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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Political Science
 Degree Level: Master's
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Plebiscites

Plebiscites

Date: May 2015
Creator: Fonseca Acosta, Rosa
Description: This study investigates factors that can influence leaders to use plebiscites to settle territorial claims. A quick survey of the plebiscite literature shows that the method has been extensively mentioned in the legal, historical, and philosophical fields (mostly through case studies) but less so in political science. This thesis is the first attempt, to my knowledge, to quantitatively investigate the different factors that can influence a leader to use a plebiscite. Using the latest version of the ICOW dataset, I test political and economic theories to try to explain the variation in the decision outcome. This study includes the following variables: identity ties, economic strength, an interaction between identity ties and economic strength, internal constraints (regime type and violent interaction), and external constraints (membership to international organizations). The results suggest that identity ties offer the strongest explanation as to why leaders settle a territorial claim with a plebiscite. Plebiscites have been rarely used to settle territorial claims, but when used they tend to settle cases permanently. This thesis serves as an attempt to revive a method that while difficult to agree upon, can be successful in resolving territorial claims permanently, and more importantly peacefully.
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Why Be Friends? Amicus Curiae Briefs in State Courts of Last Resort

Why Be Friends? Amicus Curiae Briefs in State Courts of Last Resort

Date: December 2014
Creator: Perkins, Jared D.
Description: While there has been a substantial body of research on interest group activity in U.S. federal courts, there has been comparatively little analysis of interest group engagement with state courts. Given that state courts adjudicate the vast majority of cases in the American legal system and very few cases are appealed to the Supreme Court, understanding why organized interests participate in these courts is of great importance. The present study analyzes interest group involvement as amicus curiae in all state courts of last resort from 1995-1999 to examine what factors motivate organized interests to turn to the courts. The results indicate that interest groups are primarily motivated by their policy goals in deciding which cases to file amicus briefs in, but that they are limited in their ability to file by institutional constraints unique to state courts of last resort. This research provides insight into interest group behavior, state courts and the role organized interests play in influencing legal outcomes in the American states.
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The First Days of Spring: An Analysis of the International Treatment of Homosexuality

The First Days of Spring: An Analysis of the International Treatment of Homosexuality

Date: December 2013
Creator: Galvan, Michael R.
Description: In recent history, the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) persons have been in constant fluctuation. Many states criminalize homosexual behavior while other states legally recognize same-sex marriages and same-sex adoptions. There are also irregular patterns where LGBT interest groups form across the globe. With this research project, I begin to explain why these discrepancies in the treatment of homosexuality and the formation of LGBT interest groups occur. I develop a theory that the most obvious contrast across the globe occurs when analyzing the treatment of homosexuals in OECD member states versus non-OECD countries. OECD nations tend to see the gay community struggle for more advanced civil rights and government protections, while non-OECD states have to worry about fundamental human rights to life and liberty. I find that this specific dichotomization is what causes the irregular LGBT interest group formation pattern across the globe; non-OECD nations tend to have fewer LGBT interest groups than their OECD counterparts. When looking at why non-OECD nations and OECD nations suppress the rights of their gay citizens, I find that religion plays a critical role in the suppression of the gay community. In this analysis, I measure religion several different ways, including ...
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Gender, Peace and Democracy

Gender, Peace and Democracy

Date: August 2013
Creator: Kelly, Eliza G.
Description: In the last several decades there has been immense international emphasis and promotion of gender equality and female participation in the social, economic, and political spheres of society. There has also been an increase in civil conflict recurrence in countries as well as countries transitioning to democracy. This study explores the effect of female participation on peace and democracy. In the first part, I focus on the effect female participation has on decreasing the risk of peace failing in post-civil conflict countries. In many countries, women are marginalized and conflict further marginalizes them. However, I argue that the post-conflict environment allows women to escape this cycle of marginalization and their inclusion and participation is very crucial to sustaining peace. I find that female political and social female decreases the risk of peace failing in post-civil war countries. In the second part, I focus on the effect female participation has on decreasing the risk of authoritarian reversals in countries that have transitioned to and toward democracy. Previous empirical research has focused on women’s role in transitions to democracy, factors that contribute to the survival of democracy, as well as how women’s participation affects the stability country. I argue that women’s social, ...
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The Issue with Latino Voter Turnout: How Does the Issue of Immigration Affect Latino Voter Turnout?

The Issue with Latino Voter Turnout: How Does the Issue of Immigration Affect Latino Voter Turnout?

Date: August 2013
Creator: Robert, John M.
Description: In this study, I investigate how the issue of immigration affects Latino voter turnout. I hypothesize that U.S. Latino citizens who view immigration as highly important and helpful to the United States will be more likely to turn out to vote in midterm and presidential elections. In addition to a contextual analysis on elections in Arizona and California, I perform a probit regression analysis on survey data from Pew Hispanic's 2004 National Survey of Latinos on Politics and Civic Participation. The results are mixed with respect to the initial expectations. While respondents who view immigration as important and helpful are more likely to turn out than those who view immigration as important and hurtful, the results suggest that respondents who find immigration as unimportant may not be less likely to turn out. Further, there are some differences between Latino subgroups, although these differences are minor. Ultimately, the hypotheses presented in this study find moderate support.
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Inside the Third Sector: a Gongo Level Analysis of Chinese Civil Society

Inside the Third Sector: a Gongo Level Analysis of Chinese Civil Society

Date: August 2013
Creator: Kirby, John Brandon
Description: This thesis investigates a new variant of the relationship between society and the states: Government-Owned (or Organized) Non-Governmental Organizations (GONGOs). Past research has typically understood civil society as a means to explain the orientation of groups of citizens towards collective outcomes. For decades, NGOs have been a key component of this relationship between political actors but the systematic study of GONGOs has been widely neglected by research. I used an original dataset collected from an NGO directory developed by the China Development Brief (CDB) that provides information on the functional areas of NGOs, their sources of funding and various organizational facts. These data were used to code a series of concepts that will serve as the basis for an initial systematic study into GONGOs and their relationship with the Chinese government. My theoretical expectations are that the primary predictors of an NGO’s autonomy relate to their functional areas of operation, their age and other geographical factors. I find preliminary support for the effect of an NGO’s age on its autonomy from the state, as well as initial support for the dynamic nature of the relationship between NGOs and the state. I close with a discussion of these findings as well ...
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A Political and Macroeconomic Explanation of Public Support for European Integration

A Political and Macroeconomic Explanation of Public Support for European Integration

Date: August 1997
Creator: Carey, Sean D. (Sean Damien)
Description: This study develops a model of macroeconomic and political determinants of public support for European integration. The research is conducted on pooled cross-sectional time-series data from five European Union member states between 1978 and 1994. The method used in this analysis is a Generalized Least Squares - Autoregressive Moving Average approach. The factors hypothesized to determine a macroeconomic explanation of public support for integration are inflation, unemployment, and economic growth. The effect of the major economic reform in the 1980s, the Single European Act, is hypothesized to act as a positive permanent intervention. The other determinants of public support are the temporary interventions of European Parliament elections and the permanent intervention of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. These are hypothesized to exert a negative effect. In a fully specified model all variables except economic growth and European Parliament elections demonstrate statistical significance at the 0.10 level or better.
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Political Culture in West and East Germany at the TIme of Reunification: Revisiting the Civic Culture

Political Culture in West and East Germany at the TIme of Reunification: Revisiting the Civic Culture

Date: August 1997
Creator: Baumann, Steffen
Description: Studies of political culture have often focused on the impact of political institutions on political culture in a society. The scientific community has accepted the position that institutions shape beliefs and attitudes among the citizens towards the system they live in. This study tests this hypothesis by using survey data collected during the fall of 1990 in the United States, Great Britain, Italy, West, and East Germany.
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The Determinants of Federal Spending for the Administration of Justice

The Determinants of Federal Spending for the Administration of Justice

Date: December 1998
Creator: Gabriano, Gina
Description: This study develops and empirically tests a model of the determinants of federal spending for crime-fighting policies. An inter-disciplinary approach to building the model is utilized that merges ideas from budgeting, policy analysis and criminology. Four factors hypothesized to impact federal spending for the administration of justice are operationalized as eight variables and tested using ordinary least squares regression analysis on time series data. The factors hypothesized to impact federal spending in this area are economic constraints imposed on government spending, the ideological makeup of Congress and the president, the actual crime rate, and the public's attitude toward crime. Five of the eight variables demonstrated statistical significance at the.10 level or better.
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"Let the End be Legitimate": An Analysis of Federal District Court Decision Making in Voting Rights Cases, 1965-1993.

"Let the End be Legitimate": An Analysis of Federal District Court Decision Making in Voting Rights Cases, 1965-1993.

Date: May 1998
Creator: Morbitt, Jennifer Marie
Description: Integrated process models that combine both legal and extralegal variables provide a more accurate specification of the judicial decision making process and capture the complexity of the factors that shape judicial behavior. Judicial decision making theories borrow heavily from U.S. Supreme Court research, however, such theories may not automatically be applicable to the lower federal bench. The author uses vote dilution cases originating in the federal district courts from the years 1965 to 1993 to examine what motivates the behavior of district and circuit court judges. The author uses an integrated process model to assess what factors are important to the adjudication process and if there are significant differences between federal district and appellate court judges in decision making.
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