This class is required for TransAtlantic Track students and will be taught by the DAAD Visiting professor, Tobias Hof. Other TAM students may take HIST 490 as an elective class if they wish.
After a short introduction into different definitions of terrorism and counter-terrorism, HIST 490 will at first focus on extremists and terrorist groups which were using violence as a political means in Europe. Students will not only examine left- and right-wing terrorism in countries such as West Germany, Italy or France, but also look at ethnic-nationalist terrorist groups in the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy as well as at international and transnational terrorism in Europe before and after 9/11. Students will discuss why these groups used violence and what they wanted to achieve. We will also analyze possible networks between these groups and look at similarities and differences.
Then we turn our attention to the question of how European states reacted to the terrorist threat. What was their strategy to efficiently fight terrorism without abandoning the rule-of-law? In this context we will look at anti-terrorism laws, policy agencies, the secret services and the role of the parliament in countries like West Germany, Italy or the United Kingdom. A special focus will be on ‘terrorist trials’ and how they represent a special ‘stage’ for the asymmetric war between terrorists and the state. Finally, we will look at international cooperation (especially European) to fight terrorist groups in light of a European Union that tries to demolish border controls in their attempt to form a political union.