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NSEC614 - Political Psychology of Terror Groups

Course Details

Course Code: NSEC614 Course ID: 4197 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course focuses on analyzing terror groups from a political psychological perspective. In particular, the course approaches terror groups from two different political psychological perspectives, individual and group processes. Together these two perspectives provide a solid foundation from which to understand terror groups.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/27/19 - 11/01/19 11/04/19 - 12/29/19 Fall 2019 Session I 8 Week session
06/24/19 - 11/29/19 12/02/19 - 01/26/20 Fall 2019 Session D 8 Week session
07/29/19 - 01/03/20 01/06/20 - 03/01/20 Winter 2020 Session B 8 Week session
08/26/19 - 01/31/20 02/03/20 - 03/29/20 Winter 2020 Session I 8 Week session
09/30/19 - 02/28/20 03/02/20 - 04/26/20 Winter 2020 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

CO-1: Analyze political psychological concepts and their relationship violence.

CO-2: Examine contemporary theories of terrorism.

CO-3: Appraise political psychological concepts as they relate to individual level case studies.

CO-4: Assess political psychological concepts as they relate to group level case studies.

CO-5: Evaluate various terrorist groups uses of propaganda and the internet.

Discussion Forums – 20 percent

Each week, a discussion question(s) are provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings. Students are required to provide a substantive initial post (500 word minimum) by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET. Students will respond to two (2) or more classmates (with a minimum 250 response for each) by Sunday 11:55 pm ET. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.

Midterm Assignment – 25 percent

This paper is an essay assignment of three questions, 2-3 pages each, to test knowledge and assimilation of the first three course objectives related to the foundational concepts in political violence and terrorism. Extensive use of required readings from this course is expected. This assignment is due at the end of week 3.

Progress Assignment (Research paper) – 30 percent

This paper will demonstrate your ability to research and synthesize your findings on the radical inspirations of individuals and terror groups related to course objectives three and four. The paper should be 8-10 pages in length (not including title page and reference page). This assignment is due at the end of week 5.

Final Assignment (Research paper) – 25 percent

This assignment is a 6 page research paper to test knowledge and assimilation of the course objectives four and five related to terrorist groups, as well as their use of propaganda and the internet. This assignment is due at the end of week 8.

NameGrade %
Forums 20.00 %
Forum 1 2.50 %
Forum 2 2.50 %
Forum 3 2.50 %
Forum 4 2.50 %
Forum 5 2.50 %
Forum 6 2.50 %
Forum 7 2.50 %
Forum 8 2.50 %
Midterm Assignment 25.00 %
Midterm Assignment (Essays) 25.00 %
Progress Assignment 30.00 %
Progress Assignment (Research paper) 30.00 %
Final Assignment 25.00 %
Final Assignment (Research Paper) 25.00 %

Required Course Textbooks

Al-Zayyat, Montasser. The Road to Al-Qaeda: The Story of Bin Laden’s Right Hand Man. (London: Pluto Press), 2004.

Cottam, Martha, Dietz-Uhler, Beth, Mastors, Elena and Preston, Tom. Introduction to Political Psychology 3rd ed. (New York: Routledge Press), 2016.

Lister, David and Jordan, Hugh, Mad Dog: The Rise and Fall of Johnny Adair and ‘C Company (Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing), 2007.

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Links provided inside the classroom in the Lessons section.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.