t, you will be marked for an unexcused absence.  Every student is allowed to walk into class late a maximum of 5 times.  For every late arrival after these allotted 5, two points will be deducted from your final grade.

3. Makeup exams (midterm) will be given only in the event of extraordinary circumstances.  If such circumstances arise, please contact the instructor in advance of class as soon as possible.  As a means of maintaining fairness, the instructor reserves the right to request documentation to support an absence from the midterm exam.  If a student fails to notify the instructor in advance of his/her absence, and fails to provide any sort of documentation upon request, a score 0 (zero) will be given for that exam.

4. Makeup in-class essays will be given only in the event of extraordinary circumstances.  If such circumstances arise, please contact the instructor in advance of class as soon as possible.  As a means of maintaining fairness, the instructor reserves the right to request documentation to support an absence from the in-class essay.  If a student fails to notify the instructor in advance of his/her absence, and fails to provide any sort of documentation upon request, a score 0 (zero) will be given for that essay.

5. Makeup quizzes will not be given for unexcused absences.  This should further encourage your regular class attendance.  In case of an excused absence, you must talk to the instructor before the next class you attend in order to reschedule your make-up quiz during the instructor’s posted office hours.

6. Late journal submissions will be accepted only in the event of extraordinary circumstances.  If such circumstances arise, please contact the instructor in advance of class as soon as possible.  As a means of maintaining fairness, the instructor reserves the right to request documentation to support an absence that day.  If a student fails to notify the instructor in advance of his/her absence, and fails to provide any sort of documentation upon request, a score 0 (zero) will be given for that submission.  Journals must be submitted directly to the instructor by the end of class for which it is due.  Please request permission if you will be unable to submit your work directly to the instructor.

7. Students are expected to exercise proper classroom decorum.  Please adhere to the following rules:

-          If you do arrive in class late, do not disrupt other students while finding a seat.  This usually means taking a seat with easy access.

-          If you must leave early, you must notify the instructor in advance and take a seat very near the exit as to minimize disruption. 

-          Do not walk in and out of the classroom at will.  Use the restroom before class starts.  In the rare instance in which you must use the restroom during class, leave and reenter in as disruptive fashion as possible.

-          All electronic devices (this includes cell phones, pagers, mp3 players and ipods) should be completely turned off and placed in your bag or pocket before you walk into class, and remain that way until class is over at 12:50.  You should not even be looking at these devices during class.  If special circumstances dictate that an electronic device needs to be set to make noise, including vibration, you must notify the instructor in advance.

-          Do not talk while either the instructor is talking or other students are contributing to class discussion.

-          During class, your complete attention should be on class.  This means you should not be doing any other readings, written work, games, puzzles, etc. during class.

-          Stay awake for the entire class period.

-          No eating is allowed in class.

-          Having questions about the material read and presented is an important and expected part of the learning process.  If you have a question of comprehension during class, please raise your hand and ask immediately.  If you have an aside question during a lecture, please wait until the end of the lecture before asking the question.  You may have a question that arises outside of class.  Please feel free to email the instructor with your question and he will reply as soon as possible.

-          The classroom environment will remain respectful at all times, whether lecture time or class discussions.   A diversity of individuals, backgrounds, experiences, belief systems, ideas and opinions will be present in class.  This diversity is to be treated by everyone in class with mutual dignity and respect.  Be mindful of your instructor and fellow students and abide by those expectations and rules set forth by this university.  Remember, maximum learning can only take place in an environment where each and every one of you feel open and unhindered to express your ideas and opinions, and carry on an intellectual exchange with each other free from fear.

 

Should the instructor find that a student is acting contrary to the above proper classroom decorum, after one verbal warning, the student will be required to sit down with the instructor outside of class and the inappropriate behavior will be documented, with any follow-on administrative action explained to the student.

 

8. Incomplete grades will only be granted in the event of extraordinary circumstances preventing a student from completing the assigned coursework within the given course calendar.  As a means of maintaining fairness, the instructor reserves the right to ask for documentation needed to support a request for an incomplete.  Without documentation, the instructor reserves the right to not assign an incomplete grade.

9. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.  Regarding plagiarism, the NIU Undergraduate Catalog states that “students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging them.  Students guilty of or assisting others in either cheating or plagiarism on an assignment, quiz, or examination may receive a grade of F for the course involved and may be suspended or dismissed from the university.”   The above statement encompasses a written assignment  in whole or in part by another; a paper copied word-for-word or with only minor changes from another source; a paper copied in part from one or more sources without proper identification and acknowledgement of the sources; a paper that is merely a paraphrase of one or more sources, using ideas and/or logic without credit even though the actual words may be changed; and a paper that quotes, summarizes or paraphrases, or cuts and pastes words, phrases, or images from an Internet source without identification and the address of the web site.  If you plagiarize one of your journal submissions or in-class essay, you will receive a score of 0 (zero) on it and will have to undergo the university judicial process.  If you cheat on a quiz or midterm exam, you will receive a score of 0 (zero) on it and will have to undergo the university judicial process.   

10. In regards to religious observances, the University asks instructors to make students aware of the following policy.  “Northern Illinois University as a public institution of higher education in the State of Illinois does not observe religious holidays.  It is the university’s policy, however, to reasonably accommodate the religious observances of individual students in regards to admissions, class attendance, scheduling examinations and work requirements.  Such policies shall be made known to faculty and students.  Religious observance includes all aspects of religious observance and practice as well as belief.  Absence from classes or examinations for religious observance does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence.  To request accommodation, students who expect to miss classes, examinations or other assignments as a consequence of their religious observance shall provide instructors with reasonable notice of the date or dates they will be absent.” The instructor is respectful and fully supportive of students who wish to participate in religious observances.  Excused absences will be provided, but students must understand and follow the above policy with respect to reasonable notice and making up work.

11. In regards to students with disabilities, under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities.  Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework for which they may require accommodations should notify the University’s Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR).  CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors.  It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.  The CAAR office is located on the 4th floor of the University Health Services building and its phone number is (815) 753-1303.

12.  In the rare circumstance that the instructor is for some reason detained from making it to class on-time, the students are only expected to wait 10 minutes.  If the instructor does not arrive by the time the classroom clock shows 12:10, the students are free to leave class.  In case the university cancels class for severe weather or some emergency situation, the instructor will email all students as far in advance as possible.

13. The only individuals allowed in the classroom during class time are the enrolled students, the instructor, and guests of the instructor.  In case of daycare problems, please have a backup plan as children will not be allowed in class.

Other Opportunities:

1. Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu.

2. Please take advantage of the University Writing Center.  The Writing Center is a great resource, and with their help, students can greatly enhance their academic experience at NIU. Good writing is an important part of any successful college career, and the Writing Center is there to help students improve their writing skills.

3. Through undergraduate writing awards, the Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies.   Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing.   Winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00.  Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by 28 February.   All copies should have two cover pages – one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Only papers written in the previous calendar can be considered for the award.  However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.

4. The department offers many other awards, scholarships, travel opportunities to Oxford or elsewhere, internships, an honors program, and organizational memberships.  Please consult the department’s website or department advisor for information on all these opportunities.  You are encouraged to take advantage of as many of these as possible.

5.  The department’s undergraduate advisor is Andrea Messing-Mathie.  For any advising issues or concerns, please contact her (815-753-7045) as she is an outstanding resource.  Her office is in the political science department, fourth floor Zulauf Hall.