JUPS-402-01 The Politics of Political Violence and Terrorism
Spring for 2011-2012
Throughout the past half century, the world stage has been home to a litany of insurgencies, uprisings, protest movements, civil wars, and asymmetric armed conflicts. Those who find themselves taking up arms against governments, corporations and dominant narratives have been labeled “terrorists,” “militants,” “separatists,” “guerillas,” “revolutionaries” and so on. While libraries are filled with volumes examining inter-State wars from World War II to Afghanistan, far less attention has been paid to conflicts involving non-State actors. This course will examine the roles played by non-State actors within modern revolutionary conflicts.
Through an interdisciplinary analysis, we will discuss social movement theory, the strategy of asymmetric warfare, the politics of identity-based and ethnic conflicts, debates regarding the appropriate use of violence, and the construction of civilian and combatant in a protracted conflict. Through lecture, in-class discussion, and experimental group activities, students will scrutinize terrorism as a discourse. Course readings draw heavily from primary source materials written by armed actors, as well as firsthand accounts from movement participants. Students will also familiarize themselves with academic and government intelligence reports, examining these critically in light of primary source materials. Students will explore the histories, ideologies, and interworkings of non-State actors including the Palestinian armed factions, the Zapatistas (Mexico), the Red Army Faction (Germany), Conspiracy Cells of Fire (Greece), as well as the more well known, transnational, jihadi networks. Domestically, the course will focus on the Animal/Earth Liberation Front, the contemporary anarchist milieu, armed leftist groups of the 1960s-1970s, and contemporary neo-Nazi, militia and anti-abortion movements.
Potter, Will. Green is the New Red: An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege. 2011.
Burton-Rose, Daniel (Ed.) Creating a Movement with Teeth: A Documentary History of the George Jackson Brigade. 2010.
Baumann, Bommi. How It All Began: The Personal Account of a West German Urban Guerrilla. 2002.
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Spring '12: Loadenthal, M (description, file download)
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