POLIS 2013 - Terrorism and Global Politics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2024

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 2
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1, 2, 4, 5

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    2, 3, 4, 5

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    2, 3, 5

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    3, 4, 5, 6

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    3, 4, 6

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    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

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • 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

    No information currently available.

    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    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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