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 Department: Department of Political Science
 Degree Discipline: Political Science
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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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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The Political Philosophy of Rabelais’s Pantagruel: Reconciling Thought and Action

The Political Philosophy of Rabelais’s Pantagruel: Reconciling Thought and Action

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Date: August 2015
Creator: Haglund, Timothy
Description: Political thinkers of the Renaissance, foremost among them Niccolò Machiavelli and Desiderius Erasmus, authored works commonly referred to as “mirrors of princes.” These writings described how princes should rule, and also often recommended a certain arrangement or relationship between the intellectual class and the political powers. François Rabelais’s five books of Pantagruel also depict and recommend a new relationship between these elements of society. For Rabelais, the tenets of a philosophy that he calls Pantagruelism set the terms between philosophers and rulers. Pantagruelism, defined in Rabelais’s Quart Livre as “gaiety of spirit confected in contempt for fortuitous things,” suggest a measured attitude toward politics. Rabelais’s prince, Pantagruel, accordingly rejects the tendencies of ancient thinkers such as Diogenes the Cynic who viewed politics as futile. Yet Pantagruel also rejects the anti-theoretical disposition of modern thinkers such as Machiavelli who placed too much confidence in politics. I demonstrate how Rabelais warns against the philosophers’ entrance into public service, and how he simultaneously promotes a less selfish philosophy than that of Diogenes. I argue that Pantagruel’s correction of his friend Panurge through the consultations of experts regarding the latter’s marriage problem shows that fortune will always trouble human life and politics. I also ...
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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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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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Plebiscites

Plebiscites

Date: May 2015
Creator: Fonseca Acosta, Rosa
Description: This study investigates factors that can influence leaders to use plebiscites to settle territorial claims. A quick survey of the plebiscite literature shows that the method has been extensively mentioned in the legal, historical, and philosophical fields (mostly through case studies) but less so in political science. This thesis is the first attempt, to my knowledge, to quantitatively investigate the different factors that can influence a leader to use a plebiscite. Using the latest version of the ICOW dataset, I test political and economic theories to try to explain the variation in the decision outcome. This study includes the following variables: identity ties, economic strength, an interaction between identity ties and economic strength, internal constraints (regime type and violent interaction), and external constraints (membership to international organizations). The results suggest that identity ties offer the strongest explanation as to why leaders settle a territorial claim with a plebiscite. Plebiscites have been rarely used to settle territorial claims, but when used they tend to settle cases permanently. This thesis serves as an attempt to revive a method that while difficult to agree upon, can be successful in resolving territorial claims permanently, and more importantly peacefully.
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Why Be Friends? Amicus Curiae Briefs in State Courts of Last Resort

Why Be Friends? Amicus Curiae Briefs in State Courts of Last Resort

Date: December 2014
Creator: Perkins, Jared D.
Description: While there has been a substantial body of research on interest group activity in U.S. federal courts, there has been comparatively little analysis of interest group engagement with state courts. Given that state courts adjudicate the vast majority of cases in the American legal system and very few cases are appealed to the Supreme Court, understanding why organized interests participate in these courts is of great importance. The present study analyzes interest group involvement as amicus curiae in all state courts of last resort from 1995-1999 to examine what factors motivate organized interests to turn to the courts. The results indicate that interest groups are primarily motivated by their policy goals in deciding which cases to file amicus briefs in, but that they are limited in their ability to file by institutional constraints unique to state courts of last resort. This research provides insight into interest group behavior, state courts and the role organized interests play in influencing legal outcomes in the American states.
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Not All Truth Commissions Are Alike: Understanding Their Limitations and Impact

Not All Truth Commissions Are Alike: Understanding Their Limitations and Impact

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Date: December 2014
Creator: Nichols, Angela D.
Description: This dissertation project develops a theoretical understanding of how truth commissions achieve legitimacy and thus contribute to peace and stability in the aftermath of major traumatic events (e.g. civil war, mass killings, regime changes). I identify three components of truth commission legitimacy---authority, fairness, and transparency---that facilitate beneficial outcomes for societies emerging from a period of severe human rights repression or civil war. I theorize and test how institutions with these legitimacy characteristics contribute to an increase in respect for human rights and decrease political violence in transitioning societies, thus contributing to peace and stability. In order to test the hypothesized relationships, I create a truth commission characteristic dataset that provides greater detail than existing datasets. This project is a contribution to our understanding of the relationships between human rights, institutions, conflict, and international law. It provides one explanation for the inconsistent findings of extant work concerning the impact of transitional justice, generally and truth commissions, specifically. I provide evidence that there are identifiable "best practices" that truth commissions should consider adopting. This information can assist states, intergovernmental organizations, and nongovernmental organizations alike in making difficult decisions regarding the transitional justice process, which is expensive and time consuming further necessitating an ...
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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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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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Thucydides’ Sparta: Law, Piety, and the Regime

Thucydides’ Sparta: Law, Piety, and the Regime

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Date: August 2014
Creator: Hadley, Travis Stuart
Description: My dissertation investigates Thucydides’ presentation of Sparta. By viewing the war through Sparta, one is confronted with debates on the moral dimensions of war. Sparta decries the imperialism of Athens as unjust and while the Athenians imply that such claims are merely Spartan ‘hypocrisy’ and therefore that Sparta does not truly take justice seriously, my study contends that the Spartan concern with justice and piety is genuine. While the Athenians present a sophisticated and enlightened view of what they believe guides all political actions (a view most scholars treat as Thucydides’ own) my study argues that Sparta raises problems for key arguments of the ‘Athenian thesis.’ Through a closer study of Thucydides’ Sparta, including his neglected Book 5, I locate details of both Sparta’s prosecution of the war and their regime that must be considered before agreeing with the apparent sobriety and clear-sightedness of the Athenians, thus leading the reader into the heart of Thucydides’ view of morality in both foreign affairs and domestic politics. A portion of this research is currently being prepared as an article-length study on the broad and important issue of hypocrisy in foreign affairs among states.
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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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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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New Wine in Old Wineskins: Hobbes’s Use and Abuse of Religious Rhetoric

New Wine in Old Wineskins: Hobbes’s Use and Abuse of Religious Rhetoric

Date: December 2014
Creator: Higgins, Nicholas J
Description: Thomas Hobbes’s knowledge of religious doctrine, typology, and use religious rhetoric in his writings is often glossed over in an over-eager attempt to establish his preeminence as a founder of modern political theory and the social contract tradition. Such action, however is an injustice to Hobbes himself, who recognized that in order to establish a new, and arguably radical, political position founded upon reason and nominalist materialism he had to reform people’s understanding of religious revelation, and Christianity specifically. Rather than merely move to a new epistemological foundation, Hobbes was aware that the only way to ensure religion does become a phoenix was to examine and undermine the foundations of religious thought in its own terms. This reformation of religious language, critique of Christianity, and attempt to eliminate man’s belief in their obligation to God was done in order to promote a civil society in which religion was servant of the state. Through reforming religious language, Hobbes was able to demote religion as a worldview; removing man’s fear of the afterlife or obligation to obey God over a civil sovereign. Religious doctrine no longer was in competition with the civil state, but is transformed into a tool of the state, ...
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The British Withdrawal from the Arabian Gulf and Its Regional Political Consequences in the Gulf

The British Withdrawal from the Arabian Gulf and Its Regional Political Consequences in the Gulf

Date: December 1976
Creator: Al-Mubarak, Masoumah Saleh
Description: This study has a twofold purpose: to demonstrate the causes of and various responses (British domestic, Iranian, Arabian, American, and Soviet) to the British decision to withdraw and to illustrate the regional political consequences of that withdrawal. The British Labour Government decision resulted primarily from an economic crisis. The various responses to the decision seem to have been motivated by national self-interest. Some of the Gulf states-- Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait--predicted that the consequences of the withdrawal would be desirable while others--Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates-- predicted that the consequences would not be beneficial. In some ways, both sides were correct in their predictions.
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The Politics of Federal Regulation of Natural Gas Producers, 1938-1968

The Politics of Federal Regulation of Natural Gas Producers, 1938-1968

Date: August 1976
Creator: Perry, Frances J.
Description: This study attempts to show that judicial review of administrative decisions has provided the greatest degree of protection for consumers during the time that natural gas has been subject to regulation by the Federal Power Commission. The first part of the investigation deals with the activities of the regulatory agency since controls were established in 1938. It continues with a discussion of the influence of consumer and producer interests on the legislative process. The contributions of the courts to policy-making is discussed in the following section. The report concludes that more protection from the political environment could be realized by placing the major responsibility for the regulatory program in the hands of the Executive branch.
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Urbanization and Republican Growth in the South, 1950-1968

Urbanization and Republican Growth in the South, 1950-1968

Date: December 1975
Creator: Hughes, Dorene
Description: This thesis tests the hypothesis that increasing urbanization in the South is positively correlated with rising Republican voting in presidential and gubernatorial races. A measure of urbanization was derived by subjecting socio-economic data from three censuses for all southern counties to factor analysis. This measure was regressed against Republican percentages of presidential vote in 1952, 1960 and 1968, and against GOP percentages in governor's races closest to the census years. The coefficients of correlation were uniformly low, reaching as high as .50 only once in each case. It was concluded that urbanization accounts for little in explaining variation in Republican voting and that contradictory findings are the result of reliance on less powerful analytic techniques, misunderstanding of more powerful ones or inadequate operationalization of key concepts.
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The Politics of Atomic Energy

The Politics of Atomic Energy

Date: August 1975
Creator: Hudson, David, fl. 1975-
Description: The regulation of atomic energy has had a long and unique history in the United States and it is the effectiveness of that regulation which poses the problem analyzed here. Government documents and secondary sources are used to provide data and critical opinion about atomic energy regulation. The first chapter deals with the history of the earliest attempts to deal vith atomic energy while the second chapter is concerned with the political nature of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Questions o secrecy and potential environmental danger from the nuclear enterprise are topics for the third and fourth chapters respectively. A concluding chapter indicates the future direction the regulation of nuclear power may take under the newly established Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Energy Research and Development Administration.
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Federalism and Political Problems in Nigeria

Federalism and Political Problems in Nigeria

Date: August 1975
Creator: Abegunrin, Olayiwola
Description: The purpose of this thesis is to examine and re-evaluate the questions involved in federalism and political problems in Nigeria. The strategy adopted in this study is historical, The study examines past, recent, and current literature on federalism and political problems in Nigeria. Basically, the first two chapters outline the historical background and basis of Nigerian federalism and political problems. Chapters three and four consider the evolution of federalism, political problems, prospects of federalism, self-government, and attainment of complete independence on October 1, 1960. Chapters five and six deal with the activities of many groups, crises, military coups, and civil war. The conclusions and recommendations candidly argue that a decentralized federal system remains the safest way for keeping Nigeria together stably.
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Toward a Causal Model of Texas City Manager Policy Role Orientations

Toward a Causal Model of Texas City Manager Policy Role Orientations

Date: May 1974
Creator: Smith, Russell Lane
Description: The purpose of this thesis was to develop and test a causal model of Texas city manager policy role orientation. The first chapter contains a selective review of major works concerning the city manager and the council manager plan. From these works, research perspectives and variables thought to affect managerial policy behavior were identified. A policy role orientation typology was constructed from nine role questions. Four "types" of managers were identified. After a review of the characteristics of the Texas council-manager cities and managers surveyed, the analysis of the isolated variables was carried out. A causal model of managerial policy role orientation was developed and the predictions and assumptions were tested. Further study was indicated, due to the model's failure.
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American Arms Sales to Iran and Power Politics in the Middle East

American Arms Sales to Iran and Power Politics in the Middle East

Date: December 1977
Creator: Aryanpur Kashani, Khosrow
Description: This thesis examines and evaluates the questions involved in American arms sales to Iran and Egypt. The first two chapters outline the historical background and present detailed analyses of Iran's political situations prior to 1968 and United States policy toward it in that period of time. Chapter Three considers the American policies towards Egypt and the United States arms sales to that country. The main argument of the thesis appears in chapter Four which explains the objectives of Iran's government in buying American arms and the United States government's objectives in selling arms to Iran. Conclusions on the study comprise the fifth chapter.
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A Critical Analysis of the Writings of Samuel P. Huntington on Political Stability and Violence

A Critical Analysis of the Writings of Samuel P. Huntington on Political Stability and Violence

Date: May 1975
Creator: Stansell, Loran Wade
Description: Samuel P. Huntington has argued that political stability is dependent on the degree of institutionalization of participation in the political system. Critical analysis of hypotheses reveals serious flaws in his logic. His concepts were shown to be very hard to make operational and to test. The main hypothesis of a direct relationship between institutionalization and stability was shown to be influenced most likely by additional intervening variables. This study seeks to survey and analyze some of the problems which have arisen with the present state of theory in comparative politics. However, this thesis is particularly interested in .Huntington's work which covers the evolution of his thinking regarding the relation of violence and of political stability, i.e., the degree of government and not the form, with the institutionalization of participation.
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The Role of the Peasant Masses in Marxian Political Theory and Practice: a Comparison of Classical and Indian Marxian Views

The Role of the Peasant Masses in Marxian Political Theory and Practice: a Comparison of Classical and Indian Marxian Views

Date: December 1975
Creator: Mathews, Eapen P.
Description: The central thesis is classical Marxian views concerning the peasant masses have been adopted regarding India; two causal factors are the Hindu Caste system and parliamentary democracy. Descriptive and analytical methodology is utilized to study classical and Indian Marxian theory and its relationship to "Marxist" practice in India. Four major elements involved are: wealthy landowners, poor and landless peasants, the Indian government, and Indian communists. Nonimplemented land reforms and recent capitalist farming compounded the problem. Attacks were launched on the Congress government by three communist parties. Government coalition has included the CPI, and has implemented agrarian reforms advocated by the CPI(M), thereby postponing possible militant communist success.
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Salvador Allende: the Rise and Fall of a Chilean Marxist

Salvador Allende: the Rise and Fall of a Chilean Marxist

Date: December 1975
Creator: Speaks, David L.
Description: This study is concerned with describing and analyzing the factors that led to the election and subsequent defeat of Salvador Allende. The research information was selected from leading books, periodicals, government documents, archives, and newspapers. The thesis presents the political history of Allende's rise to power, the social structure that made his victory possible, the development of major programs that facilitated his ascension and that made his decision inevitable, and, finally, an analysis of his administration with observations as to why he failed. The importance of the lower class, the middle class, the military, and the United States are presented as factors contributing to Allende's victory and later accelerating Allende's fall from power.
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