Administration of Justice/Political Science 439
The Politics of Terrorism
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.
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.
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.
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 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
16. February 12
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
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
29. March 20
Terrorism in the community: ETA
30. March 22
31. March 25
Terrorism in the community: IRA
READ: Smith, Terrorism in America
32. March 27
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
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