UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

Clenching the Fists of Dissent: Political Unrest, Repression, and the Evolution to Civil War

Description: Previous scholarship has long concentrated on the behaviors of belligerents during regime-dissident interactions. While much of the progress in the literature concentrated on the micro-level processes of this relationship, little research has focused on providing a theoretical reasoning on why belligerents choose to act in a particular manner. This project attempts to open the black box of decision making for regimes and dissidents during regime-dissident interactions in order to provide a theoretical justification for the behaviors of the belligerents involved. Moreover, this project argues that there is a relationship between the lower level events of political violence and civil war as the events at earlier stages of the conflict influence the possible outcome of civil conflict. Regimes and dissidents alike are strategic actors who conduct themselves in a manner to ensure their survival while concurrently attempting to succeed at achieving their respective goals. Although all authoritarian regimes are similar in their differences to democracies, there are significant differences between the regimes, which influence the decision making of the regime leader to ensure the survival of the political institution. In addition to influencing the decision calculus of the regimes, the behavior of the regimes impacts the probability of civil war at later stages of the interaction. Conversely, dissidents also perform as strategic actors in an attempt to gain their preferred concessions and outcomes. Although their comprehension of the coercive capacity of a regime is limited, their knowledge of the repressive capacity of the regime provides them with the understanding of their future fate if they escalate to violence against the regime. This project is conducted using two theories on regime and dissident actions and responses, two large-N empirical analyses of regime and dissident behaviors during nonviolent and violent dissident campaigns from 1945-2006, and two historical case studies of Egypt and Syria ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Backstrom, Jeremy R
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Counterinsurgency Dilemma: The Causes and Consequences of State Repression of Human Rights in Civil Wars

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.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Quinn, Jason Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Does Euroscepticism Matter? the Effect of Public Opinion on Integration

Description: This dissertation seeks to test the proposition that public opinion is a driving force in integration, and thus examines the effect of euroscepticism on EU integration. Utilizing an understanding of integration as the process of European states achieving similar legal, social, cultural, political and economic policy outcomes while ceding greater policy power to European institutions, the relationship between aggregate level euroscepticism in EU member states (the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, and Sweden) and speed of compliance with EU policies is examined. More specifically, this dissertation examines the relationship between aggregate level euroscepticism in an EU member state, and the speed at which that state transposes EU directives. In testing this relationship a number of contextual conditions are examined, including the role of issue salience, domestic party systems, and electoral conditions. The findings of this dissertation suggest that the widely held belief that public opinion is driving European integration may be false.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Williams, Christopher J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ecological Sustainability and Peace: The Effect of Ecological Sustainability on Interstate and Intrastate Environmental Conflict

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 of intra-state conflict in the Third World.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Yoon, Jong-Han
Partner: UNT Libraries

Electoral Rules, Political Parties, and Peace Duration in Post-conflict States

Description: This dissertation examines the following research question: Which types of electoral rules chosen in post-conflict states best promote peace? And are those effects conditional upon other factors? I argue that the effects are conditional upon the types of political parties that exist in the post-conflict environment. Although this explanation is contrary to scholars that speak of political parties as products of the electoral system, political parties often predate the choice of electoral system. Especially in post-conflict states, political parties play an important role in the negotiation process and hence in the design of the electoral rules. I argue that the effects of electoral rules on peace duration are mitigated by the degree to which a party system is broad (nonexclusive) or narrow (exclusive). I develop a theoretical model that led to three hypotheses focusing on the independent role that political parties play in mitigating the effects of electoral rules on peace duration. To test these hypotheses, I use the Cox proportional hazard model on 57 post-conflict states from 1990 to 2009 and had competitive elections. The empirical results show support for the main argument of this study. First, the findings show that electoral rules alone do not increase or decrease the risk of civil war outbreak, yet when interacting with the degree to which political parties are broad or narrow, there is a significant effect on the outbreak of civil war. Second, the results show that post-conflict states with party centered electoral systems (closed list PR system) are less likely to have an outbreak of civil war when more seats in the parliament are controlled by broad-based parties. In addition, I conduct a comparative case study analysis of two post-conflict states, Angola (1975-1992) and Mozambique (1975-1994), using the most similar systems (MSS) research design.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Kisin, Tatyana Tuba Kelman
Partner: UNT Libraries

Endogenous Information and Inter-state War Expansion

Description: Scholars have long debated the causes of late third party state joining in ongoing inter-state wars. This research has generally concluding that peace-time conditions, measured in terms of: third party capabilities; proximity to warring states; and inter-state alliances, are determining factors in the decision to join. However, these studies utilize theories derived from static pre-war measures of capabilities and motivation to explain late joining; indeed, the same measures that fail to predict participation at war's outset. Further, extant research has no explanation for why weak and non-proximate states every participate. Existing theory thus fails to provide a comprehensive explanation of joining behavior. This project contends that a resolution lies the interaction between pre-war conditions and intra-war events. Intra-war events that are allowed to vary on a per battle basis, including change in combat location and alliance entry and exit from combat, reveal new information about the war and its progress, thereby forcing third party states to recalculate their initial decision to abstain in relation to their pre-existing situation. Incorporation of intra-war processes helps to better explain decisions by third party states to join ongoing inter-state wars late in their development, and why states that frequently choose to abstain (e.g., weak states) ever choose to participate. This project is executed using a combination of ex post facto historical case studies, a theory of joining based on pre and intra-war environments, and large-N empirical analysis on all inter-state wars 1823-1988, conducted utilizing a novel collection of event-level data based on inter-state war battles.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Liebel, Steven R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ethnic Politics in New States: Russian and Serbian Minorities After Secession

Description: New states are often born in a volatile environment, in which the survival of the new country is uncertain. While analysis of the nationalizing new governments exists, research focuses mainly on domestic politics. I argue that the treatment of minority that remains in the new states is a function of the interaction of the dual threat posed by the minority itself domestically on one hand and the international threat coming from the mother state to protect its kin abroad on the other hand. Specifically, I argue that there is a curvilinear relationship between domestic and international threat and the extent of discrimination against the politically relevant minority. Most discrimination takes place when domestic and international threats are moderate because in this case there is a balance of power between the government, the minority, and the rump state. With time-series-cross-sectional (TSCS) data analysis this dissertation systematically tests the treatment of Russian and Serbian minorities in all post-Soviet and post-Yugoslav states between 1991 and 2006 and finds statistically significant results for the curvilinear hypothesis. Territorial concentration of the minority and the ratio of national capabilities between the mother and the seceded states prove to be especially important predictors of minority treatment. In addition, with most similar systems (MSS), most different systems (MDS) design methods, and directed case studies I apply the curvilinear hypothesis to the Russian minority in the Baltic States and the Central Asian Republics, and also to the Serb minority in the countries of the former Yugoslavia to present a detailed analysis.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Batta, Anna
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ethnic Similarity and Rivalry Relations

Description: Research on ethnicity and conflict treats the concept of ethnicity as defining the actors in these conflicts, whereas research on the construction and maintenance of ethnic identity explores why ethnicity unifies individuals into a single social group. What happens when this unifying concept is divided between two enemy countries? How does this situation influence peace settlements over territorial issues, armed conflict, and economic relations between these countries? To answer these questions, I create a continuous measure of ethnic similarity between rivals. I find that ethnic similarity can facilitate cooperation and exacerbate conflictual interactions between rivals, but governments will seek to limit interactions with their rival when the cross border ethnic groups are minorities. In addition, I create categorical predictors of ethnic similarity, which reveal nuances in these relationships. Specifically, rivalries sharing a pan-ethnic identity are more likely to engage in conflict regardless of actual ethnic similarity, and dyads with a majority in one country sharing ethnicity with a minority in another country are less likely to fight once in a state of rivalry. This is because a quid pro quo exists between these rivals where one rival can reduce oppression of the minority in exchange for the other rival not supporting secessions by their co-ethnics. These pairs of rivals also are more likely to attempt peace settlements. Contested nations, which are rivalry-dyads with similar ethnic majorities, are both the most likely of the ethnically similar rival categories to engage in militarized interstate disputes, but also engage in larger amounts of interstate trade.
Date: December 2014
Creator: McCallister, Gerald L. Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining the Effect of Security Environment on U.S. Unilateral Military Intervention in Civil Conflicts

Description: This study focuses on how perceived security environment affect U.S. unilateral, military intervention in civil conflicts, using the concept of Bayesian learning to illustrate how threat perceptions are formed, how they change, and how they affect the U.S. decision to intervene militarily in civil conflicts. I assess the validity of two primary hypotheses: (1) the U.S. is more likely to intervene in civil conflicts with connections to a threatening actor or ideology; and (2) the U.S. is more likely to intervene in civil conflicts for humanitarian motives in a less threatening security context. To test these hypotheses, I compare U.S. military intervention in three temporal contexts reflecting more threatening security contexts (Cold War and post-9/11) and less threatening security contexts (1992-2001). Results of logit regression analysis reveal that a conflict’s connection to a threatening actor or ideology is the most statistically and substantively significant determinant of U.S. military intervention in civil conflicts, both in more and less threatening security contexts. They also indicate that humanitarian motives are not a statistically significant determinant of U.S. military intervention in civil conflicts, even in a more benign security environment. These findings imply that U.S. unilateral military intervention is reserved for more direct national security threats, even those that are less grave, and that the perception of the U.S. as “global cop” may be misleading, at least in terms of unilateral military intervention.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Aubone, Amber
Partner: UNT Libraries

Foreign Sponsorship and the Development of Rebel Parties

Description: This dissertation examines the emergence, survival, performance, and national impact of rebel parties following negotiated settlements. Building on a growing literature examining the environmental and organizational factors affecting insurgent-to-party transformations, this dissertation asks why some insurgent organizations thrive as political parties in post-conflict environments and others fail to make such a transformation. I propose that foreign actors play a pivotal role in the formation of what I call “protégé parties,” which are better equipped to make the transformation into political parties than other rebel groups. Further, different kinds of sponsors have varying effects on transformation. Empirical analysis supports these propositions, finding that protégé parties with authoritarian sponsorship are better equipped to develop than those backed by democracies or no one.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Marshall, Michael C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Friends of the State Courts: Organized Interests and State Courts of Last Resort

Description: Why do interest groups participate in state courts of last resort by filing amicus curiae briefs? Are they influential when they do? This dissertation examines these questions using an original survey of organized interests that routinely participate in state supreme courts, as well as data on all amicus curiae briefs and majority opinions in over 14,000 cases decided in all fifty-two state supreme courts for a four year period. I argue that interest groups turn to state judiciaries to achieve the dual goals of influencing policy and organizational maintenance, as amicus briefs can help organized interests achieve both outcomes. Furthermore, I contend that amicus briefs are influential in shaping judicial policy-making through the provision of legally persuasive arguments. The results suggest that interest groups do file amicus briefs to both lobby for their preferred policies and to support their organization's long-term viability. Additionally, the results indicate that organized interests also participate in counteractive lobbying in state courts of last resort by filing amicus briefs to ensure their side is represented and to dull the effect of oppositional amici. The findings also demonstrate support for the influence of amicus briefs on judicial policy-making on state high courts, as amicus briefs can influence the ideological direction of the court's majority opinions. Overall, this research extends our understanding of interest group lobbing in the judiciary and in state policy venues, and provides insight into judicial politics and policy-making on state courts of last resort.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Perkins, Jared David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Friendship, Politics, and the Good in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

Description: In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Books VIII and IX provide A philosophic examination of friendship. While these Books initially appear to be non sequiturs in the inquiry, a closer examination of the questions raised by the preceding Books and consideration of the discussion of friendship's position between two accounts of pleasure in Books VII and X indicate friendship's central role in the Ethics. In friendship, Aristotle finds a uniquely human capacity that helps readers understand the good is distinct from pleasure by leading them to think seriously about what they can hold in common with their friends throughout their lives without changing who they are. What emerges from Aristotle's account of friendship is a nuanced portrait of human nature that recognizes the authoritative place of the intellect in human beings and how its ability to think about an end and hold its thinking in relation to that end depends upon whether it orders or is ordered by pleasures and pains. Aristotle lays the groundwork for this conclusion throughout the Ethics by gradually disclosing pleasures and pains are not caused solely by things we feel through the senses, but by reasoned arguments and ideas as well. Through this insight, we can begin to understand how Aristotle's Ethics is a work of political philosophy; to fully appreciate the significance of his approach, however, we must contrast his work with that of Thomas Hobbes, his harshest Modern critic. Unlike Aristotle, Hobbes is nearly silent on friendship in his political philosophy, and examining his political works especially Leviathan reveals the absence of friendship is part of his deliberate attempt to advance a politics founded on the moral teaching that pleasure is the good. Aristotle's political philosophy, by way of contrast, aims to preserve the good, and through friendship, he not only disentangles the good from ...
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Pascarella, John Antonio
Partner: UNT Libraries

A History of Overcoming: Nietzsche on the Moral Antecedents and Successors of Modern Liberalism

Description: This work aims to understand human moral psychology under modern liberalism by analyzing the mature work of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. I seek to understand and evaluate Nietzsche's claim that liberalism, rather than being an overturning of slave morality, is an extension of the slave morality present in both Judaism and Christianity. To ground Nietzsche's critique of liberalism theoretically, I begin by analyzing his "master" and "slave" concepts. With these concepts clarified, I then apply them to Nietzsche's history by following his path from Judaism to liberalism and beyond--to his "last man" and Übermensch. I find that Nietzsche views history as a series of overcomings wherein a given mode of power maintenance runs counter to the means by which power was initially attained. Liberalism, as the precursor and herald of the "last man," threatens the end of overcoming and therefore compromises the future of human valuation and meaning.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Gill, Rodney W
Partner: UNT Libraries

Increasing the Players: Expanding the Bilateral Relationship of Conflict Management

Description: This research seeks to explore the behavior of international and regional organizations within conflict management. Previous research on conflict management primarily examines UN peacekeeping as the primary actor and lumps all non-UN actors into a single category. I disaggregate this category, examining how international and regional organizations interact when deciding to establish a peace mission, coordinate a peace mission with multiple organizations, and finally, how this interaction affects the success of peace missions. I propose a collective action theoretical framework in which organizations would rather another actor undertake the burden and costs of implementing a peace mission. I find the United Nations is motivated to overcome the collective action problem through an increase in the severity of the conflict. Regional organizations are motivated to establish a peace mission as the economic and political salience of the conflict increases, increasing the possibility of the regional organization acquiring club goods for its member states. The presence of a regional hegemon within a regional organization also significantly increases the likelihood of an organization both establishing a peace mission and taking on the primary role when coordinating a joint mission. I argue this is because a regional hegemon allows the organization to more easily overcome the collective action problem between its own member states due to the presence of a privileged actor.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Stull, Emily A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

International Learning and the Diffusion of Civil Conflict

Description: Why does civil conflict spread from country to country? Existing research relies primarily on explanations of rebel mobilization tied to geographic proximity to explain this phenomenon. However, this approach is unable to explain why civil conflict appears to spread across great geographic distances, and also neglects the government’s role in conflict. To explain this phenomenon, this dissertation formulates an informational theory in which individuals contemplating rebellion against their government, or “proto-rebels,” observe the success and failure of rebels throughout the international system. In doing so, proto-rebels and governments learn whether rebellion will be fruitful, which is then manifested in the timing of rebellion and repression. The core of the dissertation is composed of three essays. The first exhorts scholars of the international spread of civil violence to directly measure proto-rebel mobilization. I show that such mobilization is associated with conflicts across the entire international system, while the escalation to actual armed conflict is associated with regional conflicts. The second chapter theorizes that proto-rebels learn from successful rebellions across the international system. This relationship applies globally, although it is attenuated by cultural and regime-type similarity. Finally, the third chapter theorizes that governments are aware of this process and engage in repression in order to thwart it. I further argue that this repression is, in part, a function of the threat posed by those regimes founded by rebels.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Linebarger, Christopher
Partner: UNT Libraries

Montesquieu, Diversity, and the American Constitutional Debate

Description: It has become something of a cliché for contemporary scholars to assert that Madison turned Montesquieu on his head and thereafter give little thought to the Frenchman’s theory that republics must remain limited in territorial size. Madison did indeed present a formidable challenge to Montesquieu’s theory, but I will demonstrate in this dissertation that the authors of the Federalist Papers arrived at the extended sphere by following a theoretical pathway already cemented by the French philosopher. I will also show that Madison’s “practical sphere” ultimately concedes to Montesquieu that excessive territorial size and high levels of heterogeneity will overwhelm the citizens of a republic and enable the few to oppress the many. The importance of this dissertation is its finding that the principal mechanism devised by the Federalists for dealing with factions—the enlargement of the sphere—was crafted specifically for the purpose of moderating interests, classes, and sects within an otherwise relatively homogeneous nation. Consequently, the diverse republic that is America today may be exposed to the existential threat anticipated by Montesquieu’s theory of size—the plutocratic oppression of society by an elite class that employs the strategy of divide et impera.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Drummond, Nicholas W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

New Rules to an Old Game: Electoral Reforms and Post-Civil War Stability

Description: One of the most common features found within peace agreements are provisions that call for post-civil war elections. Unfortunately, recent research on post-civil war stability has consistently demonstrated that the initial elections held after civil wars significantly increases the risk for renewed fighting. While this research does highlight a danger posed by post-war elections, it focuses only on one element associated with post-civil war democracy. I argue that by implementing electoral reforms that are called for in peace agreements, post-war countries reduce the risk of renewed civil war. Implementing these peace agreement provisions increases the durability of post-war peace in two ways. First, by implementing costly electoral reforms called for in the peace agreement, the government signals a credible commitment to the peace process which reduces security dilemmas faced by opposition groups. Second, electoral reforms generate new avenues for political participation for disaffected citizens, which reduces the ability of hardliners to mobilize future armed opposition. I examine how implementing post-war electoral reforms impact the risk of renewed conflict from 1989 through 2010. Using duration models, I demonstrate that implementing these electoral reforms substantially reduces the risk of renewed conflict.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Keels, Eric
Partner: UNT Libraries

New Wine in Old Wineskins: Hobbes’s Use and Abuse of Religious Rhetoric

Description: Thomas Hobbes’s knowledge of religious doctrine, typology, and use religious rhetoric in his writings is often glossed over in an over-eager attempt to establish his preeminence as a founder of modern political theory and the social contract tradition. Such action, however is an injustice to Hobbes himself, who recognized that in order to establish a new, and arguably radical, political position founded upon reason and nominalist materialism he had to reform people’s understanding of religious revelation, and Christianity specifically. Rather than merely move to a new epistemological foundation, Hobbes was aware that the only way to ensure religion does become a phoenix was to examine and undermine the foundations of religious thought in its own terms. This reformation of religious language, critique of Christianity, and attempt to eliminate man’s belief in their obligation to God was done in order to promote a civil society in which religion was servant of the state. Through reforming religious language, Hobbes was able to demote religion as a worldview; removing man’s fear of the afterlife or obligation to obey God over a civil sovereign. Religious doctrine no longer was in competition with the civil state, but is transformed into a tool of the state, one which philosophically founds the modern arguments for religious toleration.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Higgins, Nicholas J
Partner: UNT Libraries

Not All Truth Commissions Are Alike: Understanding Their Limitations and Impact

Description: This dissertation project develops a theoretical understanding of how truth commissions achieve legitimacy and thus contribute to peace and stability in the aftermath of major traumatic events (e.g. civil war, mass killings, regime changes). I identify three components of truth commission legitimacy---authority, fairness, and transparency---that facilitate beneficial outcomes for societies emerging from a period of severe human rights repression or civil war. I theorize and test how institutions with these legitimacy characteristics contribute to an increase in respect for human rights and decrease political violence in transitioning societies, thus contributing to peace and stability. In order to test the hypothesized relationships, I create a truth commission characteristic dataset that provides greater detail than existing datasets. This project is a contribution to our understanding of the relationships between human rights, institutions, conflict, and international law. It provides one explanation for the inconsistent findings of extant work concerning the impact of transitional justice, generally and truth commissions, specifically. I provide evidence that there are identifiable "best practices" that truth commissions should consider adopting. This information can assist states, intergovernmental organizations, and nongovernmental organizations alike in making difficult decisions regarding the transitional justice process, which is expensive and time consuming further necessitating an understanding of what practices are most crucial for achieving peace and stability.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Nichols, Angela D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Organic-Progressive Principle in the Political Thought and Internationalism of Woodrow Wilson

Description: This is an investigation of the intellectual roots of the political thought and internationalism of Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eightieth president of the United States. Exposed to the influence of Darwin, Wilson believed that politics had to be redefined as an evolutionary process. the older mechanical understanding of politics was to be replaced with an organic understanding of political development. This allowed Wilson to synthesize a concept of politics that included elements from the Christian tradition; the English Historical School, particularly Edmund Burke; and German idealism, including G.W.F. Hegel. However, because he placed a heavy emphasis on Burke and Hegel, Wilson moved away from a natural rights based theory of politics and more towards a politics based on relativism and a transhistorical notion of rights. Wilson had important theoretical reserves about Hegel, as a result, Wilson modified Hegel’s philosophy. This modification took the form of Wilson’s organic-progressive principle. This would greatly affect Wilson’s ideas about how nations formed, developed, and related to one another. This study focuses on Wilson’s concept of spirit, his theory of history, and his idea of political leadership. the organic-progressive principle is key to understanding Wilson’s attempts to reform on both the domestic and international levels.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Flanagan, John Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Political Determinants of Fdi Location in Prchina, 1997-2009: Application of a New Model to Taiwanese Fdi in Mainland China

Description: This research seeks to identify the political determinants that account for the uneven geographical distribution of foreign direct investment (FDI) across Chinese counties. I compare the political determinants of Taiwanese FDI (TDI) and non-Taiwanese FDI site selection across counties in China. I focus on the central-local politics in China, especially the effect of county government autonomy on FDI and TDI site selection. I investigate whether the effect of county government autonomy and its interaction with TDI agglomeration varies across the three economic regions of China (i.e. eastern, central, and western regions). I argue that county government autonomy is critical to attracting inflows of FDI, and its impact is conditional on the existing level of FDI in a given county. Counties with higher autonomy are able to make greater commitments to and involvement in the market economy, have more flexibility to give preferential treatment to FDI and to improve the local investment environment. With the political burden that Taiwanese investors face from the special military and political relationship across the Strait, I argue that TDI is more sensitive to county government autonomy not only for the economic gains like other foreign investors but also for pursuing local protection against the political uncertainties from Beijing and the social instabilities of the local population. I also argue that county government autonomy’s impact on TDI inflow is strongest in the central region due to the less dominating role of the geographic and cultural advantages enjoyed by the eastern region and its better economic, cultural, political and geographic conditions that are lacking in the western region. Using the System General Method of Moment model to analyze the county level FDI/TDI panel data sets, I find autonomy’s impact on future FDI inflows fades with the increases in the existing level of FDI but gets stronger with ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Lu, Kelan
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Political Philosophy of Rabelais’s Pantagruel: Reconciling Thought and Action

Description: Political thinkers of the Renaissance, foremost among them Niccolò Machiavelli and Desiderius Erasmus, authored works commonly referred to as “mirrors of princes.” These writings described how princes should rule, and also often recommended a certain arrangement or relationship between the intellectual class and the political powers. François Rabelais’s five books of Pantagruel also depict and recommend a new relationship between these elements of society. For Rabelais, the tenets of a philosophy that he calls Pantagruelism set the terms between philosophers and rulers. Pantagruelism, defined in Rabelais’s Quart Livre as “gaiety of spirit confected in contempt for fortuitous things,” suggest a measured attitude toward politics. Rabelais’s prince, Pantagruel, accordingly rejects the tendencies of ancient thinkers such as Diogenes the Cynic who viewed politics as futile. Yet Pantagruel also rejects the anti-theoretical disposition of modern thinkers such as Machiavelli who placed too much confidence in politics. I demonstrate how Rabelais warns against the philosophers’ entrance into public service, and how he simultaneously promotes a less selfish philosophy than that of Diogenes. I argue that Pantagruel’s correction of his friend Panurge through the consultations of experts regarding the latter’s marriage problem shows that fortune will always trouble human life and politics. I also argue that Pantagruel’s rule over the kingdom of Utopia exemplifies a Socratic form of rule—reluctant rule—which relies on a trust that necessity (embodied in the Tiers Livre in the Pantagruelion plant) and not fortune (embodied in the Tiers Livre in Panurge’s future wife) governs the world, including the political world.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Haglund, Timothy
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 democracy are different from factors that sustain that transition in post-civil war states. Post-civil war democracies are fragile. The side that won the democratic election can dismantle institutions of democracy and repress oppositions. The fear of being repressed could create stronger incentives for the opposition groups to return to conflict. To address this puzzle, I develop a conceptual framework that explains how costs of the previous civil war, the establishment of inclusive institutions and the higher level of economic development create incentives for the former rivals to sustain democracy. Hypotheses derived from the theoretical implications are tested by using survival ...
Date: May 2010
Creator: Joshi, Madhav
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 people experience more repression. I further find that Internet use constitutes a kind of civic engagement and has effects similar to voluntary group involvement. the effect of Internet use on protest participation decreases as a person’s civic engagement increases. Finally, an individual is more likely to join in protest when experiencing more repression and using the Internet more frequently. Moreover, the effect of Internet use on protest participation increases as a person experiences more repression.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Wu, Jun-deh
Partner: UNT Libraries