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Progress or Decline: International Political Economy and Basic Human Rights

Description: This dissertation is a cross-national, empirical study of human rights conditions in a dynamic international political economy. The scope of the examination covers 176 developed and developing countries from 1980 through 1993. Through evaluating the numerous theoretical aspects of human rights conceptualization, I draw upon Shue's framework and consider whether there are indeed "basic rights" and which rights should fit into this category. Further, I address the debate between those who claim that these rights are truly universal (applying to all nations and individuals) and those who argue that the validity of a moral right is relative to indigenous cultures. In a similar vein, I empirically investigate whether various human rights are interdependent and indivisible, as some scholars argue, or whether there are inherent trade-offs between various rights provisions. In going beyond the fixation on a single aspect of human rights, I broadly investigate subsistence rights, security rights and political and economic freedom. While these have previously been addressed separately, there are virtually no studies that consider them together and the subsequent linkages between them. Ultimately, a pooled time-series cross-section model is developed that moves beyond the traditional concentration on security rights (also know as integrity of the person rights) and focuses on the more controversial subsistence rights (also known as basic human needs). By addressing both subsistence and security rights, I consider whether certain aspects of the changing international political economy affect these two groups of rights in different ways. A further delineation is made between OECD and non-OECD countries. The primary international focus is on the effects of global integration and the end of the Cold War. Domestic explanations that are connected with globalization include economic freedom, income inequality and democratization. These variables are subjected to bivariate and multivariate hypothesis testing including bivariate correlations, analysis of variance, and ...
Date: May 1999
Creator: Milner, Wesley T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Human Rights & U.S. Foreign Aid, 1984-1995: The Cold War and Beyond...

Description: This study attempts to cast empirical light on the traditionalist-revisionist debate regarding the impact of the Soviet Union's collapse on U.S. foreign policy decision-making. To accomplish this goal, the relationship between human rights and U.S. foreign aid decision-making is examined before and after the Cold War. In doing so, the author attempts to determine if "soft" approaches, such as the use of a country's human rights records when allocating aid, have garnered increasing attention since the end of Cold War, as traditionalists assert, or declined in importance, as revisionists content.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Miller, Brian Lawrence
Partner: UNT Libraries

Is the Road to Hell Paved with Good Intentions? The Effect of U.S. Foreign Assistance and Economic Policy on Human Rights

Description: Theories in the international political economy literature, economic liberalism and dependency, are explored in order to test the effect of U.S. aid, trade, and investment on human rights conditions in recipient states. Two measures of human rights conditions serve as dependent variables: security rights and subsistence rights. The data cover approximately 140 countries from 1976-1996. Pooled cross-sectional time series analysis, utilizing ordinary least squares (OLS) with panel corrected standard errors, is employed due to the temporal and spatial characteristics of the data. The results indicate that foreign assistance and economic policy may not be the best approaches to altering poor human rights practices in the area of security rights. Economic and military aid is negatively associated with levels of security rights, supporting the traditional dependency perspective. While the results from trade and investment are generally in the positive direction, the lack of consistent statistical evidence suggests that increased trade and investment relationships do not dramatically improve security rights. We can conclude, however, that trade and investment fail to have the negative effect on security rights in less developed countries which critics of globalization suggest. Economic aid has a statistically significant negative effect on subsistence rights, while military aid seems to benefit the human condition in recipient states. However, extreme negative effects on security rights accompany any benefit realized in the area of subsistence rights from military aid. Trade and investment have a positive and statistically significant effect on basic human needs providing support for the liberal perspective. It appears that American businesses and politicians can forge ahead with seemingly self-interested motivations and economic policies as American economic gain ironically serves to benefit the well being of citizens in other states. However, in spite of political rhetoric and even sincere intentions regarding foreign assistance policy, it appears that the road to ...
Date: August 2001
Creator: Callaway, Rhonda L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparative Analysis of Curricular Programs in Private, Public Choice, and Public Attendance-Zone Schools in San Antonio, Texas

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine curricular programs in private, public choice, and public attendance-zone schools to determine whether differences exist among curricular programs in the three types of schools. The findings from the student survey data indicated that private school students reported their curriculum to be more challenging than public school students, but no other significant differences were noted. Findings from the teacher survey showed more positive results for private schools in indicators of a challenging curriculum, expectations of students, school climate, and external support than public schools. This study showed that of the types of schools examined, Catholic schools exhibited the most consistent and well written curriculum that reflected the four research questions. Future research needs to be done to establish whether these indicators of a challenging curriculum result in higher student achievement.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Miller, Alice Elizabeth Owen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Immigration Beliefs and Attitudes: A Test of the Group Conflict Model in the United States and Canada

Description: This study develops and tests a group conflict model as an explanation for international immigration beliefs in the United States and Canada. Group conflict is structured by evaluations concerning group relationships and group members. At a conceptual level group conflict explains a broad range of policy beliefs among a large number of actors in multiple settings. Group conflict embodies attitudes relating to objective-based conditions and subjective-based beliefs.
Date: August 1999
Creator: McIntyre, Chris, 1964-
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

Who Leaves and Why: an Examination of Latino Student Attrition from a Selective Public School Thematic Choice Program in San Antonio, Texas

Description: This study was conducted to examine the problem of attrition from a public middle school foreign language enrichment program by students who were admitted on the basis of superior grades, test scores, and recommendations from their teachers, counselors, and parents. The study took place in inner-city San Antonio and involves Latino sixth and seventh graders from mostly low-income families. Literature pertaining to school choice options, education of Latino students, and student attrition was reviewed. Research questions pertained to the differences in characteristics of students staying in the program and leaving it and in the reasons students gave for their decisions to stay or leave. In addition, the efficacy of an existing student attrition model, modified for this study, was tested for organizing data. Data sources included surveys of students and teachers, interviews with administrators and counselors, and school records. Logit regression analysis revealed two factors linked to student persistence in the program to be significant to the .01 level: student involvement in the initial decision to apply to the program, and the presence of a student's best friend at the school the student attended. A third variable approached significance (at the . 10 level): the student's score on the math subtest of a criterion-referenced test given statewide. Recommendations to the district program administrators include incorporating the math subtest score on the statewide instrument into the screening process and providing more and better information to parents and students who are eligible and wish to apply for acceptance into the program.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Thomas, Kathryn, 1948-
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

Hazardous Waste Policy: a Comparative Analysis of States' Enforcement Efforts

Description: The major purpose of this study is to analyze hazardous waste enforcement by the states as mandated by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA). States' historical enforcement records from 1980 to 1990 are analyzed to determine the pattern of variations in enforcement. This study differs from previous studies on hazardous waste regulation in that it employs longitudinal data from 1980 to 1990 to analyze states' enforcement effort.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Okere, Lawrence N. (Lawrence Ndubuisi)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Population Policy Implementation and Evaluation in Less Industrialized Countries

Description: This study emphasizes the impact of family planning program components on contraceptive prevalence in less industrialized countries. Building on Lapham and Mauldin's "Program Effort and Fertility Decline" framework and policy evaluation's theory, the author developed two models to examine the impact of family planning programs on contraceptive prevalence and fertility under the constraints of socioeconomic development and demand for family planning. The study employed path analysis and multiple regression on data from the 1982 program effort study in 94 less developed countries (LDCs) by Lapham and Mauldin and 98 LDCs of the 1989 program effort study by Mauldin and Ross. The results of data analyses for all data sets are consistent for the most part. Major findings are as follows: (1) A combination of program effort and socioeconomic development best explains the variation of contraceptive prevalence. (2) Among socioeconomic variables, female literacy exerts the strongest direct and indirect influences to increase contraceptive prevalence and indirect influence to decrease total fertility rate. (3) Christianity performs a significant role in reducing contraceptive prevalence. (4) Among program effort components, availability and accessibility for fertility-control supplies and services have the most influence on contraceptive prevalence. (5) When controlling for demand for family planning, female literacy and Christianity have expected and significant relationships with contraceptive prevalence. Availability and accessibility to fertility-control supplies and services exerts a positive and statistically significant impact on contraceptive prevalence. Demand for family planning has a positive and statistically significant effect on program variables, availability, and contraceptive prevalence. (6) There is a strong inverse relationship between contraceptive use and fertility. Demand for family planning, program effort, and socioeconomic development influence fertility through contraceptive prevalence. The findings of this study suggest that governments in LDCs should give priorities to increasing female education and availability of contraception to effectively reduce fertility.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Sirirangsi, Rangsima
Partner: UNT Libraries