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 Degree Discipline: Political Science
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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Democratization and the Information Revolution: A Global Analysis for the 1980s

Democratization and the Information Revolution: A Global Analysis for the 1980s

Date: August 1995
Creator: Esslinger, Thomas A. (Thomas Andreas)
Description: Comparative studies of democratization point to a multitude of explanatory factors, while often lacking empirical evidence and theoretical foundation. This study introduces the revolution in information technology as a significant contributor to democratization in the 1980s and beyond. Utilizing a cybernetic version of an evolutionary interpretation of democratization an amended model for 147 countries is tested by bivariate and multiple regression analysis. The focus of the analysis is on how the first-ever use of an indicator of information technology explains democratization. The overall findings show that information technology is a meaningful element in the study of democratization today.
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The Destruction of a Society: A Qualitative Examination of the Use of Rape as a Military Tool

The Destruction of a Society: A Qualitative Examination of the Use of Rape as a Military Tool

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Date: December 2004
Creator: Finley, Briana Noelle
Description: This thesis explores the conditions under which mass rapes are more likely to be incorporated into the strategy of military or paramilitary groups during periods of conflict. I examine three societies, Rwanda , the former Yugoslavia , and Cambodia in a comparative analysis. To determine what characteristics make societies more likely to engage in rape as a military tool, I look at the status of women in the society, the religious cultures, the degree of female integration into the military institutions, the cause of the conflicts, the history of the conflict, and finally, the status of minority ethnic groups in each of these societies.
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The Determinants of Federal Spending for the Administration of Justice

The Determinants of Federal Spending for the Administration of Justice

Date: December 1998
Creator: Gabriano, Gina
Description: This study develops and empirically tests a model of the determinants of federal spending for crime-fighting policies. An inter-disciplinary approach to building the model is utilized that merges ideas from budgeting, policy analysis and criminology. Four factors hypothesized to impact federal spending for the administration of justice are operationalized as eight variables and tested using ordinary least squares regression analysis on time series data. The factors hypothesized to impact federal spending in this area are economic constraints imposed on government spending, the ideological makeup of Congress and the president, the actual crime rate, and the public's attitude toward crime. Five of the eight variables demonstrated statistical significance at the.10 level or better.
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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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Developing Capacity: The IMF's Impact on State Capacity

Developing Capacity: The IMF's Impact on State Capacity

Date: December 2006
Creator: Harper, Christine
Description: The purpose of this thesis is to examine the impact of International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans since the adoption of the governance mandate on overall government capability. The study will explore whether the presence of IMF loans in developing countries enhances state capacity. Administrative capacity is of particular importance because it is a requisite for the integration of state and society in the national political arena and encourages joint involvement of government and citizenry in overall representation of societal interests. The model designed to test the two primary hypotheses is comprised of a simultaneous system of equations. Despite criticisms of IMF conditionality arrangements, it appears that these programs are largely effective at increasing administrative capacity, an important factor in achieving economic growth and national ownership of IMF development programs.
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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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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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Do As They Say, and As They Do: An Integrated Approach to the Study of Norm Influence on Truth Commission Initiation, 1976-2003

Do As They Say, and As They Do: An Integrated Approach to the Study of Norm Influence on Truth Commission Initiation, 1976-2003

Date: August 2006
Creator: Dancy, Geoffrey Thomas
Description: Truth commissions are bodies established in political transition, and they have the stated purpose of reckoning with human rights abuses committed by members of former regimes. The question driving this research is "Why have truth commissions increased so rapidly in the last 20 years?" This study moves beyond current research, which suggests that particular domestic political circumstances alone determine choice of transitional justice mechanisms. I argue that an international rule of behavior, the transitional restorative norm, has emerged and spread to decision-makers in countries of transition. In support of this notion, I perform a pre-theoretical historical analysis of transitional justice and develop a theory of decision-making in transition-which is later tested with quantitative statistics. This integrated approach allows for increased scientific rigor in the examination of international norms. Ultimately, the study demonstrates an interrelationship between shared ideas and political environments in the determination of domestic policy.
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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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