APG5327 - Wars of recognition: Terrorism and political violence - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Politics and International Relations


Dr Waleed Aly

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This subject explores the relationship between contemporary forms of political violence, especially terrorism, and the forces of globalisation. It focuses in particular on violence as a manifestation of the disintegration of traditional belief systems centering on 'the nation' and the emergence of assertive forms of sub-cultural resistance. Through case studies of terrorist networks and the ideologies that motivate them, the course addresses conundrums such as the distinction between 'freedom fighters' and 'terrorists', the relationship between technology, economy and political violence, and the impact of violence on traditional notions of national and international governance.


  1. To develop in students a sophisticated understanding of:
    1. the global circumstances behind rise of culture and identity as contested political concepts
    2. under what circumstances cultural politics can take on a violent/terrorist edge
    3. the implications of these developments for national and international forms of governance.
  2. To foster in students a high level understanding of the challenges posed to established norms of global politics by the spread of terrorist networks and other violence-prone movements (including through case studies of terrorist movements).
  3. To enhance students' ability to contribute to public debates on issues such as counter-terrorism, state-sponsored violence, and arguments over trade-offs between civil and individual rights and public security.
  4. To develop a sophisticated understanding of conceptual debates over politically motivated violence, especially how these debates have been shaped by divergent theories of globalisation.
  5. To develop a high level understanding of the moral ambiguities surrounding political violence, and how these ambiguities complicate measures to counter or control violence.


Within semester assessment: 50% + Exam: 50%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


ATS4327, APG4327