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The Adoption of Open Source Software in Uganda: a Pragmatist Approach to the Formation of a National Information Policy for a New Technology

Description: This exploratory research examined an information policy formation process for the adoption of open source software (OSS) in Uganda. Grounded in a pragmatist tradition, this theoretical and empirical study pursued a qualitative research approach with a triangulation of theoretical concepts, data collection, and analysis techniques in an iterative and interactive process. The design provided a powerful context to develop and conduct field activities in Kampala with a purposeful sample of 22 participants, 20 in interviews and 5 in a focus group discussion. The research design enhanced consistency in the evidence from the data, increased robustness in the results, and confidence in the findings. The results highlighted a vibrant ICT sector in Uganda, underlined the multiple stakeholders and their competing interests in the policy, revealed a lack of consensus between the government and OSS promoters on the meaning of OSS, and illuminated the benefits in the OSS model over proprietary software. The stakeholders' conflicting perceptions appear to be too far apart to allow meaningful progress and are derailing the policy. Unless their conflicting perceptions are resolved, the OSS policy will continue stagnating. The study fills critical information gaps in Uganda’s policy formation processes, provides timely and relevant information to holistically understand a complex policy formation stage to enable stakeholders to resolve their impasse and enact a law to embrace OSS. It breaks ground in information policy research in framing policy formation processes for new ICTs, such as OSS, as ideologically-oriented. The findings offer ideas to scholars and African countries to draw applicable lessons.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Muwanguzi, Samuel

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