Subject details

At the completion of this subject you will be able to:

  1. explore and articulate your knowledge of the narrative of the history of terrorism and political violence and the changing meanings of terrorism
  2. reflect critically upon different perspectives and interpretations of terrorism
  3. present your analysis of debates on the history of terrorism and political violence to peers.
  4. Source, organize, critically evaluate and interpret information from valid academic references to construct and support an argument.
    • What is Terrorism and Who is a Terrorist?
    • Terrorism in the Ancient World
    • Terrorism in the Medieval World
    • Terrorism in Early-Modern Europe
    • Terror in the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries
    • Anarchist the 19th Century
    • American Terrorism in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
    • State Terror in Russia, Germany and Italy
    • Ethno-Nationalist Terrorism from the 1930s to 1960s
    • The Rise of New Left and International Terrorism
    • Alternative and Cult Terrorism
    • The Rise of Jihadist Terrorism
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Lecture capture
    • Online materials

      • Resources and Links
      • Printable format materials
      • Online Assessment


Note: Level 2 subjects normally assume an introductory level of prior knowledge in this area, e.g. from studying related Level 1 subjects or other relevant experience.

Special requirements

No special requirements

For many, the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the
Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on 11 September 2011 are defining moments in history. These attacks were undeniably seminal events in contemporary history, and we find commentators and scholars talk in terms of "before" and "after" 9/11. Not surprisingly, terrorism is a topic that seemingly remains ever-present in our collective minds. As the authors of Terrorism: A Critical Introduction state: "In the twenty-first century, terrorism, it seems, is everywhere. It is in the headlines and stories of our newspapers, websites and nightly television news, and in the plotlines and characters of films, TV programmes and plays we watch, and the thriller novels and comics we read" (R. Jackson, 2011: p. 1).

It is, of course, important to place contemporary terrorism in historical context, to
understand how political violence has manifested itself throughout history, what impact it had on communities and how societies dealt with the threat. By looking at the history of terrorism, this subject will explore the broad & shifting contours of political violence from ancient times through to the rise of modern-day Jihadist terrorism. The subject will introduce students to moments of terrorism within a broad chronological and geographical framework. It will challenge students to consider the definition of terrorism and the notion of 'one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter', while exploring the key questions of how, why and with what consequences terrorism has been constructed.

  • Essay 1 (30%)
  • Essay 2 (40%)
  • Online Discussion (30%)

Textbooks are not required.

Textbook information is pending.