UNT Theses and Dissertations - 5 Matching Results

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Saying Sorry: Conflict Atrocity and Political Apology

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

An Informational Theory of Midterm Elections: The Impact of Iraq War Deaths on the 2006 Election.

Description: There has been much scholarly attention directed at the Iraq war's role in determining voter choice. I attempt to extend that research into voter turnout to determine what role the Iraq war played in 2006 voter turnout. This paper argues that turnout at the state level could be explained by the number of US deaths each state had sustained from the Iraq occupation at the time of the election. A theory of voter activation based on information availability is put forth to explain the relationship between national events and voter turnout wherein national events like the Iraq war will raise the amount of information voters have at their disposal, which will increase the likelihood of their voting on election day. Regression analysis comparing the turnout rates of the 50 states to their casualties in Iraq revealed no relationship between the two factors, indicating that something else is responsible for the high turnout of the midterm.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Kahanek, Jared E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Do Different Political Regime Types Use Foreign Aid Differently to Improve Human Development?

Description: Existing literature on foreign aid does not indicate what type of political regime is best to achieve human development outcomes or use aid funds more efficiently. I contend that political leaders of different regime types have personal incentives that motivate them to utilize foreign aid to reflect their interests in providing more or less basic social services for their citizens. Using a data set of 126 aid-recipient countries between the years of 1990 and 2007, I employ fixed effects estimation to test the model. The overall results of this research indicate that foreign aid and democratic institutionalization have a positive effect on total enrollment in primary education, while political regime types show little difference from one another in providing public health and education for their citizens.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Phan, Thu Anh
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.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Elliot, Natalie J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

State Level Causes of Terrorism: Limits on Political Expression

Description: Expanding on prior research into the state level causes of terrorism, I argue that state repression and limited state capacity reduces opportunities for non-violent political expression and increases the utility of terrorism. I also argue that economic freedom can is a form of political expression that can dissipate political grievances. While previous authors analyzed some of these variables separately using data on transnational attacks, I created a complete model incorporating the three categories of variables and tested my hypotheses using data that includes both domestic and transnational attacks. I use regression analysis for hypothesis testing and find support for the three primary contentions of this thesis and conclude that limits on political expression increase the likelihood nations will experienced increased levels of terrorism.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Case, Erik S.
Partner: UNT Libraries