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 Degree Discipline: Political Science
Schoolyard Politics: Ethics and Language at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Schoolyard Politics: Ethics and Language at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Date: December 2010
Creator: Hatcher, Robert
Description: The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has been both contentious and successful. By examining the ICTY from a Levinasian ethical standpoint, we might be able to understand how the court uses language to enforce ethical and moral standards upon post-war societies. Using linguistic methods of analysis combined with traditional data about the ICTY, I empirically examine the court using ordinary least squares (OLS) in order to show the impact that language has upon the court's decision making process. I hypothesize that the court is an ethical entity, and therefore we should not see any evidence of bias against Serbs and that language will provide a robust view of the court as an ethical mechanism.
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Service Matters: The Influence of Military Service on Political Behavior, Ideology and Attitudes

Service Matters: The Influence of Military Service on Political Behavior, Ideology and Attitudes

Date: August 2010
Creator: Johnson, Catherine L.
Description: The objective of this research is to explore the influence of military service on political behaviors and attitudes. Existing studies of the military have long recognized the existence of a predominantly conservative political ideology with a resulting propensity for strong Republican Party support within the military community, but have failed to explain the likely causal mechanism for this. Drawing on multiple sources of data from the 2008 Presidential election cycle, I utilized a descriptive analysis of campaign contribution data and bivariate and multivariate analyses of data from the 2008 Military Times Survey and the 2008 American National Election Survey. Much of the data also permitted me to analyze the effect of an individual's service branch on their attitudes as well. I examined the behavior and attitudes of the military across several dimensions, including candidate support and positions on policies of particular relevance to the military, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This analysis found that people who serve in the military tend to be conservative but in many ways their political attitudes are reflective of those of the general population. An individual's race, ethnicity and gender appear to have more influence than military factors, with the exception of service ...
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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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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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Post-Civil War Democratization: Domestic and International Factors in Movement Toward and Away from Democracy

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

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

State Level Causes of Terrorism: Limits on Political Expression

Date: December 2009
Creator: Case, Erik S.
Description: Expanding on prior research into the state level causes of terrorism, I argue that state repression and limited state capacity reduces opportunities for non-violent political expression and increases the utility of terrorism. I also argue that economic freedom can is a form of political expression that can dissipate political grievances. While previous authors analyzed some of these variables separately using data on transnational attacks, I created a complete model incorporating the three categories of variables and tested my hypotheses using data that includes both domestic and transnational attacks. I use regression analysis for hypothesis testing and find support for the three primary contentions of this thesis and conclude that limits on political expression increase the likelihood nations will experienced increased levels of terrorism.
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Do different political regime types use foreign aid differently to improve human development?

Do different political regime types use foreign aid differently to improve human development?

Date: December 2009
Creator: Phan, Thu Anh
Description: Existing literature on foreign aid does not indicate what type of political regime is best to achieve human development outcomes or use aid funds more efficiently. I contend that political leaders of different regime types have personal incentives that motivate them to utilize foreign aid to reflect their interests in providing more or less basic social services for their citizens. Using a data set of 126 aid-recipient countries between the years of 1990 and 2007, I employ fixed effects estimation to test the model. The overall results of this research indicate that foreign aid and democratic institutionalization have a positive effect on total enrollment in primary education, while political regime types show little difference from one another in providing public health and education for their citizens.
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Letters, Liberty, and the Democratic Age in the Thought of Alexis de Tocqueville

Letters, Liberty, and the Democratic Age in the Thought of Alexis de Tocqueville

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Date: December 2009
Creator: Elliot, Natalie J.
Description: When Alexis de Tocqueville observed the spread of modern democracy across France, England, and the United States, he saw that democracy would give rise to a new state of letters, and that this new state of letters would influence how democratic citizens and statesmen would understand the new political world. As he reflected on this new intellectual sphere, Tocqueville became concerned that democracy would foster changes in language and thought that would stifle concepts and ideas essential to the preservation of intellectual and political liberty. In an effort to direct, refine, and reshape political thought in democracy, Tocqueville undertook a critique of the democratic state of letters, assessing intellectual life and contributing his own ideas and concepts to help citizens and statesmen think more coherently about democratic politics. Here, I analyze Tocqueville's critique and offer an account of his effort to reshape democratic political thought. I show that through his analyses of the role of intellectuals in democratic regimes, the influence of modern science on democratic public life, the intellectual habits that democracy fosters, and the power of literary works for shaping democratic self-understanding, Tocqueville succeeds in reshaping democratic language and thought in a manner that contributes to the preservation ...
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