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 Degree Discipline: Political Science
Reassessing the Role of Anxiety in Information Seeking

Reassessing the Role of Anxiety in Information Seeking

Date: August 2008
Creator: Williams, Christopher J.
Description: Previous research of the theory of Affective Intelligence holds that anxiety in individuals causes learning behavior. If people are anxious they will actively seek new information. This new information gathered while anxious will cause each individual person to cease acting habitually and begin acting in a manner in line with rational choice models. This thesis addresses three hypotheses; (1) that people who feel anxiety engage in greater information seeking behavior and (2) when people feel anxious they will use information sources that are readily available and efficient to use and (3) anxious individuals will turnout to vote more often than those who are not anxious. I began with the replication of the original research methods of Marcus and MacKuen (1993) and Marcus, Neuman and MacKuen (2000). I then tested hypothesis 1 using new measurements of anxiety in order to address the concerns originally posited by Ladd and Lenz (2008) and Valentino et al. (2008). My final test of hypothesis 1 used revised measurements of anxiety and information derived from 2000-2002 NES Panel data, much in the same manner as Marcus, Neuman and MacKuen (2000). I then tested hypothesis 2 using the same 2000-2002 NES Panel data and an information source ...
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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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Repression, Civic Engagement, Internet Use, and Dissident Collective Action: the Interaction Between Motives and Resources

Repression, Civic Engagement, Internet Use, and Dissident Collective Action: the Interaction Between Motives and Resources

Date: May 2012
Creator: Wu, Jun-deh
Description: This dissertation investigates three questions: First, what conditions make dissident collective action such as protest, revolt, rebellion, or civil war more likely to happen in a country? Second, what conditions make citizens more likely to join in dissident collective action? Third, does Internet use play a role in dissident collective action, and if so, why? I argue that motives and resources are necessary rather than sufficient conditions for dissident collective action. I develop an analytical framework integrating motives and resources. Specifically, I theorize that state repression is an important motive, and that civil society is critical in providing resources. Four statistical analyses are conducted to test the hypotheses. Using aggregate level data on countries over time, I find that civil war is more likely to occur in countries where both state repression and civil society are strong. Moreover, the effect of civil society on civil war onset increases as the repression level rises. at the individual level using 2008 Latin American Public Opinion Project surveys from 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries, I find individuals more likely to join in protest when they experience both more repression and greater civic engagement. Moreover, civic engagement’s effect on protest participation increases as ...
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Resource Evaluation and Presidential Decision-making: Predicting the Use of Force by U.S. Presidents, 1976 - 1988

Resource Evaluation and Presidential Decision-making: Predicting the Use of Force by U.S. Presidents, 1976 - 1988

Date: May 1997
Creator: Waterman, Peter A. (Peter Alan)
Description: In order to explain presidential decisions to use force, a model is developed that incorporates three distinct decision-making environments. The results indicate the president is responsive not only to domestic and international environments, but also to the resource evaluation environment. The evidence here demonstrates that while these two environments are important the president can't use force arbitrarily; rather, his evaluation of resources available for the use of force can limit his ability to engage the military during crisis situations.
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Revisiting Eric Nordlinger: The Dynamics of Russian Civil- Military Relations in the Twentieth Century

Revisiting Eric Nordlinger: The Dynamics of Russian Civil- Military Relations in the Twentieth Century

Date: August 2001
Creator: Ardovino, Michael
Description: This paper examines the role that military has played in the political development of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the modern Russian Federation. By utilizing the theoretical tenets of Eric Nordlinger, this paper endeavors to update and hopefully revise his classic work in civil-military relations, Soldiers in Politics. Chapter one of this paper introduces many of the main theoretical concepts utilized in this analysis. Chapter two considers the Stalinist totalitarian penetration model that set the standard for communist governments around the world. Chapter three follows up by addressing the middle years of Khrushchev and Brezhnev. Both reformed the military in its relation to the party and state and made the armed forces a more corporate and professional institution. Chapter four pinpoints the drastic changes in both the state and armed forces during Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost. The military briefly ventured to a point it never gone before by launching a short coup against the last Soviet president. Chapter five focuses on the last ten years in the Russian Federation. While still a professional organization typical of the liberal model of civil-military relations, the armed forces face great uncertainty, as economic and social problems demand more of their ...
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The Road to Development is Paved With Good Institutions: The Political and Economic Implications of Financial Markets

The Road to Development is Paved With Good Institutions: The Political and Economic Implications of Financial Markets

Date: May 2008
Creator: Brown, Chelsea Denise
Description: This research seeks to identify the factors that account for the variation in development levels across nations by focusing on the institutional components of development, especially the effects of financial market development on economic and political development. I argue that financial market institutions are critical to economic and political development, and provide a partial explanation for the variation in development observed across nations. Financial market development affects political development indirectly through greater economic efficiency and growth and directly by reducing poverty, increasing economic equality, strengthening the middle class and increasing political participation. Increased financial market development also produces more efficient institutions and eliminates certain perverse incentives in government that result in corruption. The action mechanisms rest largely on the idea that increasing access to financial services allows the lower and middle- income segments of society to smooth their income and invest in high return activities that can lift people out of poverty. These improvements distribute both economic and intellectual resources throughout society and provide greater opportunities for political entrepreneurship from all societal groups. This, along with greater ability to participate either through monetary means or greater time, increases political participation and democratic development. Using a variety of econometric techniques to ...
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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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Saying Sorry: Conflict Atrocity and Political Apology

Saying Sorry: Conflict Atrocity and Political Apology

Date: August 2009
Creator: Chalkley, Marie Leone
Description: This study proposes and tests a comprehensive theory detailing the motivations behind political apologies. A brief survey of the literature shows a field rich in case studies but lacking in rigorous scientific analysis. The theory presented proposes a three-level examination of political apology at the state, dyadic, and system levels and incorporates the effects of culture, conflict, and the nature of the international system into analysis. This study makes use of a new dataset recording the occurrence of political apologies for interstate conflict atrocities from 1900 to 2006. The results suggest that the existing literature, while rich, does not account for all the motivating factors behind apology. The results also confirm that political apology is a creation of the modern era and a result of the liberalization of the international system. In conclusion, paths for future research are suggested and the advent of a global "age of apology" is confirmed.
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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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