SOC 202 Terrorism and National Security

Last offered Spring 2014

An analysis of the roots, goals, and social organization of contemporary radical Islamist terrorism and of the state efforts to defeat it. A focus on: the recruitment, training, and indoctrination of Islamist terrorists; their ideologies and self-images; and case studies of specific terrorist attacks and the vulnerabilities of modern societies that such attacks reveal. The course analyzes the exigencies and dilemmas of ensuring public safety in a democratic society. Special attention to: the structure and ethos of intelligence work; the investigation of terrorist networks and their financing; the relationship between organized and semi-organized crime and terrorism; the legal dilemmas of surveillance, preemptive custody, and "extraordinary rendition" in democratic societies; and the technology and organization of ascertaining identities in modern society. The course also addresses the crisis facing European societies--particularly the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany--with growing populations of radical Islamist minorities who reject cultural assimilation into Western social or legal frameworks, a crisis paralleled in the United States, with important differences, by widespread illegal immigration. An assessment of the ideology of multiculturalism and its intended and unintended consequences in the fight against terror. The course also examines the threat of terrorists' use of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons of mass destruction and the defenses against such threats. Finally, it appraises the structure and content of mass media coverage of terrorism, as well as official and nonofficial propaganda on all sides of these issues. A Gaudino Fund Course.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: full participation in the seminar, class presentations, and a major paper
Additional Info: not available for the Gaudino option
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: all students are required to submit an application essay in order to be included in the course
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: LEAD American Foreign Policy Leadership
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 25
Class Number: 3210
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER
SOC 202 SEM Terrorism & National Security Division 2: Social Studies Robert Jackall
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