The fluidity of the current crisis necessitates an elastic and flexible approach to the course. It may be necessary to modify the class schedule, readings and assignments as events unfold. Students should make a habit of watching the news for current events related to the course and should feel free to bring then to the attention of the class.
The course is designed as a survey of pertinent issues. Any investigation of terrorism is necessarily inter-disciplinary, and complete coverage must entail a broad examination of the socio-economic, political and cultural structures of global society. I have attempted to strike a balance between this broad approach and one that is more narrow and specific. Some of you may find the course constrained and cramped; others broad and amorphous. As this is a senior level course, I am stressing individual initiative, research and expression in response to the material, and I am also hopeful that many class sessions can include lively discussions on the material and events as they unfold. Therefore the success of this course will ultimately depend upon our collective energy and enthusiasm.
I will aspire to be neutral and objective in the presentation of material, presenting various viewpoints on most topics. However, I am also committed to provoking thought and reflection and therefore, responses to questions or comments in class should not be assumed to reflect my personal views. Likewise, in your own written work, you will be evaluated on the quality and logic of your arguments regardless of your personal or political perspectives.
I understand that this topic is fraught with issues and concerns that may offend cultural and religious sensitivities. The very choice and organization of topics reflects my biases and point of view. I would ask that you exercise a welcoming and sensitive approach to the many perspectives presented and those expressed by your fellow students. Please approach me with your concerns, and we will work together to create an atmosphere of safety and respect in our classroom.
I am committed to creating a "learning community” and your assistance as students is encouraged in asking to address particular topics, recommending guest speakers or films and in organizing class projects. The podium is always open to all serious points of view that advance the class by providing insight into relevant issues.
The syllabus specifies the relevant readings for each class session. They are purposefully designed to not be long or cumbersome so please make every effort to come to class prepared that we can have meaningful discussions. The syllabus also provides additional web-based resources that you are encouraged to read both for a more complete grasp of the material and as resources for your papers.
(W) Jonathan R. White,
Terrorism: An Introduction (Wadsworth; 2002) A solid text which should be utilized
as a basic reference tool.
(H) Hoffman, Bruce. 1998.
Terrorism. Columbia University Press.
(R) CRJ 423 Reader, available at the bookstore.
As stated before, the rapid unfolding of events will necessitate supplementing these texts with articles and reports on the internet. Many of the pertinent internet sites post material on a daily basis and there undoubtedly are significant articles and documents that have not been included on the syllabus. You may want to access this reading for your papers and may feel free to call pertinent essays and sites to my attention. Relevant material also may be distributed in class.
GRADING AND ASSIGNMENTS
(additional specification in full syllabus)
Students will be required to write four papers. The first will be a paper addressing the ramifications of the events of September 11, 2001, and the remaining three will address topics presented in each section of the course. These assignments are laid out in greater detail later on the last page of the syllabus.
In order to assist students in gaining the skills of forming a coherent argument and supporting it with specific and justifiable claims, all written assignments will ask students to take and defend a specific position. The final product should reflect integration of course materials and discussions, as well as critical thinking skills. Students will be graded on the manner in which that position is expressed and supported rather than on the position itself. All papers should source material that is not original to the student and should include a reference list. (38 points total)
As this is a senior level course, I expect papers to be clear, concise, logical and coherently organized. All assignments should be typed in 12 point font, double-spaced, with 1 inch margins all around. Please take the time to proofread your papers. While spell check can catch some mistakes, it cannot tell if you are making sense. If you are struggling with the writing assignments, see me ahead of time to discuss the details of any paper.
Current Events: In an effort to encourage ongoing monitoring of current events related to the course, student will also be required to submit six newspaper or magazine articles related to the topics discussed in class along with a one-page summary of its implications. Due dates are listed later in the syllabus. (12 points total)
Guidelines for Assignments:
In order to assure equity and fairness, papers and examinations must be submitted on the due date announced in class. Failure to turn in an assignment on time will result in the loss of two points per day. Also due to the plethora of computer viruses, I cannot accept assignments via email. Please be prepared to hand in a hard copy during the class period when the assignment is due. There will be no incompletes in the class.
Extra-Credit: You may earn a maximum total of 10 points extra credit for a combination of the following activities (which may be repeated). All extra credit must be completed by April 22.
Presenting your current event summary to the class (1 point). Writing an additional essay on a topic mutually agreed upon (1 point per page)
There is an impressive amount of information about terrorism on the web. I have provided some basic resources below, some of whom have supplied materials in your reader. I encourage you to explore this information as you develop your papers as well as to add to the comprehensive experience of the course topics.
Center for Strategic Education,
Centre for the Study of Terrorism-University of St.
Federation of American Scientists,
International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism,
National Security Institute,
Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute,
Public Broadcasting System,
Rand Corporation, www.rand.org
South Asia Terrorism Portal,
Terrorism Research Center,
United States Institute of Peace,
University of Michigan Documents Center: American's War On Terrorism,
United States Department of State International Information Program,
. United Nations,
JANUARY 14: COURSE INTRODUCTION
JANUARY 16: PERSONAL LEGACY OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
JANUARY 21: POLITICAL LEGACY OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
House. (2001). “Federal Response: Examples of Government
Action Since September 11.” www.whitehouse.gov
Richard. (2002). “Anti-American Violence: An Agenda for
Honest Thinking.” Washington, DC: RAND. www.rand.org
SECTION ONE: TERRORISM AS FORM
WHAT IS TERRORISM ANYWAY?
What qualifies as terrorism and who gets to decide? This class will examine the various definitions of terrorism and the implications choosing a definition has on efforts to classify and react to world events.
JANUARY 28 & 30:
What is the profile of a typical suicide bomber? What are the tactical advantages and disadvantages of this approach? Does the phrase "suicide bomber" reflect a bias? Are there conditions that encourage "suicide bombers?" Can this conduct be deterred or discouraged? Did the suicide bombers of 9/11 fit the profile? We will consider these questions using the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the suicide bombers of 9/11/01 as case studies.
- Schweitzer, Yoram. (2001).
“Suicide Bombings: The Ultimate
Weapon?” International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism. www.ict.org.il
- Sarraj, Eyad. (1997).
“Why We have All Become Suicide Bombers.” Mid-East
Bureau of Investigation. (2001). “List of 19 Hijackers of U.S. Planes on 11
International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism. www.ict.org.il
- Paz, Reuven. (2001).
“Programmed Terrorists.” International Policy Institute for
FEBRUARY 4 & 6: RELIGIOUS TERRORISM AND AL QAEDA
Paper Due February 6: 9/11/01 Reflection Paper (3-5 pages; 8 points).
Using al Qaeda as a case study, we will try to discover how a multi-national, religious terrorist organization comes into being. How common is religious terrorism and what is its role in contemporary terrorism? How does religious terrorism differ from terrorism motivated by other means? What are the implications of religious terrorism for the United States?
FEBRUARY 11: DOMESTIC TERRORISM AND AL QAEDA
How has domestic terrorism historically been characterized and is this appropriate for a contemporary context? What are the implications for the existence of al Qaeda cells, made up of United States citizens, throughout the United States? Are we looking at a new form of domestic terrorism? Using recent intelligence data and arrests of US citizens as a case study, we will examine the changing nature of domestic terrorism and explore the implications of such a change for law enforcement and criminal justice systems.
Philip. (2002). “U.S. Says Suspects Awaited an Order for
Terror Strike.” New York: New York Times. www.nytimes.com
Danny. (2002). “Man Accused of Being Leader of Detroit
Terror Cell is Arrested.”
New York: New York Times. www.nytimes.com
Timothy. (2002). “A Mixed Picture of Oregon Suspects.” New York: New York
- Roche, Timothy et al.
(2002). “John Walker Lindh.” www.time.com
FEBRUARY 13 & 18: DOMESTIC TERRORISM AND TIMOTHY MCVEIGH
In 1995, Timothy McVeigh was arrested (and later convicted and executed) for the bombing of the Myrrh Federal Building in Oklahoma City. When the dust had settled, 168 people, including 19 children, lost their lives in this attack. Was this bombing an incident of domestic terrorist or simply a mass homicide? Did McVeigh act alone? How was he connected to new movements of domestic terrorism? We will explore McVeigh’s personal history as well as private and public motivations for the attack as a way of examining the characteristics and consequences of “lone wolves” and the potential for larger domestic terrorism.
FEBRUARY 20: NATIONALISM, ETHNIC & STATE TERRORISM
What is the character of terrorism motivated by ethnic or nationalistic considerations? In what ways does this form of terrorism differ from other forms? Can a state sponsor terrorism? Under what conditions? What is the appropriate response to such terrorism? Using examples from several locales including the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, the IRA in Northern Ireland, and the reign of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, we will explore terrorism motivated by nationalistic and/or ethnic concerns and discuss the role of nation states in conducting and supporting terrorism.
FEBRUARY 25: REVIEW FOR TEST (NO CLASS)
FEBRUARY 27: MID-TERM EXAM
SECTION TWO: PREVENTING AND PREPARING FOR TERRORISM
MARCH 4: PROFILING/PSYCHOLOGY OF TERRORISM
What role does psychology and psychological profiling play in terrorism? Are they useful analytical approaches for prevention or do they only assist us after the fact? Are terrorists distinct from common criminals or from political activists? Can we generalize about the psychological profile of terrorists? Are terrorists rational political actors? What is the source of data on terrorists? How does the analysis of terrorists influence the approach of courts, prisons and the police? We will examine the individual psychological profiles of several key terrorists and attempt to create a general profile.
Rex. (1999). “The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why?”
Washington, DC: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. www.fas.org
MARCH 6 & 11: INTELLIGENCE: DO WE KNOW WHAT WE SHOULD?
What is the role of intelligence in a post-September 11 world? In what ways, if any, did the current system of intelligence fail to protect us from terrorists? What should we have known that we did not know? What changes have the FBI and CIA made since 9/11 and will these prove useful or effective? Using information from the recent Congressional hearings on intelligence as well as portions of the film, Battle of Algiers, we will explore issues related to the changing nature of intelligence.
MARCH 13: WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
Paper Due: Defining Terrorism (10 points)
Are WMD more a real threat to the United States or its allies? What are the types of WMD and what are the advantages and disadvantages of such weapons? The film will provide an introduction into topics related to the accessibility of WMD. We will follow-up on these themes after Spring Break as we begin discussions specific to Iraq’s capacity for such weapons and how this should or should not influence United State’s response to Saddam Hussein’s regime.
White – chapter 15
Lois and Blanchard, Janice.
(2002). “Are Local Health
Responders Ready for Biological and Chemical Terrorism?” Washington, DC: RAND. www.rand.org
MARCH 18 & 20: SPRING BREAK
MARCH 25 & 27: IRAQ: IS PREVENTATIVE WAR JUSTIFIED?
Is a preemptive strike on Iraq justified? Under what criteria? What is the evidence against Iraq and how did the Bush Administration (and selected allies) go about making a case for attacking Iraq militarily? Are there connections between Iraq and existing terrorist organizations? Is regime change a justifiable goal for the United States? What happens to Iraq after such an attack? What role should/will the US play in rebuilding the country and establishing peace?
George. (2002). “Remarks by the President on Iraq at the
Cincinnati Union Terminal.” Washington, DC: White House. www.whitehouse.gov
George. (2002). “President’s Remarks at the United
Nations.” Washington, DC: White House.
Ely. (2002). “The Iraqi Regime’s Links to Terrorism.” International Policy
Institute for Counter-Terrorism. www.ict.org.il
Stephen. (2002). “The Case Against War.” The Nation. www.thenation.com
also Justice & War by Andrew Sabl, UCLA
APRIL 1: TERRORISM AND CIVIL LIBERTIES: SAFE AT WHAT PRICE?
Since September 11, 2001, there have been many changes to the policies and procedures that protect the civil liberties of American citizens. What is the content and effect of some of these changes? Should Americans be concerned about new policies? What does the Patriot Act do exactly and how might it be used in the future? Are there policies that could affect students at universities such as UIC? In what ways?
George. (2002). “Rethinking Foreign Students.” National Review Online.
Richard. (1995). “How Safe is Safe?” Time. Vol. 145, No. 18. www.time.com
John. (2002). “Pentagon Plans a Computer System that would Peek at Personal
Data of Americans.”
New York: New York Times.
also Herman & Julia Schwendinger, Weapons of Mass Repression
SECTION THREE: RESPONDING TO TERRORISM
APRIL 3 & 8: GROUND ZERO: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FIRST RESPONSE
Paper Due April 8: Preventing Terrorism Choice (10 points)
The attacks of September 11, 2001, left many law enforcement and fire department personnel dead or injured. In what ways were these front line forces prepared to deal with a terrorist attack? Were mistakes made that can now be rectified? How frequently do law enforcement personnel deal with terrorism? What has been and can be done to better prepare all front line response teams to deal with terrorist incidents?
York Times. (2002). “9/11 Exposed Deadly Flaws in Rescue Plan.” New York:
New York Times. www.nytimes.com
D.J. (2002). “Give Emergency Workers Better Tools, Training,
Organization.” Washington, DC: RAND. www.rand.org
of Justice. (2002). “Fact Sheet: Attorney General’s Guidelines
for Information Sharing.” Washington, DC: Office of the Attorney General. www.fas.org
APRIL 10 & 15: ROLE OF THE MEDIA: TELEVISED TERRORISM
The media plays a critical role in shaping public opinion concerning terrorist activities. How should journalists balance the right to know against the interests of national security? Is it possible for journalists to unknowingly become pawns of terrorists? Does media coverage increase terrorist activity? Using examples of the coverage of 9/11/01, the war in Iraq, and the sniper in the Washington area, we will examine the appropriate role of the media in preventing and covering terrorism.
Hoffman, Chapter 5
White, Chapter 16
Chris. (2002). “’I have to hide. I can’t watch my mother die.’”
Time Online. www.time.com
- Shrode, Sharon.
(2001). “SPJ Convention Delegates
Pass Three Resolutions on Coverage of America’s War on
Terrorism.” Society of Professional
APRIL 17: GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSE TO TERRORISM
What is the appropriate governmental response to an unfolding terrorist crisis? Who makes key response decisions and under what criteria? Using the recent theater disaster in the Soviet Union and the US response to the attacks of 9/11/01, we will examine how governments respond to terrorist activity and what concerns must be taken into consideration
- Wines, Michael.
(2002). “Illusion and Disillusion:
Chechen Crisis Comes Home for Putin.” New
York: New York Times. www.nytimes.com
(2002). “At Least 118 Captives
and 50 Chechens Die in Moscow Siege.” New York: New York Times. www.nytimes.com
- Myers, Steven Lee.
(2002). “Putin Vows Hunt for
Terror Cells Around the World.” New York: New York Times. www.nytimes.com
APRIL 22 & 24: MILITARY RESPONSE TO TERRORISM
Shortly after the 9/11/01 attacks, the United States began a bombing campaign in Afghanistan designed to overthrow the Taliban and destroy the support system for al Qaeda. However, this was not the first time the United States had responded to terrorism through military means. Using Afghanistan as well as key military responses during the Clinton administration, we will explore the justifications and risks of military intervention against terrorism. What are the legal norms and standards governing military deployment and the utilization of armed force?
White – pages 277-279
George. (2001). “Presidential Address to the Nation.” Washington, DC: White
Record. “Authorizing Use of United
States Armed Forces Against those Responsible for Recent Attacks Against the United
States: H.J. Res. 64.” Washington, DC:
Congressional Record. www.fas.org
Jack. (2002). “Warring Doubts.” The
Atlantic Unbound. www.theatlantic.com
APRIL 29: LEGAL RESPONSE TO TERRORISM
Paper Due: Responding to Terrorism Choice (10 points)
What is the role of the law in bringing terrorists to justice? Under what laws and what circumstances are terrorist tried in court and sentenced to United State prisons? Should the United States pursue the death penalty for convicted terrorists? What are the international implications of doing so? Using the recent terrorism trials in the United States as case, studies, we will examine the role of the law in preventing and prosecuting terrorism.
States District Court. (2002). “United States of America v. Richard Colvin
Massachusetts: U.S. District Court.
States District Court. (2002). “United States of America v. Zacarias
Moussaoui.” Alexandria, Virginia: U.S. District Court. www.fas.org
Rights Foundation. “America Responds to
Terrorism: Do We Need a Permanent International Court?” Washington, DC: Constitutional Rights
MAY 1: FINALS WEEK
All assignments must be submitted in class on the due date.
Assignment One: September 11, 2001 Reflection Paper
Respond to the question “Is the world a fundamentally different place after the events of 9/11/02?” Craft your views into a coherent argument using class lectures and outside resources as necessary. Remember to cite appropriately and include a reference list. Due February 6. (8 points/3-5 pages)
Assignment Two: Terrorism as Form Paper
Choose one of the definitions of terrorism we discussed in class. Justify the use of your chosen definition. Choose one terrorist organization and explain why they should or shouldn’t be labeled “terrorists” under your definition of terrorism. Use information from class lectures as well as outside sources and please cite all material. Due March 13. (10 points/5-6 pages)
Assignment Three: Preventing Terrorism Paper
Choose one of the following questions. Craft your views into a coherent argument using class lectures and outside resources. Remember to cite appropriately and include a bibliography. (1) Should the United States have been able to predict the events of 9/11/01 (consider the information about US intelligence as well as issues of profiling and the psychology of terrorism)? (2) Has there been erosion in American civil liberties since 9/11/01? Should American be concerned? (3) Is a preventative war in Iraq justified using the standards discussed in class? Include specific reasons and justifications for your position. Due April 8. (10 points/5-6 pages)
Assignment Four: Responding to Terrorism Paper
Choose one of the following questions. Craft your views into a coherent argument using class lectures and outside resources. Remember to cite appropriately and include a bibliography. (1) Are US front line forces (law enforcement and rescue personnel) adequately prepared to respond to another large terrorist event? Defend your position with specific information about what is being done or should be done. (2) What is the appropriate role of the media when covering a terrorist event? Should the US enact specific laws limiting the access media personnel have to specific events or information? Defend your position. Due April 29. (10 points/5-6 pages)
You must turn in two articles and summaries related to the section topic. (2 points each)