Supplemental Materials include graphic organizers, a PowerPoint of political cartoons, links to resources on other sites, and a list of recommended print resources.
Responding to Terrorism: Challenges for Democracy
Seventh edition. August 2011.
September 11 heightened concern about terrorism worldwide, and especially in the United States. The U.S. government changed its foreign policy, leading wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that it claimed were necessary to fight terrorism. There were also changes at home. September 11 created a climate of fear and uncertainty, but also a spirit of patriotism, as people in the United States struggled to cope with the changes heralded by the attacks that day.
Today more than a decade later, people in the United States must consider important questions in a context sharpened by the death of Osama bin Laden: What are the motivations for terrorism? Why was the United States attacked? How great is the threat of terrorism? What is the best way to prevent terrorism?
Responding to Terrorism: Challenges for Democracy helps students consider the issues surrounding the 9.11.01 attacks and the U.S. response to terrorism in a constructive context that promotes dialogue about future policy directions.
This unit provides extensive reading for students. Part I of the reading traces the history and evolution of terrorism, showing how tactics and objectives have changed. Part II looks at the threat terrorism poses today both in the United States and around the world. Part III explores the U.S. response to terrorism and the issues that complicate the response.
The Choices Role Play
At the core of the curriculum unit is a framework of four distinct policy options that allows students to consider a range of alternatives for U.S. policy toward terrorism. By exploring a spectrum of alternatives, students gain a deeper understanding of the values underlying specific policy recommendations.
Oral History and September 11
Students explore the human dimension of the September 11 attacks by conducting an interview. Students consider the benefits and limitations of using oral history to learn about the past, and assess their own views on September 11.
Students develop a working definition of terrorism by determining whether several groups described in case studies should be called "revolutionaries" or "terrorists." Students explore the debate over legitimate and illegitimate uses of force and listen to several scholars discuss the phrase, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."
Interpreting Political Cartoons
Students review political cartoons from the domestic and international press about topics like civil liberties, responsibility for the 9.11 attacks, and the U.S. response to terrorism. The range of viewpoints helps students to understand the different values present in the debate about the response to terrorism.
Role-Playing the Four Options
Working cooperatively to develop and present different U.S. policy options to U.S. senators, students clarify and evaluate alternative policy recommendations. An additional group serves as representatives from several UN countries who voice their concerns.
Joining the Debate on U.S. Policy
Armed with historical knowledge and a sense of their own values, students deliberate the options presented and articulate coherent recommendations. They then apply their policy recommendations to three hypothetical crises.