PERSPECTIVES ON THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR: IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY-MAKING
2010/2011, Semester 1
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy)
Modular Credits: 4
Perspectives on the Global War on Terror: Implications for policy-making
(International Relations and Security Studies Specialisation)
AY 2010/2011 Semester 1
Course Coordinator: Dr. Yee-Kuang Heng
As the world settles into what the Pentagon now refers to as the ‘Long War’, this course examines the policy context and theoretical debates regarding how the US-led war on terrorism has been waged so far. It is not so much about the grievances that fuel international terrorism and Al Qaeda but concentrates on how various theoretical perspectives can help explain the West’s policy making in response to the events of 9/11. The course is broadly divided into two sections. Part I examines a range of theoretical perspectives on thinking about the war on terror, such as globalisation and Ulrich Beck’s
world Risk Society,
theories of global governance; Huntington’s ‘clash of civilisations’ and the discourse on American ‘empire’. Part 2 will be applying these theoretical perspectives to analysing various policy responses. These are broken into two types of policy responses, ranging from the military campaigns against Iraq and Afghanistan, to non-military regulatory frameworks in aviation security and terrorist financing.
The purpose of this course is to provide students with grounding and exposure to the main theories and controversies in strategic thinking which are especially relevant in today’s complex world. It highlights to students the political and security environment that policymakers operate in as well as the factors that advance or deter policy agendas, the determinants of decision-making, and the politics of implementation. The issues examined have affected how we understand the war on terror, its prosecution and outcomes, and most importantly, its continued legitimacy and purpose in the contemporary international system. Students are expected to exercise independent thinking, read widely and keep up to date with latest international developments, in order to derive maximum benefit from this course. Critical engagement with a wide variety of readings is expected, ranging from IR material to other fields such as philosophy, history and sociology.
Learning Outcomes and Objectives
The course is designed to provide students the opportunity to study the war on terror from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives which have developed so far in academia. It enables students to understand both the policy and theoretical contexts within which the war on terror is waged; the ideas and rationale behind policies in case studies; as well as analytical tools to evaluate outcomes of those strategies.It is anticipated that students will emerge with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the war on terror as it continues to shape international politics. In particular, the following are emphasized:
A clear understanding of the security environment that policymakers face while making decisions in the war on terror
An ability to approach theoretical debates and empirical case studies in the war on terror with diverse analytical tools
A critical awareness of the complexity, controversy, and conceptual ambiguity involved in waging the war on terror
The ability to collate and evaluate arguments from different sources and viewpoints
The ability to formulate and articulate views coherently in written and oral forms
Week 1: Shopping Week Introduction
Week 2: New vs old security paradigms in the age of globalisation
Part I Theoretical perspectives
Week 3: Clausewitz
is the ‘war’ on terror a war?
Week 4: Ulrich Beck’s
World Risk Society
Week 5: Global Governance and the risk-based approach (RBA)
Week 6: Samuel Huntington’s ‘clash of civilisations’
Week 7: Is America’s war on terror an ‘imperial’ one?
Part II Policy implications and case studies
Week 8: Case study- NATO goes global in Afghanistan
Week 9: Case study- War on Iraq
Week 10: Case study- Aviation Security
Week 11: Case study- Countering terrorist financing
Week 12: Case study- Counter-terrorism lessons so far from the global war on crime
Week 13: Course Review
Course workloads, requirements and modes of assessment
This is a graduate seminar. It is readings intensive and active participation is expected in class discussions. Students must come to class having read the required readings. The benefits that students derive from graduate seminars are especially heavily dependent on vibrant and active in-class discussion and debates. The emphasis is on promoting interactivity and ‘deep learning’ through encouraging student participation. Students will therefore assume a larger stakeholder role in the learning process. A team of two to three students will be delegated responsibility for designing class activities, structuring and leading the class discussions for each week. Activities must be designed to emphasize interactivity and engagement with the whole class so no one individual student is left out of discussions and debates. More information on this will be provided in class.
Assessment in this course is entirely by continuous assessment.
1. A LONG research essay
accounts for 40% of your total assessment.
Write one 3,500-4,000 word essay. This long essay will comprise 40% of the total mark.
Essays should only address questions distributed by me. Essays written on a question not approved by me will not be accepted.Feel free to meet with me to discuss your essay, or anyconcerns you have generally. Since essay deadlines are advertised at the beginning of the semester, students are reminded to plan well ahead for completing their essays, given competing demands on your time and occasional clashing deadlines with other courses. Extensions will not begranted unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as illness or familyemergency.
2. Two ‘reaction’ pieces of 1000 words each are expected from students. This will constitute 30% of the total mark.
: Students will prepare short memos analyzing the readings for that week or addressing supplementary questions. The essays should present either your response to the major arguments from the week’s readings
your answer to the key questions presented for the week. The essays should be between 1000 and 1250 words in length (
and typed). Soft copies of the essays are due on the day of the seminar by 12 noon. A hard-copy of the essay should be handed to me during the seminar.
3. Normal class participation 15%:
Students are expected to participate fully and actively in class discussions and activities every week.
4. Designated presentation 15%:
Students delegated with responsibility to lead student activities in class in a particular week will be graded for their innovation, ability to critically engage with course material, and promote interactivity with their classmates.
PLAGIARISM WARNING FOR WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS
The LKY School’s Academic Code of Conduct lists
as one of six important values. According to this Code, we have agreed to ‘make every effort to understand what counts as plagiarism and why this is wrong’. To avoid giving the impression that you are passing off other people’s work as your own, you will need to acknowledge conscientiously the sources of information, ideas, and arguments used in your paper. For this purpose, you will use the ‘footnote style’ according to the Chicago Manual of Style, the guidelines for which can be found online at
SUBMITTING CLASS ASSIGNMENTS THROUGH TURNITIN
In line with LKYSPP policy, a soft copy of the final research essay will have to be submitted through Turnitin plagiarism detection software. This software is available at http://www.cit.nus.edu.sg/plagiarism.
A hard-copy of the essay must also be submitted to me in class or in my mail-box on or before the due date.