Administration of Justice/Political Science 439

The Politics of Terrorism

 

Spring 1996

 

Philip Jenkins                                                 Class meets 12.20-1.10 in 322 Sackett

 

Please note: I check my e-mail regularly (obsessively?) and this is an excellent way to get in touch with me if you have a quick question or if you want to make an appointment for a more substantial discussion.

 

Introduction

Terrorism has been in the news for years, but many people still find it hard to understand the motivation of terrorists, or the political situations that drive them to their acts. Failing to understand the problems means that it is difficult for governments or law-enforcement agencies to respond or react effectively. This course will describe the phenomenon of terrorism in the modern world, with particular emphasis on the experience of Western Europe and the Middle East, and the role of sponsor states such as Iraq and Libya. However, we will also consider American terrorist groups like the Order, the FALN, and the Weather Underground, and the subculture that gave rise to the bomb attack in Oklahoma City. We will debate the effectiveness of various anti-terrorist strategies; and study the impact of recent events like the Iraqi conflict, the end of the Cold War, and the outbreak of new conflicts in eastern Europe and north Africa.

 

Required Texts

1. Yossef Bodansky, Terror!, S.P.I. books/ Shapolsky 1994. ISBN: 1-56171-301-5

2. Jonathan R. White, Terrorism: an Introduction, Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/ Cole. ISBN: 0-534-13920-5

3. Brent L. Smith, Terrorism in America SUNY Press, 1994. ISBN: 0-7194-1760-3

All the books are in paperback.

 

Grading

The grade for the course will be based on three examinations and a paper.

The exams will occur on February 9; March 22; and April 26. Each will be objective in format, with a mixture of multiple-choice and true-false questions. Each exam is worth 20% of the grade. There is no comprehensive exam.

          The remainder of the grade derives from a term paper, which will be due in final exam period. Please note that I absolutely have to approve your topic in advance, and February 5 is the deadline for notifying me: ie don’t turn up at the end of the course with an unannounced  paper on the IRA. I am flexible about topics, and will accept most reasonable ideas within the general scope of the course: more details to follow. I will of course help you with reading lists and bibliography, but you should check out the bibliographies in ALL the various textbooks before asking..

 

Deadlines

Deadlines matter, and I intend to enforce them strictly. If you miss a deadline without getting an extension in advance, you get a non-negotiable grade of F on that particular exam, paper or project. Do not try getting in touch with me after the fact to explain why you missed an exam, unless you produce a proper medical note. Excuses must always be supported by documentation. Valid reasons include medical problems and the like. I am aware that ROTC sometimes makes strange demands on its members, and these reasons would be valid: but note that ROTC also provides documentation for these absences, which must be produced if you want to claim this as a reason for an extension. "I have other exams that day" is not a valid reasons for an extension, so please don't ask (ask the other professors for the extension)

 

 

Syllabus of Classes

 

1. January 8

Themes of course.

READ: White, Terrorism: an Introduction

 

2.  January 10

Definitions of terrorism - myths and stereotypes.

 

3.  January 12

Aims and goals of terrorism.

 

4.  January 15

Provocation and deception in terrorism: Belgium

 

5.  January 17

Ideas of state sponsorship and state terrorism.

 

6.  January 19

Debates in American counter-terrorism policy.

 

7. January 22

History of the terrorist phenomenon.

 

8. January 24

1968 and all that: Creating the ideology of terrorism. 

 

9. January 26

The Algerian experience.

 

10-11.  January 29-31

Film of Battle of Algiers.

 

12. February 2

The Middle East: introduction of terms and issues.

 

13. February 5

Palestine and the Palestinians

I need to know the theme of your term papers today

 

14.  February 7

Palestinian terrorism 1968-present

 

15. February 9

EXAM ONE

 

16. February 12

Lebanon

READ: Bodansky, Terror!,

 

17. February 14

The American experience in Lebanon

 

18. February 16

Sword of Islam

 

19. February 19

Shi’ite terrorist networks

 

 

20. February 21

Middle Eastern terrorism in Europe

 

21. February 23

Arms dealing as a context for terrorism

 

22. February 26

Iraq and state sponsorship

 

23. February 28

Europe 1968-1990: trends, waves, strategies. Typology of groups.

 

24. March 1

Italy

 

25. March 11

Libya: state sponsorship or international manipulation?

 

26. March 13

Project on interpreting a terrorist incident

 

27. March 15

Predicting future trends in European terrorism. the Balkans, the new Algerian struggle, the FSU

 

28. March 18

Counter-terrorism

 

29. March 20

Terrorism in the community: ETA

 

30. March 22

EXAM TWO

 

31. March 25

Terrorism in the community: IRA

READ: Smith, Terrorism in America

 

32. March 27

Peru

 

33. March 29

Terrorism in the United States: “It Can’t Happen Here”

 

34. April 1

Klan, Bund and Christian Front

 

35. April 3

Neo-Nazi and ultra-Right terrorism in the United States: Reading William L. Pierce

today, I need to see a rough bibliography of your term papers.

 

36. April 5

Case-study: Oklahoma City

 

37. April 8

Leftist terrorism: Weatherman

 

38. April 10

FILM: Weatherman

 

39. April 12

Leftist terrorism: UFF

 

40. April 15

The anti-abortion movement

 

41. April 17

Other terrorist groups and traditions in the United States

 

42. April 19

Case-study: the World Trade Center bombing

 

43. April 22

Terrorist prisoners; Through the Wire

 

44. April 24

The prospects for future terrorism in the United States. Summary and conclusion

 

45. April 26

EXAM THREE