This module can be studied on a standalone basis or as part of the Certificate in Terrorism Studies
Download the full Certificate in Terrorism Studies prospectus here
Terrorism is usually motivated by political objectives. Such politically motivated terrorist groups can be distinguished by their ideology. Ideology outlines the boundaries within which these groups operate and thus determines their choice of targets.
The word ‘ideology’ usually refers to an interlocking set of ideas which people use to explain why things are the way they are, and how they think they ought to be. For example, a nationalist would be expected to think that he or she belongs to a group of people who share things like culture, language and history and heritage; and that because of sharing these things, this group of people ought to govern themselves, and not be governed by people who belong (in the nationalist’s opinion) to a different group.
Ideologies usually imply or may even be premised on achieving particular political objectives. Terrorists usually claim to be motivated to achieve objectives of this sort.
Ideology and Violence - The ideology of politically motivated groups frequently allows them to justify their violence and blame their enemies for forcing them to choose the path of violence. Such groups can have various reasons for resorting to violence, such as the failure of not being able to fulfil their goals through non-violent means or the suppression of non-violent agitation by the government.
Political Terrorist Groups - Groups that carry out acts of violence in the name of a single issue, such as animal rights and the environment are sometimes also included amongst politically motivated terrorist groups. The basic intention of some of these groups is to coerce a government or target audience to change its policies (a political objective) or, in the case of revolutionary movements, to take over political power themselves.
The module is designed to be studied in four weeks:
Week 1: Understand the different types of ideologies that motivate terrorists and be able to classify terrorist groups according to ideological orientation.
Week 2: Get an overview of possible motivations other than ideological, such as those based on psychological, economic and cultural factors or the nature of a state’s response.
Week 3: Get an overview of the transmission of the terrorist's worldview through propaganda by learning about the methods used to spread propaganda and recognising the use of terrorist ideology in interpreting world events.
Week 4: Understand the impact of propaganda in facilitating terrorist recruitment, outline some of the methods of recruitment, and get a brief understanding of potential future ideological trends in terrorism.
Study modules individually or as part of the Certificate in Terrorism Studies.
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