Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Responding to Terror
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 15 Hour (15 x 1 hour)
Seminars / Tutorials 10 Hours (5 x 2 hours)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  50%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Discuss key concepts such as terrorism, radicalization, counter-terrorism and security in relation to the academic study of international relations.
2. Apply these concepts to historical and contemporary cases and empirical examples.
3. Identify the main actors involved in efforts at tackling terrorism and analyse their primary objectives.
4. Explore the strategies, tools and resources used by counter-terrorist actors and discuss the rationale behind each strategy.
5. Analyse the relationships between terrorists/terrorist suspects and their state counterparts.
6. Examine the significance of terrorism and the efforts to tackle its various forms.
7. Discuss the way in which different discourses of terrorism structure the responses of state actors.
8. Assess the different utility of theoretical approaches to terrorism and counter-terrorism in explaining specific cases.

Brief description

The module engages with state responses to the threat of terrorism and the main strategic options of tackling, or defeating, terrorist activities. Focusing on liberal democratic societies, the module explores why terrorism is perceived as a threat to society and it will discuss theoretical frameworks of terrorism and counter-terrorism. Students will learn to identify the main strategies to tackle terrorism and will explore the diverging reactions by security authorities, such as law enforcement, intelligence and the military. Using illustrative examples, the module examines why states decide to use 'softer' or 'harder' forms of fighting terrorism in a particular historical and political context. The ethical and legal implications of those forms are considered too. The module also critically examines why there appears to be an increased need for international cooperation and which role international organizations play (e.g., the EU and the UN). The final section of the module is devoted to the study of three in-depth case studies.


1. Introduction: Terrorism - Definitions, Concepts and Challenges
2. Democratic State Responses to Terrorism: Motivations, Strategies and Dilemmas
3. Radicalisation and counter' radicalisation strategies
4. Diplomacy: Engaging with Terrorists
5. Law Enforcement: Towards proactive counter-terrorism policing
6. Intelligence Responses to Terrorism
7. Fighting Terrorist Financing
8. Terrorism and Paramilitary Counter-Terrorism
9. The Military Counters Terrorism
10. International Counter-Terrorism Co-operation: the EU and the UN
11. Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights
12. Case Study I: Confronting the Red Army Faction (RAF) in Germany
13. Case Study II: Fighting Terrorism in Northern Ireland
14. Case Study III: The US-led 'War on Terror' Since 9/11
15. Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: Future Challenges for International Security


The proposed module explores and analyses state efforts to respond to terrorism and tackle radicalization, at the local, national, regional and international level. It therefore addresses a topic of great policy relevance. The module explores the various ways in which security authorities tackle the diverging strategies of terrorist actors and terrorist suspects. It engages with a variety of forms of security provision and explores the strengths and weaknesses of each counter-terrorist option. The module adds therefore to the Departmental provision in the areas of (counter-)terrorism, security and intelligence studies.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. This module will particularly test aural and oral communication skills as it involves assessed seminar performance. Students will also be required to submit their essays in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the convenor and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and presentation topics. The need to prepare for assessed seminar participation and to meet coursework deadlines will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and OCLC). Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on the Blackboard VLE.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. Moreover, the written work includes writing clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of two essays and preparation for seminar discussions will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research for all elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing media and web sources, as well as more conventional academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather appropriate and interesting resources materials.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: - Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module - Evaluate competing perspectives - Demonstrate subject specific research techniques - Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary political problems
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. Blackboard facilities such as the blog will also be used and students will be encouraged to contribute their comments to the entries.


This module is at CQFW Level 6