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Module THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TERRORISM

Module code: LW386
Credits: 5
Semester: 1
Department: SCHOOL OF LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY
International: Yes
Overview Overview
 

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the role which psychology can play in helping us to understand terrorist involvement. Within this course students will be assessing why people join, stay involved and ultimately leave terrorist groups. It will critically assess the psychological evidence for radicalisation and deradicalisation. This course will challenge students to consider whether or not the psychology of terrorist actors is any different from the psychology of non-terrorist actors. In doing so students will be introduced to concepts and theories from a variety of areas of psychology that may be applicable to understanding terrorist engagement.

Throughout this course there will be a respect for the heterogeneity of terrorist actors. The course will therefore question whether the psychology of group actors may be different to lone actors, similarly questioning the differences between the psychology of foreign fighters and home-grown terrorists. The course will also ask whether there is a difference in the psychology of terrorist actors based on the role that they occupy within a group or movement. A core element of this course will be a critical assessment of the role that mental health may or may not play in terrorist activity. Students will also find out about different risk assessment techniques that are used. This will be introduced to students within a segment of the course which will critically look at the role psychology can play in the development of effective counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism (CVE) strategies.

Module Content: The content of this module will constantly be reviewed. However, below are indicative lecture topics which could be covered:

1. Conceptual Debates in Terrorism
2. Terrorism Research
3. The Psychological Impact of Terrorism
4. The ‘Terrorist Mind’?
5. Psychology of Radicalisation
6. From Radicalisation to Recruitment
7. Being a Terrorist
8. Psychological Understanding of Suicide Terrorism
9. Gender and Terrorism
10. Deradicalisation and/or Disengagement
11. Risk Assessment
12. Psychology of Risk Perception and Communication

Open Learning Outcomes
 
Open Teaching & Learning methods
 
Open Assessment
 
Open Autumn Supplementals/Resits
 
Open Timetable
 
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