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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Political Science
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The law and human rights: is the law a mere parchment barrier to human rights abuse?

The law and human rights: is the law a mere parchment barrier to human rights abuse?

Date: December 1999
Creator: Keith, Linda Camp
Description: This study is the first systematic global analysis of the impact of law on human rights, analyzing the impact of twenty-three constitution provisions and an international covenant on three measures of human rights behavior, over the period of 1976-1996. Three sets of constitutional provisions are analyzed, including 1) ten provisions for individual freedoms and due process rights, 2) nine provisions for elements of judicial independence and 3) four provisions that outline procedures for states of emergency. Additionally, the impact of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on actual human rights behavior is analyzed. Each of these areas of law are evaluated individually, in multiple models in which different elements vary. For example, some models control for democracy with different measures, others divide the data into the Cold War and post-Cold War eras, and some test constitutional indices. Finally, all provisions are simultaneously analyzed in integrated models. Provisions for fair and public trials are consistently shown to decrease the probability of abuse. An index of four freedoms (speech, religion, association, and assembly) decreases the probability of abuse somewhat consistently. Three of the provisions for judicial independence are most consistent in reducing the probability of abuse: the provisions for exclusive ...
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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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The Organic-Progressive Principle in the Political Thought and Internationalism of Woodrow Wilson

The Organic-Progressive Principle in the Political Thought and Internationalism of Woodrow Wilson

Date: December 2011
Creator: Flanagan, John Patrick
Description: This is an investigation of the intellectual roots of the political thought and internationalism of Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eightieth president of the United States. Exposed to the influence of Darwin, Wilson believed that politics had to be redefined as an evolutionary process. the older mechanical understanding of politics was to be replaced with an organic understanding of political development. This allowed Wilson to synthesize a concept of politics that included elements from the Christian tradition; the English Historical School, particularly Edmund Burke; and German idealism, including G.W.F. Hegel. However, because he placed a heavy emphasis on Burke and Hegel, Wilson moved away from a natural rights based theory of politics and more towards a politics based on relativism and a transhistorical notion of rights. Wilson had important theoretical reserves about Hegel, as a result, Wilson modified Hegel’s philosophy. This modification took the form of Wilson’s organic-progressive principle. This would greatly affect Wilson’s ideas about how nations formed, developed, and related to one another. This study focuses on Wilson’s concept of spirit, his theory of history, and his idea of political leadership. the organic-progressive principle is key to understanding Wilson’s attempts to reform on both the domestic and international levels.
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The Political Determinants of Fdi Location in Prchina, 1997-2009: Application of a New Model to Taiwanese Fdi in Mainland China

The Political Determinants of Fdi Location in Prchina, 1997-2009: Application of a New Model to Taiwanese Fdi in Mainland China

Date: August 2012
Creator: Lu, Kelan
Description: This research seeks to identify the political determinants that account for the uneven geographical distribution of foreign direct investment (FDI) across Chinese counties. I compare the political determinants of Taiwanese FDI (TDI) and non-Taiwanese FDI site selection across counties in China. I focus on the central-local politics in China, especially the effect of county government autonomy on FDI and TDI site selection. I investigate whether the effect of county government autonomy and its interaction with TDI agglomeration varies across the three economic regions of China (i.e. eastern, central, and western regions). I argue that county government autonomy is critical to attracting inflows of FDI, and its impact is conditional on the existing level of FDI in a given county. Counties with higher autonomy are able to make greater commitments to and involvement in the market economy, have more flexibility to give preferential treatment to FDI and to improve the local investment environment. With the political burden that Taiwanese investors face from the special military and political relationship across the Strait, I argue that TDI is more sensitive to county government autonomy not only for the economic gains like other foreign investors but also for pursuing local protection against the political ...
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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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Post-Civil War Democratization: Domestic and International Factors in Movement Toward and Away from Democracy

Post-Civil War Democratization: Domestic and International Factors in Movement Toward and Away from Democracy

Date: May 2010
Creator: Joshi, Madhav
Description: Post-civil war democratization is a critical element of building sustainable peace in the post-civil war states. At the same time, studies of democratic transition and survival suggest that the post-civil war environment is not hospitable to either the transition to or survival of democracy. The post-civil war environment is contentious. Former protagonists are fearful about their security and at the same time they want to protect their political and economic interests. The central argument of this study is that former rivals can agree to a transition toward democracy to the extent that a stable balance of power exists between the government and rebel groups, a balance that eliminates the sort of security dilemma that would encourage one or both to resume armed conflict. And the balance should ensure access to political power and economic resources. This study identifies factors that contribute to the establishment of such a balance of power between former protagonists and factors that affects its stability. These factors should affect the decision of former protagonists on whether or not they can achieve their political and economic interests if they agree to a transition toward democracy once civil war ends. Factors that are conducive to a transition toward ...
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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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Progress or Decline: International Political Economy and Basic Human Rights

Progress or Decline: International Political Economy and Basic Human Rights

Date: May 1999
Creator: Milner, Wesley T.
Description: This dissertation is a cross-national, empirical study of human rights conditions in a dynamic international political economy. The scope of the examination covers 176 developed and developing countries from 1980 through 1993. Through evaluating the numerous theoretical aspects of human rights conceptualization, I draw upon Shue's framework and consider whether there are indeed "basic rights" and which rights should fit into this category. Further, I address the debate between those who claim that these rights are truly universal (applying to all nations and individuals) and those who argue that the validity of a moral right is relative to indigenous cultures. In a similar vein, I empirically investigate whether various human rights are interdependent and indivisible, as some scholars argue, or whether there are inherent trade-offs between various rights provisions. In going beyond the fixation on a single aspect of human rights, I broadly investigate subsistence rights, security rights and political and economic freedom. While these have previously been addressed separately, there are virtually no studies that consider them together and the subsequent linkages between them. Ultimately, a pooled time-series cross-section model is developed that moves beyond the traditional concentration on security rights (also know as integrity of the person rights) ...
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Repression, Civic Engagement, Internet Use, and Dissident Collective Action: the Interaction Between Motives and Resources

Repression, Civic Engagement, Internet Use, and Dissident Collective Action: the Interaction Between Motives and Resources

Date: May 2012
Creator: Wu, Jun-deh
Description: This dissertation investigates three questions: First, what conditions make dissident collective action such as protest, revolt, rebellion, or civil war more likely to happen in a country? Second, what conditions make citizens more likely to join in dissident collective action? Third, does Internet use play a role in dissident collective action, and if so, why? I argue that motives and resources are necessary rather than sufficient conditions for dissident collective action. I develop an analytical framework integrating motives and resources. Specifically, I theorize that state repression is an important motive, and that civil society is critical in providing resources. Four statistical analyses are conducted to test the hypotheses. Using aggregate level data on countries over time, I find that civil war is more likely to occur in countries where both state repression and civil society are strong. Moreover, the effect of civil society on civil war onset increases as the repression level rises. at the individual level using 2008 Latin American Public Opinion Project surveys from 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries, I find individuals more likely to join in protest when they experience both more repression and greater civic engagement. Moreover, civic engagement’s effect on protest participation increases as ...
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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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