Terrorism and Modern Society - SO594

Sorry, this module is not currently running in 2019-20.




Available to Stage 3 Students ONLY.
This module can not be taken if you are taking/have already taken PO629 Terrorism and Political Violence.



Following the events of September 11 2001 public concerns surrounding the related threats associated with terrorism have inevitably deepened. This course provides a general introduction to terrorism and poses a series of questions that rarely feature in mainstream criminological and sociological discourse. Central elements of the course include an examination of the historical roots of terrorism; an analysis of threat posed by the various terrorist factions associated with the ‘global Salafi jihad’; the contextualization of terrorism within the context of late modernity; and an analysis of terrorism at the macro, meso, and micro levels


This module appears in:

Contact hours

21 hours in total: 11 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars (no seminars in Week One or Reading Week)


Not available 2016/17

Method of assessment

50% coursework (one up-to 3,000 word essay) and 50% 2-hour examination (summer term)

Indicative reading

Burke, J (2007) Al-Qaeda, London: Penguin
Carr M (2006) Unknown Soldiers: How Terrorism Transformed the Modern World. London: Profile
Sageman, M (2004) Understanding Terrorist Networks, Philadelphia: Pennsylvania University Press
Jenkins P (2003) Images of Terror. New York: Walter de Gruyter
Martin G (2003) Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives and Issues. London: Sage
White J (2002) Terrorism: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth
Whittaker DJ (ed) (2nd edn. 2003) The Terrorism Reader. London: Routledge

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Understand the key concepts associated with the sociology of fear and terror;
Recognize and interpret a range of theoretical accounts of terrorism and political crime;
Recognize how terrorism functions in variety of different social contexts;
Understand the social, political and cultural (including in many cases the religious) dimensions of some of the main terrorist movements (both contemporary and historical);
Be able to situate terrorist and extremist action within the context of contemporary social theoretical debates about modernity
Understand the changing nature of terrorist action (including introductions to the concepts of ‘cyber-terrorism’ and ‘hyper-terrorism’)

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