Since the end of World War II, there has not been a single day in which there was not an armed conflict of some sort going on somewhere in the world. Of course, political violence has never been rare. What is different about the last half century is that the most common form of armed conflict since 1945 has not been interstate war between two sovereign nations, but terrorism and political violence within nations. The purpose of this course is to give students some understanding of the forms, causes, and consequences of terrorism and civil violence. We will begin with a brief overview of the patterns of civil conflict over the last 50 years. We will then survey the major theoretical schools that have emerged to explain the emergence of terroristic violence, using these approaches to empirically study terrorism through a scientific lens. Ultimately, we will learn counterterrorism strategy from policymakers and professionals at the Osgood Center of International Studies in Washington, D.C.
This course satisfies: SO.