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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

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

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

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

Clenching the Fists of Dissent: Political Unrest, Repression, and the Evolution to Civil War

Description: Previous scholarship has long concentrated on the behaviors of belligerents during regime-dissident interactions. While much of the progress in the literature concentrated on the micro-level processes of this relationship, little research has focused on providing a theoretical reasoning on why belligerents choose to act in a particular manner. This project attempts to open the black box of decision making for regimes and dissidents during regime-dissident interactions in order to provide a theoretical justification for the behaviors of the belligerents involved. Moreover, this project argues that there is a relationship between the lower level events of political violence and civil war as the events at earlier stages of the conflict influence the possible outcome of civil conflict. Regimes and dissidents alike are strategic actors who conduct themselves in a manner to ensure their survival while concurrently attempting to succeed at achieving their respective goals. Although all authoritarian regimes are similar in their differences to democracies, there are significant differences between the regimes, which influence the decision making of the regime leader to ensure the survival of the political institution. In addition to influencing the decision calculus of the regimes, the behavior of the regimes impacts the probability of civil war at later stages of the interaction. Conversely, dissidents also perform as strategic actors in an attempt to gain their preferred concessions and outcomes. Although their comprehension of the coercive capacity of a regime is limited, their knowledge of the repressive capacity of the regime provides them with the understanding of their future fate if they escalate to violence against the regime. This project is conducted using two theories on regime and dissident actions and responses, two large-N empirical analyses of regime and dissident behaviors during nonviolent and violent dissident campaigns from 1945-2006, and two historical case studies of Egypt and Syria ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Backstrom, Jeremy R
Partner: UNT Libraries

New Rules to an Old Game: Electoral Reforms and Post-Civil War Stability

Description: One of the most common features found within peace agreements are provisions that call for post-civil war elections. Unfortunately, recent research on post-civil war stability has consistently demonstrated that the initial elections held after civil wars significantly increases the risk for renewed fighting. While this research does highlight a danger posed by post-war elections, it focuses only on one element associated with post-civil war democracy. I argue that by implementing electoral reforms that are called for in peace agreements, post-war countries reduce the risk of renewed civil war. Implementing these peace agreement provisions increases the durability of post-war peace in two ways. First, by implementing costly electoral reforms called for in the peace agreement, the government signals a credible commitment to the peace process which reduces security dilemmas faced by opposition groups. Second, electoral reforms generate new avenues for political participation for disaffected citizens, which reduces the ability of hardliners to mobilize future armed opposition. I examine how implementing post-war electoral reforms impact the risk of renewed conflict from 1989 through 2010. Using duration models, I demonstrate that implementing these electoral reforms substantially reduces the risk of renewed conflict.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Keels, Eric
Partner: UNT Libraries

Protests in China: Why and Which Chinese People Go to the Street?

Description: This research seeks to answer why and which Chinese people go to the street to protest. I argue that different sectors of Chinese society differ from each other regarding their tendencies to participate in protest. In addition to their grievances, the incentives to participate in protest and their capacities to overcome the collective action problem all needed to be taken into account. Using individual level data along with ordinary binary logistic regression and multilevel logistic regression models, I first compare the protest participation of workers and peasants and find that workers are more likely than peasants to participate in protests in the context of contemporary China. I further disaggregate the working class into four subtypes according to the ownership of the enterprises they work for. I find that workers of township and village enterprises are more likely than workers of state-owned enterprises to engage in protest activities, while there is no significant difference between the workers of domestic privately owned enterprises and the workers of foreign-owned enterprises regarding their protest participation. Finally, I find that migrant workers, which refers to peasants who move to urban areas in search of jobs, are less likely than urban registered workers to participate in protests.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Chen, Yen-Hsin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Endogenous Information and Inter-state War Expansion

Description: Scholars have long debated the causes of late third party state joining in ongoing inter-state wars. This research has generally concluding that peace-time conditions, measured in terms of: third party capabilities; proximity to warring states; and inter-state alliances, are determining factors in the decision to join. However, these studies utilize theories derived from static pre-war measures of capabilities and motivation to explain late joining; indeed, the same measures that fail to predict participation at war's outset. Further, extant research has no explanation for why weak and non-proximate states every participate. Existing theory thus fails to provide a comprehensive explanation of joining behavior. This project contends that a resolution lies the interaction between pre-war conditions and intra-war events. Intra-war events that are allowed to vary on a per battle basis, including change in combat location and alliance entry and exit from combat, reveal new information about the war and its progress, thereby forcing third party states to recalculate their initial decision to abstain in relation to their pre-existing situation. Incorporation of intra-war processes helps to better explain decisions by third party states to join ongoing inter-state wars late in their development, and why states that frequently choose to abstain (e.g., weak states) ever choose to participate. This project is executed using a combination of ex post facto historical case studies, a theory of joining based on pre and intra-war environments, and large-N empirical analysis on all inter-state wars 1823-1988, conducted utilizing a novel collection of event-level data based on inter-state war battles.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Liebel, Steven R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Does Euroscepticism Matter? the Effect of Public Opinion on Integration

Description: This dissertation seeks to test the proposition that public opinion is a driving force in integration, and thus examines the effect of euroscepticism on EU integration. Utilizing an understanding of integration as the process of European states achieving similar legal, social, cultural, political and economic policy outcomes while ceding greater policy power to European institutions, the relationship between aggregate level euroscepticism in EU member states (the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, and Sweden) and speed of compliance with EU policies is examined. More specifically, this dissertation examines the relationship between aggregate level euroscepticism in an EU member state, and the speed at which that state transposes EU directives. In testing this relationship a number of contextual conditions are examined, including the role of issue salience, domestic party systems, and electoral conditions. The findings of this dissertation suggest that the widely held belief that public opinion is driving European integration may be false.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Williams, Christopher J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Threats to Compliance with International Human Rights Law

Description: In this project I investigate the factors shaping compliance with international human rights agreements and I provide a definition of compliance, which goes beyond “ratification.” I argue that compliance is a multistage process, built upon three different steps: ratification/accession, implementation, and what I call “compliant behavior.” As an alternative to the dominant structural and normative explanation of compliance, I suggest that the factors affecting compliance are not only endogenous to state characteristics, such as the democratic/non-democratic nature of governments, but also exogenous, such as the perceived level of threat to national security. I offer a twofold theory that looks at leaders’ behavior under conditions of stability and instability and I suggest that under certain circumstances that threaten and pressure government leaders, state compliance with international human rights law becomes more costly. I suggest that regardless of regime type, threats shape leaders’ behavior toward international law; states are faced with the choice to abide by international obligations, protecting specific human rights, and the choice to protect their national interests. I argue that when the costs associated with compliance increase, because leaders face threats to their power and government stability, threats become the predictor of non-compliant behavior regardless of the democratic or non-democratic nature of the regime.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Aloisi, Rosa
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

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

Ecological Sustainability and Peace: The Effect of Ecological Sustainability on Interstate and Intrastate Environmental Conflict

Description: This study examines the relationship between ecological sustainability and violent conflict at both the interstate and intrastate level. In particular, this study explores the effect of ecological sustainability of a society on the initiation and the occurrence of violent conflict. By developing a theory, which is named "Eco-peace," this study hypothesizes that the more ecologically sustainable the socioeconomic system of societies, the less likely the society is to initiate interstate conflict. Regarding intrastate conflict, it is hypothesized that the more ecologically sustainable the mode of development pursued by the Third World society is, the more likely that society is to experience intrastate conflicts. To test the hypotheses, this study conducts cross-national time-series analyses for 97-127 countries. Negative binomial and Poisson models are used for interstate conflict during 1960-2001, and logit and rare event logit models are used for intrastate conflict during 1960-1999. Militarized interstate dispute dataset and Uppsala Armed Conflict Program dataset are employed for interstate and intrastate conflict. For ecological sustainability, Ecological sustainability factor index and Environmental sustainability index are used. Through the analyses, this study found the supports for the theoretical argument that the ecologically unsustainable modes of development cause the initiation of interstate conflict and the incidence of intra-state conflict in the Third World.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Yoon, Jong-Han
Partner: UNT Libraries

Post-Civil War Democratization: Domestic and International Factors in Movement Toward and Away from Democracy

Description: Post-civil war democratization is a critical element of building sustainable peace in the post-civil war states. At the same time, studies of democratic transition and survival suggest that the post-civil war environment is not hospitable to either the transition to or survival of democracy. The post-civil war environment is contentious. Former protagonists are fearful about their security and at the same time they want to protect their political and economic interests. The central argument of this study is that former rivals can agree to a transition toward democracy to the extent that a stable balance of power exists between the government and rebel groups, a balance that eliminates the sort of security dilemma that would encourage one or both to resume armed conflict. And the balance should ensure access to political power and economic resources. This study identifies factors that contribute to the establishment of such a balance of power between former protagonists and factors that affects its stability. These factors should affect the decision of former protagonists on whether or not they can achieve their political and economic interests if they agree to a transition toward democracy once civil war ends. Factors that are conducive to a transition toward democracy are different from factors that sustain that transition in post-civil war states. Post-civil war democracies are fragile. The side that won the democratic election can dismantle institutions of democracy and repress oppositions. The fear of being repressed could create stronger incentives for the opposition groups to return to conflict. To address this puzzle, I develop a conceptual framework that explains how costs of the previous civil war, the establishment of inclusive institutions and the higher level of economic development create incentives for the former rivals to sustain democracy. Hypotheses derived from the theoretical implications are tested by using survival ...
Date: May 2010
Creator: Joshi, Madhav
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Counterinsurgency Dilemma: The Causes and Consequences of State Repression of Human Rights in Civil Wars

Description: In this project a theory of adaptive differential insurgency growth by the mechanism of repression driven contagion is put forth to explain variation in the membership and spatial expansion of insurgencies from 1981 to 1999. As an alternative to the dominant structural approaches in the civil war literature, Part 1 of the study proposes an interactive model of insurgency growth based on Most and Starr's opportunity and willingness framework. The findings suggest that state capacity, via its impact on state repressive behavior, plays an important gatekeeping function in selecting which minor insurgencies can grow into civil war, but contributes little to insurgency growth directly. In Part 2 of the study, I directly examine variation in insurgency membership and geographical expansion as a function of repression driven contagion. I find that repression increases the overall magnitude of insurgency activity within states, while at the same time reducing the density of insurgency activity in any one place. Despite an abundance of low intensity armed struggles against a highly diverse group of regimes around the world, I find an extremely strong and robust regularity: where repression is low - insurgencies don't grow.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Quinn, Jason Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries