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 Department: Department of Political Science
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Media Agenda-Building Effect: Analysis of American Public Apartheid Activities, Congressional and Presidential Policies on South Africa, 1976-1988

Media Agenda-Building Effect: Analysis of American Public Apartheid Activities, Congressional and Presidential Policies on South Africa, 1976-1988

Date: December 1989
Creator: Agboaye, Ehikioya
Description: The mass media's role in informing the American public is critical to public support for government policies. The media are said to set the national agenda. This view is based on the assumption of selective coverage they give to news items. Media coverage also influences the salience the public attaches to issues. However, media agenda effect has been challenged by Lang and Lang (1983). These scholars, in their media agenda-building theory, argued that the success of media effect on national agenda is dependent on group support. In order to test this theory, time-related data on South Africa crises, media coverage"of South Africa, American public reactions, congressional, and presidential apartheid-related activities, between 1976 and 1988, were analyzed. Congressional anti-apartheid policies were the dependent and others, the independent variables. The theory made analysis of the data amenable to the additive adopted to test for the significance of the interactive variables, indicated that these variables were negatively related to congressional anti-apartheid policies. The additive model was subsequently analyzed. The time series multiple regression analysis was used in analyzing the relationships. Given autocorrelation and multicollinearity problems associated with time series analysis, the Arima (p, d, q) model was used to model the relationships. This ...
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The Political and Administrative Role of Planning and Budgeting in Saudi Arabia: Adaptation for Rapid Change

The Political and Administrative Role of Planning and Budgeting in Saudi Arabia: Adaptation for Rapid Change

Date: December 1989
Creator: Al-Kahtani, Mohammed S. A. (Mohammed Saeed A.)
Description: This study examines the political and administrative role of planning and budgeting in Saudi Arabia. It demonstrates how they have contributed to lessening the political crises of distribution, participation, and penetration that confront developing countries. The study also investigates how these two bureaucratic processes have helped adapt rapid changes in a manner acceptable to the cultural milieu. In addition, the study explores the politics of planning and budgeting and identifies the roles various actors play. The evolution and institutionalization of planning and budgeting are examined through printed materials and interviews with planners and budgeters in the Ministries of Planning and Finance. In addition, a number of the Ulama, businessmen, former government bureaucrats, officials of key ministries and agencies, and media were interviewed in an attempt to understand how they interact in the politics of planning and budgeting.
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Planning, Budgeting, and Development in Jordan: An Examination of How These Policy Processes Function in a Poor and Uncertain Environment

Planning, Budgeting, and Development in Jordan: An Examination of How These Policy Processes Function in a Poor and Uncertain Environment

Date: May 1987
Creator: Al-Lawzi, Sulieman Ahmed
Description: The purpose of this dissertation is to study the planning and budgeting processes in Jordan to determine whether the findings of Caiden and Wildavsky about those processes in other poor countries generally are applicable to Jordan. An attempt is made to answer the research questions by comparing data from national plans, budgets, and expenditures during a fifteen-year period (1970-1984). In Jordan, as in other developing nations, the role of planning and budgeting is highly significant to the success of the country's hopes for development. This research tries to evaluate the role of planning and budgeting as policy instruments in the process of development in Jordan. The second focus of the dissertation concerns the possibilities and problems of assessing the impact of governmental policies on development. Specifically, an assessment is made to determine the impact of governmental expenditures on development as evidenced in Jordan s gross national product during the last fifteen years. The following questions are addressed in order to examine the impact of government action on economic development. First, what are the impact and significance of government expenditures, as a combined measure, on the gross national product in Jordan? Second, which governmental expenditure areas provide the greatest contribution to ...
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Financial Transfer and Its Impact on the Level of Democracy: A Pooled Cross-Sectional Time Series Model.

Financial Transfer and Its Impact on the Level of Democracy: A Pooled Cross-Sectional Time Series Model.

Date: May 2003
Creator: Al-Momani, Mohammad H.
Description: This dissertation is a pooled time series, cross-sectional, quantitative study of the impact of international financial transfer on the level of democracy. The study covers 174 developed and developing countries from 1976 through 1994. Through evaluating the democracy and democratization literature and other studies, the dissertation develops a theory and testable hypotheses about the impact of the international variables foreign aid and foreign direct investment on levels of democracy. This study sought to determine whether these two financial variables promote or nurture democracy and if so, how? A pooled time-series cross-sectional model is developed employing these two variables along with other relevant control variables. Control variables included the presence of the Cold War and existence of formal alliance with the United States, which account for the strategic dimension that might affect the financial transfer - level of democracy linkage. The model also includes an economic development variable (per capita Gross National Product) to account for the powerful impact for economic development on the level of democracy, as well as a control for each country's population size. By addressing and the inclusion of financial, economic, strategic, and population size effects, I consider whether change in these variables affect the level of ...
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The State of Democracy in the Arab World

The State of Democracy in the Arab World

Date: December 1995
Creator: Al-Olimat, Muhamad S. (Muhamad Salim)
Description: This comparative study assesses the state of democracy and examines the process of democratization in the Arab World between the years 1980-1993. It addresses shortcomings in the mainstream democracy literature that excluded the Arab World from the global democratic revolution on political cultural grounds. To fulfil the objectives of this study, I employ both the qualitative and quantitative research approaches to test a number of hypothesized relationships. I hypothesize that transition to democracy is negatively associated with economic development, militarism, U.S. foreign policy, the political economy of oil, and dependency. I contend that emerging civil society institutions so far have had no significant effect on democratization in the Arab World. Finally, I hypothesize that the level of democracy in the Arab World is influenced greatly by the issue of civil rights. In order to investigate the hypothesized relationships, the following data sets have been used: Gastil's Freedom House Data set, "Repression and Freedom in the 1980s" data set, and Vanhanen's 1990 data set. The findings of this study support the aforementioned hypothesized relationships. I find that Arab countries, in general have made modest progress toward democracy, making the Arab World part of the global revolution.
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The Rise and Fall of Military Regimes in the Sudan, 1956-1989

The Rise and Fall of Military Regimes in the Sudan, 1956-1989

Date: December 1992
Creator: Ali Ahmed, Hassan Elhag
Description: This study attempts to explore the factors that contributed to the rise and fall of military regimes in the Sudan from independence in 1956 to 1989. Further, the study tries to identify the factors that led to the collapse of either or both civilian and military regimes. Most of the studies on military politics have focused their research on either military coups or, more recently, on military withdrawal from politics. This work tries to synthesize the study of military coups and military withdrawal from politics into a single theoretical framework.
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The Threats to Compliance with International Human Rights Law

The Threats to Compliance with International Human Rights Law

Date: December 2011
Creator: Aloisi, Rosa
Description: In this project I investigate the factors shaping compliance with international human rights agreements and I provide a definition of compliance, which goes beyond “ratification.” I argue that compliance is a multistage process, built upon three different steps: ratification/accession, implementation, and what I call “compliant behavior.” As an alternative to the dominant structural and normative explanation of compliance, I suggest that the factors affecting compliance are not only endogenous to state characteristics, such as the democratic/non-democratic nature of governments, but also exogenous, such as the perceived level of threat to national security. I offer a twofold theory that looks at leaders’ behavior under conditions of stability and instability and I suggest that under certain circumstances that threaten and pressure government leaders, state compliance with international human rights law becomes more costly. I suggest that regardless of regime type, threats shape leaders’ behavior toward international law; states are faced with the choice to abide by international obligations, protecting specific human rights, and the choice to protect their national interests. I argue that when the costs associated with compliance increase, because leaders face threats to their power and government stability, threats become the predictor of non-compliant behavior regardless of the democratic or ...
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Examining the Effect of Security Environment on U.S. Unilateral Military Intervention in Civil Conflicts

Examining the Effect of Security Environment on U.S. Unilateral Military Intervention in Civil Conflicts

Date: August 2011
Creator: Aubone, Amber
Description: This study focuses on how perceived security environment affect U.S. unilateral, military intervention in civil conflicts, using the concept of Bayesian learning to illustrate how threat perceptions are formed, how they change, and how they affect the U.S. decision to intervene militarily in civil conflicts. I assess the validity of two primary hypotheses: (1) the U.S. is more likely to intervene in civil conflicts with connections to a threatening actor or ideology; and (2) the U.S. is more likely to intervene in civil conflicts for humanitarian motives in a less threatening security context. To test these hypotheses, I compare U.S. military intervention in three temporal contexts reflecting more threatening security contexts (Cold War and post-9/11) and less threatening security contexts (1992-2001). Results of logit regression analysis reveal that a conflict’s connection to a threatening actor or ideology is the most statistically and substantively significant determinant of U.S. military intervention in civil conflicts, both in more and less threatening security contexts. They also indicate that humanitarian motives are not a statistically significant determinant of U.S. military intervention in civil conflicts, even in a more benign security environment. These findings imply that U.S. unilateral military intervention is reserved for more direct national ...
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Presidential Support and the Political Use of Presidential Capital

Presidential Support and the Political Use of Presidential Capital

Date: December 1998
Creator: Ault, Michael E.
Description: This research incorporates a decision-making theory which defines the linkage between the public, the media, the president and the Congress. Specifically, I argue that the public holds widely shared domestic and international goals and responds to a number of external cues provided by the president and the media in its evaluation of presidential policies. Although most studies examine overall presidential popularity, there are important differences in the public's evaluations of the president's handling of foreign and domestic policies. Additionally, I am concerned with how the Congress responds to these specific policy evaluations, the president's public activities, and the electoral policy goals of its members when determining whether or not to support the president. Finally, I link together the theoretical assumptions, to examine the influence of varying levels of support among the Congress and the public, and the president's own personal power goals on the type, quantity, and the quality of activities the president will choose. Ultimately, the primary focus of this dissertation is on the sources and consequences of presidential support and the influence of such support on presidential decision-making.
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Selling Humans: the Political Economy of Contemporary Global Slavery

Selling Humans: the Political Economy of Contemporary Global Slavery

Date: December 2013
Creator: Balarezo, Christine A.
Description: Human trafficking is a growing illegal crime, both in terms of numbers and profits. Thus, important to consider, as it is a human rights, political, criminal justice, national security, and economic issue. Previous studies have these examined these human trafficking factors independently, yet none have really taken into account how they work simultaneously. This study examines why human trafficker continues to occur, particularly at the domestic and transnational level, and also why some countries are better able to effectively deal with this problem in terms of criminalizing human traffickers. It is argued that at the domestic level, traffickers first must take into account the operating costs, illegal risks, bribery, and profits of the business. After considering these basic elements, they then need to consider the world, including economic, political, geographic, and cultural factors that may help facilitate human trafficking. However, human trafficking can occur across large geographic distances, though rare. This is more likely to happen based on the type of human trafficking group, available expatriate or immigrant networks, the origin-transit-destination country connection, or strength of the bilateral economic relationship between origin and destination countries. Finally, looking at why some countries are better able to criminalize traffickers helps us to ...
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Ethnic Politics in New States: Russian and Serbian Minorities After Secession

Ethnic Politics in New States: Russian and Serbian Minorities After Secession

Date: May 2013
Creator: Batta, Anna
Description: New states are often born in a volatile environment, in which the survival of the new country is uncertain. While analysis of the nationalizing new governments exists, research focuses mainly on domestic politics. I argue that the treatment of minority that remains in the new states is a function of the interaction of the dual threat posed by the minority itself domestically on one hand and the international threat coming from the mother state to protect its kin abroad on the other hand. Specifically, I argue that there is a curvilinear relationship between domestic and international threat and the extent of discrimination against the politically relevant minority. Most discrimination takes place when domestic and international threats are moderate because in this case there is a balance of power between the government, the minority, and the rump state. With time-series-cross-sectional (TSCS) data analysis this dissertation systematically tests the treatment of Russian and Serbian minorities in all post-Soviet and post-Yugoslav states between 1991 and 2006 and finds statistically significant results for the curvilinear hypothesis. Territorial concentration of the minority and the ratio of national capabilities between the mother and the seceded states prove to be especially important predictors of minority treatment. In ...
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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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The Political Leadership Crisis and Violation of Human Rights in the Arab World: A Study of the Rulership of the Arab Countries, 1970-1990

The Political Leadership Crisis and Violation of Human Rights in the Arab World: A Study of the Rulership of the Arab Countries, 1970-1990

Date: December 1993
Creator: Benruwin, Mohammed (Mohammed A.)
Description: This dissertation analyzes the political leadership crisis and the violations of human rights in the Arab countries during the period 1970 to 1990. The main purposes of this study could be briefly summarized as follows: (1) to explore scientifically whether there is a political leadership crisis in the Arab World; (2) to explore the concept of political leadership, i.e., what constitutes political leadership, what are its necessary requirements, and what differentiates it from dictatorship; and (3) to examine the effects of political leadership in the Arab countries upon the violation of human rights.
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The Road to Development is Paved With Good Institutions: The Political and Economic Implications of Financial Markets

The Road to Development is Paved With Good Institutions: The Political and Economic Implications of Financial Markets

Date: May 2008
Creator: Brown, Chelsea Denise
Description: This research seeks to identify the factors that account for the variation in development levels across nations by focusing on the institutional components of development, especially the effects of financial market development on economic and political development. I argue that financial market institutions are critical to economic and political development, and provide a partial explanation for the variation in development observed across nations. Financial market development affects political development indirectly through greater economic efficiency and growth and directly by reducing poverty, increasing economic equality, strengthening the middle class and increasing political participation. Increased financial market development also produces more efficient institutions and eliminates certain perverse incentives in government that result in corruption. The action mechanisms rest largely on the idea that increasing access to financial services allows the lower and middle- income segments of society to smooth their income and invest in high return activities that can lift people out of poverty. These improvements distribute both economic and intellectual resources throughout society and provide greater opportunities for political entrepreneurship from all societal groups. This, along with greater ability to participate either through monetary means or greater time, increases political participation and democratic development. Using a variety of econometric techniques to ...
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Politics and the American clergy: Sincere shepherds or strategic saints?

Politics and the American clergy: Sincere shepherds or strategic saints?

Date: August 2007
Creator: Calfano, Brian Robert
Description: Scholars have evaluated the causes of clergy political preferences and behavior for decades. As with party ID in the study of mass behavior, personal ideological preferences have been the relevant clergy literature's dominant behavioral predictor. Yet to the extent that clergy operate in bounded and specialized institutions, it is possible that much of the clergy political puzzle can be more effectively solved by recognizing these elites as institutionally-situated actors, with their preferences and behaviors influenced by the institutional groups with which they interact. I argue that institutional reference groups help to determine clergy political preferences and behavior. Drawing on three theories derived from neo-institutionalism, I assess reference group influence on clergy in two mainline Protestant denominations-the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Episcopal Church, USA. In addition to their wider and more traditional socializing influence, reference groups in close proximity to clergy induce them to behave strategically-in ways that are contrary to their sincerely held political preferences. These proximate reference groups comprise mainly parishioners, suggesting that clergy political behavior, which is often believed to affect laity political engagement, may be predicated on clergy anticipation of potentially unfavorable reactions from their followers. The results show a set of political elites (the clergy) ...
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Is the Road to Hell Paved with Good Intentions? The Effect of U.S. Foreign Assistance and Economic Policy on Human Rights

Is the Road to Hell Paved with Good Intentions? The Effect of U.S. Foreign Assistance and Economic Policy on Human Rights

Date: August 2001
Creator: Callaway, Rhonda L.
Description: Theories in the international political economy literature, economic liberalism and dependency, are explored in order to test the effect of U.S. aid, trade, and investment on human rights conditions in recipient states. Two measures of human rights conditions serve as dependent variables: security rights and subsistence rights. The data cover approximately 140 countries from 1976-1996. Pooled cross-sectional time series analysis, utilizing ordinary least squares (OLS) with panel corrected standard errors, is employed due to the temporal and spatial characteristics of the data. The results indicate that foreign assistance and economic policy may not be the best approaches to altering poor human rights practices in the area of security rights. Economic and military aid is negatively associated with levels of security rights, supporting the traditional dependency perspective. While the results from trade and investment are generally in the positive direction, the lack of consistent statistical evidence suggests that increased trade and investment relationships do not dramatically improve security rights. We can conclude, however, that trade and investment fail to have the negative effect on security rights in less developed countries which critics of globalization suggest. Economic aid has a statistically significant negative effect on subsistence rights, while military aid seems to ...
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Evaluating team effectiveness: Examination of the TEAM Assessment Tool.

Evaluating team effectiveness: Examination of the TEAM Assessment Tool.

Date: August 2007
Creator: Cantu, Cynthia J.
Description: The present study evaluates the psychometric properties of the TEAM Assessment Tool. The assessment was developed to evaluate work team effectiveness as a basis for providing developmental feedback for work teams. The proposed TEAM Assessment Tool includes 12 dimensions of work team effectiveness with 90 items total. The dimension names are (a) Communication, (b) Decision-Making, (c) Performance, (d) Customer Focus, (e) Team Meetings, (f) Continuous Improvement, (g) Handling Conflict, (h) Leadership, (i) Empowerment, (j) Trust, (k) Cohesiveness/Team Relationships, and (l) Recognition and Rewards. Data were collected from employees of a large aerospace organization headquartered in the United States who are participating in work teams (N= 554). Factor analysis guided development of six new scales of team effectiveness as follows: (1) Teamwork, (2) Decision-Making, (3) Leadership Support, (4) Trust and Respect, (5) Recognition and Rewards, and (6) Customer Focus. Reliability of scales was demonstrated using Cronbach's coefficient alpha. Construct validity was demonstrated through subject matter expert (SME) input, exploratory factor analysis, and scale reliability analysis. Criterion validity was demonstrated by significant correlations at the p<.01 level comparing two measures of team member opinion of team performance and level of performance as indicated by the six subscale scores and overall scale scores ...
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Factors Affecting the Efficient Performance of the Thai State Railway Authority: a Time-Series Data Analysis

Factors Affecting the Efficient Performance of the Thai State Railway Authority: a Time-Series Data Analysis

Date: August 1988
Creator: Chalermpol Waitayangkoon
Description: The Thai State Railway Authority (RSR) is a public enterprise in Thailand. As an organization its performance is subject to the argument of contingency theorists that operating efficiency is dependent upon various factors both in the internal and external environments of the enterprise. Most of the internal factors are those that organization theorists in the developed world have identified such as goals and objectives, resources, and organization structures. Meanwhile, external factors such as political, economic and social conditions of the society are regarded as indirect factors that have less importance than do the internal factors. Scholars of the developing world have argued that political, social and economic conditions in the society are as important as internal factors. These factors may have a very significant influence on the enterprises and on the society as a whole. Consequently, public enterprises in developing countries always encounter the same problem of operating inefficiency. The RSR is selected as a case study because of its advantages over the other public enterprises in Thailand in terms of size of operation, length of service, and data availability. For the purpose of this project, data are collected from 1960 to 1984 for longitudinal analysis. The methods of analysis ...
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Cost of Issuing Debt: An Analysis of the Factors Affecting the Net Interest Cost of State Bonds

Cost of Issuing Debt: An Analysis of the Factors Affecting the Net Interest Cost of State Bonds

Date: December 1995
Creator: Chen, Li-Kanz
Description: The major purpose of this dissertation is to explore the determinants of interest cost for state bonds. Various kinds of variables pertaining to issue characteristics, market characteristics, economic conditions, and political variables were statistically tested to assess their impact on the interest cost of state bonds. This research examines the variables found to be significant for local bonds, as well as some factors unique to state bonds, e.g., the types state agencies issuing debt and the effect of different state income tax policies.
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The Politicization of Public Education in Nicaragua: 1967-1994, Regime Type and Regime Strategy

The Politicization of Public Education in Nicaragua: 1967-1994, Regime Type and Regime Strategy

Date: May 1996
Creator: Coplin, Janet C. (Janet Cecile)
Description: Understanding how change occurs in lesser developed countries, particularly in Latin America has been the subject of a prolonged theoretical academic debate. That debate has emphasized economics more that politics in general and predictability over unpredictability in the Latin American region. This paper challenges these approaches. Explaining change requires an examination of the politics of public policy as much as its economic dimensions. Second, change in the Latin American region may be less predictable than it appears. Scholars maintain that change in Latin America occurs when contending elites negotiate it. Their power comes from the various resources they possess. Change, therefore, is not expected to occur as a function of regime change per se. This paper considers the treatment of education policy in Nicaragua during the regimes of the dynastic authoritarianism of Anastasio Somoza Debayle (1967-1979), the revolutionary governments of the Sandinistas (1979-1990), and the democratic-centrist government of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1996). The central research question is: When regimes change, do policies change? The methodology defines the independent variable as the regime and education policy as the dependent variable. It posits three hypotheses. The right-wing regime of Somoza was expected to restrict both the qualitative aspects and the financing ...
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International Peacekeeping Operations: Sinai, Congo, Cyprus, Lebanon, and Chad Lessons for the UN and OAU

International Peacekeeping Operations: Sinai, Congo, Cyprus, Lebanon, and Chad Lessons for the UN and OAU

Date: December 1989
Creator: Demsa, Paul Meslam, 1949-
Description: Peacekeeping is a means by which international or regional organizations control conflict situations that are likely to endanger international peace and security. Most scholars have viewed the contributions of peacekeeping forces only in terms of failures, and they have not investigated fully the political-military circumstances" under which conflict control measures succeed. This dissertation is an attempt to bridge this gap and to show how the OAU compares with the UN in carrying out peacekeeping missions. The method of research was the case study method in which primary and secondary data was used to describe the situations in which six peacekeeping forces operated. The content of resolutions, official reports and secondary data were examined for non-trivial evidences of impediments to implementation of mandates. Findings from the research indicate that peacekeeping missions not properly backed by political efforts at settlement of disputes, cooperation of the superpowers, and financial and logistic support were ineffective and usually unsuccessful. Lack of consensus and pursuit of national interests have resulted in ambiguous or unrealistic mandates and have reduced the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations. Moreover, parties to a conflict were interested only in solutions that favored their interests and were often skeptical about the role and credibility ...
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A Role Modification Model: the Foreign Policy of the Palestine Liberation Organization, 1964-1981

A Role Modification Model: the Foreign Policy of the Palestine Liberation Organization, 1964-1981

Date: December 1993
Creator: DiGeorgio-Lutz, JoAnn A. (JoAnn Angela)
Description: This study is a Comparative Foreign Policy (CFP) analysis of the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) foreign policy behavior from 1964 through 1981. This study develops and tests a role modification model that accounts for evolutionary changes in foreign policy behavior. One of the major premises of this research is that what often appears as dramatic restructuring in foreign policy is actually the culmination of a series of modifications that transpired over an extended period of time. The model relies on a total of six independent variables as determinants of PLO foreign policy output representing multiple levels of analysis. There are a total of 12 dependent variables expressed as either foreign policy tactical roles or strategic goals. Relying on content analysis of relevant PLO documents, the role modification model demonstrates that the foreign policy output of the PLO experienced a gradual, over time change in both the means and ends of its foreign policy. The model also identifies the conditions under which any one of the independent variables is able to exclusively determine foreign policy output and which roles one can reasonably expect the PLO to exercise under a given circumstance.
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Montesquieu, Diversity, and the American Constitutional Debate

Montesquieu, Diversity, and the American Constitutional Debate

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Date: December 2015
Creator: Drummond, Nicholas W.
Description: It has become something of a cliché for contemporary scholars to assert that Madison turned Montesquieu on his head and thereafter give little thought to the Frenchman’s theory that republics must remain limited in territorial size. Madison did indeed present a formidable challenge to Montesquieu’s theory, but I will demonstrate in this dissertation that the authors of the Federalist Papers arrived at the extended sphere by following a theoretical pathway already cemented by the French philosopher. I will also show that Madison’s “practical sphere” ultimately concedes to Montesquieu that excessive territorial size and high levels of heterogeneity will overwhelm the citizens of a republic and enable the few to oppress the many. The importance of this dissertation is its finding that the principal mechanism devised by the Federalists for dealing with factions—the enlargement of the sphere—was crafted specifically for the purpose of moderating interests, classes, and sects within an otherwise relatively homogeneous nation. Consequently, the diverse republic that is America today may be exposed to the existential threat anticipated by Montesquieu’s theory of size—the plutocratic oppression of society by an elite class that employs the strategy of divide et impera.
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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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