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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Political Science
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Blessed and the Damned: Peacemakers, Warlords, and Post Civil War Democracy

The Blessed and the Damned: Peacemakers, Warlords, and Post Civil War Democracy

Date: August 2007
Creator: Wright, Thorin M.
Description: This thesis seeks to explain how democracies emerge out of the ashes of civil wars. This paper envisions transitions to democracy after a civil war largely as a function of the peace process. Democracy is thought of as a medium through which solutions to the problems and issues over which the civil war was fought can be solved without violence. Transitions to democracy are more likely if there is a large bargaining space and the problems of credible commitments to democratization can be solved. Democratization is more likely if four conditions exist in a state after the civil war: a negotiated settlement, credible commitments via international enforcement, demobilization, and a cooperative international environment. The hypotheses derived are tested through an event history analysis for two different standards of democracy. The results suggest that factors indicative of all four theoretical concepts contribute to the likelihood of democratization after a civil war.
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The commander's sword & the executive's pen: Presidential success in congress and the use of force.

The commander's sword & the executive's pen: Presidential success in congress and the use of force.

Date: August 2007
Creator: Ragland, James Deen
Description: Post-force congressional rally effects are presented as a new incentive behind presidential decisions to use diversionary behavior. Using all key roll call votes in the House and Senate where the president has taken a position for the years 1948 to 1993, presidents are found to receive sharp decreases in both presidential support and success in Congress shortly after employing aggressive policies abroad. Evidence does suggest that presidents are able to capitalize on higher levels of congressional support for their policy preferences on votes pertaining to foreign or defense matters after uses of force abroad. But, despite these findings, diversionary behavior is found to hinder rather than facilitate troubled presidents' abilities to influence congressional voting behavior.
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Wealth and regime formation: Social and economic origins of the change toward democracy.

Wealth and regime formation: Social and economic origins of the change toward democracy.

Date: August 2007
Creator: Gurses, Mehmet
Description: This study explores the relationship between economic development, social mobility, elites, and regime formation. I argue that the genesis of regime formation, in general, and of democratic regimes, in particular, is determined by the type of economic structure a society possesses, on the one hand, and on the degree the to which demands from disfranchised groups do or do not pose a substantial threat to the interests of elites who occupy the upper strata of the social and economic status hierarchy. Second I demonstrate that the dynamics of transition to wider political participation, as the core element of a democratic system of governance, and the survival of such change are different. In what follows I illustrate that some factors that have been found to dampen the chances for wider participation or have been found to be unrelated to onset of a democratic system of governance have considerable impacts on the durability of the democratic regimes. In a nutshell, the analysis points to the positive effects of mineral wealth and income inequality on the prospects of a democratic survival. Using a cross-national time series data set for all countries for the period between 1960 and 1999 I put the hypotheses to ...
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Solicitor Success: The Continuing Exploration of the Determinants of Governmental Success at the Supreme Court, 1986-2005

Solicitor Success: The Continuing Exploration of the Determinants of Governmental Success at the Supreme Court, 1986-2005

Date: August 2007
Creator: Grubbs, Kevin
Description: Studies of the Supreme Court consistently show that the Office of the Solicitor General enjoys remarkable success before the Supreme Court, both at the certiorari stage and at the merits stage. These studies offer a variety of explanations for Solicitor General success, but fail to portray accurately the Office of the Solicitor General and to account for variations in governmental success. This paper seeks to continue the exploration of governmental success. By looking at the Office of the Solicitor General as a series of individuals with distinct characteristics rather than as a single entity, and by accounting for various situational dynamics, I attempt to explain the variations in executive success.
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Rubber Stamps and Litmus Tests: The President, the Senate, and Judicial Voting Behavior in Abortion Cases in the U.S. Federal District Courts

Rubber Stamps and Litmus Tests: The President, the Senate, and Judicial Voting Behavior in Abortion Cases in the U.S. Federal District Courts

Date: August 2007
Creator: Craig, McKinzie
Description: This thesis focuses on how well indicators of judicial ideology and institutional constraints predict whether a judge will vote to increase abortion access. I develop a model that evaluates a judge's decision in an abortion case in light of ideological factors measured at the time of a judge's nomination to the bench and legal and institutional constraints at the time a judge decides a case. I analyze abortion cases from all of the U.S. Federal District Courts from 1973-2004. Unlike previous studies, which demonstrate that the president and the home state senators are the best predictors of judicial ideology, I find that the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time of the judge's nomination is the only statistically significant ideological indicator. Also, contrary to conventional wisdom, Supreme Court precedent (a legal constraint) is also a significant predictor of judicial voting behavior in abortion cases.
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Evaluating team effectiveness: Examination of the TEAM Assessment Tool.

Evaluating team effectiveness: Examination of the TEAM Assessment Tool.

Date: August 2007
Creator: Cantu, Cynthia J.
Description: The present study evaluates the psychometric properties of the TEAM Assessment Tool. The assessment was developed to evaluate work team effectiveness as a basis for providing developmental feedback for work teams. The proposed TEAM Assessment Tool includes 12 dimensions of work team effectiveness with 90 items total. The dimension names are (a) Communication, (b) Decision-Making, (c) Performance, (d) Customer Focus, (e) Team Meetings, (f) Continuous Improvement, (g) Handling Conflict, (h) Leadership, (i) Empowerment, (j) Trust, (k) Cohesiveness/Team Relationships, and (l) Recognition and Rewards. Data were collected from employees of a large aerospace organization headquartered in the United States who are participating in work teams (N= 554). Factor analysis guided development of six new scales of team effectiveness as follows: (1) Teamwork, (2) Decision-Making, (3) Leadership Support, (4) Trust and Respect, (5) Recognition and Rewards, and (6) Customer Focus. Reliability of scales was demonstrated using Cronbach's coefficient alpha. Construct validity was demonstrated through subject matter expert (SME) input, exploratory factor analysis, and scale reliability analysis. Criterion validity was demonstrated by significant correlations at the p<.01 level comparing two measures of team member opinion of team performance and level of performance as indicated by the six subscale scores and overall scale scores ...
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Politics and the American clergy: Sincere shepherds or strategic saints?

Politics and the American clergy: Sincere shepherds or strategic saints?

Date: August 2007
Creator: Calfano, Brian Robert
Description: Scholars have evaluated the causes of clergy political preferences and behavior for decades. As with party ID in the study of mass behavior, personal ideological preferences have been the relevant clergy literature's dominant behavioral predictor. Yet to the extent that clergy operate in bounded and specialized institutions, it is possible that much of the clergy political puzzle can be more effectively solved by recognizing these elites as institutionally-situated actors, with their preferences and behaviors influenced by the institutional groups with which they interact. I argue that institutional reference groups help to determine clergy political preferences and behavior. Drawing on three theories derived from neo-institutionalism, I assess reference group influence on clergy in two mainline Protestant denominations-the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Episcopal Church, USA. In addition to their wider and more traditional socializing influence, reference groups in close proximity to clergy induce them to behave strategically-in ways that are contrary to their sincerely held political preferences. These proximate reference groups comprise mainly parishioners, suggesting that clergy political behavior, which is often believed to affect laity political engagement, may be predicated on clergy anticipation of potentially unfavorable reactions from their followers. The results show a set of political elites (the clergy) ...
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Who Benefits? The Effects of Foreign Aid and Foreign Direct Investment on Human Rights

Who Benefits? The Effects of Foreign Aid and Foreign Direct Investment on Human Rights

Date: May 2007
Creator: Moses, Misty
Description: The global emphasis on human rights has generated a surge of studies into what causes regimes to abuse the basic rights of their citizens. Causes of abuse can be internal or external in nature, based on economics, politics or cultures. This study examines the effects of foreign aid and foreign direct investment on three types of human rights: personal integrity, civil and political, and subsistence. I perform ordinary least squares regression analyses with panel-corrected standard errors on a pooled cross-sectional time series design incorporating 127 countries from 1976 to 1996. While my results are not significant, it is important to observe that there is a tendency toward negative relationships for the majority of the analyses.
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The use of democratic institutions as a strategy to legitimize authoritarian rule.

The use of democratic institutions as a strategy to legitimize authoritarian rule.

Date: May 2007
Creator: Michalik, Susanne
Description: Numerous authoritarian states use institutions usually associated with democratic regimes like a constitution, elections, and a legislature. This seems to be counterintuitive. Authoritarian regimes should rather shrink away from democratic institutions. Elections can be won by the opposition and legislatures can make decisions against the interests of the ruler. So, why do autocratic regimes install institutions which limit their power and threaten their survival in office? Assuming actors behave rationally, one should expect authoritarian rulers only to introduce procedures working in their favor. This study looks at the effect of institutions in authoritarian regimes. The findings suggest that legislatures significantly lower the chances of regime breakdown in the long run. However, particularly in election years, authoritarian regimes are facing a higher likelihood of failure.
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Wisdom and Law: Political Thought in Shakespeare's Comedies

Wisdom and Law: Political Thought in Shakespeare's Comedies

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Major, Rafael M.
Description: In this study of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, and Measure for Measure I argue that the surface plots of these comedies point us to a philosophic understanding seldom discussed in either contemporary public discourse or in Shakespearean scholarship. The comedies usually involve questions arising from the conflict between the enforcement of law (whether just or not) and the private longings (whether noble or base) of citizens whose yearnings for happiness tend to be sub- or even supra-political. No regime, it appears, is able to respond to the whole variety of circumstances that it may be called upon to judge. Even the best written laws meet with occasional exceptions and these ulterior instances must be judged by something other than a legal code. When these extra-legal instances do arise, political communities become aware of their reliance on a kind of political judgment that is usually unnoticed in the day-to-day affairs of public life. Further, it is evident that the characters who are able to exercise this political judgment, are the very characters whose presence averts a potentially tragic situation and makes a comedy possible. By presenting examples of how moral and political problems are dealt with by ...
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