This module is a resource for lecturers

Possible class structure

This section contains recommendations for a teaching sequence and timing intended to achieve learning outcomes through a three-hour class. The lecturer may wish to disregard or shorten some of the segments below in order to give more time to other elements, including introduction, icebreakers, conclusion or short breaks. The structure could also be adapted for shorter or longer classes, given that the class durations vary across countries.

Pre-class activity (10 minutes)

Ask students to watch the video 'NATO Review-Organized Crime and Terrorist Groups: Comrades or Chameleons'. [Duration: 11.18 min]

(In-class) Ice-breaker (20 minutes)

Ask students questions about the video. Consider the following for discussion:

  • What issues are identified as facilitating a nexus between organized criminal and terrorist groups?
  • Might there be clashes between these two types of groups and why?
  • What three 'zones' are thought to be key for helping to explain organized criminal activity in relation to the illicit trade in narcotics?

Give a lecture about the key issues contained in this Module (1 hour)

  • Definitions of organized crime, terrorism and the linkages between them
  • International and Regional Frameworks for organized crime and terrorism
  • Theoretical frameworks
  • Typologies of criminal activity and locating the linkages

Break (10 minutes)

Thinking Critically Through Linking Theory to Reality (1.5 hours)

The course lecture includes an overview of three theoretical approaches for examining the crime-terrorism nexus: (i) Williams; (ii) Makarenko; and (iii) Shelley et al. This activity allows students to apply what they have learned about the theory underpinning the linkages to real-life examples. Select some case studies, possibly from those provided in the Module, to include in this activity.

Dependent on the number of enrolled students, they could work in groups of 2-3 to do the following:

  • Review and discuss the case study (studies)
  • Develop summaries of the case studies to share in a short presentation
  • Draw conclusions about how each specific case study corresponds to the various theoretical approaches

The objective of this activity is not for students to determine the "right" crime-terrorism interaction/relationship, but rather it is for the students to develop arguments to support why they think the case study represents a type of relationship - or none. Through this activity the students will learn the practical difficulties associated with identifying and tracking relationships between terrorists/terrorist organizations and criminals/organized crime groups.

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