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Political Violence & Terrorism

Course number: BC3055

What causes acts of terrorism? Is terrorism caused by the same factors that lead to other forms of non-state political violence, such as armed rebellion? Can governments take effective action to prevent or counter terrorism, or are we all doomed to live in insecurity? This course examines these problems through the lenses of both social science theories and in-depth historical case studies. The course’s primary goals are to use the problems of non-state political violence and terrorism to develop students’ ability to analyze and critique competing cause-and-effect arguments, and to pose their own causal arguments based on independent research of the existing secondary-source literature. The course is designed to help prepare Barnard students to write the senior thesis in the political science major.