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The Relationship between Judicial Independence and Ethnic Conflict

Description: The relationship between judicial independence and the levels of ethnic conflicts in developing countries has remained a significant research area due to increased cases of the conflicts with lack of judicial independence in the countries. Judicial independence is seen as an essential element of democracy in that an independent judiciary can act as an arbiter between different groups and institutions. The main aim of this study was to examine the relationship between judicial independence and ethnic conflicts empirically. Greater judicial independence should be associated with less ethnic conflict, because an independent court can serve as an arbiter for disputants, and thus lessen the likelihood of conflict. The study involved 128 developing countries over a 30-year period from 1981 to 2010 using secondary data sources and employing statistical methods to test the relationship between judicial independence and the levels of ethnic conflicts. Findings indicate that judicial independence has a statistically significant negative association with the levels of ethnic conflict. Therefore, this study recommends that the governments of developing countries should promote judicial independence as part of solutions for ethnic conflicts .
Date: May 2017
Creator: Laoye, Oluwagbemiso

The Strength of a Witness: Empowerment and Resiliency in the Aftermath of Atrocity

Description: Victims and witnesses that testify before an international criminal tribunal such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) willingly subject themselves to scrutiny and bare their wounds before the world. Does this experience cause these vulnerable individuals undue psychological harm, re-traumatization, or worse? Existing literature indicates this may be the case, however using a new dataset I find the opposite to be true. Witnesses at the ICTY report feeling more positive than negative after their experiences on the stand. As the first systematic study on witness mental wellbeing, these findings contradict expectations found in previous research.
Date: December 2016
Creator: McKay, Melissa

Context Matters: How Feminist Movements Magnify Feminist Opinion of Progressive Policies in South America

Description: What explains the inconsistency of female empowerment in South America, despite high levels of institutional inclusion? Generally, the social sciences tend to lean on the tenets of liberal feminism in order to measure the development of gender-inclusive policy changes; however, their findings indicate that higher levels of institutional inclusion does not necessarily translate into the empowerment of women as a group. Further, within political science, there is little research addressing the relationship between feminist movements and the feminist opinion of individuals within a state. I argue that strong feminist social movements provide a context in which feminist opinion is magnified, and where individuals will be more likely to support progressive policy changes. Using questions from the World Values Survey, I operationalize progressive policies as the Justifiability of Abortion. My primary independent variables are the presence feminist movements and the presence of feminist opinion, which is measured by support for female sexual freedom. After using a multilevel mixed-effects linear regression, I find support for my hypotheses, indicating that feminist opinion is magnified by the presence of feminist movements.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Ferris, Rachel E

Hobbes’s Deceiving God: the Correspondence Between Thomas Hobbes and Rene Descartes

Description: In presenting their correspondence, I highlight the means in which Hobbes is able to divorce nature and politics in his philosophy. This is done by bringing to light Hobbes’s agreement with Descartes’s deceiving God argument. First, I demonstrate Hobbes’s hidden agreement with it by analyzing his objection to Descartes’s first Meditation. Second, I show that Hobbes and Descartes both retreat into consciousness in order to deal with the possibility of deception on the behalf of God. Third, I trace Hobbes’s rational justification for entertaining that very possibility. Fourth, I bring forward Hobbes’s certain principle, that God is incomprehensible. Fifth, I demonstrate Hobbes’s rationalization for rendering nature incomprehensible in turn. From this key insight, the differences between the two philosophers stand out more. Whereas Descartes rids himself of the possibility of a deceiving God, Hobbes does not. Sixth, I show that Descartes needs to rid himself of that possibility in order to have a basis for science, Hobbes’s science is such that he does not need to rid himself of that possibility. My investigation ends by considering both Hobbes’s and Descartes’s stance on nature, in relation to politics. I find that Hobbes’s principle is much more practical that Descartes’s principle. Hobbes’s principle is shown to be much more instructive and sustainable for human life. In conclusion, this analysis of the origins, principles, and orientation of the two philosopher’s thought brings forward the overarching question, whether the recovery of value and meaning is to be brought about in nature, or in civilization.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Gorescu, Gabriela

Why Be Friends? Amicus Curiae Briefs in State Courts of Last Resort

Description: While there has been a substantial body of research on interest group activity in U.S. federal courts, there has been comparatively little analysis of interest group engagement with state courts. Given that state courts adjudicate the vast majority of cases in the American legal system and very few cases are appealed to the Supreme Court, understanding why organized interests participate in these courts is of great importance. The present study analyzes interest group involvement as amicus curiae in all state courts of last resort from 1995-1999 to examine what factors motivate organized interests to turn to the courts. The results indicate that interest groups are primarily motivated by their policy goals in deciding which cases to file amicus briefs in, but that they are limited in their ability to file by institutional constraints unique to state courts of last resort. This research provides insight into interest group behavior, state courts and the role organized interests play in influencing legal outcomes in the American states.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Perkins, Jared D.

Plebiscites

Description: This study investigates factors that can influence leaders to use plebiscites to settle territorial claims. A quick survey of the plebiscite literature shows that the method has been extensively mentioned in the legal, historical, and philosophical fields (mostly through case studies) but less so in political science. This thesis is the first attempt, to my knowledge, to quantitatively investigate the different factors that can influence a leader to use a plebiscite. Using the latest version of the ICOW dataset, I test political and economic theories to try to explain the variation in the decision outcome. This study includes the following variables: identity ties, economic strength, an interaction between identity ties and economic strength, internal constraints (regime type and violent interaction), and external constraints (membership to international organizations). The results suggest that identity ties offer the strongest explanation as to why leaders settle a territorial claim with a plebiscite. Plebiscites have been rarely used to settle territorial claims, but when used they tend to settle cases permanently. This thesis serves as an attempt to revive a method that while difficult to agree upon, can be successful in resolving territorial claims permanently, and more importantly peacefully.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Fonseca Acosta, Rosa

The First Days of Spring: An Analysis of the International Treatment of Homosexuality

Description: In recent history, the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) persons have been in constant fluctuation. Many states criminalize homosexual behavior while other states legally recognize same-sex marriages and same-sex adoptions. There are also irregular patterns where LGBT interest groups form across the globe. With this research project, I begin to explain why these discrepancies in the treatment of homosexuality and the formation of LGBT interest groups occur. I develop a theory that the most obvious contrast across the globe occurs when analyzing the treatment of homosexuals in OECD member states versus non-OECD countries. OECD nations tend to see the gay community struggle for more advanced civil rights and government protections, while non-OECD states have to worry about fundamental human rights to life and liberty. I find that this specific dichotomization is what causes the irregular LGBT interest group formation pattern across the globe; non-OECD nations tend to have fewer LGBT interest groups than their OECD counterparts. When looking at why non-OECD nations and OECD nations suppress the rights of their gay citizens, I find that religion plays a critical role in the suppression of the gay community. In this analysis, I measure religion several different ways, including the institution of an official state religion as well as the levels of religiosity within a nation. Regardless of how this variable is manipulated and measured, statistical analysis continuously shows that religion’s influence is the single most significant factor in leading to a decrease in both human and civil rights for gays and lesbians across the globe. Further analysis indicates that Judaism plays the most significant role out the three major world religions in the suppression of civil rights for homosexuals in OECD nations.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Galvan, Michael R.

The Politics of Atomic Energy

Description: The regulation of atomic energy has had a long and unique history in the United States and it is the effectiveness of that regulation which poses the problem analyzed here. Government documents and secondary sources are used to provide data and critical opinion about atomic energy regulation. The first chapter deals with the history of the earliest attempts to deal vith atomic energy while the second chapter is concerned with the political nature of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Questions o secrecy and potential environmental danger from the nuclear enterprise are topics for the third and fourth chapters respectively. A concluding chapter indicates the future direction the regulation of nuclear power may take under the newly established Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Energy Research and Development Administration.
Date: August 1975
Creator: Hudson, David, fl. 1975-

The Dallas Morning News' View Towards International Relations

Description: The purpose of this study is to determine, if possible, North Central Texas views or attitudes toward international relations. These attitudes will be compared to studies on Southern attitudes to determine any similarities or dissimilarities. Literature on Southwestern attitudes is sparse; therefore, all data will be compared with that compiled by political scientists on Southern attitudes.
Date: August 1970
Creator: Bradley, James E.

Federalism and Political Problems in Nigeria

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to examine and re-evaluate the questions involved in federalism and political problems in Nigeria. The strategy adopted in this study is historical, The study examines past, recent, and current literature on federalism and political problems in Nigeria. Basically, the first two chapters outline the historical background and basis of Nigerian federalism and political problems. Chapters three and four consider the evolution of federalism, political problems, prospects of federalism, self-government, and attainment of complete independence on October 1, 1960. Chapters five and six deal with the activities of many groups, crises, military coups, and civil war. The conclusions and recommendations candidly argue that a decentralized federal system remains the safest way for keeping Nigeria together stably.
Date: August 1975
Creator: Abegunrin, Olayiwola

Toward a Causal Model of Texas City Manager Policy Role Orientations

Description: The purpose of this thesis was to develop and test a causal model of Texas city manager policy role orientation. The first chapter contains a selective review of major works concerning the city manager and the council manager plan. From these works, research perspectives and variables thought to affect managerial policy behavior were identified. A policy role orientation typology was constructed from nine role questions. Four "types" of managers were identified. After a review of the characteristics of the Texas council-manager cities and managers surveyed, the analysis of the isolated variables was carried out. A causal model of managerial policy role orientation was developed and the predictions and assumptions were tested. Further study was indicated, due to the model's failure.
Date: May 1974
Creator: Smith, Russell Lane

American Arms Sales to Iran and Power Politics in the Middle East

Description: This thesis examines and evaluates the questions involved in American arms sales to Iran and Egypt. The first two chapters outline the historical background and present detailed analyses of Iran's political situations prior to 1968 and United States policy toward it in that period of time. Chapter Three considers the American policies towards Egypt and the United States arms sales to that country. The main argument of the thesis appears in chapter Four which explains the objectives of Iran's government in buying American arms and the United States government's objectives in selling arms to Iran. Conclusions on the study comprise the fifth chapter.
Date: December 1977
Creator: Aryanpur Kashani, Khosrow

A Critical Analysis of the Writings of Samuel P. Huntington on Political Stability and Violence

Description: Samuel P. Huntington has argued that political stability is dependent on the degree of institutionalization of participation in the political system. Critical analysis of hypotheses reveals serious flaws in his logic. His concepts were shown to be very hard to make operational and to test. The main hypothesis of a direct relationship between institutionalization and stability was shown to be influenced most likely by additional intervening variables. This study seeks to survey and analyze some of the problems which have arisen with the present state of theory in comparative politics. However, this thesis is particularly interested in .Huntington's work which covers the evolution of his thinking regarding the relation of violence and of political stability, i.e., the degree of government and not the form, with the institutionalization of participation.
Date: May 1975
Creator: Stansell, Loran Wade

The Role of the Peasant Masses in Marxian Political Theory and Practice: a Comparison of Classical and Indian Marxian Views

Description: The central thesis is classical Marxian views concerning the peasant masses have been adopted regarding India; two causal factors are the Hindu Caste system and parliamentary democracy. Descriptive and analytical methodology is utilized to study classical and Indian Marxian theory and its relationship to "Marxist" practice in India. Four major elements involved are: wealthy landowners, poor and landless peasants, the Indian government, and Indian communists. Nonimplemented land reforms and recent capitalist farming compounded the problem. Attacks were launched on the Congress government by three communist parties. Government coalition has included the CPI, and has implemented agrarian reforms advocated by the CPI(M), thereby postponing possible militant communist success.
Date: December 1975
Creator: Mathews, Eapen P.

Salvador Allende: the Rise and Fall of a Chilean Marxist

Description: This study is concerned with describing and analyzing the factors that led to the election and subsequent defeat of Salvador Allende. The research information was selected from leading books, periodicals, government documents, archives, and newspapers. The thesis presents the political history of Allende's rise to power, the social structure that made his victory possible, the development of major programs that facilitated his ascension and that made his decision inevitable, and, finally, an analysis of his administration with observations as to why he failed. The importance of the lower class, the middle class, the military, and the United States are presented as factors contributing to Allende's victory and later accelerating Allende's fall from power.
Date: December 1975
Creator: Speaks, David L.

The Impact of San Antonio Independent School District V. Rodriguez Upon the State and Federal Courts

Description: This investigation is concerned with determining the impact of the United States Supreme Court's Rodriguez decision upon the state and federal courts. The first chapter discusses the background behind the 1973 decision and outlines the basic issues. The second chapter examines the decision's impact upon opinions in the federal courts and concludes that Rodriguez has become a significant precedent. While school finance reform is dormant in the federal tribunals as a result of the decision, the third chapter concludes that reform is still possible in the state courts. However, there has been a deceleration in the rate of cases overturning school funding statutes since 1973. The final chapter examines some of the state legislatures and concludes that statutory reform is not necessarily linked to action in the courts.
Date: August 1976
Creator: Nelson, Scott A.

Electoral Behavior in Texas from 1944 Through 1972

Description: "This report concludes that the evidence from the analyses seems to support the following propositions in regard to Texas electoral behavior. (1) The 1956 election year was a critical election year in Texas. (2) A pattern indicative of an underlying economic liberalism-conservatism was present in Texas voting patterns from 1944 through 1956, but not after. (3) The Mexican-American and German counties experienced political realignment in 1956 which continued through 1972. (4) The counties affording the most support to the liberal faction shift continuously. (5) The Texas electorate had been in a state of flux since 1956. To date no pattern other than the ethnic group realignment has stabilized. (6) Party-competition in gubernatorial elections has been increasing since 1962. (7) Ralph Yarborough has been the only liberal candidate for a major statewide office to draw support in a high and uniform degree across the state. (8) Ralph Yarborough's base of support has completely shifted since 1952. (9) The Farenthold vote was most closely aligned with that of Donald Yarborough. (10) Socio-economic factors have stronger relationship to Republican, liberal Democratic candidates, and major third party candidates than to conservative Democratic candidates. (11) All evidence form these analyses points to personalism and candidate appeal as the most important independent variables operating in Texas elections. " --leaf [3-4].
Date: August 1973
Creator: Dickenson, Martha Kay

Fair Park Expansion: A Case Study of Political Bias and Protest in Urban Politics

Description: A participant-observer approach is utilized in a case study of Dallas, Texas, homeowners who organized to challenge city acquisition of their property for the expansion of the Fair Park State fairgrounds. From this study, a model of protest and political bias in urban politics is conceptualized. It is hypothesized that some individuals and groups are unable to place their demands, regardless of the extent of their organization and mobilization, on the governmental agenda. This inability to gain access to the decision-making arena is due to the existence of persistent and cumulative political biases. The biases are delineated as systemic, modes of operation, and ideological. Protest activity is a response by powerless groups to encountering these political biases.
Date: August 1974
Creator: Davies, Elizabeth Durham

The Influence of the Division of Planning Coordination on Regional Council Development in Texas

Description: This study focuses on the role of the Texas Governor's Office in the development of regional councils of governments in Texas. The study, divided into six chapters, emphasizes three important points: first, that Governor Connally conceived the idea of a "Division of Planning Coordination" due to his desire to be a strong chief executive; second, that the staff he hired largely to fulfill this desire in turn convinced the Governor that regional councils of governments should be an element of the statewide planning and development system and should receive strong financial and policy support from the Governor; and third, that from January 1969 to January 1973, the statewide regional council network was completed and Texas became a recognized national leader in the use of the regional council concept.
Date: May 1974
Creator: Golden, Jerry Wayne

Faculty Participation in University Governance

Description: This study attempts to examine the conception which faculty members at North Texas State University have of their roles in university governance. These views of role perception are then compared with those reported in the study by Archie Dykes5 (discussed in detail in Chapter III), whose findings were made at a large Midwestern university and then projected to other campuses across the country. The purpose of this research has not been to delve into all the reasons behind the various perceptions which faculty members on the North Texas campus--or any other--have regarding their participation in university governance; nor has it been designed to investigate the total occupational image held by faculty members in regard to all their roles. While such topics would indeed be worthy of additional research, this paper simply attempts to uncover, assess empirically, and compare the perceptions regarding faculty involvement in academic decision-making which are held by faculty members on the North Texas State University campus and in the Dykes' study.
Date: December 1973
Creator: Battles, Judith Pruett

The Impact of the United States on Politics in Thailand

Description: This thesis examines modern politics in Thailand, its policy, and its search for national security, by showing the impact of the United States on Thai politics. The thesis maintains that politics in Thailand are results that come from attempts of the Thai government to adapt to American involvement in Thailand. The thesis describes the Thai government scene from 1945 to 1972. It analyzes the elements of American involvement and factors in Thai society that are pressured by this involvement. The attempts of the Thai government and its politicians to bring their policy more into line with the changing situations are shown in their reactions to problems of Southeast Asia--the focus of which is on the problems of Vietnam, the problems of China, and the withdrawal of the U.S. to a profile of low visibility.
Date: May 1974
Creator: Osiri, Sirichai

The Texas Failure: A Critical Study of Pollution in Texas

Description: "The Texas Failure sets forth the thesis that environmental problems are essentially a product of political decisions and that in Texas the political system has failed to respond to environmental problems because it is dominated by polluter-oriented special interests. The argument advanced is that polluter-oriented interests are well protected by state politicians in both the legislature and regulatory agencies of state government. The thesis is organized around an analysis of such political factors as ideology, leadership, decision making and law as they relate to a political consideration of Texas environmental conditions."-- leaf 1.
Date: May 1973
Creator: Chidgey, John Thomas

Professional Public Relations and Political Power in Texas

Description: "The problem with which this investigation is concerned is the determination of the role played by public relations professionals in Texas politics. This exploration of modern campaign technology relies on a survey of related literature, published and unpublished, and on personal interviews conducted in 1968-69 with candidates for public office, party workers, public relations experts, campaign managers and consultants, and media specialists involved in the Texas Democratic Gubernatorial primary campaigns of 1968...the findings show that the public relations professionals are playing an ever increasing role in Texas politics and that their expertise and skills play a particularly important role in political campaigning. The Texas Democratic Gubernatorial primary campaign of 1968 illustrates the widespread use of professional consultants by Texas politicians and indicates that their use has had recognizable consequences for the distribution of power and influence."-- leaf [1].
Date: December 1970
Creator: Mansfield, Michael W.

Leadership and Mexican-American Politics: A Study of Two Texas Cities

Description: "In an attempt to determine the effectiveness of the political leadership provided by members of an ethnic group, this thesis investigates the Mexican-American electorate in San Antonio and Laredo, Texas. Three variables were studied: the leaders, the followers, and the circumstances under which both operate...Data for this investigation were gathered through personal interviews and from voting records complied by the county clerks of Bexar and Webb Counties. "--leaf 1.
Date: August 1971
Creator: Pinon, Fernando