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Out with the Old? Voting Behavior and Party System Change in Canada and the United States in the 1990's

Description: This study has attempted to explain the dramatic challenges to the existing party system that occurred in Canada and the United States in the early 1990s. The emergence of new political movements with substantial power at the ballot box has transformed both party systems. The rise of United We Stand America in the United States, and the Reform Party in Canada prompts scholars to ask what forces engender such movements. This study demonstrates that models of economic voting and key models of party system change are both instrumental for understanding the rise of new political movements.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Rapkin, Jonathan D.
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

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

Understanding News Media Consumption and Political Attitudes and Behavior in Latin America

Description: News media consumption is vital to understanding democracy in Latin America. Democracy in the region lacks consolidation that may be encouraged by the ability of news media to shape individuals' political attitudes and behaviors. Yet, we know very little about how citizens of Latin American countries consume news media or how that consumption affects attitudes and behavior. This study offers a region-wide examination of the factors that shape news media consumption and the effects of that consumption on individuals in the region. To explore this topic, I examine survey data from the 2008 Latin American Public Opinion Project in 18 Latin American countries. I argue that news media promote democratic attitudes and political behavior by increasing the symbolic value of democracy and by supplementing those symbols with information that further encourages democratic attitudes and political participation. Additionally, political behavior is not temporally proximate to political behaviors such as voting. This necessitates a mediated path for news media consumption to influence participation through political interest, civil society participation and democratic attitudes. My findings illustrate that each news medium type (TV, radio, newspaper) must be considered separately from each other type. I find that news media consumption has little effect on attitudes. The effect of news media consumption on behavior is best understood as mediated paths through political interest and civil society participation. An additional analysis examines the state of internet use in the region. In total, this project offers a broad understanding of how news media consumption affects individual-level democracy in Latin America.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Salzman, Ryan
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

Strategic Factors Influencing the Issuance and Duration of Executive Orders

Description: Executive orders are a significant source of presidential power although scholars disagree on the nature of that power. It has been argued that executive orders are an indication of a president's failure to persuade others to act as he desires; others contend that executive orders offer "power without persuasion." This dissertation introduces the conditional model of executive order issuance and duration in order to offer a synthesis to these competing views, and to offer a better understanding of the opportunities and constraints faced by the president when choosing to act unilaterally through executive orders. The conditional theory holds that both the issuance and duration of executive orders is a function of the president's ideological proximity to Congress and the Supreme Court, and the availability of fresh policy space.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Steele, Galen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Pride and sexual friendship: The battle of the sexes in Nietzsche's post-democratic world.

Description: This dissertation addresses an ignored [partly for its controversial nature] aspect of Nietzschean philosophy: that of the role of modern woman in the creation of a future horizon. Details of the effects of the Enlightenment, Christianity and democracy upon society are discussed, as well as effects on the individual, particularly woman. After this forward look at the changes anticipated by Nietzsche, the traditional roles of woman as the eternal feminine, wife and mother are debated. An argument for the necessity of a continuation of the battle of the sexes, and the struggle among men and women in a context of sexual love and friendship is given. This mutual affirmation must occur through the motivation of pride and not vanity. In conclusion, I argue that one possible avenue for change is a Nietzschean call for a modern revaluation of values by noble woman in conjugation with her warrior scholar to bring about the elevation of mankind.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Yancy, Lisa Fleck Uhlir
Partner: UNT Libraries

Presidential Support and the Political Use of Presidential Capital

Description: This research incorporates a decision-making theory which defines the linkage between the public, the media, the president and the Congress. Specifically, I argue that the public holds widely shared domestic and international goals and responds to a number of external cues provided by the president and the media in its evaluation of presidential policies. Although most studies examine overall presidential popularity, there are important differences in the public's evaluations of the president's handling of foreign and domestic policies. Additionally, I am concerned with how the Congress responds to these specific policy evaluations, the president's public activities, and the electoral policy goals of its members when determining whether or not to support the president. Finally, I link together the theoretical assumptions, to examine the influence of varying levels of support among the Congress and the public, and the president's own personal power goals on the type, quantity, and the quality of activities the president will choose. Ultimately, the primary focus of this dissertation is on the sources and consequences of presidential support and the influence of such support on presidential decision-making.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Ault, Michael E.
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

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

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

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

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 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

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

The Threats to Compliance with International Human Rights Law

Description: In this project I investigate the factors shaping compliance with international human rights agreements and I provide a definition of compliance, which goes beyond “ratification.” I argue that compliance is a multistage process, built upon three different steps: ratification/accession, implementation, and what I call “compliant behavior.” As an alternative to the dominant structural and normative explanation of compliance, I suggest that the factors affecting compliance are not only endogenous to state characteristics, such as the democratic/non-democratic nature of governments, but also exogenous, such as the perceived level of threat to national security. I offer a twofold theory that looks at leaders’ behavior under conditions of stability and instability and I suggest that under certain circumstances that threaten and pressure government leaders, state compliance with international human rights law becomes more costly. I suggest that regardless of regime type, threats shape leaders’ behavior toward international law; states are faced with the choice to abide by international obligations, protecting specific human rights, and the choice to protect their national interests. I argue that when the costs associated with compliance increase, because leaders face threats to their power and government stability, threats become the predictor of non-compliant behavior regardless of the democratic or non-democratic nature of the regime.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Aloisi, Rosa
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

Letters, Liberty, and the Democratic Age in the Thought of Alexis de Tocqueville

Description: When Alexis de Tocqueville observed the spread of modern democracy across France, England, and the United States, he saw that democracy would give rise to a new state of letters, and that this new state of letters would influence how democratic citizens and statesmen would understand the new political world. As he reflected on this new intellectual sphere, Tocqueville became concerned that democracy would foster changes in language and thought that would stifle concepts and ideas essential to the preservation of intellectual and political liberty. In an effort to direct, refine, and reshape political thought in democracy, Tocqueville undertook a critique of the democratic state of letters, assessing intellectual life and contributing his own ideas and concepts to help citizens and statesmen think more coherently about democratic politics. Here, I analyze Tocqueville's critique and offer an account of his effort to reshape democratic political thought. I show that through his analyses of the role of intellectuals in democratic regimes, the influence of modern science on democratic public life, the intellectual habits that democracy fosters, and the power of literary works for shaping democratic self-understanding, Tocqueville succeeds in reshaping democratic language and thought in a manner that contributes to the preservation of intellectual and political liberty within the modern democratic world.
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Date: December 2009
Creator: Elliot, Natalie J.
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

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

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