GPM417 The History of Terrorism (16)

This subject will develop and enhance the student's knowledge and understanding of the history of terrorism and develop an integrated understanding of the complex historical context of terrorism, its nature and origins, and other security related issues. Students will develop a sophisticated understanding of the history terrorism and its relevance, critically analyse various approaches to understanding terrorist groups and terrorism threats. Students will also learn, and apply, existing theoretical frameworks. Students will develop the capacity to synthesise this knowledge and understanding through the production of research based assessments.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Canberra Campus
Canberra Campus
Session 2 (60)
Canberra Campus
Session 3 (90)
Manly Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: GPM417. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • possess specialised knowledge of history of terrorism and counter terrorism and be capable of applying existing approaches to the researching and analysing of terrorism history and motivations, and historical examples of counter terrorism policies.
  • possess skills and knowledge in relation to the revision, analysis, consolidation and synthesis of knowledge and understanding of the history and motivators of terrorism, and identify and provide appropriate responses to complex terrorism related threats and counter terrorism challenges, informed by an understanding of the history of terrorism and counter terrorism
  • critically analyse and consider terrorism threats and counter terrorism responses and to evaluate complex policy responses to terrorism in a historical context
  • be capable of communicating an understanding of key theoretical approaches to terrorism and counter terrorism and the historical researching of these related disciplines
  • be capable of communicating complex knowledge and ideas pertaining to the history and motivations of terrorism, and of counter terrorism, to a variety of audiences
  • be capable of making high level, independent judgements in a range of counter terrorism functions in policing, broader law enforcement, intelligence, military and other related contexts
  • be able to initiate, plan, implement and evaluate various counter terrorism activities and policies in their areas of responsibility


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Terrorism: Contexts, Frameworks and Definitions
  • Zealots, Assassins, Thugs; Tyrants and unpowder plots
  • The French Revolution and the ‘Reign of Terror’
  • Anarchism, the Philosophy of the Bomb and Propaganda of the Deed
  • Revolutionaries, Insurgents, Guerrillas
  • The New Left: Terrorism against the West
  • Religious Terrorism: Terror in the name of Gods
  • Skinheads, Nazis, Militias, and The Christian Identity Movement: Right Wing Terrorism
  • ELF and the Environmental Movement: Single Issue Terrorism
  • Lone Wolves, Individual JIhad and Self-radicalisation

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of GPM417 in Session 1 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Insights and takeaways
Propaganda analysis
Case study

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: July 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.