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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Political Science
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Counterinsurgency Dilemma: The Causes and Consequences of State Repression of Human Rights in Civil Wars

The Counterinsurgency Dilemma: The Causes and Consequences of State Repression of Human Rights in Civil Wars

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Date: May 2010
Creator: Quinn, Jason Michael
Description: In this project a theory of adaptive differential insurgency growth by the mechanism of repression driven contagion is put forth to explain variation in the membership and spatial expansion of insurgencies from 1981 to 1999. As an alternative to the dominant structural approaches in the civil war literature, Part 1 of the study proposes an interactive model of insurgency growth based on Most and Starr's opportunity and willingness framework. The findings suggest that state capacity, via its impact on state repressive behavior, plays an important gatekeeping function in selecting which minor insurgencies can grow into civil war, but contributes little to insurgency growth directly. In Part 2 of the study, I directly examine variation in insurgency membership and geographical expansion as a function of repression driven contagion. I find that repression increases the overall magnitude of insurgency activity within states, while at the same time reducing the density of insurgency activity in any one place. Despite an abundance of low intensity armed struggles against a highly diverse group of regimes around the world, I find an extremely strong and robust regularity: where repression is low - insurgencies don't grow.
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Democratic Pantheism in the Political Theory of Alexis de Tocqueville

Democratic Pantheism in the Political Theory of Alexis de Tocqueville

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Date: May 2006
Creator: Bearry, Brian Anthony
Description: According to Alexis de Tocqueville, humanity is entering a new age of political and social equality, a new epoch in which the human race has no historical example or experience. As a result, he holds humanity's future will be largely determined by the political and moral choices made in this transitional time. For Tocqueville, the new egalitarian era is a forgone conclusion, but for him, the pressing question is whether humanity will choose a future in which it enchains itself to new forms of tyranny, or, whether the human race can establish the political and moral institutions designed to assure human freedom and dignity. In Tocqueville's view, liberty or slavery are the two choices modern men and women have in front of them, and it is the intent of this dissertation to explore Tocqueville's warning in regard to the latter choice. Tocqueville warns us that modern democratic peoples must beware of the moral and political effects of a new type of political philosophy, a political theory he terms democratic pantheism. Democratic pantheism is a philosophic doctrine that treats egalitarianism as a "religion" in which all social and political striving is directed toward realizing a providentially ordained strict equality of conditions. ...
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Exogenous Influences and Paths To Activism

Exogenous Influences and Paths To Activism

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Date: May 2000
Creator: Ray, Grady Dale
Description: The focus of this research was to ascertain the indirect effects upon activism of intervening variables and recognized exogenous influences upon activism. In addition, this research also focused upon the differences and similarities of a recruited activist model and spontaneous activist model. Regression and path analysis were used to measure the direct and indirect effects of the exogenous and intervening variables. This research found that when the intervening variables, political interest, political awareness, exposure to media, altruism, and self-interest were introduced to both the recruited and spontaneous models, the direct effects of the variables were enhanced.
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Letters, Liberty, and the Democratic Age in the Thought of Alexis de Tocqueville

Letters, Liberty, and the Democratic Age in the Thought of Alexis de Tocqueville

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Date: December 2009
Creator: Elliot, Natalie J.
Description: When Alexis de Tocqueville observed the spread of modern democracy across France, England, and the United States, he saw that democracy would give rise to a new state of letters, and that this new state of letters would influence how democratic citizens and statesmen would understand the new political world. As he reflected on this new intellectual sphere, Tocqueville became concerned that democracy would foster changes in language and thought that would stifle concepts and ideas essential to the preservation of intellectual and political liberty. In an effort to direct, refine, and reshape political thought in democracy, Tocqueville undertook a critique of the democratic state of letters, assessing intellectual life and contributing his own ideas and concepts to help citizens and statesmen think more coherently about democratic politics. Here, I analyze Tocqueville's critique and offer an account of his effort to reshape democratic political thought. I show that through his analyses of the role of intellectuals in democratic regimes, the influence of modern science on democratic public life, the intellectual habits that democracy fosters, and the power of literary works for shaping democratic self-understanding, Tocqueville succeeds in reshaping democratic language and thought in a manner that contributes to the preservation ...
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Wisdom and Law: Political Thought in Shakespeare's Comedies

Wisdom and Law: Political Thought in Shakespeare's Comedies

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Date: December 2002
Creator: Major, Rafael M.
Description: In this study of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, and Measure for Measure I argue that the surface plots of these comedies point us to a philosophic understanding seldom discussed in either contemporary public discourse or in Shakespearean scholarship. The comedies usually involve questions arising from the conflict between the enforcement of law (whether just or not) and the private longings (whether noble or base) of citizens whose yearnings for happiness tend to be sub- or even supra-political. No regime, it appears, is able to respond to the whole variety of circumstances that it may be called upon to judge. Even the best written laws meet with occasional exceptions and these ulterior instances must be judged by something other than a legal code. When these extra-legal instances do arise, political communities become aware of their reliance on a kind of political judgment that is usually unnoticed in the day-to-day affairs of public life. Further, it is evident that the characters who are able to exercise this political judgment, are the very characters whose presence averts a potentially tragic situation and makes a comedy possible. By presenting examples of how moral and political problems are dealt with by ...
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