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 Department: Department of Political Science
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Clenching the Fists of Dissent: Political Unrest, Repression, and the Evolution to Civil War

Clenching the Fists of Dissent: Political Unrest, Repression, and the Evolution to Civil War

Date: August 2016
Creator: Backstrom, Jeremy R
Description: Previous scholarship has long concentrated on the behaviors of belligerents during regime-dissident interactions. While much of the progress in the literature concentrated on the micro-level processes of this relationship, little research has focused on providing a theoretical reasoning on why belligerents choose to act in a particular manner. This project attempts to open the black box of decision making for regimes and dissidents during regime-dissident interactions in order to provide a theoretical justification for the behaviors of the belligerents involved. Moreover, this project argues that there is a relationship between the lower level events of political violence and civil war as the events at earlier stages of the conflict influence the possible outcome of civil conflict. Regimes and dissidents alike are strategic actors who conduct themselves in a manner to ensure their survival while concurrently attempting to succeed at achieving their respective goals. Although all authoritarian regimes are similar in their differences to democracies, there are significant differences between the regimes, which influence the decision making of the regime leader to ensure the survival of the political institution. In addition to influencing the decision calculus of the regimes, the behavior of the regimes impacts the probability of civil war at ...
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Run, Women, Run! Female Candidates and Term Limits: A State-Level Analysis

Run, Women, Run! Female Candidates and Term Limits: A State-Level Analysis

Date: August 2016
Creator: Pettey, Samantha
Description: This dissertation seeks to explain the puzzle in the state politics literature which expects females to benefit from the enactment of term limits, but initial research finds the number of female in office decreases after the implementation of term limits. Examining this puzzle involves three separate stand-alone chapters which explore female candidate emergence (1), success rates (2), and women-friendly state legislative districts (3). The goal of the dissertation is to reconcile the puzzle while adding insight into how female candidates behave at the state-level. Overall, I find that term limits increases female descriptive representation by increasing the likelihood a female candidate will run and win an election.
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New Rules to an Old Game: Electoral Reforms and Post-Civil War Stability

New Rules to an Old Game: Electoral Reforms and Post-Civil War Stability

Date: August 2016
Creator: Keels, Eric
Description: One of the most common features found within peace agreements are provisions that call for post-civil war elections. Unfortunately, recent research on post-civil war stability has consistently demonstrated that the initial elections held after civil wars significantly increases the risk for renewed fighting. While this research does highlight a danger posed by post-war elections, it focuses only on one element associated with post-civil war democracy. I argue that by implementing electoral reforms that are called for in peace agreements, post-war countries reduce the risk of renewed civil war. Implementing these peace agreement provisions increases the durability of post-war peace in two ways. First, by implementing costly electoral reforms called for in the peace agreement, the government signals a credible commitment to the peace process which reduces security dilemmas faced by opposition groups. Second, electoral reforms generate new avenues for political participation for disaffected citizens, which reduces the ability of hardliners to mobilize future armed opposition. I examine how implementing post-war electoral reforms impact the risk of renewed conflict from 1989 through 2010. Using duration models, I demonstrate that implementing these electoral reforms substantially reduces the risk of renewed conflict.
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Context Matters: How Feminist Movements Magnify Feminist Opinion of Progressive Policies in South America

Context Matters: How Feminist Movements Magnify Feminist Opinion of Progressive Policies in South America

Date: August 2016
Creator: Ferris, Rachel E
Description: What explains the inconsistency of female empowerment in South America, despite high levels of institutional inclusion? Generally, the social sciences tend to lean on the tenets of liberal feminism in order to measure the development of gender-inclusive policy changes; however, their findings indicate that higher levels of institutional inclusion does not necessarily translate into the empowerment of women as a group. Further, within political science, there is little research addressing the relationship between feminist movements and the feminist opinion of individuals within a state. I argue that strong feminist social movements provide a context in which feminist opinion is magnified, and where individuals will be more likely to support progressive policy changes. Using questions from the World Values Survey, I operationalize progressive policies as the Justifiability of Abortion. My primary independent variables are the presence feminist movements and the presence of feminist opinion, which is measured by support for female sexual freedom. After using a multilevel mixed-effects linear regression, I find support for my hypotheses, indicating that feminist opinion is magnified by the presence of feminist movements.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Job of City Manager from Two Points of View

The Job of City Manager from Two Points of View

Date: December 2012
Creator: Blackburn, Audley
Description: The purpose of this study is to define more clearly the task of the city manager by examining the following perceptions of his role: 1) The city manager perceives himself as being an administrator, leaving the political realm to the city council. 2) The city manager is a policy-maker perceiving that his job includes providing objectives and goals for council and community. He uses his knowledge and experience to create an atmosphere within which various alternatives can be presented with full and free discussion of these alternatives. 3) The role of the city manager cannot be defined along the lines of two mutually exclusive statements. The job of the manager includes a combination of both administration and policy-making.
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The Dallas Morning News' View Towards International Relations

The Dallas Morning News' View Towards International Relations

Date: August 1970
Creator: Bradley, James E.
Description: The purpose of this study is to determine, if possible, North Central Texas views or attitudes toward international relations. These attitudes will be compared to studies on Southern attitudes to determine any similarities or dissimilarities. Literature on Southwestern attitudes is sparse; therefore, all data will be compared with that compiled by political scientists on Southern attitudes.
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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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