ATS1701 - Terrorism and political violence: An introduction - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - 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


Associate Professor Peter Lentini

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


The unit provides an overview of contemporary political violence, including terrorism, guerrilla warfare, and related forms of violence. It examines the different ways in which political violence manifests itself and addresses the questions of motivations for engaging in political violence and ways of understanding political violence. In so doing it covers cultural, economic and political explanations as well as conceptual debates in the field and different strategies for dealing with the threat of global terrorism. This unit analyses case studies of violent actors that espouse different ideological and theological orientations from different parts of the world, including Australia.


After successfully completing this subject, students should be able to demonstrate the following:

  1. a. an introductory understanding of the cultural, economic, social and religious circumstances that lie behind the spread of politically motivated violence;
    1. how terrorism is a unique form of political violence, yet one that shares some features, objectives and tactics of guerrilla warfare, organized crime and political assassination. (2)An introductory understanding of how politically motivated violence challenges established domestic and international political norms; especially in areas of citizenship, state surveillance and international cooperation between states;
  2. An introductory understanding of violent extremist networks and extremist groups and how these networks and groups impact upon national and international security;
  3. An ability to contribute in a constructive way to public debates in areas such as social alienation and its relationship to violence; the ethics of using violence to resolve conflicts; the limits of legal and acceptable political action.
  4. A solid grounding in a range of case-based examples of terrorist and other forms of political violence as perpetrated by various ideological and theological actors from different parts of the world, including Australia.


Within semester assessment: 55% + Exam: 45%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 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


ATS2701, ATS3701