Political Science | Political Violence and Terrorism
Y490 | 25768 | Rasler
This course analyzes the major theories of the origins and
characteristics of collective violence within polities – protest
actions, riots, rebellions, civil war, ethnic strife and terrorism.
The objectives of the course are threefold: 1) to introduce students
to the general literature on why political violence and terrorism
occurs; 2) to familiarize them with specific cases of violence and
terrorism; their similarities, their differences; and 3) to engage
students in a series of analytical writing exercises assessing the
strengths and weaknesses of our theories.
The reading list is a combination of theoretical and historical
cases. We will study political violence in the context of social
movements, e.g. U.S. Civil Rights Movement (1950-1970), the East
European revolts (1990-91), and the Iranian and Nicaraguan
Revolutions (1979). Afterwards, we will study cases of terrorism in
the context of civil wars, ethnic conflict and rebellions, e.g.
Hamas, Hezbollah, Tamil Tigers, and al-Qaeda. We will also read and
discuss the emergence of Islamic social movements and their
connections to political violence and terrorism.