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IR5923   State Responses to Terrorism

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 2

Planned timetable: Thursday 10am - 12noon (except week 5 Wednesday 14th February 10am - 12 noon)

This module takes a multi-faceted approach to studying state responses to terrorism. It addresses the effectiveness and crucially, the ethical implications of particular kinds of counter-terrorism, as well as the wider impact that responding to terrorism has on conflicts, and the relationship between states, terrorists, and society. Topics range from historical to contemporary debates, from domestic examples to international. Students are afforded the opportunity to delve deeper into case studies, exploring responses to terrorism in detail and gaining an appreciation for the role that counter-terrorism has had in shaping conflicts, for better and worse. Through integrated learning and teaching seminars, students will debate and discuss such issues as the security-liberty nexus, the effect that new technology such as drones has had on counter-terrorism, the value of intelligence, and the central importance of respect for civil liberties in defending society from non-state terrorism.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2-hour teaching and learning seminar (x 11 weeks)

Scheduled learning hours: 52

Guided independent study hours: 234

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 0%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 100%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr K J McConaghy
Module teaching staff: Dr N Brooke

Intended learning outcomes

  • Formulate clear and concise written arguments in a range of formats, supported by academic and policy evidence.
  • Evaluate historical and contemporary state counterterrorism policy, strategy and tactics in terms of their effectiveness and ethical appropriateness
  • Engage critically with a wide range of scholarship on the subjects of terrorism and counterterrorism.
  • Explain the ways in which counterterrorism practices have impacted upon civil liberties and human rights.