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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Degree Discipline: Political Science
Beggars, Brides, and Bards: The Political Philosophy of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew

Beggars, Brides, and Bards: The Political Philosophy of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew

Date: August 2011
Creator: Murphy, Stephanie Miranda
Description: To do justice to Shakespeare’s comprehensive moral and political thought this paper seeks to discover what we can learn from the political philosophy of his largely neglected comedy, Taming of the Shrew. Not only does this endeavor provide a valuable forgotten link within the critical analyses of the theorists, but it also corrects the various misinterpretations of the play among contemporary critics. I argue that the play surveys various key themes that are rooted in classical political philosophy – such as education, the problems of anger, and the dynamic between nature and convention – and takes into consideration how they apply to modern man. Shakespeare borrows Plato’s idea that eroticism is central to education and explicitly references Ovid’s love books to reexamine our conceptions about one’s formation of character, the proper standards for judging the ideal mate, and the effects of these issues on the stability of the community. I also submit an innovative explanation of the relation between the induction and the main plot. Taken together they exhibit a critique of the role of the poet and his art in modern civil society.
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The Counterinsurgency Dilemma: The Causes and Consequences of State Repression of Human Rights in Civil Wars

The Counterinsurgency Dilemma: The Causes and Consequences of State Repression of Human Rights in Civil Wars

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Date: May 2010
Creator: Quinn, Jason Michael
Description: In this project a theory of adaptive differential insurgency growth by the mechanism of repression driven contagion is put forth to explain variation in the membership and spatial expansion of insurgencies from 1981 to 1999. As an alternative to the dominant structural approaches in the civil war literature, Part 1 of the study proposes an interactive model of insurgency growth based on Most and Starr's opportunity and willingness framework. The findings suggest that state capacity, via its impact on state repressive behavior, plays an important gatekeeping function in selecting which minor insurgencies can grow into civil war, but contributes little to insurgency growth directly. In Part 2 of the study, I directly examine variation in insurgency membership and geographical expansion as a function of repression driven contagion. I find that repression increases the overall magnitude of insurgency activity within states, while at the same time reducing the density of insurgency activity in any one place. Despite an abundance of low intensity armed struggles against a highly diverse group of regimes around the world, I find an extremely strong and robust regularity: where repression is low - insurgencies don't grow.
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The Dichotomy of Congressional Approval

The Dichotomy of Congressional Approval

Date: August 2010
Creator: Moti, Danish Saleem
Description: This thesis seeks to understand how political awareness affects what information one uses to indicate their approval or disapproval of Congress and its members. More concisely, do more and less aware individuals rely on the same pieces of political information to mold their opinions of Congress? The second question of concern is what role does media consumption play in informing survey respondents about Congress. Third, I consider how survey respondents use cues like the condition of the economy and presidential job performance to help formulate their opinion of Congress Finally, by applying the Congressional approval literature to incumbent level approval, I seek to advance the theory and literature on what motivates the approval of incumbents.
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Discovery of Resources and Conflict in the Interstate System, 1816-2001

Discovery of Resources and Conflict in the Interstate System, 1816-2001

Date: May 2010
Creator: Clark, Bradley
Description: This study tests a theory detailing the increased likelihood of conflict following an initial resource discovery in the discovering nation and its region. A survey of prior literature shows a multitude of prior research concerning resources and nations' willingness to initiate conflict over those resources, but this prior research lacks any study concerning the effects of the discovery of resources on interstate conflict. The theory discusses the increased likelihood of conflict in the discovering nation as both target and initiator. It further looks at the increased chance of conflict in the discoverer's region due to security dilemmas and proxy wars. The results show strong support for the theory, suggesting nations making new resource discoveries must take extra care to avoid conflict.
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Does Euroscepticism Matter? the Effect of Public Opinion on Integration

Does Euroscepticism Matter? the Effect of Public Opinion on Integration

Date: December 2012
Creator: Williams, Christopher J.
Description: This dissertation seeks to test the proposition that public opinion is a driving force in integration, and thus examines the effect of euroscepticism on EU integration. Utilizing an understanding of integration as the process of European states achieving similar legal, social, cultural, political and economic policy outcomes while ceding greater policy power to European institutions, the relationship between aggregate level euroscepticism in EU member states (the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, and Sweden) and speed of compliance with EU policies is examined. More specifically, this dissertation examines the relationship between aggregate level euroscepticism in an EU member state, and the speed at which that state transposes EU directives. In testing this relationship a number of contextual conditions are examined, including the role of issue salience, domestic party systems, and electoral conditions. The findings of this dissertation suggest that the widely held belief that public opinion is driving European integration may be false.
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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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Electoral Rules, Political Parties, and Peace Duration in Post-conflict States

Electoral Rules, Political Parties, and Peace Duration in Post-conflict States

Date: December 2014
Creator: Kisin, Tatyana Tuba Kelman
Description: This dissertation examines the following research question: Which types of electoral rules chosen in post-conflict states best promote peace? And are those effects conditional upon other factors? I argue that the effects are conditional upon the types of political parties that exist in the post-conflict environment. Although this explanation is contrary to scholars that speak of political parties as products of the electoral system, political parties often predate the choice of electoral system. Especially in post-conflict states, political parties play an important role in the negotiation process and hence in the design of the electoral rules. I argue that the effects of electoral rules on peace duration are mitigated by the degree to which a party system is broad (nonexclusive) or narrow (exclusive). I develop a theoretical model that led to three hypotheses focusing on the independent role that political parties play in mitigating the effects of electoral rules on peace duration. To test these hypotheses, I use the Cox proportional hazard model on 57 post-conflict states from 1990 to 2009 and had competitive elections. The empirical results show support for the main argument of this study. First, the findings show that electoral rules alone do not increase or decrease ...
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Electoral System Effects On Anti-muslim Sentiments In Western Europe

Electoral System Effects On Anti-muslim Sentiments In Western Europe

Date: December 2011
Creator: Saleemi, Asmara
Description: The purpose of this thesis is to answer the question, why is there a variation in anti-Muslim sentiments across Western Europe? There is existing literature on individual and country-level variable s to explain why prejudice exists, but this research examines the impact of political institutions on anti-Muslim sentiments. Based on new institutionalism theory, electoral systems can shape public attitudes by providing far-right parties a platform to put their concerns on the agenda, and these parties promote anti-Muslim popular sentiments. The results of this analysis support this argument in that the larger the average district magnitude in a country, the greater the anti-Muslim sentiments. The findings also show that an increase in far-right party vote-share also covaries with an increase in anti-Muslim sentiments.
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Endogenous Information and Inter-state War Expansion

Endogenous Information and Inter-state War Expansion

Date: December 2012
Creator: Liebel, Steven R.
Description: Scholars have long debated the causes of late third party state joining in ongoing inter-state wars. This research has generally concluding that peace-time conditions, measured in terms of: third party capabilities; proximity to warring states; and inter-state alliances, are determining factors in the decision to join. However, these studies utilize theories derived from static pre-war measures of capabilities and motivation to explain late joining; indeed, the same measures that fail to predict participation at war's outset. Further, extant research has no explanation for why weak and non-proximate states every participate. Existing theory thus fails to provide a comprehensive explanation of joining behavior. This project contends that a resolution lies the interaction between pre-war conditions and intra-war events. Intra-war events that are allowed to vary on a per battle basis, including change in combat location and alliance entry and exit from combat, reveal new information about the war and its progress, thereby forcing third party states to recalculate their initial decision to abstain in relation to their pre-existing situation. Incorporation of intra-war processes helps to better explain decisions by third party states to join ongoing inter-state wars late in their development, and why states that frequently choose to abstain (e.g., weak ...
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The Enemy of My Enemy: International Alliances Against Transnational Terrorist Organizations

The Enemy of My Enemy: International Alliances Against Transnational Terrorist Organizations

Date: December 2010
Creator: Berthume, Joshua Guy
Description: A dearth of pre-existing research in the field prompted this thesis on whether traditional econometric analyses of war deterrent alliances are applicable to modern alliances for counter terror purposes. Apparent foundational and contextual differences between the two types of alliances and the costs and benefits member nations derive from each lead the author to theorize that factors contributing to the formation of each alliance are fundamentally similar. Multiple types of statistical models are used to measure variables from the Correlates of War and Polity datasets combined with custom variables in a new dataset concerning major transnational terrorist attacks and the resultant alliances in testing the effect of traditionally contributing formation factors on alliances against terrorism. The results indicate that some contributing factors are similar, extant analysis tools have utility and that further investigation is justified.
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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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Ethnic Similarity and Rivalry Relations

Ethnic Similarity and Rivalry Relations

Date: December 2014
Creator: McCallister, Gerald L. Jr.
Description: Research on ethnicity and conflict treats the concept of ethnicity as defining the actors in these conflicts, whereas research on the construction and maintenance of ethnic identity explores why ethnicity unifies individuals into a single social group. What happens when this unifying concept is divided between two enemy countries? How does this situation influence peace settlements over territorial issues, armed conflict, and economic relations between these countries? To answer these questions, I create a continuous measure of ethnic similarity between rivals. I find that ethnic similarity can facilitate cooperation and exacerbate conflictual interactions between rivals, but governments will seek to limit interactions with their rival when the cross border ethnic groups are minorities. In addition, I create categorical predictors of ethnic similarity, which reveal nuances in these relationships. Specifically, rivalries sharing a pan-ethnic identity are more likely to engage in conflict regardless of actual ethnic similarity, and dyads with a majority in one country sharing ethnicity with a minority in another country are less likely to fight once in a state of rivalry. This is because a quid pro quo exists between these rivals where one rival can reduce oppression of the minority in exchange for the other rival not ...
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Europeanization and the Rise of Extremist Parties

Europeanization and the Rise of Extremist Parties

Date: December 2011
Creator: Dague, Jennifer Lee
Description: The research question addressed by this study is: what is the relationship between Europeanization and the rise of extremist parties? In particular I examine the impact of Europeanization on the rise of extreme right parties in Europe from 1984 to 2006. Europeanization in this paper is defined as a process whereby the transformation of governance at the European level and European integration as a whole has caused distinctive changes in domestic politics. This process of Europeanization is one part of a structure of opportunities for extremist parties (which also include social, economic, and electoral factors). Although this study finds that Europeanization does not have a statistically significant effect it is still an important factor when examining domestic political phenomenon in Europe.
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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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Explanation for the Variation of Women’s Rights Among Moderate Muslim Countries

Explanation for the Variation of Women’s Rights Among Moderate Muslim Countries

Date: May 2012
Creator: Sortor, Angela E.
Description: Due to the actions of radicals and extremists, many in the West have come to view Islam as a religion of gender inequality that perpetuates the severe oppression of women. However, there is actually great variation in women’s rights across Muslim countries. This thesis presents a theoretical framework seeking to explain this variation, by examining differences in family law. The theory supposes that variation can be explained by the strategic actions of political leaders. From this theory, I hypothesize that the variations in women’s rights come from the variation in family law, which in large, are due to the existence of groups threatening the power of the political leaders, and the leader’s subsequent understanding of this threat. Using a most similar systems research design, I examine 4 moderate Muslim countries, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt. Through case study research, I find limited support for the above hypothesis.
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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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Foreign Sponsorship and the Development of Rebel Parties

Foreign Sponsorship and the Development of Rebel Parties

Date: December 2015
Creator: Marshall, Michael C.
Description: This dissertation examines the emergence, survival, performance, and national impact of rebel parties following negotiated settlements. Building on a growing literature examining the environmental and organizational factors affecting insurgent-to-party transformations, this dissertation asks why some insurgent organizations thrive as political parties in post-conflict environments and others fail to make such a transformation. I propose that foreign actors play a pivotal role in the formation of what I call “protégé parties,” which are better equipped to make the transformation into political parties than other rebel groups. Further, different kinds of sponsors have varying effects on transformation. Empirical analysis supports these propositions, finding that protégé parties with authoritarian sponsorship are better equipped to develop than those backed by democracies or no one.
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Friendship, Politics, and the Good in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

Friendship, Politics, and the Good in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

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Date: May 2015
Creator: Pascarella, John Antonio
Description: In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Books VIII and IX provide A philosophic examination of friendship. While these Books initially appear to be non sequiturs in the inquiry, a closer examination of the questions raised by the preceding Books and consideration of the discussion of friendship's position between two accounts of pleasure in Books VII and X indicate friendship's central role in the Ethics. In friendship, Aristotle finds a uniquely human capacity that helps readers understand the good is distinct from pleasure by leading them to think seriously about what they can hold in common with their friends throughout their lives without changing who they are. What emerges from Aristotle's account of friendship is a nuanced portrait of human nature that recognizes the authoritative place of the intellect in human beings and how its ability to think about an end and hold its thinking in relation to that end depends upon whether it orders or is ordered by pleasures and pains. Aristotle lays the groundwork for this conclusion throughout the Ethics by gradually disclosing pleasures and pains are not caused solely by things we feel through the senses, but by reasoned arguments and ideas as well. Through this insight, we can begin ...
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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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Increasing the Players: Expanding the Bilateral Relationship of Conflict Management

Increasing the Players: Expanding the Bilateral Relationship of Conflict Management

Date: May 2014
Creator: Stull, Emily A.
Description: This research seeks to explore the behavior of international and regional organizations within conflict management. Previous research on conflict management primarily examines UN peacekeeping as the primary actor and lumps all non-UN actors into a single category. I disaggregate this category, examining how international and regional organizations interact when deciding to establish a peace mission, coordinate a peace mission with multiple organizations, and finally, how this interaction affects the success of peace missions. I propose a collective action theoretical framework in which organizations would rather another actor undertake the burden and costs of implementing a peace mission. I find the United Nations is motivated to overcome the collective action problem through an increase in the severity of the conflict. Regional organizations are motivated to establish a peace mission as the economic and political salience of the conflict increases, increasing the possibility of the regional organization acquiring club goods for its member states. The presence of a regional hegemon within a regional organization also significantly increases the likelihood of an organization both establishing a peace mission and taking on the primary role when coordinating a joint mission. I argue this is because a regional hegemon allows the organization to more easily ...
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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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International Learning and the Diffusion of Civil Conflict

International Learning and the Diffusion of Civil Conflict

Date: August 2014
Creator: Linebarger, Christopher
Description: Why does civil conflict spread from country to country? Existing research relies primarily on explanations of rebel mobilization tied to geographic proximity to explain this phenomenon. However, this approach is unable to explain why civil conflict appears to spread across great geographic distances, and also neglects the government’s role in conflict. To explain this phenomenon, this dissertation formulates an informational theory in which individuals contemplating rebellion against their government, or “proto-rebels,” observe the success and failure of rebels throughout the international system. In doing so, proto-rebels and governments learn whether rebellion will be fruitful, which is then manifested in the timing of rebellion and repression. The core of the dissertation is composed of three essays. The first exhorts scholars of the international spread of civil violence to directly measure proto-rebel mobilization. I show that such mobilization is associated with conflicts across the entire international system, while the escalation to actual armed conflict is associated with regional conflicts. The second chapter theorizes that proto-rebels learn from successful rebellions across the international system. This relationship applies globally, although it is attenuated by cultural and regime-type similarity. Finally, the third chapter theorizes that governments are aware of this process and engage in repression ...
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