About this Course
4.7
1,817 ratings
464 reviews
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....
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Calendar

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Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 30 hours of videos, quizzes, and projects

Approx. 17 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish, Ukrainian, French

Skills you will gain

TerrorismPolicy AnalysisInternational LawHistory
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 30 hours of videos, quizzes, and projects

Approx. 17 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish, Ukrainian, French

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
7 hours to complete

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....
Reading
8 videos (Total 78 min), 7 readings, 2 quizzes
Video8 videos
1.1 Introduction5m
1.2 History of Terrorism16m
1.3 Use of the Word Terrorism5m
1.4 Why There Are No Generally Accepted Definitions11m
1.5 Need For a Definition: Some Attempts12m
1.6 Essence of Terrorism7m
Interview with Prof. Alex Schmid about Defining Terrorism8m
Reading7 readings
Meet the team & Leiden University10m
Complete our short survey10m
Course Overview5m
Course Format5m
What do we expect from you10m
Don't forget to check out the extra material!10m
Readingsm
Quiz1 practice exercise
Definition and Essence of Terrorism30m

2

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

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....
Reading
6 videos (Total 53 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
2.2 Disciplines & Approaches7m
2.3 Key Authors & Centres11m
2.4 Challenges & Dilemmas8m
2.5 Current State of the Art7m
Interview with Akinola Olojo about the Lack of Non-Western Researchers in Terrorism Studies5m
Reading2 readings
Readingsm
Key Authors10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Researching Terrorism and Counterterrorism30m

3

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

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). ...
Reading
5 videos (Total 66 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
3.2 Assumption: Terrorists are crazy10m
3.3 Assumption: Terrorism is increasingly lethal13m
3.4 Assumption: Terrorism is predominantly anti-western9m
3.5 Assumption: Terrorism is successful17m
Reading1 reading
Readingsm
Quiz1 practice exercise
5 Assumptions on Terrorism30m

4

Section
Clock
5 hours to complete

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. ...
Reading
7 videos (Total 94 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video7 videos
4.2 Assumption: Deradicalisation is possible12m
4.3 Assumption: Decapitation of terrorist organisations works16m
4.4 Assumption: Terrorism cannot be defeated17m
4.5 Assumption: Terrorism can best be managed by a holistic approach17m
Interview with Dr. Jamie Shea (NATO)8m
Video presentation of Quirine Eijkman of Amnesty International on Drone Strikes in Pakistan3m
Reading1 reading
Readings50m
Quiz1 practice exercise
5 Assumptions on Counterterrorism30m
4.7
Direction Signs

24%

started a new career after completing these courses
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Money

10%

got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By LZMay 23rd 2016

This excellent, balanced course uses a great combination of concise videos and additional reading. I enrolled hoping to better understand this hot-topic and Prof. Bakker's course was perfect.

By MZSep 21st 2017

Useful and well done. This course is an example how to boost resilience in our society with knowledge. At the end of the day is a brick of our holistic counter terrorism actions. Thank you.

Instructors

Edwin Bakker

Prof. dr.
Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University

Jeanine de Roy van Zuijdewijn

drs.
Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University

About Universiteit Leiden

Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia. Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands. It was founded in February 1575, as a gift from William of Orange to the citizens of Leiden after they had withstood a long siege by the Spanish. Our motto is: Praesidium Libertatis — Bastion of Liberty....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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