of 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 terrorismstudies@csu.edu.au.

This subject will develop and enhance knowledge and understanding of the history of terrorism and develop an integrated understanding of the complex historical context of terrorism, its evolving nature and diverse origins. Students will develop a sophisticated understanding of the relevance of the history of terrorism, and learn different approaches to critically analysing various historically relevant terrorist groups and terrorism threats. Students will also learn, and apply, existing conceptual and theoretical frameworks, and engage with the complexities of defining terrorism. Students will develop the capacity to synthesise this knowledge and understanding through the production of research based assessments, including the development of predictive assessments.


Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • Be capable of communicating an understanding of key conceptual and theoretical approaches to terrorism and counter terrorism
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the challenges associated with definitions of terrorism
  • Possess broad knowledge of the history of terrorism, and its relevance to understanding contemporary terrorism
  • Critically analyse and consider terrorism threats and counter terrorism responses as relational practices
  • Evaluate complex policy responses to terrorism in their historical contexts
  • Be capable of communicating complex knowledge and ideas pertaining to the history and various motivations of terrorism in a variety of contexts

Indicative assessment

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • Research Plan – 10%
  • Reading Critiques – 30%
  • Research Essay – 60%


The set text for this course is:

Martin, G. (2013). Essentials of Terrorism: Concepts and Controversies, 3rd edition, Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.

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

  • Iviansky, Z. (1977). ‘Individual Terror: Concept
    and Typology’, Journal of Contemporary
    History, 12(1), 43-63.
  • Hoffman, B. (2006). ‘Religious Terrorism’ and ‘Suicide Terrorism’ in Inside Terrorism (Revised and Expanded
    Ed.), New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 81-171.
  • Southern Poverty Law Center, (2012). Terror from the Right: Plots, Conspiracies, and Racist Rampages since Oklahoma City, Montgomery, AL: Southern Poverty
    Law Center.
  • Sageman, M. (2008). Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks
    in the Twenty-First Century, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 125-147.

subject availability

academic year 2018

INternal MODE (CBR)


Distance MODE