UNT Libraries - 8 Matching Results

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Beyond GNP: Economic Freedom as a Determinant of Basic Human Needs.

Description: Research concerning ‘basic needs' in the Human Rights literature has consistently found a positive and significant relationship between measures of wealth and basic needs provision. This study utilizes a relatively new measure of economic freedom to test hypotheses regarding general macro-economic policy decisions and basic needs outcomes. A pooled dataset of 138 countries over four years is examined using OLS panel regression controlling for both' year' and ‘country,' in a standard basic needs model. Consistent and systematic differences between economic freedom effects in OECD nations and non-OECD nations are revealed. The Economic Freedom Index has both theoretical and empirical advantages over previous measures of wealth and economic freedom, allowing human rights scholars to test specific economic policy decisions as they affect basic needs outcomes.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Juenke, Eric

Changing Ideological Boots: Adaptive Legislator Behavior in Changing Districts

Description: Congressional roll-call votes are often used to investigate legislative voting behavior. To depict adaptive roll-call behavior in response to demographic changes that occur during redistricting, I use issue specific interest group scores from the ADA, NFU, and COPE. This exploits the bias in the selection of the issues that interest groups utilize to rate U.S. representatives, by using them to reflect changes in response to significant demographic fluctuations in the constituency population. The findings indicate that while party is the most significant factor in whether legislators adapt their voting in favor of certain groups, they do notice group composition changes within district and adapt their voting accordingly. This illustrates the impact of redistricting on policy and legislators' adaptation to changes in district composition.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Dunaway, Johanna

Decision-Making at the Court of Appeals Level Involving Religious Liberty Cases

Description: Many studies have been completed on factors affecting judicial decisions. Studies have focused on civil rights cases, economic cases, criminal cases, sexual discrimination and obscenity cases, but no work has specifically looked at religious liberty cases. This work examines the factors affecting United States Courts of Appeals judges' decision-making in religious liberty cases. I hypothesize that gender, race, religious background, prior judicial experience, circuit, region and litigant status will all influence the way judges vote in religious liberty cases. The explanatory power of this study is relatively low, but the results indicate that judges follow the law when making decisions in religious liberty cases.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Reeves, Susan Kay

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

Partisanship and Judicial Decision Making in U.S. Courts of Appeal

Description: Partisanship is found in voter and Congressional behavior. Members of the federal judiciary should behave similarly. I utilize cases involving the Republican and Democratic parties from 1966 to 1997 and examine the voting behavior of federal Courts of Appeal judges. I utilize both cross tabulations and a Logit regression model to determine the likelihood appellate judges will vote for their own party and against the opposition.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Meaders, Eddie Loyd

Strategic Versus Sincere Behavior: The Impact of Issue Salience and Congress on the Supreme Court Docket

Description: The theory proposed here is that the Supreme Court behaves in a strategic manner at the agenda-setting stage in order to vote sincerely on the merits. To test this, I measure the impact issue salience and ideological distance between Congress and the Supreme Court has on the agenda. The results indicate that whether the Supreme Court behaves either sincerely or strategically depends on the policy area. The strategic nature of the Supreme Court at the agenda-setting phase may be in large part why some research shows that the Court behaves sincerely when voting on the merits. By behaving strategically at the agenda-setting phase, the Court is free to vote sincerely in later parts of the judicial process.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Williams, Jeffrey David

Suicide Terrorism: A Future Trend?

Description: This thesis reviews the literature on “new terrorism,” to be differentiated from the “old terrorism.” The study tests two hypotheses. First, has an increase in religiously inspired terrorist groups led to an increase in terrorism's lethality? Second, does suicide bombing as a tactic explain the increased lethality of “new terrorism”? The study demonstrates three findings. First, it was found that religiously inspired terrorist groups are more lethal, though not more indiscriminate. Second, that suicide bombing has had a significant effect on the number of terrorist related fatalities. And, third, that non-religious suicide bombing is more lethal than its religious counterpart. To test these hypotheses I used Ordinary Least Squares Regression and data provided by The International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Capell, Matthew B.

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.