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Exemplary Syllabi: Task Force on Political Violence and Terrorism

The following exemplary syllabi were selected by the Task Force on Political Violence and Terrorism as model courses on political violence and terrorism for use at the secondary and college levels.

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.

  • Robert Axelrod: "International Security Affairs." Excellent survey of a number of important issues using a mixture of academic works, policy-relevant writings by academics, and policy practitioner's pieces. Suitable for a policy-oriented graduate course or advanced undergraduate course. Undergraduate.
  • Robert Bates: "State Failure, Civil War and Terrorism." Provides an excellent grounding in the state of the art in the study of three security challenges that will remain central to international relations and security studies until the emergence of a peer competitor to the United States. Graduate.
  • Daniel Byman: "Terrorism and Counterterrorism." Good survey of a small subset of groups of particular current interest. More policy oriented than the Crenshaw syllabus. Contains readings on WMD terrorism missing from the Crenshaw syllabus. Undergraduate.
  • Martha Crenshaw: "The Politics of Terrorism." Provides an excellent survey of the best case study work on a wide variety of different conflicts. Model of a high-level undergraduate course or a graduate-level empirical survey. Undergraduate.
  • Kelly Greenhill: "Understanding Civil Wars: Internal Conflicts and International Responses." Good mix of academic work and policy advocacy on civil wars and failed states. Undergraduate.
  • Macartan Humphreys and Jeremy Weinstein: "African Civil Wars in Comparative Perspective: A Research Seminar." Provides a broad survey of the most promising research into African civil wars from an economic and political science perspective. Contains links to most publicly available datasets. Suitable for an advanced graduate course.
  • Jacob N. Shapiro: "Terrorist Financing and State Response." Provides readings that outline the problem of terrorist financing, explain how Al Qaeda was funded, evaluate internal challenges to terrorist organizations, and evaluates challenges facing the U.S. government and international community in responding to this problem. Professional or graduate.
  • Monica Duffy Toft: "Civil Wars: Theory and Policy." Another excellent mix of political science, economics, and policy-relevant work. Professional/Graduate.
  • Monica Duffy Toft: "Intervention and Peacekeeping." Case study focused syllabus on interventions and peacekeeping operations. Focused heavily on Rwanda, Somalia and Haiti cases. Professional/Graduate.


 

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