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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Contemporary Political Terrorism
Module Code LG245
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Loise Macharia
Semester 2: Loise Macharia
Autumn: Loise Macharia
Module TeachersJames Fitzgerald
Erika Biagini
Loise Macharia
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only
An essay from a list.

The events of 9/11 spectacularly highlighted the destructive capacity of international terrorism, whilst also demonstrating its profound capacity to affect the international system. Though the phenomenon of ‘Islamist Terrorism’—as it is commonly denoted—subsequently came to dominate modern conceptions of terrorism, it is important to recall the history of terrorism and take note of the changing landscape around contemporary political violence. As such, this course examines some of the key dimensions of international terrorism, both historical and contemporary, and provides students with a broad range of perspectives from which to engage with the subject. The conceptual framework for this course is structured around a central dichotomy between ‘old’ and ‘new’. In this sense, students will be challenged as to whether it is possible to distinguish between socalled ‘old’ and ‘new’ terrorism, and with the advent of more ‘critical’ approaches to the study of terrorism, whether one can discern between ‘old terrorism studies’ and an emergent ‘new terrorism studies’. Accordingly, this course is placed at the cutting-edge of recent developments within the associated literature.

Learning Outcomes

1. Acknowledge the difficulties surrounding the definition of terrorism
2. Comprehend the historical antecedents of, types, and purported causes of modern terrorism
3. Debate current 'hot topics' within the relevant literature, particularly the alleged divisions between old versus new terrorism and 'traditional' versus 'critical' Terrorism Studies
4. Compare and contrast states counterterrorism strategies
5. Analyse the range of academic research that has been conducted in this area and the problems with same
6. Critically engage with descriptions and analyses of terrorism/sub-state political violence appearing in the mass media

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Weekly Lecture
Online activity38Weekly Online Forum Posts
Group work85Total written work of c.8,000-10,000 words
Group work20Group Presentation
Independent Study83Revision and Required Readings
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Group project Collaborative, Wikipedia-style group project65%Sem 2 End
Group presentationPresentation from each group10%n/a
Completion of online activityWeekly online discussion forums25%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Hoffman, Bruce: 0, Inside Terrorism, Columbia University Press, New York,
  • Nacos, Brigette: 2017, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, 6th, Routledge, London,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IRBA in International Relations

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