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The Objectives of Basic Political Science Courses in Texas Institutions of Higher Education as Perceived by Instructors of the Courses

Description: The State of Texas requires the completion of all six semester hours of government for graduation from a public college, but does not provide detailed guidelines regarding content, and related objectives, for these courses. Thus instructors have considerable discretion in the setting of course objectives. The problem of this dissertation, therefore, is the determination of course objectives actually set and the general orientation within political education that the objectives may reflect.
Date: May 1984
Creator: Lauch, Michael Marsh
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Crossing Over: Essays on Ethnic Parties, Electoral Politics, and Ethnic Social Conflict

Description: This dissertation analyzes several topics related to political life in ethnically divided societies. In chapter 2, I study the relationship between ethnic social conflict, such as protests, riots, and armed inter-ethnic violence, and bloc partisan identification. I find that protests have no effect on bloc support for political parties, riots increase bloc partisan identification, and that armed violence reduces this phenomenon. In chapter 3, I analyze the factors that influence the targeting of ethnic groups by ethnic parties in social conflict. I find some empirical evidence that conditions favorable to vote pooling across ethnic lines reduce group targeting by ethnic parties. In chapter 4, I analyze the effects of ethnic demography on ethnic party behavior. Through a qualitative analysis of party behavior in local elections in Macedonia, I find that ethnic parties change their strategies in response to changes in ethnic demography. I find that co-ethnic parties are less likely to challenge each other for power under conditions of split demography. In fact, under conditions of split demography, I find that co-ethnic parties have political incentives to unite behind a single party because intra-group competition jeopardizes the group's hold on power.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Stewart, Brandon
Partner: UNT Libraries

Statutory Interpretation: Theories, Tools, and Trends

Description: This report begins by discussing the general goals of statutory interpretation, reviewing a variety of contemporary as well as historical approaches. The report then briefly describes the two primary theories of interpretation employed today, before examining the main types of tools that courts use to determine statutory meaning. The report concludes by exploring developing issues in statutory interpretation.
Date: April 5, 2015
Creator: Brannon, Valerie C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A prompt start: Implementing the framework convention on climate change

Description: A Framework Convention on Climate Change is under active negotiation in the United Nations with the expectation it will be ready for Signature at the Rio Conference this June. Under the most optimistic projections, a Convention will not come into force and be an effective instrument for months, probably years. In recognition of the several institutional tasks that will be of crucial importance whatever the detailed content of the Convention a small group of high international organizations involved in the negotiations was convened at the Rockefeller Foundation's Conference Center at Bellagio in January. The discussions at Bellagio on the need for a Prompt Start on these institutional tasks benefitted from earlier meetings at Harvard in March and at Bermuda in May, 1991, that the co-organizers convened to discuss these and related aspects of the negotiations on a Climate Convention. Those meetings were attended by members of the academic community, officials from the United Nations, and representatives of governments involved in the negotiations.
Date: January 1, 1992
Creator: Chayes, A. (Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). Law School); Skolnikoff, E.B. (Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, MA (United States). Center for International Studies) & Victor, D.G. (Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, MA (United States) Dept. of Political Science)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Modeling the effects of uncertainty on fear of nuclear waste: Differences among science, business and environmental group members

Description: This paper analyzes the relationships between the subjective assessment of riskiness of managing nuclear waste and the level of certainty regarding the assessment. Uncertainty can be operationalized in two ways. The direct approach asks a person to assess their own subjective beliefs about a potential hazard. The indirect approach assesses how readily an individual will change his or her beliefs when confronted with new information that conflicts with prior beliefs. This paper tests for the relationships between these two distinct operationalizations of uncertainty and overall assessments of the risks posed by radioactive wastes. First we analyze the relationships between stated levels of uncertainty about the effects of radiation on the level of perceived risks from radioactive wastes. Second, we assess the linkage between willingness to alter prior beliefs about the risks of radioactive wastes in response to new information provided by a neutral source'' (or responsiveness of beliefs) and uncertainty. Using data taken from random mail surveys of members of scientific, business, and environmental groups in Colorado and New Mexico in the summer of 1990, we test hypotheses that (a) greater uncertainty is associated with greater perceived risks, and (b) greater responsiveness of beliefs to new information is associated with greater uncertainty. The import of these hypotheses concerns the dynamics of uncertainty in controversial technical policy issues, wherein perceived risks are a primary ingredient in policy positions taken by participants in policy disputes.
Date: October 1, 1992
Creator: Bassett, G. (Illinois Univ., Chicago, IL (United States). Dept. of Economics Argonne National Lab., IL (United States)) & Jenkins-Smith, H. (New Mexico Univ., Albuquerque, NM (United States). Dept. of Political Science Argonne National Lab., IL (United States))
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Political Philosophy of Arnold Brecht

Description: The purpose of this investigation is to examine the political philosophy of Arnold Brecht in order to determine the positive contributions which his thought offers to a practical science of politics and to a more rational view of the relationship between fact and value. As a political scientist, he has embodied a unique capacity for doing and teaching and for making the past meaningful for the present.
Date: December 1971
Creator: Magoni, Doris J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

2012 Presidential Primaries

Description: This poster introduces the faculty lecture series UNT Speaks Out on the 2012 Presidential Primaries. This series features Dr. Tony Carey, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, Dr. Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha, associate professor in the Department of Political Science, and Dr. Brian Lain, associate professor in the Department of Communications Studies and director of UNT's Debate Program.
Date: April 2012
Creator: Mondragon-Becker, Antonio
Partner: UNT Libraries

Political Mandate and Clarity of Responsibility: Economic Policies under Rightist Governments in Latin America

Description: This article uses panel data for eighteen Latin American countries from 1995 to 2015 to study whether clarity of responsibility can influence presidential decision-making concerning unpopular policies, especially microeconomic policies.
Date: June 13, 2018
Creator: Biglaiser, Glen & McGauvran, Ronald J.
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

The Gulf Cooperation Council, 1981-1994

Description: The purpose of this study is to analyze the foreign policy outcomes of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to understand the extent to which a Regional Intergovernmental Organization (RGO) consisting of developing nations is able to promote regional cooperation. Much of the literature on integration and the formation of Intergovernmental Organizations was developed with regard to western nations. These approaches are examined for their contributions to foreign policy behavior analysis and with respect to understanding why small and developing nations join such organizations.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Thackwray, Elizabeth C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fractional Integration and Political Modeling

Description: This dissertation investigates the consequences of fractional dynamics for political modeling. Using Monte Carlo analyses, Chapters II and III investigate the threats to statistical inference posed by including fractionally integrated variables in bivariate and multivariate regressions. Fractional differencing is the most appropriate tool to guard against spurious regressions and other threats to inference. Using fractional differencing, multivariate models of British politics are developed in Chapter IV to compare competing theories regarding which subjective measure of economic evaluations best predicts support levels for the governing party; egocentric measures outperform sociotropic measures. The concept of fractional cointegration is discussed and the value of fractionally integrated error correction mechanisms are both discussed and demonstrated in models of Conservative party support. In Chapter V models of presidential approval in the United States are reconfigured in light of the possibilities of fractionally integrated variables. In both the British and American case accounting for the fractional character of all variables allows the development of more accurate multivariate models.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Lebo, Matthew Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Investigation of the Impact of Social Vulnerability Research on the Practice of Emergency Management

Description: This dissertation examines the extent to which social vulnerability, as studied by researchers across multiple disciplines, has influenced the practice of emergency management at the local level. This study addresses two major research questions to accomplish this goal. First, how do local emergency managers perceive and define social vulnerability? Second, what strategies do local emergency managers employ to reach and meet the needs of socially vulnerable populations? Semi-structured interviews were conducted in person or by phone with a sample of local emergency managers, city managers, and American Red Cross personnel from the Houston - Galveston and the South East Texas regions as defined by the respective Councils of Government. A modified grounded theory approach was used with a constant comparative method to identify themes for each research question. Triangulation was accomplished through secondary census data and supplemental interviews. The interview data reveal that social vulnerability research has had an indirect influence on the practice of emergency management at the local level. This influence is facilitated through state and federal policy, training, and plans development. Based on the interview data, four themes were identified that capture the various ways in which local emergency management officials perceive and define social vulnerability. These include vulnerability as poverty and culture, vulnerability as a lack of security, vulnerability as a moral imperative, and vulnerability as a lack of awareness and knowledge. In terms of strategies employed to address social vulnerability, the data suggest four themes: leaving it to the professionals, bringing in volunteers, leveraging protocols to build buy-in, and fostering flexibility. The findings reveal the importance in closing the knowledge gap between research and practice, because increased damage, harm, and death can occur when the social inequalities of everyday life are not addressed in the planning process by emergency managers. The findings also reveal that ...
Date: August 2017
Creator: Williams, Brian Don
Partner: UNT Libraries

Elections and Authoritarian Rule: Causes and Consequences of Adoption of Grassroots Elections in China

Description: This dissertation investigates the relationship between elections and authoritarian rule with a focus on the case of China's adoption of elections at the grassroots level. In this dissertation, I look at the incentives facing Chinese local governments in choosing between holding competitive elections or state-controlled elections, and how the selection of electoral rules shapes the public's preferences over political institutions and influences the citizens' political behaviors, especially voting in elections and participation in contentious activities. The overarching theme in this dissertation proposes that the sources and consequences of Chinese local elections are conditioned on the state-owned resources and the governing costs. When the amount of state-owned resources to rule the local society is limited, the paucity of resources will incentivize authoritarian governments to liberalize grassroots elections to offset the governance costs. The various levels of election liberalization will lead to different consequences in the public's political behavior. An abundance of state-owned resources not only discourages rulers from sharing power with the local society, but also supplies the rulers with strong capacity to obtain loyalty from voters when elections are adopted. As a result, elections under authoritarian governments with an abundance of state-owned resources will see more loyalist voters than elections with authoritarian governments with fewer state-owned resources. In addition, the varieties of election practices will exert impacts on public opinion toward the authoritarian government: awareness of elections will enhance public trust in the government and decrease the public's intention to challenge the incumbents' authority while at the same time increasing the public's faith in the institutions, thereby encouraging the public to adopt official channels to air their grievances. The analysis of the village-level as well as individual-level survey data and cases lends empirical supports to the argument. First, I find that the governing costs—measured by the size of labor force—are ...
Date: August 2017
Creator: Tzeng, Wei Feng
Partner: UNT Libraries

Selling Humans: the Political Economy of Contemporary Global Slavery

Description: Human trafficking is a growing illegal crime, both in terms of numbers and profits. Thus, important to consider, as it is a human rights, political, criminal justice, national security, and economic issue. Previous studies have these examined these human trafficking factors independently, yet none have really taken into account how they work simultaneously. This study examines why human trafficker continues to occur, particularly at the domestic and transnational level, and also why some countries are better able to effectively deal with this problem in terms of criminalizing human traffickers. It is argued that at the domestic level, traffickers first must take into account the operating costs, illegal risks, bribery, and profits of the business. After considering these basic elements, they then need to consider the world, including economic, political, geographic, and cultural factors that may help facilitate human trafficking. However, human trafficking can occur across large geographic distances, though rare. This is more likely to happen based on the type of human trafficking group, available expatriate or immigrant networks, the origin-transit-destination country connection, or strength of the bilateral economic relationship between origin and destination countries. Finally, looking at why some countries are better able to criminalize traffickers helps us to better understand how human trafficking can be discouraged. In short, conformity of a country’s domestic anti-human trafficking law, as well as the degree of enforcement, should increase the probability of criminalizing a human trafficker. These three theoretical arguments help to better understand the nature of the business, and more importantly, why human trafficking continues.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Balarezo, Christine A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Foucault's Foundationless Democratic Theory

Description: I examine a key shift in Michel Foucault's political philosophy from a position in which he was a staunch anti-humanist, to a final position in which he advocated not only the ability of the subject to influence his political condition, but also the individual freedoms assured by a democratic form of government. I begin by summarizing his overall critique of the post-Enlightenment West, and then explain how his observation of the Iranian Revolution served as a key turning point concerning his attitude towards the subject. Next, I elaborate on the direction of Foucault's late writings and examine how his new conceptualization of the subject leads him to embrace a democratic political system albeit free from Enlightenment philosophical foundations. I conclude by critiquing Foucault's foundationless democratic theory on the basis that it would ultimately undermine the individual freedoms and aesthetic development that he seeks to protect.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Carter, Kelly A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rentier States and Conflict: New Concepts, Different Perspectives

Description: Since the 1970s, a curious phenomenon has emerged, suggesting that resource rich countries are "cursed" by their resources. Over the last couple of decades, researchers have argued that rentier countries are more likely to have educational underachievement, the Dutch disease, corruption, slower democratization, and conflict. Although current research has proven helpful and productive, some aspects still remain contested in both theoretical and empirical terms. This dissertation aims to fill certain lacunae in this literature. My dissertation examines how ordinary citizens turn into dissidents and then to rebels in rentier states. I build and test an innovative theoretical argument, which focuses on individuals' daily lives, and explains how policies by rentier governments discourage merit-based employment. This, in turn, yields a high level of grievance among segments of the population. I also develop a comprehensive theory that combines macro-level and micro-level explanations of conflict onset in rentier states. Finally, I analyze an important, but previously neglected aspect of civil wars in rentier states: conflict outcomes. I suggest that the existence of abundant natural resources would have a significant impact on conflict outcomes. Accordingly, government victory would be more likely, and negotiated settlement would be less likely in rentier countries compared to non-rentier countries.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Ozsut, Melda
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

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

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
Partner: UNT Libraries