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 Department: Department of Political Science
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Democratic Pantheism in the Political Theory of Alexis de Tocqueville

Democratic Pantheism in the Political Theory of Alexis de Tocqueville

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Date: May 2006
Creator: Bearry, Brian Anthony
Description: According to Alexis de Tocqueville, humanity is entering a new age of political and social equality, a new epoch in which the human race has no historical example or experience. As a result, he holds humanity's future will be largely determined by the political and moral choices made in this transitional time. For Tocqueville, the new egalitarian era is a forgone conclusion, but for him, the pressing question is whether humanity will choose a future in which it enchains itself to new forms of tyranny, or, whether the human race can establish the political and moral institutions designed to assure human freedom and dignity. In Tocqueville's view, liberty or slavery are the two choices modern men and women have in front of them, and it is the intent of this dissertation to explore Tocqueville's warning in regard to the latter choice. Tocqueville warns us that modern democratic peoples must beware of the moral and political effects of a new type of political philosophy, a political theory he terms democratic pantheism. Democratic pantheism is a philosophic doctrine that treats egalitarianism as a "religion" in which all social and political striving is directed toward realizing a providentially ordained strict equality of conditions. ...
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A Black/Non-Black Theory of African-American Partisanship: Hostility, Racial Consciousness and the Republican Party

A Black/Non-Black Theory of African-American Partisanship: Hostility, Racial Consciousness and the Republican Party

Date: May 2006
Creator: King, Marvin
Description: Why is black partisan identification so one-sidedly Democratic forty years past the Civil Rights movement? A black/non-black political dichotomy manifests itself through one-sided African-American partisanship. Racial consciousness and Republican hostility is the basis of the black/non-black political dichotomy, which manifests through African-American partisanship. Racial consciousness forced blacks to take a unique and somewhat jaundiced approach to politics and Republican hostility to black inclusion in the political process in the 1960s followed by antagonism toward public policy contribute to overwhelming black Democratic partisanship. Results shown in this dissertation demonstrate that variables representing economic issues, socioeconomic status and religiosity fail to explain partisan identification to the extent that Hostility-Consciousness explains party identification.
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Determinants of International Terrorist Group Formation, 1968-1999

Determinants of International Terrorist Group Formation, 1968-1999

Date: December 2007
Creator: Worrell, Blake
Description: Terrorism has become a focus of much political thought over the past few years, and with good reason, yet most quantitative studies of terrorism investigate the likelihood of a terrorist incident while ignoring the precursors to terrorist group formation. I examine cases of new terrorist group formations between the years 1968 and 1999 as a function of domestic demographic, geographic, governmental and societal factors. This is done by Poisson regression analysis, which determines the significance of the independent variables on a count of new international terrorist group formations per country year. The results indicate that higher levels of material government capability, high levels of political freedom, the availability of low-cost refuge, and a cultural tradition of terrorism all have a positive impact on the number of new terrorist group formations, while a higher degree of governmental durability has a negative impact.
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Human Rights and the Strategic Use of US Foreign Food Aid

Human Rights and the Strategic Use of US Foreign Food Aid

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

What Can the Collective Action Problem Tell Us about the Recurrence of Civil War and the Long-term Stability of a Country?

Date: December 2005
Creator: Kohler, Matthew
Description: This study attempts to explain why some countries experience multiple civil wars while others who have experienced a civil war build long-term stability from the rubble of conflict. The explanation of why civil war recurs focuses on the collective action problem, centering on the rebel leaders' ability to solve the Rebel's Dilemma. I further argue that once the Rebel's Dilemma has been solved once it is much easier for rebel leaders to solve it again and again. The empirical finds suggest that the political situation resulting from the first war plays a strong role in the solutions to the collective action problem and thus the long-term stability following a civil war. Namely, the level of democracy, partition and third party enforcement of the peace all affect the ability of the rebel leaders to solve the collective action problem and the likelihood of another civil war.
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A transaction costs explanation of inter-local government collaboration.

A transaction costs explanation of inter-local government collaboration.

Date: August 2005
Creator: Krueger, Eric L.
Description: This study develops a model of collaboration choice among city governments. The theoretical model suggests that collaboration is a function of transaction costs that vary with different institutional arrangements utilized in cities, as well as the degree of competition between cities. This study argues that cities facing high transaction costs and high competition are less likely to participate in collaboration and to participate less deeply. Underlying these environmental factors are resource factors that create incentives for cities to collaborate for efficiency gains, which affect both the decision to collaboration and the depth of collaboration. Eleven hypotheses are presented to explain why cities choose to participate in collaboration in the first stage of the analysis and how deeply they collaborate in the second stage. Utilizing a Heckman model of this two-stage process, I find broad support for a number of variables that measure each of these theoretical constructs.
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Weak states, human rights violations, and the outbreak of civil war.

Weak states, human rights violations, and the outbreak of civil war.

Date: May 2005
Creator: Rost, Nicolas
Description: In recent years, explanations for the occurrence of civil war have mainly emphasized state weakness as providing an opportunity for greed-based rebellions. Yet, this explanation leaves many questions open, as it cannot distinguish between weak states that do and those that do not experience civil war. In this paper, I argue that abuses of personal integrity rights, committed or sponsored by the government, provide this missing link. The theory is illustrated and formalized in a game-theoretic model and then tested empirically, building on earlier work by Fearon and Laitin (2003a) and Sambanis (2004). The results show that repression is highly significant in both statistical and substantive terms. According to one model, the probability of civil war onset increases by a factor of almost 16 in highly repressive countries compared to countries with no repression. Further robustness tests across alternative civil war lists largely confirm the importance of human rights abuses in explaining the occurrence of civil war.
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Institutions and Drug Markets

Institutions and Drug Markets

Date: May 2005
Creator: Haddock, Billy Dean
Description: This thesis examines how drug policy and enforcement affect drug manufacturers. The approach taken is a comparative institutional analysis of cannabis and methamphetamine production. I focus on the effects of prohibition, privacy, and clandestine markets on producer behavior for these two drugs and the unintended consequences that result. I demonstrate that cannabis and methamphetamine producers both face substantial transaction costs and that producers alter their behavior to manage these transaction costs. I conclude that cannabis producers can adopt indoor, small-scale operations to hide their activity, which are capable of yielding continuous, high-potency crops. Methamphetamine producers also adopt small-scale, decentralized strategies, but commodity control increases their exposure and leads to greater overall transaction costs during the manufacturing process.
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Religious Engagement and Social Capital in the Islamic Context

Religious Engagement and Social Capital in the Islamic Context

Date: May 2005
Creator: Brigaitis, Peter
Description: Social capital research has traditionally been conducted in western and Christian settings as a precursor of changes such as democratization and development. This paper focuses on Islamic religious engagement and its potential to foster social capital. The model presented here is designed to suggest whether the Islam's influence occurs through doctrinal channels, or through Islam's capacity to organize social structures. The analysis conducted is a linear regression model with measures of social capital as dependent variables and measures of religious engagement as independent variables. The analysis is conducted on data from the fourth wave of the World Values Survey. Results suggest that religious engagement and social capital have both belief and behavioral elements that should be treated as separate entities in quantitative research.
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Appellate Recruitment Patterns in the Higher British Judiciary: 1850 - 1990

Appellate Recruitment Patterns in the Higher British Judiciary: 1850 - 1990

Date: December 2004
Creator: Thomas, Bruce K.
Description: This study seeks to advance the understanding of appellate promotion in the senior judiciary of Great Britain . It describes the population and attributes of judges who served in the British High Courts, Court of Appeal, and Appellate Committee of the House of Lords (i.e., Law Lords) from 1850 to 1990. It specifically builds upon the work of C. Neal Tate and tests his model of appellate recruitment on a larger and augmented database. The study determines that family status, previously asserted as having a large effect on recruitment to the appellate courts, is not as important as previously believed. It concludes that merit effects, professional norms, and institutional constraints offer equally satisfactory or better explanations of appellate recruitment patterns.
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