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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Political Science
 Decade: 2000-2009
 Degree Level: Master's
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Beyond GNP: Economic Freedom as a Determinant of Basic Human Needs.

Beyond GNP: Economic Freedom as a Determinant of Basic Human Needs.

Date: December 2002
Creator: Juenke, Eric
Description: Research concerning ‘basic needs' in the Human Rights literature has consistently found a positive and significant relationship between measures of wealth and basic needs provision. This study utilizes a relatively new measure of economic freedom to test hypotheses regarding general macro-economic policy decisions and basic needs outcomes. A pooled dataset of 138 countries over four years is examined using OLS panel regression controlling for both' year' and ‘country,' in a standard basic needs model. Consistent and systematic differences between economic freedom effects in OECD nations and non-OECD nations are revealed. The Economic Freedom Index has both theoretical and empirical advantages over previous measures of wealth and economic freedom, allowing human rights scholars to test specific economic policy decisions as they affect basic needs outcomes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Blessed and the Damned: Peacemakers, Warlords, and Post Civil War Democracy

The Blessed and the Damned: Peacemakers, Warlords, and Post Civil War Democracy

Date: August 2007
Creator: Wright, Thorin M.
Description: This thesis seeks to explain how democracies emerge out of the ashes of civil wars. This paper envisions transitions to democracy after a civil war largely as a function of the peace process. Democracy is thought of as a medium through which solutions to the problems and issues over which the civil war was fought can be solved without violence. Transitions to democracy are more likely if there is a large bargaining space and the problems of credible commitments to democratization can be solved. Democratization is more likely if four conditions exist in a state after the civil war: a negotiated settlement, credible commitments via international enforcement, demobilization, and a cooperative international environment. The hypotheses derived are tested through an event history analysis for two different standards of democracy. The results suggest that factors indicative of all four theoretical concepts contribute to the likelihood of democratization after a civil war.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Changing Ideological Boots:  Adaptive Legislator Behavior in Changing Districts

Changing Ideological Boots: Adaptive Legislator Behavior in Changing Districts

Date: August 2002
Creator: Dunaway, Johanna
Description: Congressional roll-call votes are often used to investigate legislative voting behavior. To depict adaptive roll-call behavior in response to demographic changes that occur during redistricting, I use issue specific interest group scores from the ADA, NFU, and COPE. This exploits the bias in the selection of the issues that interest groups utilize to rate U.S. representatives, by using them to reflect changes in response to significant demographic fluctuations in the constituency population. The findings indicate that while party is the most significant factor in whether legislators adapt their voting in favor of certain groups, they do notice group composition changes within district and adapt their voting accordingly. This illustrates the impact of redistricting on policy and legislators' adaptation to changes in district composition.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Child soldiers and intrastate armed conflicts: An analysis of the recruitments of child soldiers in civil wars between 2001 and 2003.

Child soldiers and intrastate armed conflicts: An analysis of the recruitments of child soldiers in civil wars between 2001 and 2003.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Samphansakul, Attaphorn
Description: This thesis examines why some governments and rebel organizations but not others recruit children to be child soldiers. The theory posits that if a country fights in a civil war of long duration, armed groups are more likely to recruit children as soldiers. I find that the probability of child soldier recruitment increases when a country experiences following conditions: a longer duration of civil war, a large proportion of battle deaths, a large number of refugees, a high infant mortality rate, and the presence of alluvial diamonds. An increase in education expenditures and civil liberties would decrease the probability of child soldier recruitments.
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The commander's sword & the executive's pen: Presidential success in congress and the use of force.

The commander's sword & the executive's pen: Presidential success in congress and the use of force.

Date: August 2007
Creator: Ragland, James Deen
Description: Post-force congressional rally effects are presented as a new incentive behind presidential decisions to use diversionary behavior. Using all key roll call votes in the House and Senate where the president has taken a position for the years 1948 to 1993, presidents are found to receive sharp decreases in both presidential support and success in Congress shortly after employing aggressive policies abroad. Evidence does suggest that presidents are able to capitalize on higher levels of congressional support for their policy preferences on votes pertaining to foreign or defense matters after uses of force abroad. But, despite these findings, diversionary behavior is found to hinder rather than facilitate troubled presidents' abilities to influence congressional voting behavior.
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Contemporary Patterns of Democratic Norms and Political Participation in Mexico

Contemporary Patterns of Democratic Norms and Political Participation in Mexico

Date: August 2008
Creator: Ramsey, Adam Perry
Description: Mexico's cultural norms have been the subject of repeated inquiries because democratic and authoritarian patterns appear concomitantly. However, few have focused on the potential demographic and contextual sources of these divergent results. This study attempts to clarify the sources of Mexico's political culture, and then determine the extent to which these factors affect political participation. Statistical analysis of a LAPOP dataset from 2006 makes limited progress to this end. The sources of Mexican political culture remain somewhat a mystery, although some intriguing results were found. Most notably, demographic traits appear to have little influence on political culture variables and political participation rates in Mexico. In fact, political culture norms and political participation appears consistent across Mexico's infamous social and economic lines.
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Contextualizing the Law: Sentencing Decisions of Sexual Assault Cases of Dallas County, 1999-2005

Contextualizing the Law: Sentencing Decisions of Sexual Assault Cases of Dallas County, 1999-2005

Date: December 2006
Creator: Greening, Megan
Description: The incidence of sexual assault inundates the courts with many cases each year. Given the unique nature of the crime, judges and juries are faced with an array of different scenarios to which they are required to make fair, justifiable and consistent decisions. I examine child sexual assault cases of Dallas County 1999-2005, I look at both legal and extralegal factors including case characteristics, institutional characteristics and characteristics of the defendants and the victims. First, I examine the impact of the independent variables on sentence length using regression analysis to determine influences on sentencing for judges and juries. Second, I examine the same factors using Probit analysis to determine which characteristics make a life sentence more probable for those decision-makers.
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The Czech Republic's Transition: The Environment and Human Rights

The Czech Republic's Transition: The Environment and Human Rights

Date: May 2003
Creator: Buck, Ryan D.
Description: This exploratory case study considers the Czech Republic from 1993 thru 2002 by examining two links: first, between transition and the environment.; second, between the environment and human rights. The study examines data from the Czech Ministry of Environment, the European Union, the World Bank, and Freedom House. The purpose of this study is to better understand the Czech Republic and to generate hypotheses that might be used in future cross-national studies. Chapter III provides the underlying theory linking the environment and human rights. Chapters IV, V, and VI discuss the data and the two links and suggest hypotheses for future research. Chapter VII draws conclusions about states in transition, the environment, and human rights and encourages future integrative research.
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Decision-Making at the Court of Appeals Level Involving Religious Liberty Cases

Decision-Making at the Court of Appeals Level Involving Religious Liberty Cases

Date: December 2002
Creator: Reeves, Susan Kay
Description: Many studies have been completed on factors affecting judicial decisions. Studies have focused on civil rights cases, economic cases, criminal cases, sexual discrimination and obscenity cases, but no work has specifically looked at religious liberty cases. This work examines the factors affecting United States Courts of Appeals judges' decision-making in religious liberty cases. I hypothesize that gender, race, religious background, prior judicial experience, circuit, region and litigant status will all influence the way judges vote in religious liberty cases. The explanatory power of this study is relatively low, but the results indicate that judges follow the law when making decisions in religious liberty cases.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Destruction of a Society: A Qualitative Examination of the Use of Rape as a Military Tool

The Destruction of a Society: A Qualitative Examination of the Use of Rape as a Military Tool

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Finley, Briana Noelle
Description: This thesis explores the conditions under which mass rapes are more likely to be incorporated into the strategy of military or paramilitary groups during periods of conflict. I examine three societies, Rwanda , the former Yugoslavia , and Cambodia in a comparative analysis. To determine what characteristics make societies more likely to engage in rape as a military tool, I look at the status of women in the society, the religious cultures, the degree of female integration into the military institutions, the cause of the conflicts, the history of the conflict, and finally, the status of minority ethnic groups in each of these societies.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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