MAN 5127 Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

MAN 5127 Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

MAN 5127
Rettsvitenskap og styring
Nick Sitter
Emnenavn på engelsk: 
Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
EMM - Sikkerhetsledelse og kulturforståelse, Spesialisering
2020 Vår
Aktiv status: 
Ett semester

This is a Master of Management program about terrorism and counter-terrorism. It focuses on three main topics: The causes of terrorism, strategies for combating terrorism, and analysis of present threats and challenges linked to terrorism and counter-terrorism. The program covers terrorism as a concept, the causes of terrorism, and the strategy and tactics of a range of different terrorist groups; as well as counter-terrorism strategy, tactics and policy tools. How states (and indeed firms and voluntary organizations) interpret terrorism shapes their response.

The first part of the course covers the causes and origins of modern terrorism, common tactical, strategic and organizational elements across a wider range of terrorist groups, and the implications this has for contemporary terrorist threats.

The second part focuses on the modus operandi of contemporary terrorist groups, and on threat assessment and policy tools for dealing with terrorism. Key topics include terrorists' organisation, target selection, weapons acquisition, finance, logistics, and types of attacks.

The third part of the course turns to counter-terrorism, and explores the strengths and weaknesses of different counter-terrorism (and counter-insurgency) strategies. In different places and at different times terrorism has been interpreted as first and foremost a criminal, military, political or propaganda challenge, and this has important implications for which organizations the state assigns the lead role in counter-terrorism to.


The participants shall be in a position to acquire and use specialised knowledge about theories and research methods in terrorism and counter-terrorism studies, and to use theoretical work and historical cases in contemporary social and political context in order to:

  • Acquire knowledge about key theories and contemporary debates about the causes of terrorism, terrorism as a strategy, and counter-terrorism strategies, though exposure to the academic literature in the area.
  • Acquire knowledge about relevant theories and research methods, and how to use theoretical work and historical cases in contemporary social and political context to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of different terrorist and counter-terrorism strategies and tactics.
  • Acquire knowledge about how to acquire and use new information about terrorist campaigns, from the academic field as well as think tanks, the media and other open sources.
  • Acquire knowledge about how to research and use open source data for threat assessment and how this may form the basis for policy recommendations for risk management.



The program is designed to give the participants the tools and frameworks for analyzing terrorism and to equip them with a basis for action and to shape sustainable responses and policies, both globally and nationally, and with respect to conventional, mixed and cyber threats. Participants shall be in a good position to critically assess both academic and policy debates on this topic with respect to information, data, research methods and practical application of academic work. Through independent work based on research using open sources, and in line with pertinent ethics guidelines, they should be able to:

  • Analyse the conditions for the growth of various terrorist groups and their chosen strategies.
  • Analyse the development of a particular and general terrorist threat, including the aims, resources, strategy and tactics of terrorist groups.
  • Analyse the need for use of different types of counter-terrorism tools.
  • Evaluate and assess different counter-terrorism policy tools, including different forms of risk management.
  • Analyse, assess and contribute to the elaboration of crisis management plans.
Generell kompetanse

Upon completion of the course the participants shall be in a position to analyse pertinent research, policy and ethical issues independently, and to:

  • Make decisions on an independent basis and to contribute to decision-making processes where question related to security and risk management are central issues.
  • Take responsibility, and lead others in an independent, ethical and thoughtful manner.
  • Apply critical thinking (based on theoretical and empirical work about terrorism and counter-terrorism) to assess different types of terrorism, including the extent to which terrorist groups might achieve their aims, the extent and severity of a terrorist threat, the threat terrorism poses to democratic societies, and the likely consequences of different counter-terrorism strategies, and thereby contribute to policy assessment and innovation.
  • Communicate with academic experts, the policy community and the general public and thereby contribute to public policy debates on terrorism and counter-terrorism, and independently to update their knowledge about these topics in the light of changing threats.


Kursets innhold

Session 1: The causes and consequences of terrorism  

  • Causes of terrorism
  • Varieties of terrorism
  • Strategic elements of terrorism
  • Terrorism in the 20th Century: Left and right extremist, national and religious terrorism 
  • Contemporary Terrorism, with a focus on far right and Islamist terrorism.

Session 2: Threat assessment

  • Threat analysis
  • Terrorist tactics and modus operandi
  • Terrorist organisation, finance and weapons
  • Contemporary terrorism in Europe

Session 3: Counter-terrorism and its consequences

  • Varieties of counter-terrorism strategy
  • Dilemmas of counter-terrorism in democratic states
  • The tools of counter terrorism
  • The outcome of terrorist campaigns: how terrorism ends.
  • Contemporary counter-terrorism
Undervisnings- og læringsaktiviteter

The programme is conducted through three course modules.


The students must expect a workload that is customary for a 15 ECTS program (400 hours). The teaching is organised in three course modules in three 8-hour days each, totalling approx. 75 lecturing hours. In addition, students must plan having at least one study day per week and some extra time for the term paper.

Students are responsible for obtaining information given in lectures but which is not included in the program web page, its learning or in other course material.

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all programmes, it is the student's own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/ itslearning or other course materials.

Det benyttes ingen spesielle dataverktøy i kurset.

Du har fullført bachelorgrad, tilsvarende 180 offentlig godkjente studiepoeng fra høyskole, universitet eller tilsvarende.
Du har fylt 25 år.
Du har fire års yrkeserfaring full tid. For søkere som har en fullført mastergrad fra før, kreves det tre års arbeidserfaring. (2 års relevant yrkeserfaring gjelder for Forsvarets personell)

EksamenskategoriVektingTilsynVarighetGrupperingKommentar eksamen
Skriftlig innlevering
MAN 51271
Intern og ekstern sensor
Eksamen ved neste kursgjennomføring
60Nei1 SemesterGruppe/Individuell (1 - 3)
Skriftlig innlevering
MAN 51272
Intern og ekstern sensor
Eksamen ved neste kursgjennomføring
40Nei48 Time(r)Individuell
Vurderingsform:Skriftlig innlevering
Gruppering (størrelse):Gruppe/Individuell (1-3)
Varighet:1 Semester
Eksamenskode:MAN 51271
Kontinuasjon:Eksamen ved neste kursgjennomføring
Vurderingsform:Skriftlig innlevering
Gruppering (størrelse):Individuell
Varighet:48 Time(r)
Eksamenskode:MAN 51272
Kontinuasjon:Eksamen ved neste kursgjennomføring
Ordinær eksamen
Total vekting: 
Sum arbeidsinnsats: 

Et kurs med 1 studiepoeng tilsvarer en arbeidsmengde på 26-30 timer. Et kurs på 15 studiepoeng tilsvarer derfor en arbeidsmengde på minimum 400 timer.