Search Results

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

Rubber Stamps and Litmus Tests: The President, the Senate, and Judicial Voting Behavior in Abortion Cases in the U.S. Federal District Courts

Description: This thesis focuses on how well indicators of judicial ideology and institutional constraints predict whether a judge will vote to increase abortion access. I develop a model that evaluates a judge's decision in an abortion case in light of ideological factors measured at the time of a judge's nomination to the bench and legal and institutional constraints at the time a judge decides a case. I analyze abortion cases from all of the U.S. Federal District Courts from 1973-2004. Unlike previous studies, which demonstrate that the president and the home state senators are the best predictors of judicial ideology, I find that the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time of the judge's nomination is the only statistically significant ideological indicator. Also, contrary to conventional wisdom, Supreme Court precedent (a legal constraint) is also a significant predictor of judicial voting behavior in abortion cases.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Craig, McKinzie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Saying Sorry: Conflict Atrocity and Political Apology

Description: This study proposes and tests a comprehensive theory detailing the motivations behind political apologies. A brief survey of the literature shows a field rich in case studies but lacking in rigorous scientific analysis. The theory presented proposes a three-level examination of political apology at the state, dyadic, and system levels and incorporates the effects of culture, conflict, and the nature of the international system into analysis. This study makes use of a new dataset recording the occurrence of political apologies for interstate conflict atrocities from 1900 to 2006. The results suggest that the existing literature, while rich, does not account for all the motivating factors behind apology. The results also confirm that political apology is a creation of the modern era and a result of the liberalization of the international system. In conclusion, paths for future research are suggested and the advent of a global "age of apology" is confirmed.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Chalkley, Marie Leone
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

Wealth and Regime Formation: Social and Economic Origins of the Change Toward Democracy

Description: This study explores the relationship between economic development, social mobility, elites, and regime formation. I argue that the genesis of regime formation, in general, and of democratic regimes, in particular, is determined by the type of economic structure a society possesses, on the one hand, and on the degree the to which demands from disfranchised groups do or do not pose a substantial threat to the interests of elites who occupy the upper strata of the social and economic status hierarchy. Second I demonstrate that the dynamics of transition to wider political participation, as the core element of a democratic system of governance, and the survival of such change are different. In what follows I illustrate that some factors that have been found to dampen the chances for wider participation or have been found to be unrelated to onset of a democratic system of governance have considerable impacts on the durability of the democratic regimes. In a nutshell, the analysis points to the positive effects of mineral wealth and income inequality on the prospects of a democratic survival. Using a cross-national time series data set for all countries for the period between 1960 and 1999 I put the hypotheses to the test. I use binary logit, ordered logit, and ordinary least squares (OLS) to delineate the link between socioeconomic changes and the transition to wider participation. Survival analyses are employed to test for what factors account for the durability of a democratic regime.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Gurses, Mehmet
Partner: UNT Libraries

Solicitor Success: The Continuing Exploration of the Determinants of Governmental Success at the Supreme Court, 1986-2005

Description: Studies of the Supreme Court consistently show that the Office of the Solicitor General enjoys remarkable success before the Supreme Court, both at the certiorari stage and at the merits stage. These studies offer a variety of explanations for Solicitor General success, but fail to portray accurately the Office of the Solicitor General and to account for variations in governmental success. This paper seeks to continue the exploration of governmental success. By looking at the Office of the Solicitor General as a series of individuals with distinct characteristics rather than as a single entity, and by accounting for various situational dynamics, I attempt to explain the variations in executive success.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Grubbs, Kevin
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Commander's Sword & the Executive's Pen: Presidential Success in Congress and the Use of Force.

Description: Post-force congressional rally effects are presented as a new incentive behind presidential decisions to use diversionary behavior. Using all key roll call votes in the House and Senate where the president has taken a position for the years 1948 to 1993, presidents are found to receive sharp decreases in both presidential support and success in Congress shortly after employing aggressive policies abroad. Evidence does suggest that presidents are able to capitalize on higher levels of congressional support for their policy preferences on votes pertaining to foreign or defense matters after uses of force abroad. But, despite these findings, diversionary behavior is found to hinder rather than facilitate troubled presidents' abilities to influence congressional voting behavior.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Ragland, James Deen
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Blessed and the Damned: Peacemakers, Warlords, and Post Civil War Democracy

Description: This thesis seeks to explain how democracies emerge out of the ashes of civil wars. This paper envisions transitions to democracy after a civil war largely as a function of the peace process. Democracy is thought of as a medium through which solutions to the problems and issues over which the civil war was fought can be solved without violence. Transitions to democracy are more likely if there is a large bargaining space and the problems of credible commitments to democratization can be solved. Democratization is more likely if four conditions exist in a state after the civil war: a negotiated settlement, credible commitments via international enforcement, demobilization, and a cooperative international environment. The hypotheses derived are tested through an event history analysis for two different standards of democracy. The results suggest that factors indicative of all four theoretical concepts contribute to the likelihood of democratization after a civil war.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Wright, Thorin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Europeanization and the Rise of Extremist Parties

Description: The research question addressed by this study is: what is the relationship between Europeanization and the rise of extremist parties? In particular I examine the impact of Europeanization on the rise of extreme right parties in Europe from 1984 to 2006. Europeanization in this paper is defined as a process whereby the transformation of governance at the European level and European integration as a whole has caused distinctive changes in domestic politics. This process of Europeanization is one part of a structure of opportunities for extremist parties (which also include social, economic, and electoral factors). Although this study finds that Europeanization does not have a statistically significant effect it is still an important factor when examining domestic political phenomenon in Europe.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Dague, Jennifer Lee
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

Electoral System Effects On Anti-muslim Sentiments In Western Europe

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to answer the question, why is there a variation in anti-Muslim sentiments across Western Europe? There is existing literature on individual and country-level variable s to explain why prejudice exists, but this research examines the impact of political institutions on anti-Muslim sentiments. Based on new institutionalism theory, electoral systems can shape public attitudes by providing far-right parties a platform to put their concerns on the agenda, and these parties promote anti-Muslim popular sentiments. The results of this analysis support this argument in that the larger the average district magnitude in a country, the greater the anti-Muslim sentiments. The findings also show that an increase in far-right party vote-share also covaries with an increase in anti-Muslim sentiments.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Saleemi, Asmara
Partner: UNT Libraries

When Race Matters: The Influence of Race on Case Clearances in Capital vs. Non-Capital Homicides in Texas

Description: Texas leads the nation in the number of executions carried out since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. Race was a key factor in the 1972 moratorium, and though the Supreme Court allowed for its return under new statutes, race continues to plague the capital punishment legal system. In this study, I examine the influence of race on case clearances in capital and non-capital homicides in Texas, using the extra-legal and non-discretionary theories from existing clearance literature. I find that race influences the probability of cases being cleared in non-capital cases but has no statistically significant effect in clearing capital cases.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Samaniego, Rebekah
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

Knowing What is Useful: Rousseau's Education Concerning Being, Science, and Happiness

Description: Is there a relationship between science and happiness and, if so, what is it? Clearly, since the Enlightenment, science has increased life expectancy and bodily comfort. Is this happiness, or do humans long for something more? To examine these questions, I investigate the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Specifically, I focus on the Discourses and the Emile, as he states in the Confessions that these works form a whole statement concerning the natural goodness of man. I agree with the literature that finds happiness, for Rousseau, is a sentiment one experiences when their faculties correspond to their desires, as this produces wholeness. In this dissertation, I find a form of modern science is necessary for humans to experience higher forms of happiness. This form of science is rooted in utility of the individual. To fully explain this finding, I begin with Rousseau's concept of being. By nature, our being experiences a low form of wholeness. I show Rousseau's investigation of being exposes a catch-22 situation for developing it to experience higher forms of wholeness. While freedom allows us to develop reason and judgment, we need reason and judgment to properly direct our freedom to perfect our individual being. I then show how three different types of tutors and educators, which include a scientific education, are directed by the single goal of maintaining wholeness in Emile's being so he can achieve the happiness of romantic love. Finally, I find that Emile's scientific education is an elaboration of the First Discourse and that his relationship with science, even from birth, plays a critical role for achieving romantic love in the future.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Gross, Benjamin Isaak
Partner: UNT Libraries

Territorial Issue Salience: Escalation, Resources, and Ethnicity

Description: Conflict over territory is a major concern to scholars and policymakers, and much of conflict over territory is driven by the issues that make territory more or less attractive, or salient, to states. I examine the impact that tangible and intangible issue salience has on territorial claims, and in particular, how it drives both conflict and conflict escalation. I argue that intangible issues, such as ethnic or religious kin, plays a greater role in driving more severe forms of armed conflict and conflict escalation, compared to tangible factors such as natural resources. This is theorized to be due to the difficulty in dividing territory with intangible elements, as well as domestic political pressure driving leaders to escalate. These suppositions are supported, with the finding that identity plays a particularly crucial and unique role in driving states to more severe forms of armed conflict. Further, I examine how natural resources may be viewed by states by their type and form of utilization, with certain resources likely to be more valuable or strategic to states based on their rarity, concentration, or ease of substitution, based in part on a state's level of development. The results support a fairly uniform role of natural resources, with particular resources and combinations of resources serving to drive low level conflict, but with generally little impact on severe forms of armed conflict. Development also is found to play a role, driving poorer states to dispute natural resources of certain types. Lastly, I return to the topic of conflict over territory with an ethnic dimension by examining the role of issue indivisibility in the negotiations process, and find that negotiated settlements are harder to reach, and states more likely to favor unilateral action when disputing territory with an ethnic or religious component compared to other types of issues …
Date: August 2017
Creator: Macaulay, Christopher Cody
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

The King Arrives: Chinese Government Inspections and Their Effects

Description: This dissertation studies a critical facet of Chinese politics, inspections by higher Chinese government to villages. Principally, it looks at how village economic development determines government inspection decisions and how inspections, once conducted, impact village politics. Specifically, I argue that villages perceived as destabilizing to the Chinese regime, villages with higher levels of economic inequality and villages located at the two extremes of economic development, should see more inspections. In addition, I argue that inspections, in return, drive village politics: they increase village leaders' governing efficacy and raise villagers' political awareness. This theory has received strong support from both field work and quantitative empirical tests using the Chinese Household Income Project (2002) dataset.
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Date: August 2017
Creator: Xi, Jinrui
Partner: UNT Libraries

Who Benefits? The Effects of Foreign Aid and Foreign Direct Investment on Human Rights

Description: The global emphasis on human rights has generated a surge of studies into what causes regimes to abuse the basic rights of their citizens. Causes of abuse can be internal or external in nature, based on economics, politics or cultures. This study examines the effects of foreign aid and foreign direct investment on three types of human rights: personal integrity, civil and political, and subsistence. I perform ordinary least squares regression analyses with panel-corrected standard errors on a pooled cross-sectional time series design incorporating 127 countries from 1976 to 1996. While my results are not significant, it is important to observe that there is a tendency toward negative relationships for the majority of the analyses.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Moses, Misty
Partner: UNT Libraries

External Inputs and North Korea's Confrontation Policy: A Case Study of Linkage Politics

Description: In an inquiry into national behavior, students of international relations treat national data as independent variables. Students of comparative politics treat them as dependent variables in an attempt to compute foreign policy outputs. There is reason to believe that international and comparative studies can be incorporated into a system of linkage politics. This study employs the framework of "linkage politics" of James N. Rosenau in an attempt to investigate the North Korean confrontation policy from 1953 to 1970. The basic assumption upon which this research operates is that the foreign policy of the North Korea has been a function of "fused linkages" between the nation's international environment and national conditions. "Fused linkage" is defined as a phenomenon by which certain national outputs and environmental inputs reciprocate in a continuous cycle. Thus the fused linkage case for North Korea's confrontation is defined as "circular confrontation." Based on Rosenau's proposed linkage framework, this study presents its own analytical framework. The major linkage groups are conceived of "exogenous" and "endogenous" conditions. Both of these conditions are divided into "constants" and "variables" and are treated as such. Each of these conditions was in turn analyzed with reference to relevant referents. Throughout the study particular attention is given to linkage processes between the two conditions.
Date: May 1973
Creator: Kim, Yu-Nam, 1939-
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

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

Thailand's Foreign Relations in Perspective

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to study Thailand's foreign relations. The specific argument will be that, to a large extent, Thailand was able to keep her independence because of her rulers' ability to adapt the country's policy to the changing circumstances in foreign affairs. Therefore, it was imperative for policymakers to look at the threats to the country's security from the local point of view and to develop appropriate policies for dealing with them accordingly. The thesis is organized into six chapters. After the introductory chapter, the second and third chapters examine the historical development and the general features of the foreign relations of Thailand, respectively. Chapter Four deals with the change in the direction of foreign policy after the Second World War. In contrast to the traditional foreign policy, the government under military dictatorship gradually moved in the direction of the Western, especially American, position. The positive and negative consequences of the pro-American policy are treated in Chapter Five, It is pointed out that this policy contributed to the sharp increase in activity of Communist insurgents in various parts of the country. By comparing the post-war foreign policy with the traditional policy prior to that time, a conclusion can be drawn that Thailand is better off with her traditional method in dealing with foreign powers, That is, under normal circumstances she should maintain friendly relations with other countries but should not become too closely involved and identified with any foreign power in particular.
Date: August 1976
Creator: Surapong Burusphat
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of U.S. Arms Transfer Policies on Relations with Peru, 1945-1978

Description: This paper examines United States arms transfer policies as they have been applied to Peru since the end of World War II and analyzes the role of these policies in achieving the goals of the United States as delineated by Luigi Einaudi et al. in their Arms Transfers to Latin America: Toward a Policy of Mutual Respect. The paper traces the course of recent U.S.-Peruvian relations, with special emphasis on Peru's arms acquisitions since 1968. The author concludes that, while U.S. arms transfer policies have undoubtedly strained U.S.-Peruvian relations over the past decade, the refusal of the U.S. to provide advanced weapons to Peru will prove to be in the best interests of the United States in the long run.
Date: August 1979
Creator: Davison, J. Les
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of Thailand's Relations with the United States and China, 1965-1975

Description: This thesis compares Thailand',s relations with the United States and China from 196541975, The realist as-sumes that the structure of power in the internationall system determines overall relations between states' First, this study describes the power situation in southeast Asia in 1965, The next steps are concerned with the study of Thai-U, S. relations and Thai-Chinese relations, The thesis finds that Thailand's relations with the United States and China are determined by the structure of power. When a major power like the United States changes its policies to accommodate China, Thailand, which is a small country, turns to be more friendly with China, These attitudes correlate with the realist assumption,.
Date: August 1978
Creator: Charoenratha, Benjavan
Partner: UNT Libraries
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