Spring 2022

Terrorism and Revolution: A Case Study of Russia

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-301

Faculty

Constantine V. Pleshakov (Section 01)

Description

Russia was among the first nations in the world to face political terrorism when in the 1870s the leftist People's Will group launched the hunt for Tsar Alexander II. The terrorist trend continued into the twentieth century; in 1918, the Socialist Revolutionary Party attempted to assassinate Lenin. Eradicated by Stalin, terrorism resurfaced in the 1990s, when Russia found itself under attack by Chechen separatists. Legitimacy of political terrorism as the last refuge of the oppressed has been actively debated in Russia for more than a century, and the fact that terrorist groups in question ranged from proto-Marxists to the pseudo-Islamic has made Russian discourse on terrorism uncommonly rich. We will be using a variety of primary sources, such as terrorists’ manifestos and memoirs, as well as conceptual critiques of terror, starting with Dostoyevsky’s novel Demons. First, we will wrestle with the definition of “terrorism” as opposed to “terror.” Second, we will explore the place of terrorism in a revolutionary movement and war. Third, we will look at the counter-terrorism measures applied by the Russian government in the past and now. A case study of terrorism in Russia will hopefully help us to answer a number of questions that are highly relevant today.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Visiting Assistant Professor Pleshakov.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on class discussion, oral presentations, and written work. Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.

This is preliminary information about books for this course. Please contact your instructor or the Academic Coordinator for the department, before attempting to purchase these books.

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Inside Terrorism (3rd edition) Columbia University Press Bruce Hoffman Amherst Books TBD
Angel of vengeance : the girl who shot the governor of St. Petersburg and sparked the age of assassination Griffin Ana Siljak Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.

Offerings

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022