• Class Number 3960
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Elisabeth Yarbakhsh
    • Elisabeth Yarbakhsh
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

Drivers of Violent Extremism: The Local and the Global in the Middle East (MEAS4111)

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.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. define violent extremism and identify its historical roots;
  2. investigate modern and contemporary manifestations of terrorism and consider how political violence impacts populations in the Middle East and beyond;
  3. gain an in-depth understanding of the political and religious ideologies that have underpinned violent extremism in the region;
  4. develop the capacity to research topics related to violent extremism and terrorism and to write about these topics with confidence; and
  5. critically analyse texts and course material and present arguments with confidence in a public setting.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Understanding Violence; Defining Extremism
2 Historical Roots of Violence: A Legacy of Empire
3 Politics and Violence in the Struggle for Palestine
4 Religious Fundamentalism and International Politics: The Iranian Revolution
5 September 11 and “The War on Terror”
6 Global Repercussions of the Iraq Invasion
7 The Rise and Fall of Isis
8 Gender and Political Violence
9 Non-State Actors and Militia
10 State Violence after the Arab Uprisings
11 Representing Violence: Terrorism in the Media and Popular Culture
12 The New Fundamentalisms: Violence and Terror Today

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
In-class presentation 15 % * 2, 5
Essay - 2000 word 35 % 20/04/2022 1, 2, 3, 4
Essay - 3000 word 50 % 26/05/2022 1, 2, 3, 4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 2, 5

In-class presentation

Students will each undertake a short online presentation which is designed to encourage active involvement in seminar discussions and as practice in collating and synthesising sets of arguments from the readings. The presentation will test students on at least one of the four ‘Specific Learning Outcomes’ and all of the ‘General Skills’. The presenting student will be expected to:

·      Provide an overview of a nominated topic.

·      Base the presentation around the readings for the week and/or developments in the world arena that are related to the topic selected.

·      Pose questions, generate and lead class discussion around the chosen topic.

Students are not required to provide supporting material (eg. slides), but are permitted to do so, within the constraints of the online platform. Creativity in presentations is encouraged and welcomed!

Presentation topics/weeks will be assigned during the first seminar.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 20/04/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Essay - 2000 word

The essay for this course tests students’ ability to research a topic and to present a quality, cogent argument in response to a chosen question. Students are expected to choose one question from a list of options to be posted on Wattle. Questions for assessment task two are based on the material covered in the Part I of the course. Essays are marked against criteria that include answering the question, presenting an argument, demonstrating depth of research, and technical quality, as per the rubric below. Advice on essays will be provided in seminars. 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 26/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Essay - 3000 word

Students are expected to develop their own question in consultation with the convener. Questions are to be based on the material covered in the Part II of the course. Essays are marked against criteria that include developing and answering the question, presenting an argument, demonstrating depth of research, and technical quality, as per the rubric below. Advice on essays will be provided in seminars. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Elisabeth Yarbakhsh

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Elisabeth Yarbakhsh

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Elisabeth Yarbakhsh
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Elisabeth Yarbakhsh

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