• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject National Security Policy
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • David Schaefer
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Spring Session 2024
    See Future Offerings

On-campus & remote (online) learning available. Students participate in interactive, real-time classes. 2024 class dates: 28 Oct, 4 & 11 Nov.

This course explores the nature and causes of terrorism as well as individual (state) and collective (international) responses. It does so through an explicitly multi-disciplinary approach that incorporates historical ("new" and "old" terrorism); conceptual (state-sponsored vs. non-state; global vs. regional; biological, environmental, cultural, political); and geographical (Middle East and Africa, Eurasia, South America) frameworks.


We begin by examining the historical evolution of terrorism, its causes/rationales, and the major theoretical and conceptual approaches to help understand it. We then explore the development of historical and contemporary terrorist groups, including the recent 'fourth wave' of terrorism (e.g. al-Qaeda and ISIS) as well as the rise to prominence of far-right wing terrorism. The final part of the course focuses explicitly on counter-terrorism responses and counter-terrorism policies in the context of national security policy formulation. In particular we will examine the implications of terrorism for the national security postures of Australia, of key states in Australia's neighborhood, and of the United States as Australia’s ally. Counter-terrorism practitioners will support this course with insights from the practical challenges of sustaining effective security policy against this evolving risk.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand concepts related to terrorism and counter-terrorism, with the ability to critically analyse them in a national security context
  2. Evaluate contemporary local, regional, and global challenges relating to terrorism
  3. Critically analyse the responsiveness of security agencies to the security challenges posed by terrorism
  4. Conduct independent research that demonstrates scholarly and practitioner-focused engagement with the subject matter, developing ideas and analysis for both audiences

Indicative Assessment

  1. “Red Team/ Blue team” exercise and review paper (1,500 words) (30) [LO 1,2,4]
  2. Research paper (2,000 words) (70) [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.


2 days (seminars) plus one extra day (seminars, consultations and public information campaigns)

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are unable to enrol in this course if you have previously enrolled in NSPO8025

Prescribed Texts

A list of readings will be provided in lieu of a prescribed text

Preliminary Reading

Danielle Chubb (2020) Perceptions of terrorism in Australia: 1978–2019, Australian Journal of International Affairs, DOI: 10.1080/10357718.2020.1744515


Louise E. Porter and Mark R. Kebbell, "Radicalization in Australia: Examining Australia's convicted terrorists." Psychiatry, Psychology and Law 18.2 (2011): 212-231.


Christopher Michaelsen “Australia and the Threat of Terrorism in the Decade after 9/11”, Asian Journal of Political Science, 18:3 (2010), pp. 248-268


Sofia Pinero Kluch and Alan Vaux, “Culture and Terrorism: The Role of Cultural Factors in Worldwide Terrorism (1970–2013)”, Terrorism and Political Violence, 29:2 (2017): 323-341.


Martha Crenshaw, Explaining Terrorism, (London: Routledge 2011).

Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, (NY: Columbia University Press, 2006)

Audrey Cronin. How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns. (Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2009).


Donald Holbrook, “Al-Qaeda and the Rise of ISIS”, Survival, 57(2) (2015), pp. 93-104


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
3 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

3.00 0.06250
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $2220
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $3180
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.

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9521 28 Oct 2024 27 Oct 2024 08 Nov 2024 02 Dec 2024 In Person N/A
9522 28 Oct 2024 27 Oct 2024 08 Nov 2024 02 Dec 2024 Online N/A

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