GPM417 The History of Terrorism (16)

International terrorism did not begin with the September 11 attacks in 2001: it has a legacy which spans centuries. The History of Terrorism provides you with foundational knowledge of terrorism throughout time and space, and introduces you to the strategies and concepts exploited by terrorists to threaten civil society. Through the examination of pre-modern terrorism and the French Revolution, you will gain an understanding of precursors to modern terrorist violence. You will examine terrorism across the ideological spectrum to understand the complex nature of the threats, including left wing terrorism, right wing terrorism, religious terrorism, and lone actor terrorism. Finally, you will assess the efficacy of historical counter terrorism approaches to understand the challenges in countering terrorist movements.


Session 1 (30)
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:
  • be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge of the history of terrorism, with reference to the emergence, evolution, and end of terrorism campaigns, in order to evaluate past counter terrorism approaches;
  • be able to critically analyse theory, concepts, and threats throughout the history of terrorism in order to make extrapolations on contemporary threats;
  • be able to select and apply appropriate research methods to investigate historical terrorism to substantiate assessments;
  • be able to demonstrate professional objectivity in order to contextualise previous practice; and
  • be able to clearly communicate complex knowledge regarding the history of terrorism in order to inform specialist and non-specialist audiences.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Terrorism definitions, strategies, and theory
  • Pre-modern terrorism
  • Left wing terrorism including anarchist, the new left, and eco-terrorism
  • Right wing terrorism
  • Religious terrorism including Jihadism
  • Single-issue and lone actor terrorism

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of GPM417 in Session 3 2020. 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
Definition brief
Case investigation

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.