Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Political Economy of Terrorism and Counter-terrorism

online course
when 11 January 2021 - 15 January 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 600

What do we know about the roots and motivations of ISIS, the KKK, al-Qaeda, or the Lord’s Resistance Army beyond speculation, snippets of incomplete information, and stereotypical assessments? This course considers modern-day terrorism from a theoretical and especially from an empirical perspective. First, we study whether, when, and why terrorism has been successful to varying degrees. Second, 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. Third, we consider the role of religion in terror movements and radicalization (e.g., for Islamist extremism). Fourth and final, we evaluate counterterrorism strategies, exploring a few successful and unsuccessful cases for which empirical evidence is available.

Course leader

Associate Professor Michael Jetter

Target group

All Master’s and PhD students - A basic background in Econometrics (an understanding of regression analysis) is welcome but not crucial. If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please contact us:

Course aim

What you’ll learn (learning objectives):

• What sets terrorism apart from more traditional types of warfare.

• How the public, commentators, 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.

During this course, we will encounter examples for empirical strategies to isolate causal relationships from correlations, such as natural experiments, instrumental variables, and identification through regression discontinuity design (RDD). The aim is to have a better understanding and knowledge about the operations of Al-Qaeda and ISIS, as well as the IRA, ETA, the KKK, and white supremacists.

Active participation, intellectual openness, critical thinking, and dialogue constitute key elements in this course.

Credits info

3 EC
30 hours

Fee info

EUR 600: Fees:
- Students and PhD Students: €600
- Professionals: €800
- Students, PhD students and employees at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Amsterdam UMC: €500
Applications received before the 1st of October (Early Bird Discount) receive €50 discount!

The tuition fee includes:
- Application and registration
- Exclusive course content for a limited number of students
- Individual/group guidance from course organiser
- Access to all online VU facilities such as the library and online learning environments
- A certificate of attendance after completing the course
- A transcript of records mentioning the grade and the obtained ECTS
- Full support of the winter school team
- Optional online social activity