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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail
 



E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 1
The Media and 9/11


Covering Terrorism
A Series of Two E-Seminars


 
Covering Terrorism
E-Seminar 2, How the Media and Terrorism Shape Public Understanding

Taught by: Brigitte L. Nacos

Description
Terrorists need publicity. Before the invention of the printing press, terrorists preformed their acts of violence before large crowds to ensure word-of-mouth publicity. Today, terrorists rely on the presence of the international media to instantaneously transmit their images of destruction—and their corresponding political message—around the globe. As individuals, most of us depend on the media to learn about terrorists and acts of terrorism; very few of us have personally witnessed an act of terrorism or met a terrorist.



Video Preview
Professor Nacos explains why religious terrorists are often more willing to die for their cause than their secular counterparts.


In her two-part e-seminar series, Covering Terrorism, Brigitte Nacos, Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, examines the marriage of convenience that exists between terrorists and the media. In this e-seminar, How the Media and Terrorists Shape Public Understanding, Professor Nacos looks at how that entangled relationship has helped to create today's more lethal form of terrorism. Using recent examples of terrorism—including Timothy McVeigh's 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City, Ted Kaczynski's series of mail bombs as the Unabomber, and the attacks by hijacked planes in New York and Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2001—Nacos addresses the following questions:
•    How did the end of the Cold War change the nature of international terrorism?
•    How should we define acts of terrorism and identify terrorists?
•    How do acts of religious terrorism differ from their secular counterparts?
•    How do terrorists use the media to access the triangle of political communication?
•    How do terrorists use the media to achieve their goals of publicity, instability, recognition, and respectability?
•    What is the responsibility of the media given its central role in the calculus of terrorism?

E-Seminar Length:3-5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Credits:Not-for-Credit
Prerequisites:None
Moderator:None
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE

Interested in this
e-seminar?
Go to the e-seminar now*.

Note: Columbia students, faculty, staff, and alumni will need to use their University Network ID (UNI) to access e-seminars.



Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading | Technical Requirements

Outline
1. Introduction
2. Terrorism and the Cold War
3. A New Form of Terrorism
4. The Quest for Publicity
5. Recognition and Respectability
6. The Terminology of Terrorism
7. Terrorism of Expression
8. The Terrorist as Celebrity
9. Conclusion

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
Brigitte L. Nacos holds a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University, where she has taught American government for more than a dozen years. Her particular fields of interest include
•    the role of the mass media in American politics and government,
•    the linkages among terrorism, the mass media, public opinion, and crisis management,
•    domestic and international terrorism, antiterrorism, and counterterrorism.


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Recommended Reading
Bok, Sissela. Mayhem: Violence as Public Entertainment. Reading, Mass.: Perseus, 1999.

Edinger, Lewis J., Brigitte L. Nacos. From Bonn to Berlin: German Politics in Transition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Livingston, Steven. The Terrorism Spectacle. Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1994.

Nacos, Brigitte L. The Press, Presidents, and Crises. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

———. Terrorism and the Media: From the Iran Hostage Crisis to the World Trade Center Bombing. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Nacos, Brigitte L., Robert Y. Shapiro, and Pierangelo Isernia, eds. Decisionmaking in a Glass House: Mass Media, Public Opinion and American and European Foreign Policy in the 21st Century. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000.

Said, Edward. Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. Rev. ed. New York: Vintage, 1997.

Weimann, Gabriel, and Conrad Winn. The Theater of Terror: Mass Media and International Terrorism. New York: Longman, 1994.

Wilkinson, Paul. Terrorism versus Democracy: The Liberal State Response. London: Frank Cass, 2001.

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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

IBM-COMPATIBLE PC
Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MACINTOSH
MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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