subject
Intro

Coursera: Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice

 with  Edwin Bakker
Class Central Course Rank
#1 in Subjects > Social Sciences > Political Science

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. The course ends with a module specifically designed to address one of today's most topical issue: the foreign fighter phenomenon.

Syllabus

Welcome & the essence of terrorism
In this module, you can find all the information you need in order to be able to successfully complete the course. After you have familiarised yourself with the course, we move to the content of week 1. You will learn about the definition of terrorism. What exactly is terrorism? Who and where are its victims? After completing this module, you will understand why it is so difficult to arrive at a generally accepted definition of this term.

Researching Terrorism and Counterterrorism
In this module, you will learn more about terrorism and counterterrorism studies. It is a relatively new field of study that owes much to research in related disciplines. You will get an overview of where the key centres and scholars are located. Also, you will understand the three main approaches that are used in this academic field and recognize their strengths and weaknesses.

5 Assumptions on Terrorism
The subject of terrorism often falls prey to unfounded assumptions. Media, politicians, but also scholars frequently make far-reaching claims about this topic, such as the notion that terrorism is caused by poverty. In this module, we will critically investigate some of these assumptions to see if they are indeed true, partly true, false or perhaps even a myth (a widely held belief that is nevertheless still false).

5 Assumptions on Counterterrorism
In this module, we will continue the work of module 3 and look into five assumptions on counterterrorism. It is highly relevant to keep investigating assumptions that underlie CT-policy, both from an effectiveness perspective (is it really countering terrorism?) but also because these policies often have a large impact on societies and might also have unintended consequences.

Dealing with Terrorism and the Future
After having tested these assumptions, we will make up the balance sheet. What are some of the remaining “un- and underresearched” topics in (counter)terrorism studies? We will also explore the concepts of fear management and resilience. Finally, we will look into the future of terrorism: what can we expect in the years to come?

Making Headlines Today - Foreign Fighters
The final module of this course will look into a highly topical and politically sensitive issue of today: foreign fighters. Since the beginning of the civil war, high numbers of foreign fighters have joined the struggle, including many from Western countries. In this module, we will see who these people are and why they are going. Also, we will discuss to what extent these fighters pose a threat and which policy options are available to address this phenomenon.

20 Student
reviews
Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Pace Upcoming
Institution Leiden University
Provider Coursera
Language English
Certificates Paid Certificate Available
Hours 4-6 hours a week
Calendar 6 weeks long
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What are MOOCs?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
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MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

20 reviews for Coursera's Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
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Mamartin completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Very clear introduction to the state of the subject. As with all peer-reviewed writing tasks, the ones here were fairly crude; any reasonable effort gained a tops score but within these constraints they were worthwhile.
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
a year ago
Nichlaus Panou completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
Well structured course, very good professor.

The course opens the way for futher study on the matter.

Recommended for anyone who wants to have a relatively clear aspect of the issue.
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
Mohammad Sajjad Haider dropped this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
The course gets a bit boring for my liking as it gets too theoretical. Could have been reduced to lesser number of lectures.
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2 years ago
Rooswilhelm completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
Well-structured, very interesting course. Likeable prof, interesting guest speakers, good and insightful discussions with the online moderators. Investing some extra time (on the essays, the additional videos, articles and the movies recommended by prof Bakker) will not only give you a basic understanding of the concept of terrorism but will also change your perspective. Recommended.
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3 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
Excellent professor, good structure with weekly quizzes, two essays and a final exam. Very interesting subject approached nicely. There will be a new session soon, I recommend it to everyone.
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a year ago
Antonio Valdetaro completed this course.
Professor Bakker did it right, and stimulate all people around the world to get attention to this problem, and to collaborate to improove knowled to all of us.
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3 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
Very good course. Well-structured, open approach, good community. The professor actually responds to input from the students every week.
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a year ago
Dawn D Shaw completed this course.
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a year ago
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2 years ago
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11 months ago
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a year ago
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9 months ago
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3 months ago
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