Warlords, Terrorists, and Militias: Theorizing on Violent Non-State Actors

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Warlords, Terrorists, and Militias: Theorizing on Violent Non-State Actors

Course Details

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FREE

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  • On demand

Course Provider

MIT online courses
MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of almost all of MIT's subjects available on the Web, free of charge. With more than 2,200 courses available, OCW is delivering on the promise of open sharing of knowledge.
MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of almost all of MIT's subjects available on the Web, free of charge. With more than 2,200 courses available, OCW is delivering on the promise of open sharing of knowledge.
Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
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Course Description

This course is a general overview of the recent political science literature on violent non-state actors. Its aim is to examine why non-state actors (such as warlords, terrorists, militias, etc.) resort to violence, what means and tactics they use, and what can be done to counter that violence. In that regard, the class will cover works pertaining to the production side of non-state violence (i.e. the objectives and organization of insurgents/terrorists/militias/warlords, their mobilization strategies and support base, how they coerce opponents, etc.); as well as the response that violence elicits from governments or other actors (i.e. counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism strategies, among others). Apart from introducing the basic variables and theoretical and empirical findings in the literature, this course will also grapple with questions of definition, operationalization of variables, and general methodology relevant to condu...

This course is a general overview of the recent political science literature on violent non-state actors. Its aim is to examine why non-state actors (such as warlords, terrorists, militias, etc.) resort to violence, what means and tactics they use, and what can be done to counter that violence. In that regard, the class will cover works pertaining to the production side of non-state violence (i.e. the objectives and organization of insurgents/terrorists/militias/warlords, their mobilization strategies and support base, how they coerce opponents, etc.); as well as the response that violence elicits from governments or other actors (i.e. counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism strategies, among others). Apart from introducing the basic variables and theoretical and empirical findings in the literature, this course will also grapple with questions of definition, operationalization of variables, and general methodology relevant to conducting research in this area of violent conflict. Though thematically-driven, this course will also reference cases from the contemporary battlefields of insurgency and terrorism (be it Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, the West Bank and Gaza, Colombia, etc.) as they relate to the pertinent themes.

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