- Code MEAS4111
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies
- Areas of interest Arab and Islamic Studies, Security Studies, Middle East Studies, Central Asia Studies
This course provides postgraduate students with the tools to understand and analyse some of the key drivers of violent extremism in the world today. Focused on the Middle East, the course examines the historical legacies that have shaped state and non-state violence in the region and provides important context to the emergence of terrorism as a political tactic against the backdrop of globalisation. Running throughout the course are basic questions such as: why does violent extremism develop; how does it function; what impact does it have; and what can be done about it?
Specific topics to be covered include: defining violent extremism; the historical roots of violence and legacies of Empires; politics and violence in the struggle for Palestine; religious fundamentalism and international politics; September 11 and “The War on Terror”; global repercussions of the Iraq invasion; the rise and fall of Isis; gender and political violence; non-state actors and militia; the new fundamentalisms: violence and terror today.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- define violent extremism and identify its historical roots;
- investigate modern and contemporary manifestations of terrorism and consider how political violence impacts populations in the Middle East and beyond;
- gain an in-depth understanding of the political and religious ideologies that have underpinned violent extremism in the region;
- develop the capacity to research topics related to violent extremism and terrorism and to write about these topics with confidence; and
- critically analyse texts and course material and present arguments with confidence in a public setting.
- 3,000 word essay (35) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- 4,000 word essay (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Oral Presentation (15) [LO 5]
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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 24 hours of contact over 12 weeks at seminars; and,
b) 106 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
There are no prescribed texts for this course. All readings will be made available on Wattle.
Berger, J. M: Extremism The MIT Press (2018)
Chomsky, N. & Achcar, G. Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy, London: Hamish Hamilton, 2007.
Gerges, F.A. The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Hafez, Kai: Radicalism and political reform in the Islamic and western worlds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2010.
Jones, Martin et al (eds): Handbook of terrorism and counter terrorism post 9/11. Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019.
Rajan, V. G. Julie: Al Qaeda's global crisis: the Islamic state, takfir, and the genocide of Muslims. London: Routledge 2015.
Saikal, A. Islam and the West: Conflict or Coperation?, London, Palgrave MacMillan, 2003
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
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- Unit value:
- 6 units
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