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Political Violence and Terrorism

Contact
Phone- 713-490-8151

Office: Second Floor of Moran Building

E-mail- mhoelscher@strakejesuit.org
Course Description
This course will introduce the basic elements of why groups and individuals
decide to use terrorist tactics as a means to change a political system. It will
examine the history of terrorism, focusing on its evolution, as well as how it
has been defined and differentiated. The course will also identify the beliefs
of terrorist groups and why they become inherently violent.
Grading
Tests: 60% Quizzes- 25%

Daily grades- 15%

All Projects will be counted as a test grade, unless otherwise specified.


Course Outline
Unit 1- An overview of terrorism and its history, The struggle with defining
terrorism and the Causes of Terrorism
1.
2.
3.
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Introduction to the History of Terrorism


The root causes of terrorists
Historical Persepectives
The struggle to define terrorism
Political Violence as the Fruit of Injustice
Film Clips: Munich/ Argo/

Unit 2- Identifying State and Non-State Terrorism, An introduction to


domestic vs. International terrorism
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2.
3.
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Terrorism from Above: The State


Terrorism as Foreign Policy: Violence Abroad
Terrorism as Domestic Policy: Terrorism at Home
Warring against the State and Communal Terrorism
The Rebel as a Terrorist
Case Study: Joseph Kony and the Uganda Case/Hotel Rwanda

Unit 3- Religious Terrorism and Jihad


1.
2.
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Dissident Religious Terrorism in the Modern World


Introduction to Religious Jihad
State Sponsorship of Religious Terrorsism
Non-Islamic Religious Terrorists
Dealing with Islamic Radicalism at Home
Film: Four Lions

Unit 4- The Ideology of Terrorist groups and the Political Spectrum.


1.
2.
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Class Struggle and National Liberation


Political Ideologies: An Introduction
The Terrorist Right
Defining international Terrorism
The New Terrorists

Unit 5- The Terrorist Trade and the Media


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Regulating the Media


The impact of Suicide bombers
Tactics and Targets of New Terrorists
The Role of the Media
Methods of Terrorists

Unit 6- Terrorism in the United States (Right, Left Wing and International)
1.
2.
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4.

Right Wing Terrorism in the United States


Left Wing Terrorism in the United States
International Terrorism in the United States
Film Clips/ The Secret History of 9/11 and the Oklahoma City
Bombing
5. Film: The Newburgh Sting
Unit 7- Counter-Terrorism and the Future of Terrorism
1.
2.
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Applying the Rule of Law


Civil Liberties and Securing the Homeland
Homeland Security in the United States
Options other than War
The Response to Terrorism
The Future of Terrorism
Film: The Battle of Algiers
Text:
Gus Martins Understanding Terrorism (4th ed.)
2013