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Assessing Perceived Credibility of Web Sites in a Terrorism Context: The PFLP, Tamil Tigers, Hamas, and Hezbollah

Description: The purpose of the study was to contribute to the overall understanding of terrorist organizations' use of the Internet and to increase researchers' knowledge of Web site effectiveness. The methodological approach was evaluation of the perceived credibility of Web sites based on existing criteria derived from information users. The Web sites of four terrorist organizations were assessed: two secular nationalist groups, the People's Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers); and two religious nationalist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah. The findings of this analysis showed differences in perceived credibility factors among terrorist organizations' Web sites and positive levels of perceived credibility for the Web sites. These findings indicate the potential for positive impressions of the organizations' Web sites by information users, which would help empower the organizations with the capacity to reach their objectives. By using Web sites, these groups can effectively increase their support base through disseminating information, improving recruiting, and attracting monetary contributions, and can establish themselves as legitimate components of society.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Spinks, Brandon Todd
Partner: UNT Libraries

State Level Causes of Terrorism: Limits on Political Expression

Description: Expanding on prior research into the state level causes of terrorism, I argue that state repression and limited state capacity reduces opportunities for non-violent political expression and increases the utility of terrorism. I also argue that economic freedom can is a form of political expression that can dissipate political grievances. While previous authors analyzed some of these variables separately using data on transnational attacks, I created a complete model incorporating the three categories of variables and tested my hypotheses using data that includes both domestic and transnational attacks. I use regression analysis for hypothesis testing and find support for the three primary contentions of this thesis and conclude that limits on political expression increase the likelihood nations will experienced increased levels of terrorism.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Case, Erik S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Drug Related Corruption

Description: Thesis written by a student in the UNT Honors College discussing the relationship between the global drug trade and the corruption of government officials. Included is a history of international drug prohibition, cases of corruption by country, United States policies implemented to prevent corruption, and an analysis of the potential for success in curtailing drug related corruption in the U. S.
Date: Spring 2012
Creator: Adams, Mark
Partner: UNT Honors College

Examining the Origins of Sociology: Continuities and Divergences Between Ibn Khaldun, Giambattista Vico, August Comte, Ludwig Gumplowicz, and Emile Durkheim

Description: This thesis examines the extent to which Ibn Khaldun can legitimately be considered a founding father of sociology. To pursue this research, Khaldun's theoretical framework will be compared with four Western scholars: Auguste Comte, Emile Durkheim, Giambattista Vico, and Ludwig Gumplowicz. This paper begins with an Introduction (Chapter I), followed by a general overview of Khaldun's work (Chapter II). Next, Khaldun's work is compared to that of Auguste Comte (Chapter III), Emile Durkheim (Chapter IV), Ludwig Gumplowicz (Chapter V) and Giambattista Vico (Chapter VI). In each of these chapters, Khaldun is compared and contrasted to the other social theorist, illustrating their similarities and considering their differences. Finally, in Chapter VII, I put forth conclusions that consider the extent to which Khaldun can validly be considered a founding father of sociology.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Soyer, Mehmet
Partner: UNT Libraries

Blood and Earth: Indivisible Territory and Terrorist Group Longevity

Description: The study of terrorism has been both broad in scope and varied in approach. Little work has been done, however, on the territorial aspects of terrorist groups. Most terrorist groups are revolutionary to one degree or another, seeking the control of a piece of territory; but for the supportive population of a terrorist group, how important is the issue of territory? Are the intangible qualities of territory more salient to a given population than other factors? Are territorially based terrorist groups more durable than their ideologically or religiously motivated cohorts? This paper aims to propose the validity of the territorial argument for the study of political terrorism.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Glass, Richard A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Middle Class Economic Strength on Civil Liberties Performance and Domestic and External Peace

Description: Using data for 93 countries from 1972 through 2001 in cross-national analysis, this study compares the relative economic strength of a country's middle-class with its civil liberties performance and its history of domestic and external conflict. For purposes of this analysis, the relative strength of a country's middle-class is determined by multiplying the square root of a country's gross domestic product per capita by the percentage of income distributed to the middle 60 % of the population (middle class income share). Comparisons between this measure of per capita income distributed (PCID) and several other indicators show the strength of the relationship between PCID and civil liberties performance and domestic and external conflict. In the same manner, comparisons are made for the middle class income share (MCIS) alone. The countries are also divided by level of PCID into 3 world classes of 31 countries each for additional comparisons. In tests using bivariate correlations, the relationships between PCID and MCIS are statistically significant with better civil liberties performance and fewer internal conflicts. With multivariate regression the relationship between PCID and civil liberties performance is statistically significant but not for PCID and internal conflict. As expected, in both correlations and regression between PCID and external conflict, variables related to power dominate. However, when the countries are divided into world classes by level of PCID, the eleven countries with the highest level of PCID have had no internal or external conflict since 1972. Moreover, there is no within group conflict for countries in either the upper or middle classes of countries based on their level of PCID. The between group conflict does include democracies.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Stedman, Joseph B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Suicide Terrorism: A Future Trend?

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

The status of democratization and human rights of the Middle East.

Description: The end of the Cold War and the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have been accompanied by the spread of democracy, advancement in respect for human rights, and the introduction of market reforms in different parts of the world. The Middle Eastern region has not been an exception to this trend, where, in response to the mounting economic crisis and domestic public pressure, several governments introduced democratic and economic reforms. This thesis investigates the trends in the distribution of political authority among the Middle Eastern countries and the progress that these countries have made on the path of democracy and respect of human rights. Also explored are the various processes of political liberalization in Middle East states, and explanations posed as to why certain types of regimes have allowed for conditions conducive for reform and others have not.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Spinks, Brandon Todd
Partner: UNT Libraries

Developing Capacity: The IMF's Impact on State Capacity

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to examine the impact of International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans since the adoption of the governance mandate on overall government capability. The study will explore whether the presence of IMF loans in developing countries enhances state capacity. Administrative capacity is of particular importance because it is a requisite for the integration of state and society in the national political arena and encourages joint involvement of government and citizenry in overall representation of societal interests. The model designed to test the two primary hypotheses is comprised of a simultaneous system of equations. Despite criticisms of IMF conditionality arrangements, it appears that these programs are largely effective at increasing administrative capacity, an important factor in achieving economic growth and national ownership of IMF development programs.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Harper, Christine
Partner: UNT Libraries

Opinions of Turkish immigrants living in Houston about the conflict between secularism and Islam in Turkey.

Description: This study was designed to examine the opinions of Turkish immigrants living in the Houston metropolitan area about the conflict between secularism and Islam in Turkey. The study examined the role of the practice of religion on the opinions about the clash between secularism and Islam. A final sample consisted of 40 immigrants recruited through purposeful and snowball sampling. In-depth interviews and a survey including screening questions were conducted. The results indicated that practice of religion has a partial impact on the opinions of Turkish immigrants about the conflict between secularism and Islam. Future research should further examine if the experience of living abroad for a long period influence Turkish immigrants' opinions about the same issue.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Balkan, Betul
Partner: UNT Libraries

The United States' Recognition of Israel: Determinant Factors in American Foreign Policy

Description: This thesis examines the critical factors leading to the 1948 decision by the United States government to extend recognition to the newly declared State of Israel. In the first of five chapters the literature on the recognition of Israel is discussed. Chapter II presents the theoretical foundation of the thesis by tracing the development of Charles Kegley's decision regime framework. Also discussed is the applicability of bureaucratic structure theory and K. J. Holsti's hierarchy of objectives. Chapters III and IV present the empirical history of this case, each closing with a chapter summary. The final chapter demonstrates the relevance and validity of the theoretical framework to the case and closes with a call for further research into the processes of foreign policy decision-making.
Date: August 1990
Creator: Farshee, Louis M. (Louis Michael)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Needs and Membership in Terrorist Organizations

Description: One key to reducing terrorism may be to understand why individuals join terror groups, and to find ways to meet their needs through alternatives to discourage membership in terrorist organizations. The study introduces the hierarchy of needs framework to capture all previous pieces of explanations on why individuals join terror groups under one big umbrella, in order to see the big picture. It does not do a meta-analysis, but rather tests the framework. This study is designed to find out what perceived needs commonly motivate individuals to join terror groups in general and specific terror groups in particular. The research uses Turkey's terrorism experience as a case study which is supported with data from real terrorist in Turkey. Findings of the descriptive analyses show that majority joined a terror group due to social and affiliative needs. The remaining analyses (bivariate, cross-tabulation and binary logistic regression) show that confitents who perceived esteem and recognition were more likely to become members of other/leftist terror groups, and that rightist terror group members in Turkey tend to have higher education. Education mainly affects a confitent's perception of two needs: social and affiliation and self-actualization. Other demographic variables (age group, region of birth, marital status) die not yield any significant relation with membership in terror groups.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Ekici, Siddik
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Complex Systems Model for Understanding the Causes of Corruption: Case Study - Turkey

Description: It is attempted with this dissertation to draw an explanatory interdisciplinary framework to clarify the causes of systemic corruption. Following an intense review of political sciences, economics, and sociology literatures on the issue, a complex systems theoretical model is constructed. A political system consists of five main components: Society, interest aggregators, legislative, executive and private sector, and the human actors in these domains. It is hypothesized that when the legitimacy level of the system is low and morality of the systemic actors is flawed, selected political, social and economic incentives and opportunities that may exist within the structure of the systemic components might -individually or as a group- trigger corrupt transactions between the actors of the system. If left untouched, corruption might spread through the system by repetition and social learning eventually becoming the source of corruption itself. By eroding the already weak legitimacy and morality, it may increase the risk of corruption even further. This theoretical explanation is used to study causes of systemic corruption in the Turkish political system. Under the guidance of the complex systems theory, initial systemic conditions, -legacy of the predecessor of Turkey Ottoman Empire-, is evaluated first, and then political, social and economic factors that are presumed to be breeding corruption in contemporary Turkey is investigated. In this section, special focus is given on the formation and operation of amoral social networks and their contribution to the entrenchment of corruption within the system. Based upon the findings of the case study, the theoretical model that is informed by the literature is reformed: Thirty five system and actor level variables are identified to be related with systemic corruption and nature of the causality between them and corruption is explained. Although results of this study can not be academically generalized for obvious reasons; the analytical framework ...
Date: August 2005
Creator: Yasar, Muhammet Murat
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Pull to the Right in Western Europe: an Analysis of Electoral Support for the Extreme-Right

Description: This study develops a model explaining support for contemporary extreme-right parties. The history and political setting of relevant countries are examined. The research explores necessary state-level conditions, which are postindustrialism, convergence to the center by major parties, and proportional representation. Individual support is probed using survey data with bivariate and probit analyses. Being male and younger proved to be significant variables, while socio-economic status did not. Concerning issues, personal disaffection for immigrants, favoring nationalistic hiring practices, and free-market tendencies were significant variables. Opposition to feminism and pride to be from one's nation were insignificant explanations for extreme-right support. Implications of the analysis are discussed as are issues concerning future research.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Fletcher, Jody D. (Jody Daniel)
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Conceptual Map for Understanding the Terrorist Recruitment Process: Observation and Analysis of Turkish Hezbollah Terrorist Organizations.

Description: Terrorism is a historical problem; however, it becomes one of the biggest problems in 21st century. September 11 and the following Madrid, Istanbul and London attacks showed that it is the most significant problem threatening world peace and security. Governments have started to deal with terrorism by improving security measurements and making new investments to stop terrorism. Most of the governments' and scholars' focus is on immediate threats and causes of terrorism, instead of looking at long-term solutions such as root causes and underlying reasons of terrorism, and the recruitment style of terrorist organizations If terrorist recruitment does not stop, then it is safe to say terrorist activities cannot be stopped. This study focused on the recruitment process by observing two different terrorist organizations, DHKP/C and Turkish Hezbollah. The researcher brings 13 years of field experience and first-person data gathered from inside the terrorist organizations. The research questions of this study were: (i) How can an individual be prevented from joining or carrying out terrorist activities?; (ii) What factors are correlated with joining a terrorist organization?; (iii) What are the recruitment processes of the DHKP/C, PKK, and Turkish Hezbollah?; (iv) Is there any common process of being a member of these three terrorist organizations?; and (v) What are the similarities and differences these terrorist organizations? As a result of this analysis, a terrorist recruitment process map was created. With the help of this map, social organizations such as family and schools may be able to identify ways to prevent individuals from joining terrorist organizations. Also, this map will also be helpful for government organizations such as counterterrorism and intelligence to achieve the same goal.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Teymur, Samih
Partner: UNT Libraries

Born in Beirut

Description: The film starts with another ordinary day, two elderly men playing Backgammon, cars passing by, children playing in the street; scenes anyone anywhere in the world can relate to. Seemingly without warning, as the sun set on that ordinary day, the audience is taken on a perilous journey through war-torn Beirut. Born in Beirut is a thoughtful and poetic examination of war through the eyes of a child who lived through endless conflict in war-torn Beirut. The film examines the futility of war and the price paid in innocent lives.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Khalaf, Tania
Partner: UNT Libraries

Constraints on Adoption of Innovations: Internet Availability in the Developing World.

Description: In a world that is increasingly united in time and distance, I examine why the world is increasingly divided socially, economically, and digitally. Using data for 35 variables from 93 countries, I separate the countries into groups of 31 each by gross domestic product per capita. These groups of developed, lesser developed and least developed countries are used in comparative analysis. Through a review of relevant literature and tests of bivariate correlation, I select eight key variables that are significantly related to information communication technology development and to human development. For this research, adoption of the Internet in the developing world is the innovation of particular interest. Thus, for comparative purposes, I chose Internet Users per 1000 persons per country and the Human Development Index as the dependent variables upon which the independent variables are regressed. Although small in numbers among the least developed countries, I find Internet Users as the most powerful influence on human development for the poorest countries. The research focuses on key obstacles as well as variables of opportunity for Internet usage in developing countries. The greatest obstacles are in fact related to Internet availability and the cost/need ratio for infrastructure expansion. However, innovations for expanded Internet usage in developing countries are expected to show positive results for increased Internet usage, as well as for greater human development and human capital. In addition to the diffusion of innovations in terms of the Internet, the diffusion of cultures through migration is also discussed in terms of the effect on social capital and the drain on human capital from developing countries.
Access: This item is restricted to the UNT Community Members at a UNT Libraries Location.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Stedman, Joseph B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The United States Supreme Court's Volitional Agendas, 1801-1993: Historical Claims versus Empirical Findings

Description: In this study, I examined the Supreme Court's agenda from 1801 to 1993 to determine the composition and dynamics of the issues that have dominated the business of the Court. Specifically, I set out to test empirically Robert G. McCloskey's (now standard) characterization of the Supreme Court's history, which sees it as dominated by nationalism/federalism issues before the Civil War, by economic issues just after the War through the 1930s, and by civil rights and liberties since the 1930s. The question that drove my investigation was "Is McCloskey's interpretation, which appears to be based on the great cases of Supreme Court history, an accurate description of the agenda represented in the Supreme Court's total body of reported decisions?" To test McCloskey's historical theses I employed concepts adapted from Richard Pacelle's (1991) important work on the agenda of post-Roosevelt Court and used the methods of classical historical analysis and of interrupted time-series analysis. Data for my research came from existing datasets and from my own collection (I coded the manifest content of thousands of Supreme Court's decisions from 1887 back to 1801). The most important finding from my analyses is that McCloskey not withstanding, the pre-Civil War Supreme Court's agenda was clearly dominated by economic issues of various sorts, not by nationalism/federalism as previously believed. Another key finding is that partisanship had a pronounced impact on the Court's attention to this category of issueseven in the periods when the Supreme Court had very little control of its docket. These results suggest that Supreme Court scholars should reassess or rethink their previous notion of the Court's pre-Civil War agendathe now well-established view that nation-state issues dominated the business of the Court in its formative yearsand the idea (often expressed implicitly) that the Court's mandatory jurisdiction suppressed attitudinal factors on the Court in ...
Date: May 2000
Creator: Ogundele, Ayodeji O.
Partner: UNT Libraries

British Labour Government Policy in Iraq, 1945-1950

Description: Britain during the Labour government's administration took a major step toward developing Iraq primarily due to the decision of Ernest Bevin, the Foreign Minister, to start a new British policy toward the Iraqi regimes that would increase the British influence in the area. This led to Bevin's strategy of depending on guiding the Iraqi regime to make economic and political reforms that would lead to social justice.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Alburaas, Theyab
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Politicization of Public Education in Nicaragua: 1967-1994, Regime Type and Regime Strategy

Description: Understanding how change occurs in lesser developed countries, particularly in Latin America has been the subject of a prolonged theoretical academic debate. That debate has emphasized economics more that politics in general and predictability over unpredictability in the Latin American region. This paper challenges these approaches. Explaining change requires an examination of the politics of public policy as much as its economic dimensions. Second, change in the Latin American region may be less predictable than it appears. Scholars maintain that change in Latin America occurs when contending elites negotiate it. Their power comes from the various resources they possess. Change, therefore, is not expected to occur as a function of regime change per se. This paper considers the treatment of education policy in Nicaragua during the regimes of the dynastic authoritarianism of Anastasio Somoza Debayle (1967-1979), the revolutionary governments of the Sandinistas (1979-1990), and the democratic-centrist government of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1996). The central research question is: When regimes change, do policies change? The methodology defines the independent variable as the regime and education policy as the dependent variable. It posits three hypotheses. The right-wing regime of Somoza was expected to restrict both the qualitative aspects and the financing of education; (2) the left-wing regimes of the Sandinistas were hypothesized to have expanded both; and (3) the democratic-centrist regime of Chamorro was expected to have both expanded and restricted certain aspects of education policy. Several chapters describe these regimes' expansive or restrictive education strategies. A comparative analysis of these 26 years demonstrates several variables' effect over time. An OLS regression and a times series analysis specifies the relationship between regime change and percent of GDP each regime devoted to education. Both the statistical and qualitative findings of this study confirm the hypotheses. The study reveals that, as regimes changed, ...
Date: May 1996
Creator: Coplin, Janet C. (Janet Cecile)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Financial Transfer and Its Impact on the Level of Democracy: A Pooled Cross-Sectional Time Series Model.

Description: This dissertation is a pooled time series, cross-sectional, quantitative study of the impact of international financial transfer on the level of democracy. The study covers 174 developed and developing countries from 1976 through 1994. Through evaluating the democracy and democratization literature and other studies, the dissertation develops a theory and testable hypotheses about the impact of the international variables foreign aid and foreign direct investment on levels of democracy. This study sought to determine whether these two financial variables promote or nurture democracy and if so, how? A pooled time-series cross-sectional model is developed employing these two variables along with other relevant control variables. Control variables included the presence of the Cold War and existence of formal alliance with the United States, which account for the strategic dimension that might affect the financial transfer - level of democracy linkage. The model also includes an economic development variable (per capita Gross National Product) to account for the powerful impact for economic development on the level of democracy, as well as a control for each country's population size. By addressing and the inclusion of financial, economic, strategic, and population size effects, I consider whether change in these variables affect the level of democracy and in which direction. The dissertation tests this model by employing several techniques. The variables are subjected to bivariate and multivariate analysis including bivariate correlations, analysis of variance, and ordinary least square (OLS) multivariate regression with robust matrix and a lagged dependent variable. Panel corrected standard error (PCSE) was also employed to empirically test the pooled timeseries cross-sectional multivariate model. The dissertation analytical section concludes with path analysis testing which showed the impact of each of the independent variables on the dependent variable. The findings indicate less impact of international financial variables upon the level of democracy than hypothesized. ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Al-Momani, Mohammad H.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Respect for human rights and the rise of democratic policing in Turkey: Adoption and diffusion of the European Union acquis in the Turkish National Police.

Description: This study is an exploration of the European Union acquis adoption in the Turkish National Police. The research employed the Diffusion of Innovations, Democratic Policing, and historical background check theoretical frameworks to study the decision-making of the TNP regarding reforms after 2003 as a qualitative case study which triangulated the methodology with less-dominant survey and several other analyzing methods. The data were collected from several sources including semi-structured interviews, archival records, documentary evidences and the European Commission Regular Reports on Turkey. The research interest was about the decision mechanisms of the TNP towards reforms and the rise of democratic policing in Turkey. During the study, internationally recognized human rights standards were given attention. As the data suggested, the police forces are shaped according to their ruling governments and societies. It is impossible to find a totally democratic police in a violent society and a totally violent police in a democratic society. The study findings suggested that reforming police agencies should not be a significant problem for determined governments. Human rights violations should not be directly related with the police in any country. The data suggested that democratic policing applications find common application when the democracy gets powerful and police brutality increases when authoritarian governments stays in power. Democratic policing on the other hand is an excellent tool to improve notion of democracy and to provide legitimacy to governments. However, democratic policing is not a tool to bring the democracy, but a support mechanism for it.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Lofca, Izzet
Partner: UNT Libraries

Politics and the American clergy: Sincere shepherds or strategic saints?

Description: Scholars have evaluated the causes of clergy political preferences and behavior for decades. As with party ID in the study of mass behavior, personal ideological preferences have been the relevant clergy literature's dominant behavioral predictor. Yet to the extent that clergy operate in bounded and specialized institutions, it is possible that much of the clergy political puzzle can be more effectively solved by recognizing these elites as institutionally-situated actors, with their preferences and behaviors influenced by the institutional groups with which they interact. I argue that institutional reference groups help to determine clergy political preferences and behavior. Drawing on three theories derived from neo-institutionalism, I assess reference group influence on clergy in two mainline Protestant denominations-the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Episcopal Church, USA. In addition to their wider and more traditional socializing influence, reference groups in close proximity to clergy induce them to behave strategically-in ways that are contrary to their sincerely held political preferences. These proximate reference groups comprise mainly parishioners, suggesting that clergy political behavior, which is often believed to affect laity political engagement, may be predicated on clergy anticipation of potentially unfavorable reactions from their followers. The results show a set of political elites (the clergy) to be highly responsive to strategic pressure from below. This turns the traditional relationship between elites and masses on its head, and suggests that further examination of institutional reference group influence on clergy, and other political elites, is warranted.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Calfano, Brian Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries