Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Political Economy of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

online course
when 10 January 2022 - 14 January 2022
language English
duration 1 week
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 800

Throughout this course, we will explore modern-day terrorism from a theoretical angle and from an empirical perspective. After defining and delineating particular types of terrorism, we will investigate how and when terrorism has been successful, and indeed if it has been successful at all. We then turn to the intimate connection between terrorism and the media before exploring terrorism in relation to religion and radicalisation.
Although the phenomenon of terrorism has been studied extensively, many of its underlying motivations and dynamics remain difficult to pin down through an empirical lens. This is true despite the fact that the US alone has spent trillions of dollars on the War on Terror. The unfortunate result of this vast expense has been widespread hostility across many Middle Eastern countries.
Students will get to grips with terrorists’ true motivations in this course, covering topics such as what makes some groups successful, the relationship between the media & terror, counterterrorism strategies, and much more!

This course discusses:

- What sets terrorism apart from other, more traditional types of warfare.
- How the public, commentators, and researchers assess and interpret terrorism.
- What constitutes success for a particular group, and what the consequences of terrorism are.
- 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 counterterrorism strategies.

All we ask of students enrolled in this course is that they actively participate in discussions, demonstrate intellectual openness and critical thinking, and show an interest in debating key topics in this course.

Course leader

Michael Jetter

Target group

Open to Bachelor, Master’s students, PhD candidates, and professionals from all disciplines.
This course is suitable for PhD, Master’s, and advanced undergraduate students in Economics, Political Science, and any other fields provided that they are interested in learning about terrorism.

A basic understanding or background in statistics is an advantage but not mandatory. A willingness to learn is essential, however.

If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please contact us via

Course aim

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

- Demonstrate knowledge of the existing evidence when it comes to modern-day terrorism and counter-terrorism.
- Read empirical papers on political economy and political science topics.
- Understand and clearly communicate research findings associated with the main empirical and theoretical studies in this area of research.
- Critically assess empirical and theoretical research on the topic.

Credits info

3 EC
Contact hours: 25

Fee info

EUR 800: 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


VU Graduate Winter School offers several scholarships. More information can be found on the website.

Register for this course
on course website