Sep 24th 2015

GUIX-501-01x: Terrorism and Counterterrorism (edX)

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What is the danger of terrorism, and how can the world respond effectively?

Terrorism has gone from a persistent yet marginal security concern to one of the most important security problems of our day: indeed, there are few countries that do not suffer from some form of terrorism. Though many terrorist attempts fail, some groups wage lengthy and bloody campaigns and, in exceptional cases, kill hundreds or even thousands in pursuit of their ends.

Course topics include the nuances involved in defining terrorism, the nature of Al Qaeda, Hamas, and other important groups, the effectiveness of different counterterrorism tools like detention and military force, linkages (or the lack thereof) between terrorism and world religions like Islam, terrorist recruiting, counterterrorism and the rule of law, the political context in South Asia and the Middle East, and emerging issues like cyber-terrorism.

What you'll learn:

- Recall the working definitions of terrorism and recognize their analytic limits

- Identify a range of causes of terrorism and, as importantly, understand what commonly cited issues are not usually causes

- Understand the strategies and tactics of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, Hamas, and the Islamic State

- Identify important terrorist groups in the Middle East and South Asia with an understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and overall effectiveness. These include Palestinian groups, Pakistani groups, and Al-Qaeda

- Understand the relationship between religion and terrorism