Terrorism: Shifting Paradigms

Subject 166-216 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Recommended: 12.5 points of Level 1 Sociology or Politics and International Studies or Criminology
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Assoc Prof Adrian Little


Assoc. Prof. Adrian Little
Subject Overview: This subject examines the various dimensions of ‘terrorism’ and its manifestations in various parts of the world. The various theoretical perspectives on terrorism are examined with particular reference to the historical, psychological, sociological, religious, political, economic, strategic as well as organisational approaches to the subject. In addition, case studies on terrorism are used to illustrate the various social processes involved in the rise, decline and transformation of different forms of terrorism around the world. The subject addresses the following questions: What are extremism, fundamentalism and terrorism? What conditions contribute to the emergence, sustenance and decline of terrorism? Why do some individuals or groups resort to violence to achieve political objectives? What is the relationship between democracy and terrorism? What is the relationship between terrorism and organised crime? What is the role of religion and politically motivated violence? What factors affect the terrorists’ choice of tactics? And finally, in what ways has the nature and understanding of ‘terrorism’ as a political and social phenomenon changed over time? Central to the discussion is the impact of globalisation and technological innovations on the ‘new terrorism’. The subject also focuses on the nature and effectiveness of the various counterterrorism measures in the global ‘war on terror’.
  • be able to identify and analyse social processes involved in the rise, transformation and decomposition of different terrorist movements;
  • be able to analyse the relationship between types of terrorism and wider patterns of social, cultural and political change, in particular contemporary globalization;
  • be able to use sociological frameworks to analyse social responses to terrorism;
  • demonstrate an ability to use sociological frameworks to critically explore primary source material developed by terrorist groups and their supporters;
  • be able to use sociological analysis to explore the relationship between objective and subjective dimensions of contemporary forms of terrorism.
Assessment: A Research Essay of 2,000 words, 50% (due mid-semester) and a 2-hour Exam, 50% (scheduled during the examination period).
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • demonstrate critical thinking and analytic skills, through research and written communication;
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically, both orally and in writing;
  • display awareness and understanding of the social, ethical and cultural contexts of research and of our place as researchers.

Formerly available as 166-216 and 672-388. Students who have completed 166-216 or 672-388 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Available as a Breadth subject

Related Course(s): Diploma in Arts (Criminology)
Diploma in Arts (International Studies)
Diploma in Arts (Political Science)
Diploma in Arts (Sociology)
Graduate Certificate in Criminology
U21 Certificate in Global Issues (Understanding Globalisation)
U21 Diploma in Global Issues
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Criminology
Criminology Major
International Studies Major
Political Science Major
Politics & International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Socio-legal Studies Major
Sociology Major

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