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Gender, Peace and Democracy

Description: In the last several decades there has been immense international emphasis and promotion of gender equality and female participation in the social, economic, and political spheres of society. There has also been an increase in civil conflict recurrence in countries as well as countries transitioning to democracy. This study explores the effect of female participation on peace and democracy. In the first part, I focus on the effect female participation has on decreasing the risk of peace failing in post-civil conflict countries. In many countries, women are marginalized and conflict further marginalizes them. However, I argue that the post-conflict environment allows women to escape this cycle of marginalization and their inclusion and participation is very crucial to sustaining peace. I find that female political and social female decreases the risk of peace failing in post-civil war countries. In the second part, I focus on the effect female participation has on decreasing the risk of authoritarian reversals in countries that have transitioned to and toward democracy. Previous empirical research has focused on women’s role in transitions to democracy, factors that contribute to the survival of democracy, as well as how women’s participation affects the stability country. I argue that women’s social, economic, and political participation decreases the risk of authoritarian reversals in countries that have newly transitioned to and toward democracy. I find that female social participation sustains democracy in countries that have transitioned to democracy and that female economic participation sustains democracy in countries that have transitioned toward democracy. Overall I find support that female participation matters for both peace and democracy.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Kelly, Eliza G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Weak states, human rights violations, and the outbreak of civil war.

Description: In recent years, explanations for the occurrence of civil war have mainly emphasized state weakness as providing an opportunity for greed-based rebellions. Yet, this explanation leaves many questions open, as it cannot distinguish between weak states that do and those that do not experience civil war. In this paper, I argue that abuses of personal integrity rights, committed or sponsored by the government, provide this missing link. The theory is illustrated and formalized in a game-theoretic model and then tested empirically, building on earlier work by Fearon and Laitin (2003a) and Sambanis (2004). The results show that repression is highly significant in both statistical and substantive terms. According to one model, the probability of civil war onset increases by a factor of almost 16 in highly repressive countries compared to countries with no repression. Further robustness tests across alternative civil war lists largely confirm the importance of human rights abuses in explaining the occurrence of civil war.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Rost, Nicolas
Partner: UNT Libraries

The use of democratic institutions as a strategy to legitimize authoritarian rule.

Description: Numerous authoritarian states use institutions usually associated with democratic regimes like a constitution, elections, and a legislature. This seems to be counterintuitive. Authoritarian regimes should rather shrink away from democratic institutions. Elections can be won by the opposition and legislatures can make decisions against the interests of the ruler. So, why do autocratic regimes install institutions which limit their power and threaten their survival in office? Assuming actors behave rationally, one should expect authoritarian rulers only to introduce procedures working in their favor. This study looks at the effect of institutions in authoritarian regimes. The findings suggest that legislatures significantly lower the chances of regime breakdown in the long run. However, particularly in election years, authoritarian regimes are facing a higher likelihood of failure.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Michalik, Susanne
Partner: UNT Libraries

What Can the Collective Action Problem Tell Us about the Recurrence of Civil War and the Long-term Stability of a Country?

Description: This study attempts to explain why some countries experience multiple civil wars while others who have experienced a civil war build long-term stability from the rubble of conflict. The explanation of why civil war recurs focuses on the collective action problem, centering on the rebel leaders' ability to solve the Rebel's Dilemma. I further argue that once the Rebel's Dilemma has been solved once it is much easier for rebel leaders to solve it again and again. The empirical finds suggest that the political situation resulting from the first war plays a strong role in the solutions to the collective action problem and thus the long-term stability following a civil war. Namely, the level of democracy, partition and third party enforcement of the peace all affect the ability of the rebel leaders to solve the collective action problem and the likelihood of another civil war.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Kohler, Matthew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Child Soldiers and Intrastate Armed Conflicts: An Analysis of the Recruitments of Child Soldiers in Civil Wars Between 2001 and 2003.

Description: This thesis examines why some governments and rebel organizations but not others recruit children to be child soldiers. The theory posits that if a country fights in a civil war of long duration, armed groups are more likely to recruit children as soldiers. I find that the probability of child soldier recruitment increases when a country experiences following conditions: a longer duration of civil war, a large proportion of battle deaths, a large number of refugees, a high infant mortality rate, and the presence of alluvial diamonds. An increase in education expenditures and civil liberties would decrease the probability of child soldier recruitments.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Samphansakul, Attaphorn
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

Towards European Integration: Do the European Union and Its Members Abide by the Same Principles?

Description: In the last few decades the European Union (EU) and its members have emphasized the importance of human rights and the need to improve human rights conditions in Third World countries. In this research project, I attempted to find out whether the European Union and its members practice what they preach by giving precedence to countries that respect human rights through their Official Development Assistance (ODA) program. Furthermore, I tried to analyze whether European integration occurs at the foreign policy level through aid allocation. Based on the literatures on political conditionality and on the relationship between human rights and foreign aid allocation, I expected that all EU members promote principles of good governance by rewarding countries that protect the human rights of their citizens. I conducted a cross-sectional time-series selection model over all recipients of ODA for each of the twelve members for which I have data, the European Commission, and the aggregate EU disbursements from 1979 to 1998.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Etienne, Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries

Do As They Say, and As They Do: An Integrated Approach to the Study of Norm Influence on Truth Commission Initiation, 1976-2003

Description: Truth commissions are bodies established in political transition, and they have the stated purpose of reckoning with human rights abuses committed by members of former regimes. The question driving this research is "Why have truth commissions increased so rapidly in the last 20 years?" This study moves beyond current research, which suggests that particular domestic political circumstances alone determine choice of transitional justice mechanisms. I argue that an international rule of behavior, the transitional restorative norm, has emerged and spread to decision-makers in countries of transition. In support of this notion, I perform a pre-theoretical historical analysis of transitional justice and develop a theory of decision-making in transition-which is later tested with quantitative statistics. This integrated approach allows for increased scientific rigor in the examination of international norms. Ultimately, the study demonstrates an interrelationship between shared ideas and political environments in the determination of domestic policy.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Dancy, Geoffrey Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Human Rights and the Strategic Use of US Foreign Food Aid

Description: How does respect for human rights affect the disbursement of food aid by US foreign policymakers? Scholars analyzing foreign aid generally look at only total economic aid, military aid or a combination of both. However, for a more nuanced understanding of human rights as a determinant of foreign aid, the discrete foreign aid programs must be examined. By disentangling component-programs from total aid, this analysis demonstrates how human rights influence policymakers by allowing them to distribute food aid to human rights abusing countries. Consequently, policymakers can promote strategic objectives with food aid, while legally restricted from distributing other aid. The primary theoretical argument, which links increasing human rights abuse with increasing food aid, is supported by results from a Heckman model. This procedure models the two-stage decision-making process where foreign policymakers first, select countries for aid and then, distribute aid to those selected.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Fariss, Christopher J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Understanding News Media Consumption and Political Attitudes and Behavior in Latin America

Description: News media consumption is vital to understanding democracy in Latin America. Democracy in the region lacks consolidation that may be encouraged by the ability of news media to shape individuals' political attitudes and behaviors. Yet, we know very little about how citizens of Latin American countries consume news media or how that consumption affects attitudes and behavior. This study offers a region-wide examination of the factors that shape news media consumption and the effects of that consumption on individuals in the region. To explore this topic, I examine survey data from the 2008 Latin American Public Opinion Project in 18 Latin American countries. I argue that news media promote democratic attitudes and political behavior by increasing the symbolic value of democracy and by supplementing those symbols with information that further encourages democratic attitudes and political participation. Additionally, political behavior is not temporally proximate to political behaviors such as voting. This necessitates a mediated path for news media consumption to influence participation through political interest, civil society participation and democratic attitudes. My findings illustrate that each news medium type (TV, radio, newspaper) must be considered separately from each other type. I find that news media consumption has little effect on attitudes. The effect of news media consumption on behavior is best understood as mediated paths through political interest and civil society participation. An additional analysis examines the state of internet use in the region. In total, this project offers a broad understanding of how news media consumption affects individual-level democracy in Latin America.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Salzman, Ryan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Contemporary Patterns of Democratic Norms and Political Participation in Mexico

Description: Mexico's cultural norms have been the subject of repeated inquiries because democratic and authoritarian patterns appear concomitantly. However, few have focused on the potential demographic and contextual sources of these divergent results. This study attempts to clarify the sources of Mexico's political culture, and then determine the extent to which these factors affect political participation. Statistical analysis of a LAPOP dataset from 2006 makes limited progress to this end. The sources of Mexican political culture remain somewhat a mystery, although some intriguing results were found. Most notably, demographic traits appear to have little influence on political culture variables and political participation rates in Mexico. In fact, political culture norms and political participation appears consistent across Mexico's infamous social and economic lines.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Ramsey, Adam Perry
Partner: UNT Libraries

Strategic Factors Influencing the Issuance and Duration of Executive Orders

Description: Executive orders are a significant source of presidential power although scholars disagree on the nature of that power. It has been argued that executive orders are an indication of a president's failure to persuade others to act as he desires; others contend that executive orders offer "power without persuasion." This dissertation introduces the conditional model of executive order issuance and duration in order to offer a synthesis to these competing views, and to offer a better understanding of the opportunities and constraints faced by the president when choosing to act unilaterally through executive orders. The conditional theory holds that both the issuance and duration of executive orders is a function of the president's ideological proximity to Congress and the Supreme Court, and the availability of fresh policy space.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Steele, Galen
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Road to Development is Paved With Good Institutions: The Political and Economic Implications of Financial Markets

Description: This research seeks to identify the factors that account for the variation in development levels across nations by focusing on the institutional components of development, especially the effects of financial market development on economic and political development. I argue that financial market institutions are critical to economic and political development, and provide a partial explanation for the variation in development observed across nations. Financial market development affects political development indirectly through greater economic efficiency and growth and directly by reducing poverty, increasing economic equality, strengthening the middle class and increasing political participation. Increased financial market development also produces more efficient institutions and eliminates certain perverse incentives in government that result in corruption. The action mechanisms rest largely on the idea that increasing access to financial services allows the lower and middle- income segments of society to smooth their income and invest in high return activities that can lift people out of poverty. These improvements distribute both economic and intellectual resources throughout society and provide greater opportunities for political entrepreneurship from all societal groups. This, along with greater ability to participate either through monetary means or greater time, increases political participation and democratic development. Using a variety of econometric techniques to analyze data on 190 countries over 28 years (1975-2003), I show that financial market development has a significant effect in several areas of development. Specifically, I find that financial market development reduces poverty and income inequality and reduces the level of corruption. Increasing financial market development also increases political competition and civil rights protection in addition to increasing the effectiveness of government and regulatory levels. Ultimately, I assert that while financial market factors have not been previously targeted as sources for development, they may provide an effective policy tool for fostering equitable development in a variety of economic and political ...
Date: May 2008
Creator: Brown, Chelsea Denise
Partner: UNT Libraries

Repression, Civic Engagement, Internet Use, and Dissident Collective Action: the Interaction Between Motives and Resources

Description: This dissertation investigates three questions: First, what conditions make dissident collective action such as protest, revolt, rebellion, or civil war more likely to happen in a country? Second, what conditions make citizens more likely to join in dissident collective action? Third, does Internet use play a role in dissident collective action, and if so, why? I argue that motives and resources are necessary rather than sufficient conditions for dissident collective action. I develop an analytical framework integrating motives and resources. Specifically, I theorize that state repression is an important motive, and that civil society is critical in providing resources. Four statistical analyses are conducted to test the hypotheses. Using aggregate level data on countries over time, I find that civil war is more likely to occur in countries where both state repression and civil society are strong. Moreover, the effect of civil society on civil war onset increases as the repression level rises. at the individual level using 2008 Latin American Public Opinion Project surveys from 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries, I find individuals more likely to join in protest when they experience both more repression and greater civic engagement. Moreover, civic engagement’s effect on protest participation increases as people experience more repression. I further find that Internet use constitutes a kind of civic engagement and has effects similar to voluntary group involvement. the effect of Internet use on protest participation decreases as a person’s civic engagement increases. Finally, an individual is more likely to join in protest when experiencing more repression and using the Internet more frequently. Moreover, the effect of Internet use on protest participation increases as a person experiences more repression.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Wu, Jun-deh
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Organic-Progressive Principle in the Political Thought and Internationalism of Woodrow Wilson

Description: This is an investigation of the intellectual roots of the political thought and internationalism of Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eightieth president of the United States. Exposed to the influence of Darwin, Wilson believed that politics had to be redefined as an evolutionary process. the older mechanical understanding of politics was to be replaced with an organic understanding of political development. This allowed Wilson to synthesize a concept of politics that included elements from the Christian tradition; the English Historical School, particularly Edmund Burke; and German idealism, including G.W.F. Hegel. However, because he placed a heavy emphasis on Burke and Hegel, Wilson moved away from a natural rights based theory of politics and more towards a politics based on relativism and a transhistorical notion of rights. Wilson had important theoretical reserves about Hegel, as a result, Wilson modified Hegel’s philosophy. This modification took the form of Wilson’s organic-progressive principle. This would greatly affect Wilson’s ideas about how nations formed, developed, and related to one another. This study focuses on Wilson’s concept of spirit, his theory of history, and his idea of political leadership. the organic-progressive principle is key to understanding Wilson’s attempts to reform on both the domestic and international levels.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Flanagan, John Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Political Determinants of Fdi Location in Prchina, 1997-2009: Application of a New Model to Taiwanese Fdi in Mainland China

Description: This research seeks to identify the political determinants that account for the uneven geographical distribution of foreign direct investment (FDI) across Chinese counties. I compare the political determinants of Taiwanese FDI (TDI) and non-Taiwanese FDI site selection across counties in China. I focus on the central-local politics in China, especially the effect of county government autonomy on FDI and TDI site selection. I investigate whether the effect of county government autonomy and its interaction with TDI agglomeration varies across the three economic regions of China (i.e. eastern, central, and western regions). I argue that county government autonomy is critical to attracting inflows of FDI, and its impact is conditional on the existing level of FDI in a given county. Counties with higher autonomy are able to make greater commitments to and involvement in the market economy, have more flexibility to give preferential treatment to FDI and to improve the local investment environment. With the political burden that Taiwanese investors face from the special military and political relationship across the Strait, I argue that TDI is more sensitive to county government autonomy not only for the economic gains like other foreign investors but also for pursuing local protection against the political uncertainties from Beijing and the social instabilities of the local population. I also argue that county government autonomy’s impact on TDI inflow is strongest in the central region due to the less dominating role of the geographic and cultural advantages enjoyed by the eastern region and its better economic, cultural, political and geographic conditions that are lacking in the western region. Using the System General Method of Moment model to analyze the county level FDI/TDI panel data sets, I find autonomy’s impact on future FDI inflows fades with the increases in the existing level of FDI but gets stronger with ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Lu, Kelan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Drug-Related Violence and Party Behavior: The Case of Candidate Selection in Mexico

Description: This dissertation examines how parties respond and adapt their behavior to political violence. Building a theoretical argument about strategic party behavior and party capture, I address the following questions: How do parties select and recruit their candidates in regions with high levels of violence and the pervasive presence of VNAs? Do parties respond to violence by selecting certain types of candidates who are more capable of fighting these organizations? Do parties react differently at different levels of government? And finally, how do VNSAs capture political selection across at different levels of government? I argue that in regions where there is high "uncertainty," candidate selection becomes highly important for both party leaders and DTOs. Second, I argue that as violence increases and the number of DTOs also, criminal organizations, as risk-averse actors, will capture candidate selection. I posit that as violence increases, there is a greater likelihood that candidates will have criminal connections. To test my theory, I use the case of Mexico. Violence in Mexico and the presence of criminal organizations across the country has experienced a great deal of variation since the 1990s. In Chapter 2, I find that violence affects the gubernatorial candidate selection of the PRI, PAN and PRD. In high violence states, parties select gubernatorial candidates with long experience in subnational politics compared to other types of experiences. In chapter 3, however, I find that at the municipal level not all the parties respond equally to violence. As a municipality becomes more violent, the PRI and PAN party leaders are more likely to select mayoral candidates who were either state or federal deputies or candidates who were both. In contrast, the PRD is likely to recruit state deputies as a function of violence, but not national deputies or candidates who were deputies at both the state ...
Date: August 2018
Creator: Pulido Gomez, Amalia
Partner: UNT Libraries