counter terrorism


GPM514 Counter Terrorism

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.

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Countering terrorism is not an act, but a process. In a post-9/11 world, counter terrorism is no longer within the ambit of few, but the responsibility of many. This responsibility spans intelligence, law enforcement, corrections, and the military as government representatives, and crosses into private industry, including business, legal analysis, the media, and community organisations. This subject will introduce you to the complex counter terrorism challenges that are intrinsic to the current terrorism threat. You will explore the different approaches to counter terrorism through the lens of government and non-government actors, in order to consider the practical, ethical and legal challenges in countering evolving and diverse threats.


Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge of diverse Counter Terrorism approaches, theories and principles, to order to evaluate recent developments
  • be able to critically analyse counter terrorism theory and practice, in order to provide insight and make recommendations
  • be able to develop effective research methods and methodologies to make strategic assessments of counter terrorism approaches
  • be able to demonstrate knowledge leadership through innovating professional practice by challenging existing knowledge and proposing alternate theories
  • be able to identify and evaluate challenges to professional and ethical practice in the field of counter terrorism

Indicative assessment

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • Key insights and Takeaways – 10%
  • Counter Terrorism Policy Brief – 30%
  • Strategic Assessment – 60%


The set text for this course is:

Ganor, B. (2005). The Counter-Terrorism Puzzle, Columbia: Columbia University Press.
Crenshaw, M. & LaFree, G. (2017). Countering Terrorism, Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.
Crelinsten, R. (2009). Counterterrorism, Cambridge: Polity Press.

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 2023

Online MODE