POLIS 2013 - Terrorism and Global Politics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

This course explores the influence of political violence ? broadly defined ? within contemporary international relations. The course traces the rise of existential threats to the state from non-state actors, it considers the spectrum of state and transnational initiatives and responses to ameliorate those threats, and reflects on how prevailing global political conflicts are refracted through the prism(s) of counter-terrorism. The course begins by examining the historical evolution of terrorism, its causes/rationales and the major theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of the phenomenon. It then provides a comprehensive exploration of the development of historical and contemporary terrorist groups, including the recent `fourth wave? of terrorism (e.g. al-Qaeda and ISIS). The final part of the course focuses explicitly on counter-terrorism responses and counter- terrorism policies in the context of international security policy formulation. This takes the form of case studies that tease out the implications of terrorism for the security policy postures of key states in Australia's strategic neighbourhood, of Australia's main security allies in the Anglosphere and in the United Nations. Theoretically and conceptually, the course explores explanations of the nature and causes of terrorism as well as the logics underpinning 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.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2013
    Course Terrorism and Global Politics
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Assessment Research essay 40%, Mid-term online test 10%, Final online test 15%, Group project 25%, Participation 10%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Tim Legrand

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Demonstrate understanding of concepts, theories and debates in International Security and terrorism
    2. Identify and explain key concepts within scholarly debates pertaining to the phenomenology of terrorism
    3. Participate in group discussions about contested concepts with confidence and with tolerance for other points of view
    4. Show familiarity with research methodologies applicable to the study of terrorism and be able to apply these to empirical cases in international relations.
    5. Navigate the large amounts of research material available in this subject through both traditional academic sources and through the use of information technology.
    6. Demonstrate career readiness and leadership skills appropriate for beginning professional practice, including lifelong learning skills characterised by academic rigour, self-direction and intellectual independence
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 4, 5
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 3, 4, 5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    2, 3, 5
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3, 4, 5, 6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    3, 4, 6
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    3, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Textbook and continual access to MyUni. The textbook will be announced in due course through the course website.
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended resources such as additional readings, essay writing guides and referencing guidelines will be uploaded throughout the semester onto the course website located on MyUni.
    Online Learning
    MyUni will be utilised to upload additional resources, including scholarly articles, news items and video clips. Lectures will be recorded and available on MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be delivered through a combination of lectures (together with integrated discussions within them) and small group discovery sessions. In addition, students will be encouraged to explore primary and secondary materials

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Workload Hours over the semester
    12 x 1hr lectures  12
    12 x 2hr Small Group Discovery 24
    3hrs tutorial preparation per week 36
    3hrs reading per week 36
    2hrs research per week 24
    2hrs assignment preparation per week 24
    TOTAL 156 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    1 Introduction: What is Terrorism?
    2 Theoretical Approaches to terrorism and international relations
    3 A brief history of terrorism in the international system
    4 Nationalism, emancipation and post-truth politics
    5 Culture, religion and the fight for sovereignty and self-determination
    6 Colonialism, radical Islamism and western imperialism
    7 Al Qaeda and political upheaval after 9/11
    8 Terrorisms by/of the State and international system
    9 Many terrorisms amongst multiple polities? the Rise of Islamic State
    10 What’s in a name? Proscription and terrorist organisations
    11 Debating and rethinking political violence
    12 Conclusion
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Tutorials will include small-group activities and semi-structured discussions designed to provide students with a fulfilling 'small group discovery experience'. Students will work in small groups outside the classroom in the development of research case studies.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Research essay (2,500 words)  Summative 40% 1, 2, 4, 5
    Mid-term online test Summative 10% 1, 2
    Final online test  Summative 15% 1, 2, 4, 5
    Group project Summative 25% 3, 4, 5, 6
    Participation Formative and summative 10% 3, 6

    Due to the current COVID-19 situation, modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching. Assessment details provided here reflect recent updates.
    1. Mid-term online test: no change.
    2. Final online test; no change.
    3. Research essay: no change.
    4. Group project: no change.
    5. Participation: modified - it will now reflect your participation in the group project AND your contribution to the weekly project group discussions, but no change to 10% weighting.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance at lectures is strongly recommended. The importance of tutorials means that absences from these will only be accepted with some documentary evidence as to why the student was not attending.
    Assessment Detail

    Research essay: Students will be required to write a 2,500 word essay. Students will be able to select an essay question from a list that will be posted on MyUni, or come up with their own question. Those who choose to write their own question must get approval from their tutor no less than two weeks prior to the due date. 40%

    Mid-term online test:
    Students will be required to take an online multiple-choice test which tests their knowledge and understanding of all the founding concepts presented in the first part of the course 10%

    Final online test:
    Students will be required to take an online multiple-choice test which tests their knowledge and understanding of all the core concepts and theories explored in the course 15%

    Group project:
    A briefing paper on a nominated 'terrorist' organisation engaged in political violence. The briefing paper will contain analysis of the organisation's history, aims and political prospects. 25%

    Student engagement in class activities 10%
    Essays must be submitted electronically, through Turnitin. The relevant link will be available on MyUni.

    The official procedure and form to apply for extensions is: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/3303

    Late essays without an extension will be penalised at the rate of 2% (2 marks) per day.

    There is a cut-off period of 7 days (including weekends and public holidays), after which late submissions without a formal extension will not be accepted/marked. In the case of late submissions with a formal extension approved, the cut-off date is 7 days (including weekends and public holidays) from the revised due date, at 11:59pm.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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