POLS2207 – Terrorism & Insurgency in World Politics74.3
(Taken in Semester 2....option can't be selected)
* I was in David's tute and he was pretty chill and just generally asked his 'favourite' three or four students (ie: the ones who were willing to speak up in first week) what they thought This was excellent because he took a particular liking to one girl who happened to be a really good looking brunette with legs for days who usually wore tiny shorts to class. So we lads all had an excuse to look at her for half the tute and enjoy her comments like calling jemaah islamiyah an Al-Qaeda Tribute Group".
* 15 marks are available for showing up to tutes, which is more generous than most courses, so you can get a 15 marks headstart by showing up.
*Interesting course content. There is a heavy focus on Post 9/11 terrorism which is to be expected but there are still a few weeks dedicated to earlier terrorist and insurgent groups, which I liked.
* Blackboard well maintained.
* Plenty of exam hints. Essay questions selected also give you a chance to basically rehash your research essay and if you just study one other one, you can get away with not really learning anything about the other topics. I know someone who basically stopped doing anything after Week 8 and still got a high 6.
* The lectures were a bit of a waste of time at points......while I like David personally, he does have the tendency to drift off a lot. I went to them because I had to be on campus anyway since the lecture was timed between two tutes, so I might as well go, but if not for that, I'd have just listened at home.
* The readings were very dated. I feel like the course reader was really in need of a refresher because you'd often have to go online and fill in 5-20 years of what has happened since. For example, the materials on Israel/Palestine were written in 1988 when it's still an ongoing conflict.
* I did hear from mates that a couple of the tutors are horrible slave drivers. Try and get David's tute if you can.
HINT for anyone who does this course: The essay questions don't change from year to year. You can pretty much write the essay in the holidays if you want to get a headstart on something to reduce your workload during the semester.
POLS2207 – Terrorism & Insurgency in World Politics95.0
Interesting subject but materials felt dated. The readings are interesting but sometimes the structure seemed disconnected. Lectures are well delivered, although the IT department either needs to work some things out or training should be provided -- with pay -- for lecturers and coordinators. Helpful feedback and encouragement is given and my tutor -- Kate Irwin -- was extremely approachable and greatly helpful, even outside of her office hours. The downside of this course was that some of the material seemed dated, with essay questions and power-points being reused from previous years. I would also have liked a greater focus on contemporary terrorism and maybe a more temporal pace to the case studies so some relativity, causation, or evolution could have been showed.
Semester 2 - 2014
Bachelor of Arts / Peace and Conflict Studies
Is lecture attendance necessary?
no, lectures are recorded
Is the textbook necessary?
no, readings are available online including textbook chapters. I recommend you buy the course reader.
POLS2207 – Terrorism & Insurgency in World Politics79.0
I thoroughly enjoyed this course. I was fortunate enough to have David Martin Jones as a tutor, and while I tended to skip lectures in lieu of watching them sped-up later, the tutorials were fantastic; easily some of the best ones I've had. Dr Jones had to leave for Britain for a few weeks, and Monique (can't recall surname) took our tutorials. I found her pleasant and engaging.
The only negative things about the course were: an idiot who decided to make a tutorial about religious terrorism a poor man's version of a Christopher Hitchens/Richard Dawkins speech. Would not sit in again/10. Also, tutorials should be two hours long; a lot of debate and discussion could have been had if that was the case.
Aside from that, I learned a lot from the course and would highly recommend it to anyone, pace the grumbling anonymous reviewer.
Semester 2 - 2013
Bachelor of Journalism/Arts (International Relations)
POLS2207 – Terrorism & Insurgency in World Politics29.2
This course had the potential to be a great course, however, the lecturer and the course layout was a let down. The course was treated more like a history subject rather than a political science one. There was more focus on when dates happened rather than what or why happened. The materials for the course were useful but there was way too much for the course reader, and a lot of the articles inside were skipped.
David Martin Jones was not an enthusiastic lecturer. His lecture slides were just recycles of old power-points used in previous years, with terrible editing and ridiculous amounts of 'cut and paste'. The absence of lecture information made for really lazy lectures, not to mention that the lecture on the Battle of Algiers was just a screening of the 1966 French film with no explanation of the topic itself. He also could not complete his sentences and would jump from topic to topic without completing his previous point, leaving a lot of information out.
I also had an incredibly rude tutor for the subject who was unsupportive of students and was not willing to assist students in any way.