This course provides an introduction to central debates about terrorism and how it can and should be combatted. We begin with a general overview of debates about terrorism and its definition. We then explore four major debates about terrorism and counterterrorism policy, namely:
- Root causes and effectiveness: What are the root causes of terrorism? When, if ever, is terrorism an effective strategy?
- War and crime: Is counterterrorism generally best approached on the model of law enforcement? When, if ever, is counterterrorism best approached on the model of war? What are the pros and cons of each approach? This unit will focus on the debate about targeted killings in the United States and Israel.
- Torture: Is the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” ever justified? Do the exigencies of counterterrorism require that certain techniques be brought within the bounds of the law? This unit will focus on debates in the United States and more recently in Israel.
- Surveillance: How should counterterrorism policy strike a balance between security and privacy? This unit will focus on recent debates about surveillance programs in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Course materials draw widely from political science, law, political philosophy, declassified documents, journalism, and film. The course also includes asynchronous work, which students are expected to complete between class sessions.
Sajid Shapoo is a highly decorated and senior (Two Star General) Indian Police Service officer with 20 years of progressively senior experience in sensitive and high profile counter terror assignments across India.
Sajid Farid Shapoo is currently a PhD Scholar at Princeton University where his research involves unravelling the influence of Salafi ideology on jihadist violence. He also holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, New York with specializations in Middle East and International Security Policy. He is a Senior Fellow at Soufan Centre.
He holds in-depth experience in counter-terror investigations, intelligence operations and counter-terror policymaking. He was the first officer chosen to serve in the National Investigation Agency (NIA),India’s federal counter-terror investigating agency. He has commanded many important investigations including Mumbai Terror Attacks Conspiracy Case, Patna serial blasts case, Bodh Gaya serial blast cases and many cases related to Al Qaeda and ISIS.
He is among the rare officers who have been twice conferred with Gallantry Medal, the highest bravery award, by the President of India. He is also a recipient of the Police Medal for Meritorious Services conferred to him by President of India for his exemplary and unblemished service career.
He served as an Adjunct Associate Professor in City University of New York where he taught a course on Terrorism and Politics to graduate students. His areas of expertise include Terrorism and Counter-terrorism, Religion and Politics in Middle East and South Asia, Ideologies driving various jihadi organizations, Early Islamic Period (Shia-Sunni divide) and International Security Policy. Sajid Shapoo is a recognized national resource person on Al Qaeda and Lashkar e Tayeba.
Specific course details such as topics, activities, hours, and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.