counter terrorism


Counter Terrorism GPM417

A 16 point post-graduate subject delivered by the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security

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We offer this subject online, with an approximate workload of 15 – 20 hours per week.

We also offer an optional 5-day classroom-based intensive class in Canberra. The times and dates of these classes vary by session.

To find out more, please email

This subject will examine the broad spectrum of government and non-government activities that constitute the countering of terrorism. This will span the activities of the military, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies of governments at local, regional, and international levels. It will also incorporate the practices understood as ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ and the role played by non-national security agencies of government and the increasing role of civil society organisations and community organisations. Additionally, the subject will engage with the challenges, ethical dilemmas, and controversies that various approaches to countering terrorism inevitably present.


Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • Be able to demonstrate specialised knowledge of counter terrorism policies and practices of various governments, and branches of government
  • Demonstrate the capacity to research and analyse counter terrorism from local, regional, and international perspectives, and to provide evidence based critique and assessment of associated policies
  • Evidence a capacity to undertake analysis of existing knowledge related to historical and contemporary examples of counter terrorism practices, and be capable of synthesising this knowledge to inform assessments of contemporary practice
  • Be able to critically analyse and consider the countering of terrorism at the tactical, operational,  and strategic levels, and understand the interconnected nature of each
  • Be capable of communicating an understanding of key counter terrorism strategies and approaches to policy evaluation, and to be capable of communicating the outcomes of these evaluations to a variety of audiences
  • Appreciate the complexity of countering terrorism, and the inherent challenges and trade-offs involved in effective counter terrorism policy development

Indicative assessment

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • Policy paper – 40%
  • Case study paper – 60%


The set text for this course is:

Shemala, P. (ed.). (2011). Fighting Back: What Governments Can Do About Terrorism, Stanford, California: Stanford California Press. Ganor, B. (2005). The Counter-Terrorism Puzzle: A Guide for Decision Makers, London, United Kingdom: Transaction Publishers.

Note that all of these texts offer something different and come at the subject from a different perspective, but all are by well-regarded experts in their field. Various chapters from these texts will readings within the subject, and will subsequently be made available electronically.

reading list extract

  • Hardy, J. & Lushenko, P. (2012) ‘The High
    Value of Targeting: A Conceptual Model for Using HVT against a Networked Enemy,’ Defence Studies, 12(3), 413-433.
  • Bouzis, K. (2015) ‘Countering the Islamic State: U.S. Counterterrorism Measures,’ Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 38(10), 885-897.
  • Falk, O. (2014) ‘Permissibility of Targeted Killing,’ Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 37(4), 295-321.
  • Shemella, P. (2011). ‘Part II: Comprehensive Government Responses,’ in Fighting Back: What Governments can do about Terrorism, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, pp. 93-199.

subject availability

academic year 2018

INternal MODE (CBR)


Distance MODE