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IR5925   Counter-extremism: Ethics, Policy and Practice

Academic year(s): 2024-2025

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 2

Planned timetable: Thursdays 11.00am - 1.00pm

What is the most appropriate response to extremism? How should extremism, as distinct from terrorism, be understood? How might theoretical, empirical and experiential knowledge be applied to the complex real-world problems associated with extremism? Counter-Extremism: Ethics, Policy and Practice explores these questions through collaborative enquiry, problem-based learning and direct engagement with policymakers and practitioners. Amongst other topics, the module examines education's role in counter-extremism; civil society efforts to counter extremist speech; deradicalisation initiatives; and efforts to manage online extremist content. It de-centres state-led responses to explore the role of victims, communities and companies alongside state approaches to extremism, and problematises dominant academic viewpoints by critically examining instrumental, policy-oriented and critical perspectives to develop an understanding of how, why and whether societies should respond to extremism.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2 hour seminars (x 9 weeks); 5 hour workshops (x2 weeks)

Scheduled learning hours: 28

Guided independent study hours: 275

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

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


Module coordinator: Dr S V Marsden
Module teaching staff: Dr Sarah Marsden

Intended learning outcomes

  • Analyse and develop different ways of responding to problems associated with state and community responses to extremism
  • Synthesise and apply different forms of knowledge, including academic and experiential knowledge, to specific problem sets relating to extremism and counter-extremism
  • Explain and evaluate differing theoretical claims which enable the moral evaluation of extremism and counter-extremism
  • Critically analyse the concept of extremism, its different manifestations, and its relationship to terrorism and political violence
  • Co-construct knowledge with peers and professionals through collaborative enquiry and self-directed learning
  • Relate extremism and counter-extremism to wider socio-cultural and political dynamics