Terrorism and extremism are controversial and politically charged topics on which many people hold a diverse range of views. Politicians, the media, and other influential figures use these terms in ways which often make it difficult to gain an in-depth and objective understanding of what are some of the most pressing issues of our time.
Using a range of methods and sources, this course seeks to cut through the agendas and politics to provide students with the knowledge and skills to understand, analyse and confront terrorism and extremism. In order to give as complete a picture as possible, the course covers a wide range of topics related to terrorism including radicalisation, cybersecurity, and intelligence.
Alongside understanding how terrorist movements emerge and evolve, the second key focus of the course is the range of methods states have used to respond to terrorism, from hard power tactics such as drone strikes, to soft power counter-radicalisation programmes. Students will be introduced to the history of counter-terrorism before looking into and critically assessing more recent examples of how states deal with terrorism both at home and abroad.
Whether you are seeking a security-related career in academia, policy or non-governmental organisation, developing an objective understanding of how these threats emerge, evolve and are countered, is a crucial asset. Not only does the course cover established forms of terrorism such as the extreme right and jihadist movements, but through engagement with leading experts and practitioners in the field, students also gain insight into how these and other movements continue to evolve and adapt, acquiring an understanding of the trends and developments that could continue to dominate the terrorism threat landscape for years to come.
This MA is based in the Department of War Studies, one of the only academic departments in the world to focus solely on the complexities of conflict and security. War Studies is an multidisciplinary department and all War Studies students benefit from research-led teaching in such subjects as the history and evolution of war and grand strategy, arms control and non-proliferation, migration, strategic thought, cyber, conflict and the environment, the influence of science and technology on international security, along with regional specialisms covering Africa, Asia (East and South), Russia and elsewhere.
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