Terrorism & Security


Course Objective

Upon completion of the course, students:
- understand the characteristics of radicalization, terrorism,
disengagement and de-radicalization;
- are aware of and have knowledge about recent developments in criminal
law in response to terrorism;
- are aware of and have knowledge about the dynamics of EU and global
security regulations with regard to terrorism;
- can think critically about recent policy responses in this area, in
particular from a human rights perspective;
- can reflect on the deeper theoretical meaning of counter-terrorism
policies in light of their previous studies and prior knowledge.

Course Content

What is terrorism and how is it countered? This course deals with the
most current issues of security and law in the Netherlands, the EU, and
the global context. It examines what terrorism is, how individuals
become involved in terrorism, how terrorist organizations operate, how
countries respond to threats of terrorism and how individual rights can
be protected within crisis driven agendas. From an interdisciplinary
perspective (combining insights from criminology, criminal law, human
rights law, and EU constitutional law), the course trains students to
understand terrorism as a phenomenon and discusses how traditional legal
frameworks are amended to new areas of security regulation.

We shall examine, among other things, whether or not it is possible to
profile or identify terrorists, how to respond to returning foreign
fighters, and how the EU and international fora balance the fight
against terrorism with human rights, thereby considering the different
approaches that states have adopted.

This interdisciplinary course consists of two parts: the first part
takes a criminological/political science perspective; the second part
takes a criminal law perspective.

Teaching Methods

The course will consist of a combination of lectures and workshops.

Method of Assessment

Written exam with open questions The reading material for both the
lectures and the workshops are part of the preparation for the exam.

Entry Requirements

The course is open to master students in law and criminology.


A collection of articles and case law that can be found online or
accessed through the VU library.

Target Audience

The course is open to master students in law and criminology. A maximum
of 60 students may attend this course. Apart from regular students, the
course is also available for exchange students.

Custom Course Registration

Only a limited amout of students (60) may participate in the course.

General Information

Course Code R_TerrSec
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator prof. dr. S.E.M. Herlin Karnell LLM
Examiner prof. dr. S.E.M. Herlin Karnell LLM
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group
Target audiences

This course is also available as: