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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

HIST 3721: History of Terrorism

Through a study of terrorism from the French Revolution to the present, students examine terrorism within the context of individual and state-initiated acts of political and social violence, and through themes such as the evolution of democracy, social and political alienation, rising national, ethnic, and religious consciousness, and cultural and economic globalization. Students advance their understanding of the root causes for terrorism in the modern world through their interpretation and analysis of historical resources.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify and illustrate the evolution of terrorism across the globe.
  • Generalize the roots of terrorism and its evolution in terms of state development, and democratic and nationalistic expressions.
  • Distinguish between state and individual acts of terror.
  • Summarize the relationship between terrorism and modernization and the quest for human rights.
  • Analyze and explain terrorism in the context of political, religious and nationalistic extremism.
  • Recognize the political, social and economic environments that give rise to terrorism;
  • Describe cultural and political views of terrorism.
  • Recognize and explain terrorism in the context of developed and undeveloped societies.
  • Articulate the roots and legacy of terrorism in the context of colonialism and imperialism.
  • Examine critically historical evidence and interpretations of terrorism and its expression in the modern world.
  • Undertake comprehensive historical research on the political, social and economic causes of terrorism.

Course topics

  • Module 1: Terror in the Modern World – The French Revolution and Terror

  • Module 2: Terrorism and the Rise of Social Consciousness and Political Violence

  • Module 3: Terrorism as a Response to Decolonization and National Liberation

  • Module 4: Terrorism as a Global Phenomena

Required text and materials

The following materials are required for this course:

  1. Laqueur, Walter. A History of Terrorism/ Walter Laqueur; with a new preface by the author and a foreword and afterword by Bruce Hoffman. (2016). Transaction Publishers.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 9781412864015

  2. Miller, Martin. The Foundation of Modern Terrorism: State, Society and the Dynamics of Political Violence. (2013). Cambridge University Press.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 9781107621084


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the Mandatory Final Project.

Assignment 1: What is Terrorism? 15%
Assignment 2: Democracy, Nationalism, Social Consciousness, and Anarchism 15%
Assignment 3: Colonialism, Imperialism, and Independent Movements 15%
Assignment 4: International Organizations and the Quest for Independence 15%
Mandatory Final Project: History of Terrorism 40%
Total 100%


Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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