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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Political Science
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
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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Pride and sexual friendship: The battle of the sexes in Nietzsche's post-democratic world.

Pride and sexual friendship: The battle of the sexes in Nietzsche's post-democratic world.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Yancy, Lisa Fleck Uhlir
Description: This dissertation addresses an ignored [partly for its controversial nature] aspect of Nietzschean philosophy: that of the role of modern woman in the creation of a future horizon. Details of the effects of the Enlightenment, Christianity and democracy upon society are discussed, as well as effects on the individual, particularly woman. After this forward look at the changes anticipated by Nietzsche, the traditional roles of woman as the eternal feminine, wife and mother are debated. An argument for the necessity of a continuation of the battle of the sexes, and the struggle among men and women in a context of sexual love and friendship is given. This mutual affirmation must occur through the motivation of pride and not vanity. In conclusion, I argue that one possible avenue for change is a Nietzschean call for a modern revaluation of values by noble woman in conjugation with her warrior scholar to bring about the elevation of mankind.
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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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Wealth and regime formation: Social and economic origins of the change toward democracy.

Wealth and regime formation: Social and economic origins of the change toward democracy.

Date: August 2007
Creator: Gurses, Mehmet
Description: This study explores the relationship between economic development, social mobility, elites, and regime formation. I argue that the genesis of regime formation, in general, and of democratic regimes, in particular, is determined by the type of economic structure a society possesses, on the one hand, and on the degree the to which demands from disfranchised groups do or do not pose a substantial threat to the interests of elites who occupy the upper strata of the social and economic status hierarchy. Second I demonstrate that the dynamics of transition to wider political participation, as the core element of a democratic system of governance, and the survival of such change are different. In what follows I illustrate that some factors that have been found to dampen the chances for wider participation or have been found to be unrelated to onset of a democratic system of governance have considerable impacts on the durability of the democratic regimes. In a nutshell, the analysis points to the positive effects of mineral wealth and income inequality on the prospects of a democratic survival. Using a cross-national time series data set for all countries for the period between 1960 and 1999 I put the hypotheses to ...
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Strategic Factors Influencing the Issuance and Duration of Executive Orders

Strategic Factors Influencing the Issuance and Duration of Executive Orders

Date: August 2008
Creator: Steele, Galen
Description: Executive orders are a significant source of presidential power although scholars disagree on the nature of that power. It has been argued that executive orders are an indication of a president's failure to persuade others to act as he desires; others contend that executive orders offer "power without persuasion." This dissertation introduces the conditional model of executive order issuance and duration in order to offer a synthesis to these competing views, and to offer a better understanding of the opportunities and constraints faced by the president when choosing to act unilaterally through executive orders. The conditional theory holds that both the issuance and duration of executive orders is a function of the president's ideological proximity to Congress and the Supreme Court, and the availability of fresh policy space.
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Understanding News Media Consumption and Political Attitudes and Behavior in Latin America

Understanding News Media Consumption and Political Attitudes and Behavior in Latin America

Date: May 2011
Creator: Salzman, Ryan
Description: News media consumption is vital to understanding democracy in Latin America. Democracy in the region lacks consolidation that may be encouraged by the ability of news media to shape individuals' political attitudes and behaviors. Yet, we know very little about how citizens of Latin American countries consume news media or how that consumption affects attitudes and behavior. This study offers a region-wide examination of the factors that shape news media consumption and the effects of that consumption on individuals in the region. To explore this topic, I examine survey data from the 2008 Latin American Public Opinion Project in 18 Latin American countries. I argue that news media promote democratic attitudes and political behavior by increasing the symbolic value of democracy and by supplementing those symbols with information that further encourages democratic attitudes and political participation. Additionally, political behavior is not temporally proximate to political behaviors such as voting. This necessitates a mediated path for news media consumption to influence participation through political interest, civil society participation and democratic attitudes. My findings illustrate that each news medium type (TV, radio, newspaper) must be considered separately from each other type. I find that news media consumption has little effect on attitudes. ...
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Judicial Enforcers? Exploring Lower Federal Court Compliance in Regulating the Obscene

Judicial Enforcers? Exploring Lower Federal Court Compliance in Regulating the Obscene

Date: May 2004
Creator: Ryan, John Francis
Description: Although federal circuit and district court judges are placed within a federal hierarchy, and receive legal and judicial training that emphasizes the importance of the judicial framework and its structure, such judges are also subjected to other pressures such as the types of litigants within the courtrooms as well as their local political environment. Furthermore, such judges are apt to form their own views about politics and legal policy and are often appointed by presidents who approve of their ideological leanings. Thus, federal courts are caught between competing goals such as their willingness to maximize their preferred legal policy, and their place within the judicial hierarchy. This dissertation applies hierarchy and impact theory to assess the importance of the judicial framework and its socialization, by analyzing both the judicial opinions and votes of federal circuit and district court judges in obscenity cases during a four-decade period (1957-1998). The research presented here finds the influence of higher court precedent to correspond in part with the conception of a judicial hierarchy. An analysis of citations of Supreme Court precedent (Roth v. United States (1957) and Miller v. California (1973)) in lower court majority opinions suggests low levels of compliance: lower courts at ...
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Ecological Sustainability and Peace: The Effect of Ecological Sustainability on Interstate and Intrastate Environmental Conflict

Ecological Sustainability and Peace: The Effect of Ecological Sustainability on Interstate and Intrastate Environmental Conflict

Date: August 2010
Creator: Yoon, Jong-Han
Description: This study examines the relationship between ecological sustainability and violent conflict at both the interstate and intrastate level. In particular, this study explores the effect of ecological sustainability of a society on the initiation and the occurrence of violent conflict. By developing a theory, which is named "Eco-peace," this study hypothesizes that the more ecologically sustainable the socioeconomic system of societies, the less likely the society is to initiate interstate conflict. Regarding intrastate conflict, it is hypothesized that the more ecologically sustainable the mode of development pursued by the Third World society is, the more likely that society is to experience intrastate conflicts. To test the hypotheses, this study conducts cross-national time-series analyses for 97-127 countries. Negative binomial and Poisson models are used for interstate conflict during 1960-2001, and logit and rare event logit models are used for intrastate conflict during 1960-1999. Militarized interstate dispute dataset and Uppsala Armed Conflict Program dataset are employed for interstate and intrastate conflict. For ecological sustainability, Ecological sustainability factor index and Environmental sustainability index are used. Through the analyses, this study found the supports for the theoretical argument that the ecologically unsustainable modes of development cause the initiation of interstate conflict and the incidence ...
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Service Matters: The Influence of Military Service on Political Behavior, Ideology and Attitudes

Service Matters: The Influence of Military Service on Political Behavior, Ideology and Attitudes

Date: August 2010
Creator: Johnson, Catherine L.
Description: The objective of this research is to explore the influence of military service on political behaviors and attitudes. Existing studies of the military have long recognized the existence of a predominantly conservative political ideology with a resulting propensity for strong Republican Party support within the military community, but have failed to explain the likely causal mechanism for this. Drawing on multiple sources of data from the 2008 Presidential election cycle, I utilized a descriptive analysis of campaign contribution data and bivariate and multivariate analyses of data from the 2008 Military Times Survey and the 2008 American National Election Survey. Much of the data also permitted me to analyze the effect of an individual's service branch on their attitudes as well. I examined the behavior and attitudes of the military across several dimensions, including candidate support and positions on policies of particular relevance to the military, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This analysis found that people who serve in the military tend to be conservative but in many ways their political attitudes are reflective of those of the general population. An individual's race, ethnicity and gender appear to have more influence than military factors, with the exception of service ...
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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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