Global Terrorism POLS 586 (589 proposed number)

Spring 2007


Professor: Daniel R. Kempton
Meeting Location: 6:30-9:10 PM, Tuesday, Du 464
Office address: Zulauf 402
Phone: 753-7055
Office hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 1:30-3:30 PM and by appointment.
E-Mail: dkempton@niu.edu
                                 (Expect an e-mail response within 3 working days.)


Course description/objectives: Terrorism is at least as old as recorded history, and likely older. While the essential nature of terrorism, and its basic objectives have changed little for millennia, the effectiveness of terrorism and its frequency have both increased dramatically in recent decades. Part of the explanation for this is that terrorism is increasingly easy. Put bluntly, never before in history could so few kill so many, so easily as today. As humanity has developed new and increasingly devastating weapons of mass destruction terrorists have gained a greater ability for wide spread destruction. At the same time, the modern world's increased dependence on technology and common infrastructures make us more vulnerable to attack. We obtain our energy, water, and food from common and vulnerable sources. Increasingly we live, work, and travel in greater concentrations, which allow for a greater number of people to be attacked simultaneously. Finally, the basic objective of terrorism, to spread fear, is greatly enhanced by the modern media, which markedly increase terrorism's effectiveness as a political tool by providing immediate, dramatic, wide-spread, and extensive coverage to incidences of terrorism.

Thus, while the United States, and much of the world, has declared a "War on Terrorism," terrorism will not be eliminated in the near future. Even if Al Qaeda is destroyed, other groups with other aims will likely arise. At the same time, unless the United States and other civilized states adopt carefully constructed strategies to combat terrorism, the problem will undoubtedly worsen markedly in the coming decades. Given this reality, the selection of prudent strategies for combating terrorism is one of the key tasks now facing the civilized world.

The main objective of this course is to provide the information necessary for students to develop their own answers to some basic questions about terrorism. What is terrorism? Why is terrorism increasing? What causes terrorism? What can be done to diminish the incidences and destructiveness of terrorism? While there are no obvious or even consensual answers to these questions, varied answers to each of these questions will be presented and discussed. While the focus of this course is substantive, we will also pay attention to theory and method and how they are applied in the individual studies discussed.

Course requirements:
1. Readings:

A.     Assigned readings: Many of the course readings will come from a single collection by Howard and Sawyer, and students are strongly urged to purchase a copy of the second edition of this text. Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006. Whenever possible I have tried to utilize readings included in this text. Copies of other readings may be purchased on line or borrowed from the reserve room. I have requested that the bookstore acquire used copies of a few of the more seminal books. This is the first iteration of this course. Some changes to the reading list may be announced during the semester, especially where indicated. Also student input as to future readings is welcome.

B.     Additional readings: Those readings appearing in this category are on the same topic as the assigned unit, but will not be discussed in the course and will not be addressed in the course examination. They are included to give students additional sources for future research.

C.     Yahoo News Group: Because both terrorism and the war on terrorism are evolving, students will be required to stay current with recent developments in global terrorism by reading stories linked to Yahoo’s News Category, “Terrorism & 9/11” or (http://news.yahoo.com/fc/us/terrorism).

 

2. Participation: This course is a seminar, which means that student participation is expected and required. Seminar participation will be worth approximately 15 percent of the semester grade. Your course participation grade will be based on three factors:

a. the quality and quantity of your participation in class discussions;

b. regular attendance at class; and

c. a minimum of five comments posted on the Blackboard discussion group on the undergraduate terrorism course, POLS 386.

When posting comments on the undergraduate board, you may raise issues that derive from the news stories on Yahoo, or you may respond to the queries and comments of undergraduate enrolled in POLS 386. While graduate participants in the discussion group should pose thoughtful questions to the newsgroup and are free to challenge the comments posted by undergraduate participants, they should also display the degree of respect and professionalism that is expected in the discipline. Students are welcome to attend sessions of POLS 386, but are not required to do so and are not responsible for material covered in POLS 386. We will briefly discuss the news on the Yahoo pages (see above) at the beginning of each class. Your participation grade will compose 15 percent of your semester grade.

3. Written assignments:

Students may complete the written assignments in one of two ways. Please select the option which best meets your own programmatic needs and preferences.

Option A: Students will write five short critiques (one every other class period). Each critique is worth 13% of the course grade. The critiques should be between five and seven pages in length (double-spaced) and are due at the beginning of class on the day on which they are to be discussed. In the critique, the student is asked to briefly comment on each of the works assigned for that week. Please make any summary of the reading very brief; repeating only the author’s basic arguments. The critique will be graded primarily on your comments, both positive and negative, on the arguments asserted by the author.


Option B: Students will write two critiques of the type described above and, one term paper. The term paper will address a basic issue related to terrorism discussed in class. This option is designed to allow students to fulfill their starred paper requirement, or to work toward a dissertation. The proposed topic must be discussed with the professor. The term paper will count for 35 percent of the semester grade and each short paper will count for 15 percent of the semester grade. The term paper may be designed to fulfill the requirements of a starred paper and may serve as the first draft of a starred paper, or be designed as part of a long term dissertation project.

 

Critiques are due at the beginning of the hour on the day that they are being discussed. Do not come to class late in order to finish your critique. The term paper is due at the beginning of class on May 1. Critiques and term papers will be downgraded 1/3 of a letter grade for each day they are late. (Thus papers submitted five minutes late and 23 hours late will each be deducted for 1/3 of a letter grade.)


4. Examination: At the end of the course each student will take a final examination. The final is an essay exam, which will resemble the comprehensive examinations in content and format. Prior to the examination sample questions will be provided. Thus, the examination will both test your knowledge of the material presented and provide the student with valuable practice for his/her comprehensives. The examination will be worth 20 percent of the final grade.

 

Plagiarism Statement:
"The attempt of any student to present as his or her own work that which he or she has not produced is regarded by the faculty and administration as a serious offense. Students are considered to have cheated if they copy the work of another during an examination or turn in a paper or an assignment written, in whole or in part, by someone else. Students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources or if they paraphrase ideas from such sources without 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." Northern Illinois University Undergraduate Catalog. If you have and doubt, include a citation.

Reading List:
COURSE OUTLINE AND READINGS

Jan 16 1. Distribution of the Syllabi and Discussion of Course Requirements

 

Jan 23 2. Defining Terrorism

1. Bruce Hoffman, “Defining Terrorism,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 3-23.

2. Paul Pillar, “The Dimensions of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 24-44.

3. Eqbal Ahmad and David Barsamian, “Terrorism: Theirs and Ours,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 46-52.

 

Additional Readings:

1. Walter Laqueur, The New Terrorism: Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction, Oxford University Press: New York, 2000.

2. Brigadier General Russell D. Howard (Ret.) “Understanding Al Qaeda’s Application of the New Terrorism—The Key to Victory in the Current Campaign,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 91-105.

 

Jan 30 4. The Causes of Terrorism

a. Religious and Ideological Explanations

1. Jessica Stern, Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill: Why Religious Militants Kill, Harper Collins: New York, 2003.

(pp. xiii-31, & 281-296)

2. Magnus Ranstorp, “Terrorism in the Name of Religion,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 151-167.

3. Mark Sedgwick, “Al Qaeda and the Nature of Religious Terrorism,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 187-206.

4. Adam Dolnik “All God’s Poisons: Re-Evaluating the Threat of Religious Terrorism with Respect to Non-Conventional Weapons, in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp.242-262.

 

Additional Readings:

1. Juergensmeyer, Mark. Terror in the Mind of God. Berkeley, C.A.: University of California Press, 2001.

2. Yonah Alexander and Michale Swetnam, Usama bin Laden’s al-Qaida: Profile of a Terrorist Network, Transnational Publishers: New York, 2001.

3. Lee Griffith, The War on Terrorism and the Terror of God, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing: Grand Rapids, 2002.

4. Terry Eagleton, Holy Terror, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

5. Quintan Witkorowicz, “A Genealogy of Radical Islam,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 207-231.

 

Feb 06 b. Psychological and Rational Explanations

1. Max Abrahms, “Why Terrorism Does not Work,” International Security, vol. 31, no. 2, Fall 2006, pp. 42-78.

2. Martha Crenshaw, “The Logic of Terrorism: Terrorist Behavior as a Product of Strategic Choice,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 54-66.

3. Abrahms, Max. "Are Terrorists Really Rational? The Palestinian Example." Orbis 48 (3): 533-549, 2004.

4. Victoroff, Jeff. 2005. "The Mind of the Terrorist: A Review and Critique of Psychological Approaches," Journal of Conflict Resolution 49 (1):3-42.

 

Additional Readings:

1. Hudson, Rex A. Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why: The 1999 Government Report on Profiling Terrorists. Guilford, C.T.: The Lyons Press, 1999.

2. Sageman, Marc, Understanding Terror Networks. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.

3. James J. F. Forest, The Making of a Terrorist: Recruitment, Training and Root Causes, Westport CT:P Praeger Security International, 2005.

 

Feb 13 c. Environmental Explanations

1. Noam Chomsky, Pirates and Emperors, Old and New: International Terrorism in the Real World, South End Press: Cambridge, MA, 2003.

(Introductory material, and chpts 2, 5, 6, & 7).

 

Additional Readings:

1. Fawaz A. Gerges, The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global, Cambridge University Press, 2005.

2. Noam Chomsky, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005?

3. Noam Chomsky, Power and Terror: Post 9-11 Talks and Interviews, Consortium Books, 2003.

4. Claude Berrebi, "Evidence About the Link Between Education, Poverty, and Terrorism Among Palestinians." Princeton University Industrial Relations Sections Working Paper #477, 2003.

5. Noam Chomsky, The Culture of Terrorism, Consortium Books, 1998.

6. Blomberg, S. Brock, Gregory D. Hess, and Akila Weerapana. 2004. "Economic conditions and terrorism" European Journal of Political Economy 20: 463-478.

7. McCormick, Gordon H. 2003. "Terrorist Decision Making." Annual Review of Political Science 6: 473-507.

8. Monroe, Kristen Renwick and Lina Hadda Kredie. 1997. "The Perspective of Islamic Fundamentalists and the Limits of Rational Choice Theory." Political Psychology 18 (1): 19-43.

9. Weinberg, Leonard. 1991. "Turning to Terror: The Conditions under Which Political Parties Turn to Terrorist Activities." Comparative Politics 23 (4): 423-38.

 

4. Forms & Tools of Terrorism

Feb 20 a. conventional Attacks & Suicide bombings

1. Robert Pape, Dying To Win: The Strategic Logic Of Suicide Terrorism, Random House, 2005.

(Specific chapters to be announced).

2. Bruce Hoffman, “The Logic of Suicide Terrorism,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 337-347.

 

Additional Readings

1. Diego Gambetta, ed., Making Sense of Suicide Missions, Oxford University Press, 2005.

2. Bloom, Mia M. Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005

3. Scott Atran, "Genesis of Suicide Terrorism." Science 299 (7):1534-9, 2003.

 

Feb 27 b. Nuclear Terrorism

1. Graham Allison, Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, Times Books: New York, 2004.

(Specific Chapters to be assigned)

 

Additional Readings:

1. Charles Ferguson, et. al, Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism, Routledge, 2005. in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp.

 

Mar 6 c. Biological and Chemical

1. Richard F. Pilch, “The Bioterrorist Threat in the United States,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 263-297.

2. Michael Eastman and Robert B. Brown, “Security Strategy in the Gray Zone,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 298-312.

3. Richad K. Betts, “The New Threat of Mass Destruction,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 230-241.

 

Additional Readings:

2. Anthony H. Cordesman, The Challenge of Biological Terrorism, Washington D. C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2005.

 

March 20

d. State Sponsorship

1. Daniel Byman, Deadly Connections: States that Sponsor Terrorism, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

(Specific chapters to be announced.)

e. Cyberterrorism

1. Madeleine Gruen, “Terrorist Indoctrination and Radicalization on the Internet,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 352-366.

 

Mar 27 5. Responses to Terrorism

1. National Commission of the Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. 2004. The 9/11 Commission Report. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.*

(Specific chapters to be announced.)

 

Apr 03 a. Civil Liberties

1. Philip B. Heymann, Terrorism, Freedom and Security: Winning without War, Cambridge, 2003. (Chpts. 5, 7 & 8)

2. Philip B. Heymann, Terrorism and America: A Commonsense Strategy for Democracy, MIT Press, 2001. (Chpt. 7.)

 

Additional Readings:

1. James T. Bennett, Homeland Security Scams, NJ: Transaction Books, 2006.

2. Bruce Ackerman, Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in the Age of Terrorism, Yale University, 2006.

3. 1. Philip B. Heymann and Juliette N. Kayyem, Protecting Liberty in an Age of Terror, MIT Press, 2005.

 

Apr 10 b. Sanctions & Fighting Back

1. Richard H. Shultz, Jr. and Andrea J. Drew, Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias: The Warriors of Contemporary Combat, Columbia University Press: New York, 2006. (Specific chapters to be announced).

2. Daniel Byman, “Do Targeted Killings Work?” Foreign Affairs, March/April 2006, pp. 95-111.

3. Russell D. Howard, “Preemptive Military Doctrine: No Other Choice,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 454-460.

 

Additional Readings:

1. Robert M. Cassidy, Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War, Praeger Security International, 2006.

2. S. Rothstein, Afghanistan and the Troubled Future of Unconventional Warfare, Naval Institute Press, 2006.

3. Alexander, Yonah, ed., Combating Terrorism: Strategies of Ten Countries. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002.

4. Steven R. David, “Israel’s Policy of Targeted Killing,” Ethics & International Affairs (Spring 2003), Vol. 17, pp. 111-12

5. Yael Stein, “By Any Name Illegal and Immoral: Response to Israel’s Policy of Targeted Killing,’” Ethics & International Affairs.

 

Apr 17 c. Public Relations & the Media

1. Zeyno, Baran, "Fighting the War of Ideas," Foreign Affairs, November/December 2005, pp. 68-78.

2. Boaz Ganor, “Dilemmas Concerning Media Coverage of Terrorist Attacks,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp.408-415.

3. Steven Simon and Jeff Marini, “Terrorism: Denying Al Qaeda Its Popular Support,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 484-494.

 

Additional Readings:

1. Erik Saar, Viveca Novak, Inside The Wire: A Military Intelligence Soldier's Eyewitness Account of Life at Guantanamo, Penguin, 2005.

 

Apr 24 d. The Economics of Terrorism

1. J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins, Alms for Jihad: Charity and the Terrorism of the Islamic World, Cambridge University Press, 2006.

 

Additional Readings:

1. Walter Enders and Todd Sandler, The Political Economy of Terrorism, Cambridge University Press.

2. Mark Basile, “Going to the Source: Why Al Qaeda’s Financial Network is Likely to Withstand the Current War on Terror Financing,” in Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill, Dubuque, 2006, pp. 416-432.

 

May 01 Topic and Readings to be decided in class.

(Term papers are due!)

 

Additional Groups Specific Readings:

1. Robert I. Rotberg, ed., Battling Terrorism in the Horn of Africa, Brookings Institution Press, 2005.

2. Mark Bowden, Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006.

3. Peter Bergen, The Osama bin Laden I know: An Oral History of al Qaeda’s Leader, Free Press.

4. Future Jihad, Terrorist Strategies Against America, Palgrave-Macmillan.

5. Peter L. Bergen, Holy War Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama Bin Laden. New York: Free Press, 2001.

6. Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.

7. Mishal, Shaul and Avraham Sela, The Palestinian Hamas. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

8. Bjƒ¸rno, Tore, ed., Terror from the Extreme Right. London: Frank Cass, 1995.
9. Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, Knopf, 2006.

10. Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA (W.W. Norton, 2003)

May 8 Final Examination, 6-7:50 PM

 


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