• April 26th, 2016

Active terrorist group research paper

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

Discussion: How can network analysis be used to provide a better understanding of dark networks?
1. Calvert Jones and Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni, ‘Assessing the Dangers of Illicit Networks: Why al-Qaida May Be Less Dangerous Than Many Think’, International Security, 33, no. 2 (2008), pp. 7 – 44.
2. Miles Kahler, ‘Collective Action and Clandestine Networks: The Case of al Qaeda’ in Miles Kahler (Ed.) (2009) Networked Politics: Agency, Power, and Governance (Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press), pp. 103 – 126.
3. Brad McAllister, ‘Al Qaeda and the Innovative Firm: Demythologizing the Network’, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 27, no. 4 (2004), pp. 297 – 319.

Week 4: Dark Networks and Their Environment
Discussion: How do dark networks navigate the often hostile environments in which they operate?
1. Kimberly Marten, Warlords: Strong-arm Brokers in Weak States (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2012), Chapter 3.
2. Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006), Chapter 6.

Week 5: Terrorism I: Causes of Terrorism
Discussion: What causes terrorism?
1. Tim Krieger & Daniel Meierrieks, ‘What causes terrorism?’ Public Choice, 147, no. 1-2, (2011), pp. 3 – 27.
2. Martha Crenshaw, ‘Theories of Terrorism: Instrumental and Organizational Approaches’, in David Rapoport (ed.), Inside Terrorist Organizations (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), pp. 13 – 31.

Week 6: Terrorism II: Organisational challenges
Discussion: What are the organizational barriers to terrorist groups operating effectively and accomplishing their goals?
1. Eli Berman & David D. Laitind D, ‘Religion, terrorism and public goods: Testing the club model’, Journal of Public Economics, 92, no. 10-11 (2008), pp. 1942 – 1967.
2. Bruce Hoffman & Gordon H. Mccormick, ‘Terrorism, Signaling, and Suicide Attack’, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 27, no. 4 (2004), pp. 243 – 281.

Week 7: Terrorism III: Terrorist groups as Social Networks
Discussion: What are the implications of social networks for how terrorist groups operate (effectively or not)?
1. Justin Magouirk, Scott Atran & Marc Sageman, ‘Connecting Terrorist Networks’, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 31, no 1 (2008), pp. 1 – 16.


This paper must assess an active terrorist organization. The assessment should include the following:(ocus on al-qaeda,ISIS,Hamas or al-shabaab.)
1. Background
a. Where did this group come from? What aspects of its history are relevant to the assessment?
b. What does the group want? What are its goals?
2. Threat assessment
a. What threat does the terrorist group pose (if any)? Who or what does it threaten?
b. What does the group’s structure look like? How does the group operate? How does it attempt to survive and engage in attacks?
3. Theoretical application
a. What theoretical tools/readings can we bring to bear to understand the group’s origins, behavior, goals?
4. Implications
a. What steps, if any, are being taken to mitigate the threat posed by the group?
b. How do the theoretical tools/readings inform counter-group policy?
With 1750 words you do not have a lot of space. As such, the emphasis should be on your analytical insights, not the mass amounts of research you can do. When writing your threat assessment you need to consider thoroughly exactly who or what a terrorist group threatens. For example, does the group pose a threat to the state (i.e. state destruction, regime overthrow, secession claims), its foreign policy objectives or to the safety and security of its citizens? Similarly, in the Implications section, you need to avoid suppositions and conjecture. Your assessment should concentrate solely on what is being done by governments/agencies/international organisations to mitigate the threat posed by the relevant group.
You assessments MUST be double-spaced and in 12pt font. When you cite sources, you should use either Harvard-style in-text citations or Chicago-style footnotes with a bibliography. Merely putting down a URL is unacceptable as a method of citation. Wikipedia is NOT acceptable as a source. Your citations and bibliography MUST be properly formatted depending upon which style you use.
This unit uses standards-based assessment for award of assessment marks. Your assessments will be evaluated solely on the basis of your individual performance.

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