Diplomats work to define international terrorism and develop solutions

Defining International Terrorism: An Essential Concept for a Career in Diplomacy


Diplomacy plays a critical role in promoting peace and preventing international terrorism. Professionals in this field use their background in international law and foreign relations to develop intelligence for military officials and U.S. policymakers as well as coordinate the dissemination of information among government entities on a global scale.

Diplomacy careers focused on preventing international terrorism may include government agency positions such as intelligence officers and counterterrorism analysts. Programs like Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in Diplomacy prepares individuals for these careers.

What Is International Terrorism?

Terrorism, traditionally defined as any act designed to incite fear and terror, is identified as domestic or international. The FBI’s international terrorism definition specifies an act of terrorism as perpetrated by either a group or an individual inspired by or affiliated with a foreign terrorist nation or organization. An act of domestic terrorism occurs when the perpetrator is motivated by extremist views and has clear U.S. affiliations.

Diplomacy professionals interested in international terrorism should be well versed in current events, strategies, and tactics and how they may impact foreign relations, government policies, and international security.  They must also understand the influences currently impacting terrorist activities. According to the FBI, three key factors impacting terrorism are the increased use of the internet to share extremist messaging, popular social media channels that reach audiences across the globe, and the radicalization of U.S. citizens.

How Norwich University Can Help Students Prepare for a Career in Diplomacy

The online Master of Arts in Diplomacy program at Norwich helps students acquire the knowledge and fundamental skills for diplomacy roles. This program offers several concentrations including International Terrorism that offers a curriculum with military insights for studying and analyzing terrorist activity. Students gain a deeper understanding of why international terrorism exists and how it operates in state-sponsored and non-state-sponsored forms. The International Terrorism concentration includes the following courses:

Terrorism: Introduction and State-Sponsored Terrorism

Diplomacy professionals focused on international relations must understand the difference between state-sponsored and non-state-sponsored terrorism. Terrorism: Introduction and State-Sponsored Terrorism examines the role terrorism has played in international relations for certain states and how the international community reacts to such actions.

International Security

Diplomacy professionals must possess considerable knowledge of the complex, highly-debated subject of international security. International Security explores the key concepts of traditional international security practices that protect the country from international terrorism. The course also provides insight into contemporary influences on international security, such as climate change.

International Terrorism by Non-State Actors

International terrorism by non-state actors refers to terrorist activities not sponsored by or affiliated with state governments. International Terrorism by Non-State Actors provides students with an understanding of the psychological and ideological elements behind non-state-sponsored individuals or groups. The course also explores future trends for these types of terrorists. 

Diplomacy in Practice

Diplomacy in Practice discusses the methodologies used to synthesize foreign policy strategies into actions and how diplomacy professionals can influence foreign policy based on world events. Global and foreign policy practices are also covered.

Skills for Careers That Fight International Terrorism

Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in Diplomacy with a specialization in International Terrorism provides students with the skills and competencies to effectively deploy diplomatic strategies that promote peace and foil terrorist activity. These skills include:

  • Strong leadership. An education in diplomacy helps students advance their leadership abilities to speak more confidently in public and inspire team members. 
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking. Defusing tension and promoting peace are critical concepts within the diplomacy field. Professionals studying diplomacy will enhance their ability to address international problems and conflicts, including negotiating techniques and analysis of the potential consequences of decisions and actions.
  • Communication competencies. Clear, effective written communication skills are critical when communicating about sensitive content relating to international relations and terrorism. Verbal communication skills are fundamental to building trust and positive relationships with foreign and local parties. 
  • Ability to adapt to cultural challenges. Working in any field of international relations demands a well-rounded understanding of various cultural customs and traditions. Diplomacy professionals are trained to manage intercultural differences respectfully and adeptly so that cultural conflicts don’t impact the fight against international terrorism.

Get the Skills to Advance Your Career in Diplomacy

As a private military college, Norwich provides relevant and applicable programs that include unique public service and leadership perspectives. Learn more about how Norwich’s online Master of Arts in Diplomacy program can prepare students for careers that help stabilize global relations and protect the world against international terrorist activities.

Recommended readings
Types of Diplomacy Positions and Their Importance to Improved International Relationships
What Is Public Diplomacy? A Look at a Growing Field
Effective Communication in International Diplomacy

Comparing Failed, Foiled, Completed and Successful Terrorist Attacks, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism
Types of Diplomacy Positions and Their Importance to Improved International Relationships, Norwich University
Master of Arts in Diplomacy, Norwich University
Terrorism, Federal Bureau of Investigation
More Americans Have Been Killed by Domestic Terrorists Than by International Terrorists Since 9/11, Insider
Tradition and History of Excellence, Norwich University
Countering Terrorism, NATO
What Is Diplomatic Leadership?, Houston Chronicle


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