Elective: Terrorism in Modern History

Course description Elective: Terrorism in Modern History
Year: 2017-2018
Catalog number: 5183KEL18
  • To be announced.
Language: English
Blackboard: Yes
EC: 10
Level: 400
Period: Semester 2, Block III, IV
  • No Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • No Exchange
  • No Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • No Honours Class

Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.
The number of participants is limited to 25.


9/11 is broadly regarded as forming a watershed in the history of terrorism. Especially in policy circles it has been popular to view Al Qaeda and all subsequent terrorism as new and beyond boundaries. The aim of the course is to take a closer look at the terrorist predecessors and dissect the phenomenon from the emergence of the word terrorist during the French Revolution to the present day. We will be focusing, for example, on the nineteenth century anarchists. Were their modes of organization and operation so radically different from today? How did the nationalist terrorism of the era of decolonization view and justify violent attacks against colonial oppression? How did the revolutionary world view of the left-wing terrorists of the seventies inspire violence? The course will combine theoretical discussions about the nature and definition of terrorism with a diachronic treatment of the terrorist praxis. Furthermore, the responses from the state and the counter-measures that were developed will also receive elaborate attention. Terrorism generally thrives by the responses that are formulated to counter it, a holistic approach is therefore of paramount importance to understand terrorism in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first centuries.

Course objectives

The elective courses for International Studies are designed to teach students how to deal with state-of-the-art literature and research questions. They are chosen to enhance the students’ learning experience by building on the interdisciplinary perspectives they have developed so far, and to introduce them to the art of academic research. They are characterised by an international or comparative approach.

Academic skills that are trained include:
Oral presentation skills:
  1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
  2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
    a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
    b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
    c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
    d. aimed at a specific audience;
  3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.
Collaboration skills:
  1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
  2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
  3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.
Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
  1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
  2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
  3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
  4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
  5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.
Written presentation skills:
  1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
  2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
    a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
    b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
    c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
    d. aimed at a specific audience.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

Seminars are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. This course includes supervised research.

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 10 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 280 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks = 24 hours
  • Reading and class preparation: 120 hours
  • Preparation for the presentations: 36 hours
  • Completing the literature review element: 60 hours
  • Writing the final research essay: 40 hours

Assessment method

Assessment & Weighing

Partial grade Weighing
Presentation 20%
Literature Review 30%
Final research essay (5,000 words) 50%

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note that the end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Students who have been active participants in class and submitted the final paper on time, but scored an overall insufficient mark, are entitled to a resit. For the resit, students are given a chance to hand in a new version of the final paper.
In case of resubmission of the final essay (insufficient grade only) the final grade for the essay will be lowered as a consequence of the longer process of completion. The deadline for resubmission is 10 working days after receiving the grade for the final essay.

Retaking a passing grade

Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2017 – 2018.

Exam review

How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.


Blackboard will be used for tutorial groups. Students are requested to enroll on Blackboard for this course, but only after correct enrolment in uSis.

Reading list

The reading list and the course syllabus will be posted on Blackboard before the start of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis can be found here.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


To be announced.

When contacting the lecturer, please include your full name, student number and tutorial group number.


The deadline for submission of the final essay is 15 June 2018.