14 days
650 EUR/full
650 EUR/full
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


During The Political Economy of Terrorism and Counterterrorism course from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, we will encounter examples for empirical strategies to isolate causal relationships from correlations, such as natural experiments, instrumental variables, and identification through regression discontinuity design (RDD). 

Visit the official programme website for more information


We are looking forward to welcoming you to VU Amsterdam Summer School! Previous students exclaimed finding our summer school absolutely wonderful, interesting and fun yet also tremendously helpful for their professional and academic careers.

We understand the situation is very uncertain and we therefore offer free cancellation and a full refund until 1 May. Are you ready to unlock your potential?

What do we know about the roots and motivations of ISIS, the KKK, al-Qaeda, or the Lord’s Resistance Army beyond speculation, snippets of incomplete information, and stereotypical assessments? 

The Political Economy of Terrorism and Counterterrorism course from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam considers modern-day terrorism from a theoretical and especially from an empirical perspective. 

Active participation, intellectual openness, critical thinking, and dialogue constitute key elements in this course.

First, we study whether, when, and why terrorism has been successful to varying degrees. Second, we turn to the intimate relationship between terrorism and the media; exploring whether and how news coverage is likely so crucial for terror groups; and what this means for a free press. 

Third, we consider the role of religion in terror movements and radicalization (e.g., for Islamist extremism). Fourth and final, we evaluate counterterrorism strategies, exploring a few successful and unsuccessful cases for which empirical evidence is available.

Programme Structure


Although the phenomenon of terrorism has been studied extensively, many of its underlying motivations and dynamics remain difficult to pin down. 

The US alone has spent trillions of dollars on the ‘War on Terror,’ only to harvest widespread hostility across many Middle Eastern countries.

What you’ll learn (learning objectives): 

  • What sets terrorism apart from more traditional types of warfare. 
  • How the public, commentators, and researchers assess and interpret terrorism. 
  • What constitutes ‘success’ for a particular group, understanding the consequences of terrorism. 
  • The extraordinary role of media attention for terror groups. 
  • The role of religious and cultural perspectives in terrorism.
  • The theoretical background and empirical success of counter-terrorism strategies.


All Advanced Bachelor's, Master’s and PhD students - A basic background in Econometrics (an understanding of regression analysis) is welcome but not crucial. 

Key information


  • Part-time
    • 14 days

Start dates & application deadlines





Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae/Résumé
  • Transcript of records (a print screen of your most recent grades is sufficient and needs to include your name and the name of your University)

Tuition Fee

  • International

    650 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 650 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 14 days.
  • EU/EEA

    650 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 650 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 14 days.



Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Updated in the last 6 months

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

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The Political Economy of Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


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