Credits  3

How do we explain the recent spread of violent extremism and terrorism? What are root causes causing these phenomena? How have intergovernmental organizations and the international community responded to non-state terrorist actors, such as ISIS and Al Qaeda? What, if any, questions do such campaigns raise for international human rights? Interdisciplinary in nature, and with a particular emphasis on the United Nations, this seminar introduces participants to related legal and political theories, issues and debates. The class will explore: the definition of terrorism; theories surrounding radicalization and extremism; the role of international and intergovernmental organizations in global counter-terrorism; and the detention and treatment of suspected terrorists. We will also consider significant ongoing legal and policy debates, such as the right to privacy and mass digital surveillance; sources of violence and efficacy of current countering violent extremism paradigms; use of unmanned aerial vehicles (“drones”); and employing fully autonomous weapons (also known as “killer robots”), among issues. No prior familiarity with the subject matter is required.

sample syllabus