UNT Theses and Dissertations - 106 Matching Results

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Progress or Decline: International Political Economy and Basic Human Rights

Description: This dissertation is a cross-national, empirical study of human rights conditions in a dynamic international political economy. The scope of the examination covers 176 developed and developing countries from 1980 through 1993. Through evaluating the numerous theoretical aspects of human rights conceptualization, I draw upon Shue's framework and consider whether there are indeed "basic rights" and which rights should fit into this category. Further, I address the debate between those who claim that these rights are truly universal (applying to all nations and individuals) and those who argue that the validity of a moral right is relative to indigenous cultures. In a similar vein, I empirically investigate whether various human rights are interdependent and indivisible, as some scholars argue, or whether there are inherent trade-offs between various rights provisions. In going beyond the fixation on a single aspect of human rights, I broadly investigate subsistence rights, security rights and political and economic freedom. While these have previously been addressed separately, there are virtually no studies that consider them together and the subsequent linkages between them. Ultimately, a pooled time-series cross-section model is developed that moves beyond the traditional concentration on security rights (also know as integrity of the person rights) and focuses on the more controversial subsistence rights (also known as basic human needs). By addressing both subsistence and security rights, I consider whether certain aspects of the changing international political economy affect these two groups of rights in different ways. A further delineation is made between OECD and non-OECD countries. The primary international focus is on the effects of global integration and the end of the Cold War. Domestic explanations that are connected with globalization include economic freedom, income inequality and democratization. These variables are subjected to bivariate and multivariate hypothesis testing including bivariate correlations, analysis of variance, and ...
Date: May 1999
Creator: Milner, Wesley T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fractional Integration and Political Modeling

Description: This dissertation investigates the consequences of fractional dynamics for political modeling. Using Monte Carlo analyses, Chapters II and III investigate the threats to statistical inference posed by including fractionally integrated variables in bivariate and multivariate regressions. Fractional differencing is the most appropriate tool to guard against spurious regressions and other threats to inference. Using fractional differencing, multivariate models of British politics are developed in Chapter IV to compare competing theories regarding which subjective measure of economic evaluations best predicts support levels for the governing party; egocentric measures outperform sociotropic measures. The concept of fractional cointegration is discussed and the value of fractionally integrated error correction mechanisms are both discussed and demonstrated in models of Conservative party support. In Chapter V models of presidential approval in the United States are reconfigured in light of the possibilities of fractionally integrated variables. In both the British and American case accounting for the fractional character of all variables allows the development of more accurate multivariate models.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Lebo, Matthew Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Law and Human Rights: Is the Law a Mere Parchment Barrier to Human Rights Abuse?

Description: This study is the first systematic global analysis of the impact of law on human rights, analyzing the impact of twenty-three constitution provisions and an international covenant on three measures of human rights behavior, over the period of 1976-1996. Three sets of constitutional provisions are analyzed, including 1) ten provisions for individual freedoms and due process rights, 2) nine provisions for elements of judicial independence and 3) four provisions that outline procedures for states of emergency. Additionally, the impact of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on actual human rights behavior is analyzed. Each of these areas of law are evaluated individually, in multiple models in which different elements vary. For example, some models control for democracy with different measures, others divide the data into the Cold War and post-Cold War eras, and some test constitutional indices. Finally, all provisions are simultaneously analyzed in integrated models. Provisions for fair and public trials are consistently shown to decrease the probability of abuse. An index of four freedoms (speech, religion, association, and assembly) decreases the probability of abuse somewhat consistently. Three of the provisions for judicial independence are most consistent in reducing the probability of abuse: the provisions for exclusive judicial authority, for the finality of judges' decisions, and banning exceptional courts. Two of four states of emergency provisions decrease abuse as international lawyers have argued: the provisions for legislative declaration of the emergency and the ban against dissolving the legislature during an emergency. However, two of the provisions are shown to hurt human rights practices: the duration and the derogation provisions. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights does not demonstrate a statistically significant impact. While the performance of the constitutional provisions is less than legal scholars would hope, their combined impact over time are shown to be ...
Date: December 1999
Creator: Keith, Linda Camp
Partner: UNT Libraries

Korean Electoral Behavior: The 1992 and 1997 Presidential Elections

Description: This is a study of Korean presidential elections. Its purpose is to determine how Koreans voted in the 1992 and 1997 presidential elections and to examine the factors that contributed to winners. In addition, the study compares the two elections by developing three models: candidate choice, voter turnout and political interest models. Using post election data from the Korean Social Science Data Center a multinomial logit regression was used in the candidate choice model. It shows that Korean voters selected their candidates mainly in terms of interest in the elections, age, orientation toward the governing or opposition parties, the regional effects of the Southwest (Honam) and the Southeast (Youngnam), and the evaluation of merged parties in 1992 or a united candidacy of parties in 1997. A Monte Carlo simulation was also employed to test the traditional assumption of candidate strength. It indicates that Kim Young-Sam had a more cohesive support from his older supporters in the 1992 election while Kim Dae-Jung had a greater cohesive support from his older supporters in the 1997 election. Both Kim Young-Sam's and Kim Dae-Jung's loyalists were crucial to the winning candidates in the 1992 and 1997 elections respectively. How did people vote? To address this question a logit analysis of voter turnout was employed. Comparing the 1997 election to that of 1992 the findings suggest that low-probability voters in 1997 had: low efficacy, a negative evaluation of the Central Election Management Commission, claimed to be independent, young, and lived in areas other than Youngnam and Honam. Their lower turnout was a significant factor in the opposition candidate, Kim Dae-Jung's election. Finally, since political interest is closely related to political participation, an ordered logit model of political interest was developed. The results showed that the media and popularity of major candidates significantly contributed to Korean ...
Date: May 2000
Creator: Kang, Kyung-Tae
Partner: UNT Libraries

The United States Supreme Court's Volitional Agendas, 1801-1993: Historical Claims versus Empirical Findings

Description: In this study, I examined the Supreme Court's agenda from 1801 to 1993 to determine the composition and dynamics of the issues that have dominated the business of the Court. Specifically, I set out to test empirically Robert G. McCloskey's (now standard) characterization of the Supreme Court's history, which sees it as dominated by nationalism/federalism issues before the Civil War, by economic issues just after the War through the 1930s, and by civil rights and liberties since the 1930s. The question that drove my investigation was "Is McCloskey's interpretation, which appears to be based on the great cases of Supreme Court history, an accurate description of the agenda represented in the Supreme Court's total body of reported decisions?" To test McCloskey's historical theses I employed concepts adapted from Richard Pacelle's (1991) important work on the agenda of post-Roosevelt Court and used the methods of classical historical analysis and of interrupted time-series analysis. Data for my research came from existing datasets and from my own collection (I coded the manifest content of thousands of Supreme Court's decisions from 1887 back to 1801). The most important finding from my analyses is that McCloskey not withstanding, the pre-Civil War Supreme Court's agenda was clearly dominated by economic issues of various sorts, not by nationalism/federalism as previously believed. Another key finding is that partisanship had a pronounced impact on the Court's attention to this category of issueseven in the periods when the Supreme Court had very little control of its docket. These results suggest that Supreme Court scholars should reassess or rethink their previous notion of the Court's pre-Civil War agendathe now well-established view that nation-state issues dominated the business of the Court in its formative yearsand the idea (often expressed implicitly) that the Court's mandatory jurisdiction suppressed attitudinal factors on the Court in ...
Date: May 2000
Creator: Ogundele, Ayodeji O.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exogenous Influences and Paths To Activism

Description: The focus of this research was to ascertain the indirect effects upon activism of intervening variables and recognized exogenous influences upon activism. In addition, this research also focused upon the differences and similarities of a recruited activist model and spontaneous activist model. Regression and path analysis were used to measure the direct and indirect effects of the exogenous and intervening variables. This research found that when the intervening variables, political interest, political awareness, exposure to media, altruism, and self-interest were introduced to both the recruited and spontaneous models, the direct effects of the variables were enhanced.
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Date: May 2000
Creator: Ray, Grady Dale
Partner: UNT Libraries

Is the Road to Hell Paved with Good Intentions? The Effect of U.S. Foreign Assistance and Economic Policy on Human Rights

Description: Theories in the international political economy literature, economic liberalism and dependency, are explored in order to test the effect of U.S. aid, trade, and investment on human rights conditions in recipient states. Two measures of human rights conditions serve as dependent variables: security rights and subsistence rights. The data cover approximately 140 countries from 1976-1996. Pooled cross-sectional time series analysis, utilizing ordinary least squares (OLS) with panel corrected standard errors, is employed due to the temporal and spatial characteristics of the data. The results indicate that foreign assistance and economic policy may not be the best approaches to altering poor human rights practices in the area of security rights. Economic and military aid is negatively associated with levels of security rights, supporting the traditional dependency perspective. While the results from trade and investment are generally in the positive direction, the lack of consistent statistical evidence suggests that increased trade and investment relationships do not dramatically improve security rights. We can conclude, however, that trade and investment fail to have the negative effect on security rights in less developed countries which critics of globalization suggest. Economic aid has a statistically significant negative effect on subsistence rights, while military aid seems to benefit the human condition in recipient states. However, extreme negative effects on security rights accompany any benefit realized in the area of subsistence rights from military aid. Trade and investment have a positive and statistically significant effect on basic human needs providing support for the liberal perspective. It appears that American businesses and politicians can forge ahead with seemingly self-interested motivations and economic policies as American economic gain ironically serves to benefit the well being of citizens in other states. However, in spite of political rhetoric and even sincere intentions regarding foreign assistance policy, it appears that the road to ...
Date: August 2001
Creator: Callaway, Rhonda L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The impact of US-China relations on Taiwan's military spending (1966-1992).

Description: Previous research has shown that Taiwan's military spending is affected either by China's military buildup or the US's military pipeline. This study investigates whether it is also true an ongoing US-China relationship has dynamic effects. Three major findings are obtained from the statistical analyses. First and foremost, the level of US-China conflict has a contemporaneous positive effect on Taiwan's military spending. Second, the analyses also indicate that the volatility of US-China relations has negative effects on Taiwan's military spending. This finding suggests that instability in US-China relations will prompt Taiwan to decrease its military spending due to a higher amount of perceived security on the one hand, and Taiwan wants to avoid further provoking China on the other. Third, analyses indicate that an error correction model fares better than a simple budgetary incremental model in explaining the re-equilibrating effects of GNP growth on Taiwan's military spending. Overall, the results demonstrate the interplay of domestic and international constraints and may help to predict what will be the expected military spending when Taiwan's economy changes. I suggest that Taiwan's military spending is likely to be influenced by US-China relations as well as by foreign investment and domestic economic constraints as long as the United States policy toward the Taiwan problem remains unchanged.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Yu, Tsung-Chi Max
Partner: UNT Libraries

Does Cultural Heterogeneity Lead to Lower Levels of Regime Respect for Basic Human Rights?

Description: This dissertation is a cross-national investigation of the relationship between cultural heterogeneity and regimes' respect for basic human rights. The quantitative human rights literature has not yet addressed the question of whether high levels of cultural diversity are beneficial or harmful. My research addresses this gap. I address the debate between those who argue that diversity is negatively related to basic human rights protection and those who argue it is likely to improve respect for these rights. Ultimately, I propose that regimes in diverse countries will be less likely to provide an adequate level of subsistence (otherwise known as basic human needs) and security rights (also known as integrity of the person rights) to their citizens than regimes in more homogeneous countries. Using a data set of 106 non-OECD countries for the years 1983 and 1993, I employ bivariate, linear multivariate regression, and causal modeling techniques to test whether higher levels of ethnolinguistic and religious diversity are associated with less regime respect for subsistence and security rights. The analysis reveals that higher levels of cultural diversity do appear to lead to lower respect for subsistence rights. However, counter to the hypothesized relationship, high levels of diversity appear to be compatible with high levels of respect for security rights.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Walker, Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

Wisdom and Law: Political Thought in Shakespeare's Comedies

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 the prudent use of wisdom, Shakespeare is pointing the reader to a standard of judgment that transcends any particular (or actual) political arrangement. Once we see the importance of the prudent use of such a standard, we are in a position to judge what this philosophic wisdom consists of and where it is to be acquired. It is just such an education with which Shakespeare intends to aid his readers.
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Date: December 2002
Creator: Major, Rafael M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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) to be highly responsive to strategic pressure from below. This turns the traditional relationship between elites and masses on its head, and suggests that further examination of institutional reference group influence on clergy, and other political elites, is warranted.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Calfano, Brian Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating team effectiveness: Examination of the TEAM Assessment Tool.

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 of the final TEAM Assessment Tool.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Cantu, Cynthia J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Wealth and Regime Formation: Social and Economic Origins of the Change Toward Democracy

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 the test. I use binary logit, ordered logit, and ordinary least squares (OLS) to delineate the link between socioeconomic changes and the transition to wider participation. Survival analyses are employed to test for what factors account for the durability of a democratic regime.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Gurses, Mehmet
Partner: UNT Libraries

Financial Transfer and Its Impact on the Level of Democracy: A Pooled Cross-Sectional Time Series Model.

Description: This dissertation is a pooled time series, cross-sectional, quantitative study of the impact of international financial transfer on the level of democracy. The study covers 174 developed and developing countries from 1976 through 1994. Through evaluating the democracy and democratization literature and other studies, the dissertation develops a theory and testable hypotheses about the impact of the international variables foreign aid and foreign direct investment on levels of democracy. This study sought to determine whether these two financial variables promote or nurture democracy and if so, how? A pooled time-series cross-sectional model is developed employing these two variables along with other relevant control variables. Control variables included the presence of the Cold War and existence of formal alliance with the United States, which account for the strategic dimension that might affect the financial transfer - level of democracy linkage. The model also includes an economic development variable (per capita Gross National Product) to account for the powerful impact for economic development on the level of democracy, as well as a control for each country's population size. By addressing and the inclusion of financial, economic, strategic, and population size effects, I consider whether change in these variables affect the level of democracy and in which direction. The dissertation tests this model by employing several techniques. The variables are subjected to bivariate and multivariate analysis including bivariate correlations, analysis of variance, and ordinary least square (OLS) multivariate regression with robust matrix and a lagged dependent variable. Panel corrected standard error (PCSE) was also employed to empirically test the pooled timeseries cross-sectional multivariate model. The dissertation analytical section concludes with path analysis testing which showed the impact of each of the independent variables on the dependent variable. The findings indicate less impact of international financial variables upon the level of democracy than hypothesized. ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Al-Momani, Mohammad H.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The value of human rights on the open market: Liberal economic policies and the achievement of personal integrity rights.

Description: At the end of World War II, the United States emerged as a world leader, putting into place international institutions based on its own liberal economic philosophy. Since then, the world has witnessed an increasing interconnectedness among states, with economic relationships continually blurring the distinction between domestic and international, as well as between state and societal forces. Much of the world associates this increased interconnectedness with human suffering around the globe. This dissertation seeks to test the effects of economic globalization on personal integrity violations within a state, on the whole. Specifically, I examine three aspects associated with globalization, trade openness, investment and IMF funding within a state. Liberal economic theory suggests that economic relationships should foster positive gains. Particularly, economic relationships engender economic prosperity, diffusion of norms and idea, as well as the growth of a middle class which increasingly demands respect for its political and civil rights. Consistent with the liberal paradigm, I find that open trade and investment lead to improved personal integrity rights. In addition, investment which originates from the hegemon is especially likely to increase a state's respect for personal integrity rights. Conversely, IMF funding is likely to provoke protests from people in recipient countries, which often leads to increased repression by the state. To the extent that the IMF chooses to place importance on human rights, future attention should be paid to the practices of recipient countries. Overall, this dissertation suggests overall support for the liberal paradigm, that open economic policies are most likely to lead to improved levels of personal integrity rights.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Harrelson-Stephens, Julie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Judicial Enforcers? Exploring Lower Federal Court Compliance in Regulating the Obscene

Description: Although federal circuit and district court judges are placed within a federal hierarchy, and receive legal and judicial training that emphasizes the importance of the judicial framework and its structure, such judges are also subjected to other pressures such as the types of litigants within the courtrooms as well as their local political environment. Furthermore, such judges are apt to form their own views about politics and legal policy and are often appointed by presidents who approve of their ideological leanings. Thus, federal courts are caught between competing goals such as their willingness to maximize their preferred legal policy, and their place within the judicial hierarchy. This dissertation applies hierarchy and impact theory to assess the importance of the judicial framework and its socialization, by analyzing both the judicial opinions and votes of federal circuit and district court judges in obscenity cases during a four-decade period (1957-1998). The research presented here finds the influence of higher court precedent to correspond in part with the conception of a judicial hierarchy. An analysis of citations of Supreme Court precedent (Roth v. United States (1957) and Miller v. California (1973)) in lower court majority opinions suggests low levels of compliance: lower courts at the circuit and district court level do not signal to the Supreme Court their acceptance of High Court doctrine; thus, except for 'factual' cases, most circuit and district court decisions do not comply formally with higher court precedent. An analysis of judicial votes, however, suggests that a Supreme Court doctrinal shift (to Miller v. California) influences lower court decisions only at the circuit court level. Further investigation suggests that Supreme Court precedent has a greater influence in circuit courts than in district courts: not only is the magnitude greater for circuit (versus district) court decisions, such results occur when controlling ...
Date: May 2004
Creator: Ryan, John Francis
Partner: UNT Libraries

Domestic Influences for Interstate Cooperation: Do Domestic Conditions Affect the Occurrence of Cooperative Events in Democratic Regimes?

Description: This research addressed two main issues that have become evident in studies of interstate cooperation. The first issue has to do with the relationship between cooperation and conflict. Can they be represented on a single, uni-dimensional continuum, or are they better represented by two theoretically and empirically separable dimensions? Granger causality tests were able to clarify the nature of cooperative events. The second issue is related to factors that might facilitate or discourage cooperation with other countries as a foreign policy tool. Factors used to explain cooperation and conflict include domestic variables, which have not been fully accounted for in previous empirical analyses. It is hypothesized that economic variables, such as inflation rates, GDP, and manufacturing production indices affect the likelihood of cooperative event occurrences. The effect of political dynamics, such as electoral cycles, support rates and national capability status, can also affect the possibility of cooperative foreign policies. The domestic factors in panel data was tested with Feasible Generalized Least Square (FGLS) in order to take care of heteroscedasticity and autocorrelations in residuals. The individual case analysis used linear time series analysis.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Yi, Seong-Woo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Teachers union influence on alternative teacher certification policies: An event history diffusion analysis.

Description: I examine the passage of alternative teacher certification policies in the states between 1975 and 2000 using event history analysis and supplementing the event history analysis with an ordinary least squares regression analysis of the strength of the alternative teacher certification policies. In order to test both teachers unions political strength external to state legislatures and teachers unions political strength internal to state legislatures, I use two variables to measure teachers union political strength. One variable measures the percentage of teachers in a state who work under union-negotiated contracts. The other variable measures the percentage of legislators in a state who list their non-legislative occupation as K-12 education. Control variables include teacher shortages, per pupil spending, legislative professionalism, divided government, democratic governor, percentage of minority students, change in percentage of minority students, an electoral threat index, and a time counter. Although the event history model results were inconclusive with respect to the teachers union political strength variables, the policy strength model results reveal that states with large percentages of teachers who work under union-negotiated contracts are more likely than other states to pass weak alternative teacher certification policies. This result supports the notion that teachers unions operate in the education policy-making arena.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Sheard, Wenda
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Thomas, Bruce K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A transaction costs explanation of inter-local government collaboration.

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.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Krueger, Eric L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: May 2006
Creator: King, Marvin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Democratic Pantheism in the Political Theory of Alexis de Tocqueville

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. To attain this end, modern humanity gives up its right to self-government to an all-powerful "representative" state that will unconsciously (and as a result, unjustly) force equality on unequal human beings. Because this philosophy informs the core "soul" of a pantheistic social state, the vast majority of individuals are blissfully unaware that their humanity is diminished and their freedom is lost. The effect is a political and intellectual torpor wherein democratic citizens fall prey to a deterministic and insipid existence; and any thoughts of true independence and freedom of action are eventually extinguished--all due to the unknowing acceptance of a ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Bearry, Brian Anthony
Partner: UNT Libraries

Too Ill to Find the Cure? - Health Care Sector Success in the New Democracies of Central and Eastern Europe

Description: This study examines the factors that have contributed to the success of some Central and Eastern European countries to improve their health care sector in the post communist period, while leaving others to its demise. While most literature has been focused on the political and economic transition of Eastern Europe, very little research has been done about the welfare aspects of the transition process, especially the health care sector. While the focus on political consequences and main macroeconomic reforms has shed light on many important processes, the lack of research of health care issues has lead to consequences on our ability to understand its impact on the future of the new democracies and their sustainability. This model looks at the impact of international (World Bank) and domestic institutions, corruption and public support and how they affect the ability of some countries to improve and reform their health care sector in the post-transition period.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Radin, Dagmar
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 analyze data on 190 countries over 28 years (1975-2003), I show that financial market development has a significant effect in several areas of development. Specifically, I find that financial market development reduces poverty and income inequality and reduces the level of corruption. Increasing financial market development also increases political competition and civil rights protection in addition to increasing the effectiveness of government and regulatory levels. Ultimately, I assert that while financial market factors have not been previously targeted as sources for development, they may provide an effective policy tool for fostering equitable development in a variety of economic and political ...
Date: May 2008
Creator: Brown, Chelsea Denise
Partner: UNT Libraries