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Task Force on Political Violence and Terrorism

The objective of the APSA Task Force on Political Violence and Terrorism is to assess the contribution of political science to the understanding of how trends in civil violence affect domestic and international political order and to share findings with the public. From APSA President Margaret Levi:

With the goal of enriching public understanding of the political violence and terrorism that so threaten national security, the American Political Science Association has constituted a Task Force on Political Violence and Terrorism, chaired by Professor Martha Crenshaw, Stanford University. As with the earlier APSA Public Presence Task Forces, there are two primary and interdependent aims of this task force: first, to clarify what political scientists know on the subject; and, second, to covey this knowledge in a way that makes it accessible and useful to the media, policy-makers, an informed public (including our own members who are not specialists in the given area), and students. By making our expertise relevant to the debate, we hope to help raise the quality of public discourse. Read More!


A Statement on Sources

The task force received 81 syllabi in response to our request for support on this project. From these we constructed this guide to to political science resources on political violence and terrorism. The guide identifies readings on each of 5 major categories: 
  • Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
  • Civil War and State Failure
  • Peacekeeping Operations and Nation Building
  • International Security in a Changing World
  • Genocide, Politicide, and Human Rights
In addition, the guide provides a summary of select regional studies, identifies relevant datasets, and provides links to exemplary syllabi in each of the first four categories.
The articles and books in the guide are derived from many syllabi sent to the APSA Task Force by its members. Those chosen for inclusion in this general guide as the most salient political science contributions are those that met one of two criteria: (1) they have broad appeal; or (2) they make a unique contribution to our understanding of terrorism and political violence from a political science perspective. Exemplary syllabi were selected that exhibited the most depth and comprehensiveness. Our goal was to identify syllabi that would challenge the very best students in a semester length course, but could be edited down to fit instructors' specific needs.

Task Force Resources for Teaching Courses on Political Violence and Terrorism

The APSA Task Force on Political Violence and Terrorism compiled a bibliography of political science resources on the study of political violence and terrorism and a set of syllabi for model courses on political violence and terrorism for secondary school and college levels. 

A Bibliography of Political Science Resources on the Study of Political Violence

The APSA Task Force on Political Violence and Terrorism has compiled a bibliography of political science resources on the study of political violence and terrorism. This bibliography contains several sections:

I. Terrorism and Counter Terrorism
II. Civil War and State Failure
III. Peacekeeping Operations and Nation Building
IV. International Security in a Changing World
VII. Genocide, Politicide, and Human Rights
VI. Regional Studies
VII. Data Sets

Syllabi

The articles and books in the guide are derived from many syllabi sent to the APSA Task Force by its members. Those chosen for inclusion in this general guide as the most salient political science contributions are those that met one of two criteria: (1) they have broad appeal; or (2) they make a unique contribution to our understanding of terrorism and political violence from a political science perspective. View syllabi!

Exemplary syllabi were selected that exhibited the most depth and comprehensiveness. Our goal was to identify syllabi that would challenge the very best students in a semester length course, but could be edited down to fit instructors' specific needs. Read more! 

Draft Task Force Reports

"How Political Violence Ends: Paths to Conflict Deescalation and Termination"
"Consolidating Peace and Mitigating Conflict in the Aftermath of Violence"

Task Force Members

Martha Crenshaw
Stanford University, Chair

Robert H. Bates
Harvard University

Jeannine Bell
Indiana University

Christian Davenport
University of Maryland

Donatella Della Porta
European University Institute

Fen Hampson
Carleton University

Stathis N. Kalyvas
Yale University

David D. Laitin
Stanford University

Margaret Levi, former APSA President
University of Washington, Seattle

Jack S. Levy
Rutgers University

T. David Mason
University of North Texas

Cynthia McClintock
George Washington University

Marc Ross
Bryn Mawr College

Ignacio Sanchez-Cuenca
Juan March Institute - Madrid

Joanna Vecchiarelli Scott
Eastern Michigan University

Barbara F. Walter
University of California - San Diego

Elisabeth Jean Wood
Yale University

American Political Science Association
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