2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

U.S. Foreign Policy and the Roots of Terrorism


Spring 2012 quarter

Steven Niva political science, Middle East studies
Fields of Study
history, international studies and political science
Preparatory for studies or careers in
politics and public policy, international politics, and Middle East studies.

This intensive spring quarter program will examine debates over the nature and causes of terrorism, particularly against the United States from the Middle East, and the contending policy options concerning how best to respond to it. The program will focus primarily on debates in the United States since the terror attacks of 9/11 by exploring different theories of terrorism, political violence and counter-terrorism offered by various scholars and military strategists. The program will examine the strategies adopted in the current "war on terror" and in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the history of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, the rise of Al-Qaida and Jihadist terrorism and the changing nature of warfare in the 21 st century. To meet the learning goals of this program, students will have to obtain a thorough knowledge of current events; develop a thorough understanding of the history of United States foreign policy in the Middle East; learn how to assess and compare competing theories of terrorism and counter-terrorism strategies; understand the diversity of political, cultural and religious beliefs within the Middle East; engage in critical thinking; and develop informed opinions regarding all of these topics.The program will be organized around a series of texts, exercises and assignments, including several in-class presentations, role-plays and several analytical papers. We will watch films and documentaries to supplement our learning. A serious commitment by students to all of the work within the program is necessary.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
January 23rd, 2012 enrollment changed from 25 to 23 (core)
September 7th, 2011 New program added.