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Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing theory and practice


Admission requirements

This course forms part of the minor Security, Safety and Justice and can thus only be followed as part of this minor.
Students who have already completed the Coursera MOOC “Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory & Practice” are still obliged to attend the lectures and complete all the class assignments to pass this regular course.


Terrorism has arguably been one of the defining factors of our age. It frequently makes headlines, threatening or attacking governments, private businesses and ordinary citizens. In many parts of the world, it has even been one of the most prominent threats to peace, security and stability. But what does this mean exactly? What is the precise nature of this threat? Who or what is threatened, how, by whom and why? How can the impact of terrorism on society be limited and counteracted? These and many more questions will be addressed during the course.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • explain the notion of terrorism as an instrument to achieve certain goals

  • describe and discuss the difficulties and importance of definitions of terrorism

  • outline the most prominent studies on terrorism

  • use theoretical notions and practical examples to demonstrate an understanding of critiques to counterterrorism as well as the essence of terrorism.


Timetabel 2015/2016 will be announced


Mode of instruction

This course will employ a flipped classroom methodology, which entails students studying a series of video lectures with in-video quizzes at home as preparation for the classes. Each of these videos will focus on a specific core question within terrorism studies. Furthermore, the class sessions will consist of class discussions and guest lectures.
Class format:

  • Opening lecture together with the minor Global Affairs

  • Weekly video lectures on Coursera

  • Two workshops in smaller groups together with the minor Global Affairs

  • Final symposium together with the minor Global Affairs

Attendance during the opening lecture, two workshops and final symposium is compulsory. An extra assignment needs to be completed when missing class.
Please note that all the lectures and workshops are in English.

Course Load

The total study load for this course is 140 hours, consisting of:
12 hours lectures and seminars
7 hours videos
121 hours studying – work on assignments

Assessment method

Midterm assignment 1 (20%)
Midterm assignment 2 (20%)
Final exam (60%)

Please note: Students are obliged to prepare a question for the final symposium.
The grades for midterm assignment 1 and 2 can be compensated by the final exam. In order to pass the course, you need to pass the final exam.

The re-sit of the final exam will take the same form.

You can find more information about assessments and the timetable exams on the website.
Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Blackboard.
On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website, uSis and Blackboard.

Students will be permitted to resit an examination if they have taken the first sit and earned a mark between 3 and 5.5 or with permission of the Board of Examiners.

Resit written exam
Students that want to take part in a resit for a written exam, are required to register via uSis. Use the activity number that can be found on the ‘timetable exams’.


Yes – But most of the content is on the Coursera platform

Reading list

Edwin Bakker, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory & Practice (Leiden University Press, 2015) [forthcoming]
Additional articles on current affairs relating to terrorism & counterterrorism: t.b.d.


Check the information on the home page

Students register for the minor and the course in Usis: Admission, registration and enrolment

Registration for course in Usis: 35-3 days before course starts.

Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.
Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.
Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.


Jeanine de Roy van Zuijdewijn


  • This course is part of the minor SSJ and Global Affairs; lectures are combined.

  • All sessions and workshops will be in English.

  • Midterm assignments need to be written in English.

  • Final exam is in English but students can answer in either Dutch or English.

  • Students who have already completed the Coursera MOOC “Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory & Practice” are still obliged to attend the lectures and complete all the class assignments to pass this regular course.