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Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice

Delve into the research behind terrorism as you unpack the assumptions and impacts of both terrorism and counterterrorism.

493 enrolled on this course

Terrorism definition in a dictionary

Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice

493 enrolled on this course

  • 6 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Explore terrorism and counterterrorism studies

Terrorism has arguably been one of the defining factors of our age. It frequently makes headlines, threatening or attacking governments, private businesses, and ordinary citizens. In many parts of the world, it has been one of the most important threats to peace, security, and stability – but what does this mean exactly?

On this six-week course from Leiden University, you’ll explore the essence of terrorism and discover why it is so difficult to define.

Unpacking its history and the theory of the waves of terrorism, you’ll analyse both the theoretical approaches and practical applications of terrorism and counterterrorism in the real world.

Analyse terrorism and counterterrorism myths in line with academic research

There are many assumptions that cloud the subjects of terrorism and counterterrorism. These myths are often created and intensified by individual bias, the government, and the media.

On this course, you’ll discover different assumptions about terrorist identities and motivations, as well as the efficiencies of various counterterrorism efforts. You’ll then compare this with academic research to investigate the truth behind these assumptions.

Explore the impact of terrorism on society and assess counterterrorism policy

In your exploration of the impact of terrorism, you’ll delve into the culture of fear created by terrorism, as well as the success of counterterrorism policies to limit and manage its impact on society.

In the final stage of this course, you’ll reflect on trends and developments in terrorism and counterterrorism.

You’ll assess current academic research as well as what could be studied in the future to help identify under-researched topics in terrorism studies.

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Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Definition of terrorism

    • Welcome!

      Get to know your instructors and Leiden University. We will give you some tips on how to get the most out of this course.

    • What is terrorism?

      What exactly is terrorism? Who and where are its victims? After completing this activity, you will understand why it is so difficult to arrive at a generally accepted definition of this term.

    • Weekly quiz

      Test your knowledge of the activity on the definition of terrorism by taking the weekly quiz.

  • Week 2

    Researching terrorism and counterterrorism

    • Start of Week 2

      What are we going to do this week? Read the learning objectives and this week's reading material.

    • How did we get here?

      How did we reach the current state of research? What are the main disciplines and approaches in terrorism studies? What is the current state of affairs?

    • Weekly quiz

      Test your knowledge of the activity on researching terrorism and counterterrorism by taking the weekly quiz.

  • Week 3

    Assumptions on terrorism

    • Start of Week 3

      What are we going to do this week? Read the learning objectives and this week's reading material.

    • Truth or Myth? Assumptions on terrorism

      The subject of terrorism often falls prey to unfounded assumptions. Media, politicians, even scholars, frequently make far-reaching claims about the topic. We will critically assess their validity.

    • Weekly quiz

      Test your knowledge of the activity on the assumptions on terrorism by taking the weekly quiz.

  • Week 4

    Assumptions on counterterrorism

    • Start of Week 4

      What are we going to do this week? Read the learning objectives and this week's reading material.

    • Truth or myth? Assumptions on counterterrorism

      We will look into five assumptions on counterterrorism, which underlie CT-policy, both from an effectiveness perspective, but also because these policies have a large impact on societies.

    • Weekly quiz

      Test your knowledge of the activity on the assumptions on counterterrorism by taking the weekly quiz.

  • Week 5

    Dealing with the impact of terrorism

    • Start of Week 5

      What are we going to do this week? Read the learning objectives and this week's reading material.

    • How do we deal with the impact of terrorism?

      In this activity, we will explore the concepts of fear management and resilience. We will look into the impact of terrorism in the society and ways we can deal with it, both in theory and in practice.

    • Weekly quiz

      Test your knowledge of the activity on the impact of terrorism by taking the weekly quiz.

  • Week 6

    Trends and developments in (counter)terrorism

    • Start of Week 6

      What are we going to do this week? Read the learning objectives and this week's reading material.

    • What can we expect in the future?

      This activity will discuss the trends and developments in terrorism and counterterrorism studies. What are some of the remaining “un- and under-researched” topics? Finally, we will look into the future of terrorisme!

    • Final exam

      This is the final exam for this online course.

    • Closing remarks

      This is the end of the course. You will find some extra material in this section.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the essence of terrorism
  • Assess assumptions about terrorism & counterterrorism
  • Explore the concepts of resilience and impact management
  • Assess the different policies to deal with foreign fighters
  • Explain the possible futures of terrorism studies

Who is the course for?

This course is suitable for anyone interested in the study of terrorism and counterterrorism.

The course will also be specifically beneficial for professionals in journalism, policy, counterterrorism services, or related fields.

Who will you learn with?

As professor in Terrorism Studies at Leiden University I hope to inspire students and professionals to have a critical and analytical look at terrorism and how we deal with it.

Researching terrorism and counterterrorism at Leiden University.

Who developed the course?

Leiden University

Leiden University is one of Europe’s foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge and prepares them for careers both within and outside of academia.

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Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$27.99 /month

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$69/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access

Free

Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 15 Jan 2023

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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