BSST - Terrorism Studies

BSST458 Special Topics in Study Abroad IV (1-6 Credits)

Special topics course taken as part of an approved study abroad program.

Repeatable to: 15 credits if content differs.

BSST630 Motivations and Intents of Terrorists and Terrorist Groups (3 Credits)

Examines motivations for terrorism from an interdisciplinary perspective, with emphasis on political and applied social psychological perspective. Topics may include: defining terrorism; preconditions; recruitment; domestic and international terrorism; and case studies and analysis of terrorist organizations.

BSST631 Societal Impacts of and Responses to Terrorism (3 Credits)

Explores the manners in which a variety of different actors respond to both terrorist incidents and the threat of terrorism. Examines local responses to terrorist incidents; local impacts of terrorism including effects on individual and group attitudes and behaviors; policy decisions made in response to both terrorist attacks and the threat of terrorism; terrorism prevention, deterrence, interdiction, and mitigation efforts; and individual and community recovery from terrorist attacks.

Credit Only Granted for: BSOS631 or BSST631.

Formerly: BSOS631.

BSST632 Development of Counterterrorism Policies and Programs (3 Credits)

Addresses the formulation, adoption, effectiveness, impacts, and afterlives of counterterrorism policies and programs.

Restriction: Must be in the Terrorism Analysis Graduate Certificate Program; or permission of department.

Credit Only Granted for: BSOS632 or BSST632.

Formerly: BSOS632.

BSST633 Research Methods in Terrorism and Counterterrorism (3 Credits)

Provides students with the opportunity to conduct original research, while exposing them to analytical tools relevant to the study of terrorism. Students will work with a range of data sources on domestic and international terrorism, and will be tasked with using data to test hypotheses related to the causes, behaviors, and/ or impacts of terrorism.

Credit Only Granted for: BSOS633 or BSST633.

Formerly: BSOS633.

BSST634 Legal and Criminal Approaches to Counterterrorism (3 Credits)

The United States and many of her allies have challenged long-standing legal boundaries in their effort to combat terrorism. This course examines these responses, including: increased criminalization of terrorism related activities; aggressive criminal prosecutions; detention of suspected terrorists indefinitely in far-off prisons; implementation of enhanced interrogation techniques; launch of drones to kill alleged terrorists, even U.S. citizens; and deployment of a vast system of mass surveillance.

BSST635 Countering Violent Extremism: Policy and Practice (3 Credits)

In recent years, the understanding of how and why individuals engage in violent extremism and terrorism has evolved and become more nuanced, as have the tools to mitigate these threats. A field of policy and practice called Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) has emerged that focuses on countering the pull of terrorist recruitment and influence by building resilience among populations vulnerable to radicalization.

BSST636 Quantitative Research Methods in Terrorism Studies (3 Credits)

Introduction to probability, statistics and data analysis, particularly with respect to how they are used in the study of terrorism. Students will learn fundamental principles of probability and statistical inference, how to summarize data and make statistical inferences, and how to manipulate and analyze data in a statistical software package (Stata) that is widely used in the discipline. The course provides a foundation in quantitative analysis that will enable students to critically evaluate extant quantitative research and manipulate their own data. It will also prepare interested students for more advanced statistics training.

BSST637 Qualitative Research Methods in Terrorism Studies (3 Credits)

Explores research design and qualitative methods using a hands-on approach. The course considers general themes such as the logic of inquiry, the appropriateness of qualitative approaches, as well as more specific topics such as process tracing, archival research, and survey methodology. It also provides students with the opportunity to learn and apply different tools for social science research.

BSST638 Special Topics in Terrorism Studies (3 Credits)

A special topics course for students in the Global Terrorism Minor program. Topics that may be offered are Psychology of Terrorism; Development of Counterterrorism Policies and Programs; Terrorism and Popular Culture; Terrorism and the Media; International Perspective on Terrorism and Counterterrorism (Education Abroad); The Evolution of Hezbollah; Terrorism and Small Wars; Political Islam in the West.

Repeatable to: 9 credits if content differs.

BSST639 Applied Analysis for Security Studies (3 Credits)

Introduces students to novel approaches for applied research in security studies. Topics include simulations, wargaming exercises, red teaming, and horizon scanning. This course assumes no prior experience with these methods. Throughout the course, students will complete interactive strategy-based activities to understand the behavior of violent non-state actors and how to use applied methods to counter militant groups.

BSST640 Theories of Security and Terrorism Studies (3 Credits)

Security and Terrorism Studies is a broad field that includes relevant theoretical voices from across the social sciences, philosophy, and policy. This course will mainly pull from sociological, psychological, and political science (international relations) theory to help students understand the theoretical foundation for the field and for their research. Specific topics may include discussion of power dynamics, ideology, violence, conflict, realist perspectives, and critical perspectives.

Additional Information: Priority enrollment will be given to students in the MPS in Security and Terrorism Studies program.

BSST641 U.S. Security Infrastructure (3 Credits)

An overview of the federal departments and agencies whose core missions are to provide for security and prevent terrorism. The course will overview the Departments of Defense, State, Treasury, Homeland Security, and the U.S. Intelligence Community as well as state, local, and tribal assets, and think tanks and the media, to provide students with a better understanding of interagency successes and gaps.

BSST642 Analytic Methods (3 Credits)

Development and mastery of analytic methods is vital for those seeking careers as professional analysts in fields related to security and terrorism studies. For students focused on an academic research career path, these skills will help you better interface with government and private sector consumers of your work. The overall goals for this course are to provide students with hands-on experience using analytic techniques to solve advanced problems. Classes will cover historical and current uses of analytic techniques and students will develop an understanding of which tools to use under different circumstances of analysis.

BSST643 Great Powers & Near-Peer Competition (3 Credits)

Focused on the emerging threats posed by state actors termed as "near-peers," including topics germane to near-peer competitors, most notably China, Russia, and Iran, but will cover other state actors as necessary. The course also investigates the past, present, and future of the most powerful states in the international system, the great powers, and how they compete, and cooperate in international relations. By examining the various aspects of the great powers and near-peer competitors, students will learn how geography, politics, economics, technology, and ideology play a role in global competition.

BSST645 Non-state Actors Threats and Responses (3 Credits)

The Non-State Actor. Running the gamut from Freedom fighters to Corporatized extortionists, NSAs play a pivotal role in the modern fields of combat. Some maintain loose state-level ties with high deniability, others rage against their domestic governments and facilitate foreign influence, but all present a modern adversary that Western Allies and Governments need to anticipate, track, and overcome. This course will provide an overview of the types of non-state actors that influence state actions. The course will examine the economic, political, and social costs of the proliferation of non-state actors globally. While the course will discuss terrorist groups, the main focus of the course will be on actors such as militant groups, insurgent groups, drug cartels, and illicit financial actors.

BSST650 Foundations of Insider Risk Management & Mitigation (3 Credits)

The risks posed by trusted insiders to organizations in both the public and private sector are well documented. Past compromises of national security information have provided sensitive information to US adversaries; theft or compromise of proprietary data and intellectual property has impacted businesses large and small; and, incidents of workplace violence perpetrated by insiders are on the rise. This course provides context for the counter insider threat mission and explores multi-disciplinary insider risk management concepts. The course addresses matters of policy, political and socio-economic impacts, psychological factors, and gives special consideration to issues of cyber insider threat, privacy and civil liberties, kinetic violence, and related social and behavioral science research.

BSST651 The Psychology of Malicious Insiders (3 Credits)

Multidisciplinary perspectives on intentional, malicious behavior by insiders. Reviews theoretical foundations from social psychology, personality psychology, psychopathology, and criminology and encourages students to understand Insider Threat (InT) behaviors through case conceptualization/formulation. Emphasis shall be placed on understanding the "fit" between different strategies for interviewing, investigating, early warning, monitoring, and mitigation, as well as the dynamics of a given case.

BSST652 Managing Insider Threat Activities (3 Credits)

Introduces critical concepts in threat assessment, management, and mitigation. Specifically, the seminar will highlight key concepts, theories, best practices, and research in three major areas of focus: (1) threat assessment and risk management, (2) mitigating existing risk and preventing further escalation, and (3) oversight and accountability of threat assessment activities.

BSST653 Investigative Thinking, Analysis and Decision-making in Insider Risk Management & Mitigation (3 Credits)

The purpose of this course is to stimulate "knowledge opportunity" in the complex everyday subject of decision making in insider threat analysis. Through the discovery of investigative thinking and some of its core elements of critical thinking, data to knowledge process, communication, heuristic, bias, and thinking processes, it is hoped it will lead students towards a better understanding of "What they are looking for" and "What they are looking at," both key elements essential in sound investigative thinking.

BSST697 Capstone (3 Credits)

The capstone course allows MPS students the ability to take what they have learned throughout their coursework and apply theories, methods, analysis, and policy in the form of a final project. The project can originate from work experience or the student's interests. Projects will be developed in conjunction with a member of the graduate faculty who will oversee the student's progress. By the end of the semester, each student is expected to have completed their individual project. The project should further the student's intellectual and career goals and can take the form of practical analysis, policy, or a more academic approach. Students will present their capstone project in written form and will also be required to present their research via an online colloquium. Students are expected to meet with a capstone advisor at least once a week and will devote considerable time developing the project individually.

Restriction: Students must be currently enrolled in their final semester of the MPTS program and have completed a minimum of 27 program credits.

BSST698 Seminar in Terrorism Studies (1-3 Credits)

A special topics seminar course for graduate students interested in terrorism studies.

Repeatable to: 9 credits if content differs.

BSST699 Independent Study in Terrorism Studies (3 Credits)

An independent study course for students in the Global Terrorism Minor program.

Repeatable to: 9 credits if content differs.