CIMS 555 640
This course studies the emergence of organized terrorism in nineteenth-century Russia and its impact on public life in the West, the Balkans, and America. We investigate the political and cultural origins of terrorism, its conspiratorial routine, structures, methods, manuals, and manifestoes. Historical and cultural approaches converge in the discussion of intellectual movements that forged the formula of terrorism and influenced the professionalization of the underground, such as nihilism, anarchism, and populism. We discuss the stern terrorist personality, self-denial, revolutionary martyrdom, and conspiratorial militancy. The theatricals of terrorism are of particular interest, its bombastic acts, mystification, and techniques of spreading disorganizing fear in the global media environment. We trace the creation of counterterrorism police in late imperial Russia and its methods to infiltrate, demoralize, and dismantle the terrorist networks, and reengineer their social base. First Red Scare and the formation of the FBI constitutes a unique case of managing rampant political violence and countering the asymmetrical threat of terrorism.
Subject Area Vocab