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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Political Science
 Degree Level: Master's
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Federalism and Civil Conflict: the Missing Link?

Federalism and Civil Conflict: the Missing Link?

Date: August 2012
Creator: Lancaster, Ross
Description: This thesis investigates federalism and civil conflict. Past work linking federalism and civil conflict has investigated the factors that pacify or aggravate conflict, but most such studies have examined the effect of decentralization on conflict onset, as opposed to the form federalism takes (such as congruent vs incongruent forms, for example). I collect data on civil conflict, the institutional characteristics of federalist states and fiscal decentralization. My theoretical expectations are that federations who treat federal subjects differently than others, most commonly in an ethnically based manner, are likely to experience greater levels of conflict incidence and more severe conflict. I find support for these expectations, suggesting more ethnically based federations are a detriment to peace preservation. I close with case studies that outline three different paths federations have taken with regards to their federal subunits.
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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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Foucault's Foundationless Democratic Theory

Foucault's Foundationless Democratic Theory

Date: December 2006
Creator: Carter, Kelly A.
Description: I examine a key shift in Michel Foucault's political philosophy from a position in which he was a staunch anti-humanist, to a final position in which he advocated not only the ability of the subject to influence his political condition, but also the individual freedoms assured by a democratic form of government. I begin by summarizing his overall critique of the post-Enlightenment West, and then explain how his observation of the Iranian Revolution served as a key turning point concerning his attitude towards the subject. Next, I elaborate on the direction of Foucault's late writings and examine how his new conceptualization of the subject leads him to embrace a democratic political system albeit free from Enlightenment philosophical foundations. I conclude by critiquing Foucault's foundationless democratic theory on the basis that it would ultimately undermine the individual freedoms and aesthetic development that he seeks to protect.
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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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Hobbes’s Deceiving God: the Correspondence Between Thomas Hobbes and Rene Descartes

Hobbes’s Deceiving God: the Correspondence Between Thomas Hobbes and Rene Descartes

Date: August 2015
Creator: Gorescu, Gabriela
Description: In presenting their correspondence, I highlight the means in which Hobbes is able to divorce nature and politics in his philosophy. This is done by bringing to light Hobbes’s agreement with Descartes’s deceiving God argument. First, I demonstrate Hobbes’s hidden agreement with it by analyzing his objection to Descartes’s first Meditation. Second, I show that Hobbes and Descartes both retreat into consciousness in order to deal with the possibility of deception on the behalf of God. Third, I trace Hobbes’s rational justification for entertaining that very possibility. Fourth, I bring forward Hobbes’s certain principle, that God is incomprehensible. Fifth, I demonstrate Hobbes’s rationalization for rendering nature incomprehensible in turn. From this key insight, the differences between the two philosophers stand out more. Whereas Descartes rids himself of the possibility of a deceiving God, Hobbes does not. Sixth, I show that Descartes needs to rid himself of that possibility in order to have a basis for science, Hobbes’s science is such that he does not need to rid himself of that possibility. My investigation ends by considering both Hobbes’s and Descartes’s stance on nature, in relation to politics. I find that Hobbes’s principle is much more practical that Descartes’s principle. Hobbes’s ...
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Human Rights and the Strategic Use of US Foreign Food Aid

Human Rights and the Strategic Use of US Foreign Food Aid

Date: December 2007
Creator: Fariss, Christopher J.
Description: How does respect for human rights affect the disbursement of food aid by US foreign policymakers? Scholars analyzing foreign aid generally look at only total economic aid, military aid or a combination of both. However, for a more nuanced understanding of human rights as a determinant of foreign aid, the discrete foreign aid programs must be examined. By disentangling component-programs from total aid, this analysis demonstrates how human rights influence policymakers by allowing them to distribute food aid to human rights abusing countries. Consequently, policymakers can promote strategic objectives with food aid, while legally restricted from distributing other aid. The primary theoretical argument, which links increasing human rights abuse with increasing food aid, is supported by results from a Heckman model. This procedure models the two-stage decision-making process where foreign policymakers first, select countries for aid and then, distribute aid to those selected.
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Human Rights & U.S. Foreign Aid, 1984-1995: The Cold War and Beyond...

Human Rights & U.S. Foreign Aid, 1984-1995: The Cold War and Beyond...

Date: December 1999
Creator: Miller, Brian Lawrence
Description: This study attempts to cast empirical light on the traditionalist-revisionist debate regarding the impact of the Soviet Union's collapse on U.S. foreign policy decision-making. To accomplish this goal, the relationship between human rights and U.S. foreign aid decision-making is examined before and after the Cold War. In doing so, the author attempts to determine if "soft" approaches, such as the use of a country's human rights records when allocating aid, have garnered increasing attention since the end of Cold War, as traditionalists assert, or declined in importance, as revisionists content.
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The Impact of Gender on Domestic Human Rights Abuse

The Impact of Gender on Domestic Human Rights Abuse

Date: May 2004
Creator: Godwin, Donna D.
Description: This study develops three models of human rights determinants with the inclusion an untested variable, women in parliaments. The research is conducted on pooled cross-sectional time-series data from 130 countries between 1978 and 1996. For the purpose of analysis the Prais-Winsten Regression method with Panel Corrected Standard Errors was used. The women in power variable is hypothesized to be significantly, positively correlated with a state's propensity toward respect for human rights and is operationalized as percentage of women in parliaments. Three models incorporating as control variables previously identified correlates of human rights abuse were utilized to asses the impact of percentages of women in parliaments on two individual subsets of human rights: personal integrity rights and socio-economic rights. Two models were designed to measure the subset of rights categorized as personal integrity rights using two separate measures: State Department Scores and Amnesty International Scores. Model number three utilized the Physical Quality of Life Index to measure levels of socio-economic rights. Statistical significance was demonstrated by the women in parliament variable in all three models.
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The Impact of Middle Class Economic Strength on Civil Liberties Performance and Domestic and External Peace

The Impact of Middle Class Economic Strength on Civil Liberties Performance and Domestic and External Peace

Date: December 2003
Creator: Stedman, Joseph B.
Description: Using data for 93 countries from 1972 through 2001 in cross-national analysis, this study compares the relative economic strength of a country's middle-class with its civil liberties performance and its history of domestic and external conflict. For purposes of this analysis, the relative strength of a country's middle-class is determined by multiplying the square root of a country's gross domestic product per capita by the percentage of income distributed to the middle 60 % of the population (middle class income share). Comparisons between this measure of per capita income distributed (PCID) and several other indicators show the strength of the relationship between PCID and civil liberties performance and domestic and external conflict. In the same manner, comparisons are made for the middle class income share (MCIS) alone. The countries are also divided by level of PCID into 3 world classes of 31 countries each for additional comparisons. In tests using bivariate correlations, the relationships between PCID and MCIS are statistically significant with better civil liberties performance and fewer internal conflicts. With multivariate regression the relationship between PCID and civil liberties performance is statistically significant but not for PCID and internal conflict. As expected, in both correlations and regression between PCID ...
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The Impact of the Civics Curriculum on the Political Attitudes and Behavior of R. L. Turner High School Students

The Impact of the Civics Curriculum on the Political Attitudes and Behavior of R. L. Turner High School Students

Date: August 1971
Creator: Couch, Stephen L.
Description: The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of the civics curriculum on the political attitudes and behavior of R. L. Turner High School students. The impact of the civics curriculum is determined by analyzing the ability of the curriculum to achieve some of the most commonly avowed objectives of civic education. If the objectives of the civics curriculum are being attained, the political attitudes and behavior of students who have completed the course should be different from those of students who have not completed civics--provided, of course, that relevant intervening variables are held constant.
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