Course in Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice
This course gives an introduction into the field of terrorism & counterterrorism studies. It will help you to analyze and understand these complex phenomena and discuss its impact on society with a global audience. Students, policy makers, journalists or anyone with a strong interest in understanding issues like the history, origins and nature of terrorism, security, fear management, resilience, politics, violence, foreign fighters and radicalization will find the course most relevant.
About the Course
Terrorism has arguably been one of the defining factors of our age. It frequently makes headlines, threatening or attacking governments, private business and ordinary citizens. And in many parts of the world, it has been one of the most important threats to peace, security and stability. But what does this exactly mean? What is the nature of this threat? Who or what is threatened, how, by whom and why? What can be done about it or how can we at least limit the impact of terrorism and make sure that terrorists do not make headlines and manage to scare us?
These are just a handful of questions that will be addressed in this course that consists of three parts. First it focuses on the essence of terrorism as an instrument to achieve certain goals, in addition to an exploration of this phenomenon and the difficulties in defining it. The second part provides an overview of the state of the art in (counter) terrorism studies. Since ‘9/11’ terrorism studies have grown exponentially, reflecting the rise in perceived threats. But what has academia come up with? What theories, assumptions and conventional wisdom has it produced that could be of help in understanding terrorism and dealing with it? The most interesting results are examined and compared with empirical evidence with the aim to either stress their importance or to debunk them as myths. The final part looks into the implications and possibilities for policy making.
Testimonials of students who completed this course
I've been studying one particular aspect of the field for about fifteen years now, but lacked the sort of wider context that this course has provided. And I've made contacts here that I hope will develop into friendships.
Charles Cameron, 69, Blogger Religious Studies, UK
This has been a wonderfully enriching experience. I have learned a lot, and have especially appreciated the worldwide perspectives of the class found in the discussion forum. Being in this class has helped me open up the subject to discussion with colleagues and friends, which has led to interesting and insightful conversations. The class materials were effective and polished. The peer reviewed assignments were challenging and fun. This was my first MOOC, but certainly not my last!
Joella Givens, 50, GIS Manager at a state government Department of Transportation, USA
The theoretical aspect was similar to the one offered by well respected universities for introductory courses on terrorism. For just 5 weeks, I think this course covered a lot of ground. Furthermore, I really enjoyed the discussion forums. (...)In addition, I found excellent recommendations on books, articles, documentaries, all of great quality.
Arete Ketekidou, 32, Research/Analyst, Greece
I like very much the freedom we have to study, this is the best incentive, not only because we can express our ideas on forums freely and manage our own time, also because Professor Bakker has not been imposing his ideology on this topic. We receive different information to formulate our own position.
Valeria Hernández Reyes, 28, Environmental Engineer, Mexico
- Week 1: What is terrorism?
- Week 2: Researching terrorism and counterterrorism
- Week 3: Five assumptions on terrorism
- Week 4: Five assumptions on counterterrorism
- Week 5: Dealing with terrorism and the future
- Week 6: Making headlines today: Foreign fighters
This course asks for no specific background.
Students, policy makers, journalists or anyone with a strong interest in understanding issues like the history, origins and nature of terrorism, security, fear management, resilience, politics, violence, foreign fighters and radicalization will find the course most relevant.
The level of the course can best be seen as (advanced) undergraduate.
All materials will be open-access, freely available for everyone enrolled in the course.
This course consists of 6 weeks of video lectures, five weekly quizzes and a final exam. Additionally, there are video chats in which Professor Bakker responds to the Discussion Forum and presents results of the questionnaires that are part of the course. There will also be Google Hangouts - live video chats - and two peer reviewed assignments for those who want to do the advanced track.
- Verified Certificate
- Statement of Accomplishment
Course at a Glance
- 6 weeks of study
- 4-6 hours/week of work
- Nederlands & Español subtitles
This school offers programs in: