Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Political Economy of Terrorism

when 2 July 2022 - 16 July 2022
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 950

This course considers modern-day terrorism from a theoretical and especially from an empirical perspective. Although the phenomenon of terrorism has been studied extensively from descriptive and theoretical viewpoints, many of its underlying motivations and dynamics remain difficult to pin down empirically. For example, the US alone has spent trillions of dollars on the 'War on Terror', only to harvest widespread hostility across many Middle Eastern countries. Why is that so and what could be done to perhaps avoid such undesirable consequences? This course explores what we know about terrorism. Firstly, we study whether, when, and why terrorism has been successful to varying degrees. Secondly, we turn to the intimate relationship between terrorism and the media; exploring whether and how news coverage is likely so crucial for terror groups; and what this means for a free press. Thirdly, we consider the role of religion in terror movements, as well as radicalization along several historical and contemporary movements (e.g., for Nazi Germany and Islamist extremism). Fourth and finally, we evaluate counterterrorism strategies, explore the few cases for which empirical evidence is available, distinguishing between approaches based on force vs. hearts-and-minds.

Course leader

Michael Jetter

Target group

Bachelor and Master students, PhD candidates and professionals are welcome to apply!

Course aim

At the end of this course students will have learnt:

- What sets terrorism apart from more traditional types of warfare.
- How the public, commentator, and researchers assess and interpret terrorism.
- What constitutes ""success"" for a particular group, understanding the consequences of terrorism.
- The extraordinary role of media attention for terror groups.
- The role of religious and cultural perspectives in terrorism.
- The theoretical background and empirical success of counter-terrorism strategies.

Credits info

3 EC
Contact hours: 25

Fee info

EUR 950: Tuition fees two-week course:

VU Students/PhD candidates and employees of VU Amsterdam* or an Aurora Network Partner €650
Students at Partner Universities of VU Amsterdam €900
Students and PhD candidates at non-partner universities of VU Amsterdam €950*
Professionals €1150

Early Bird offer
Applications received before 15 March (CET 23:59) receive €50 Early Bird discount!


VU Amsterdam Summer School offers two kinds of scholarships: the Academic Scholarship and the Photographer Scholarship. More information can be found on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.