• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest International Relations, Policy Studies, Political Sciences, Security Studies, Politics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

This course examines the principal issues associated with modern international terrorism and efforts to counter it. The objective of the course is to provide the student with a broad understanding of international terrorism, and to enhance the ability to engage knowledgeably in discussion and debate on the subject. The course considers a wide range of questions in order to provide students with a deeper understanding of the threat of terrorism today. Among the questions it examines are:

How has terrorism evolved over time as a mode of political violence?
What are the defining features of modern terrorism, including ideological principles, political motivations and organisational structure?
What are the challenges associated with modern counter-terroism responses?

Specifically, the course will analyse both terrorism’s effectiveness as a means to achieve political change and the challenges faced by the liberal democratic state in responding to domestic and/or international terrorist campaigns.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Critically analyse the structure, evolution, and dynamics of international terrorist organisations
  2. Analyse the issues pertaining to radicalisation.
  3. Apply the various analytical frameworks of terrorism and counter-terrorism strategies
  4. Demonstrate sound research, writing, and oral presentation skills.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial Participation: 10% (LO: 1, 2, 3, 4)
Terrorist Group Profile: 10% (LO: 1, 3, 4)
Examination, 1 hour (in class): 40% (LO: 1, 2, 3)
Research Paper, 3000 words: 40% (LO: 1, 2, 3, 4)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000-level Political Science (POLS) courses, or 6 units of 1000-level Political Science (POLS) and 6 units of 1000-level Sociology (SOCY) or Criminology (CRIM) courses; or with the permission of the convener.

Prescribed Texts

Russell Howard and Bruce Hoffman. Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment (4th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2012.
Stuart Gottlieb. Debating Terrorism and Counterterrorism (2nd ed.). Washington DC: Sage Publishing, 2014.
Other readings as assigned available on Wattle.

Preliminary Reading

Gottlieb, Chapter 3: Can Terrorism Ever Be Justified? Pp. 69-100.
Howard and Hoffman: Chapter 1.2, Ahmad and Barsamian, “Terrorism: Theirs and Ours,” (pp. 34 – 41).
Transnational Terrorism, Security and International Law, (2008), “Introduction” and Chapter 2 “Defining Terrorism,” pp. 1 – 33. Available online at http://www.transnationalterrorism.eu/tekst/publications/WP3%20Del%204.pdf.
Alex Schmid. (2004). Terrorism – The Definitional Problem. Journal of International Law, 36: 2, p. 375-419. [Available online].
Jeff Goodwin. (2006). A Theory of Categorical Terrorism. Social Forces, 84: 4, pp. 2027-2046. [Available online]




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3216
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4590
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9641 24 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 31 Aug 2017 27 Oct 2017 In Person N/A

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