Excerpt from course description

Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism


This is a Master of Management program about terrorism and counter-terrorism. It focuses on three main topics: The causes of terrorism, strategies for combating terrorism, and analysis of present threats and challenges linked to terrorism and counter-terrorism. The program covers terrorism as a concept, the causes of terrorism, and the strategy and tactics of a range of different terrorist groups; as well as counter-terrorism strategy, tactics and policy tools. How states (and indeed firms and voluntary organizations) interpret terrorism shapes their response.

The first part of the course covers the causes and origins of modern terrorism, common tactical, strategic and organizational elements across a wider range of terrorist groups, and the implications this has for contemporary terrorist threats.

The second part focuses on the modus operandi of contemporary terrorist groups, and on threat assessment and policy tools for dealing with terrorism. Key topics include terrorists' organisation, target selection, weapons acquisition, finance, logistics, and types of attacks.

The third part of the course turns to counter-terrorism, and explores the strengths and weaknesses of different counter-terrorism (and counter-insurgency) strategies. In different places and at different times terrorism has been interpreted as first and foremost a criminal, military, political or propaganda challenge, and this has important implications for which organizations the state assigns the lead role in counter-terrorism to.

Course content

Session 1: The causes and consequences of terrorism  

  • Causes of terrorism
  • Varieties of terrorism
  • Strategic elements of terrorism
  • Terrorism in the 20th Century: Left and right extremist, national and religious terrorism 
  • Contemporary Terrorism, with a focus on far right and Islamist terrorism.

Session 2: Threat assessment

  • Threat analysis
  • Terrorist tactics and modus operandi
  • Terrorist organisation, finance and weapons
  • Contemporary terrorism in Europe

Session 3: Counter-terrorism and its consequences

  • Varieties of counter-terrorism strategy
  • Dilemmas of counter-terrorism in democratic states
  • The tools of counter terrorism
  • The outcome of terrorist campaigns: how terrorism ends.
  • Contemporary counter-terrorism


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.