Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Political Science Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 47

Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Why Does Variance Occur In The Composition Of The House Armed Services Committee Compared To Whole House?, Vincent Wroble Jan 2019

Why Does Variance Occur In The Composition Of The House Armed Services Committee Compared To Whole House?, Vincent Wroble

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Abstract: What factors cause legislators to be members of the House Armed Services Committee? This paper looks at factors that may impact membership on this committee. Factors examined include constituency characteristics as well as the legislators’ previous careers in the Armed Services. The results show that while constituency characteristics play the largest role in predicting membership on the House Armed Services Committee, veteran status, as well as differences in members’ military careers (including whether they served on active duty, and whether they served as an officer) were also significant in increasing the probability of membership. In addition, political party affiliation ...


Beyond “Good Behaviour”: A Plan To Restructure The Supreme Court Of The United States, Ross Mcnearney Jan 2019

Beyond “Good Behaviour”: A Plan To Restructure The Supreme Court Of The United States, Ross Mcnearney

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The Supreme Court of the United States truly decides what the law is. It is the final say in any legal battle, and as a result, it is in many ways more powerful than either the legislative or executive branches of the United States government. It performs an important check on both of those branches and serves a vital function in the democracy of the United States. But its current structure leaves something to be desired. There are too few justices, and life tenure is a mistake. Plus those justices represent a very geographically narrow selection of the country’s ...


The Power Of Renewable Energy: A Comprehensive Analysis Of Renewable Portfolio Standards And Their Strengths, Liam Kelly Jan 2019

The Power Of Renewable Energy: A Comprehensive Analysis Of Renewable Portfolio Standards And Their Strengths, Liam Kelly

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The 2018 IPCC report is a sobering reality that the anthropogenic climate change will have vast effects on our world, the science is clear that emissions emitted by humans are responsible for the current climate crisis. In order to mitigate further damage governments must create policy that addresses human emissions which are leading to climate change.

As the U.S. federal government moves away from climate mitigation policy, including abandoning the Paris Agreement, the role of state-level policy tools such as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) take on increasing importance. RPS are the regulations, which require utilities to increase the ...


Gilded Realities: The Political Art Of Framing Immigrants, Rachel Ensign Jan 2019

Gilded Realities: The Political Art Of Framing Immigrants, Rachel Ensign

Undergraduate Honors Theses

As immigration in the United States (U.S.) becomes an increasingly polarizing topic, questions concerning the legal status of immigrants are often reduced to black and white answers: they are either legal or illegal. Policymakers specifically position immigrants as deserving members of society or as unwelcomed foreigners for political profit (Tirman, 2015). This research posits that the identity of policymakers explains why some policymakers frame immigrants differently than other policymakers. Policymakers have role identities, their identity based on the positions they assume in society, and group identities, their identity based on their demographic characteristics. This research specifically analyzes the effect ...


The Role Of Public Opinion: Judicial Decision Making On Gay Rights Cases, Andrew Wise Jan 2019

The Role Of Public Opinion: Judicial Decision Making On Gay Rights Cases, Andrew Wise

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In the United States, public opinion on gay rights has not always been favorable to gay Americans. Recently, this trend has been challenged and public opinion in support of gay rights has been growing. There is reason to believe that both the legislative and executive branches of government have responded to this increase accordingly, but what about the judicial branch? In this paper, I look at how public opinion on gay rights, specifically gay marriage, affects how individual state supreme court justices vote on gay rights cases, between the years 1981 and 2004. Additionally, I examine how the method of ...


What Unites The States? Examining Modernity And American Nationhood Through The Eyes Of The European New Right, Sara Canetto Jan 2019

What Unites The States? Examining Modernity And American Nationhood Through The Eyes Of The European New Right, Sara Canetto

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This thesis uses the lens of the European New Right to analyze the development of American nationhood in the era of reinvigorated nationalism and identity politics. To do so, this project uses the 5 processes of modernity (individualization; rationalization; massification; desacralization; universalization) which the New Right describes as the systems that together threaten authentic community and meaning. By using the grounding texts of Against Democracy and Equality and Homo Americanus, this thesis analyzes the points of view of the New Right as well as their contribution to the appeal of nationalism and anti-liberalism.


Understanding The Factors That Lead States To Adopt Anti-Hazing Laws, Rebecca Tyus Jan 2019

Understanding The Factors That Lead States To Adopt Anti-Hazing Laws, Rebecca Tyus

Undergraduate Honors Theses

What may cause a state to adopt an anti-hazing law or have a tougher anti-hazing law than other states? This paper looks at what factors may cause a state to have a tougher anti-hazing law. Such factors that were examined were political culture, and the number of hazing-related deaths prior to the law being passed. The results show that the number of hazing-related deaths is significant in determining if a state has a tougher anti-hazing law. In addition, the interaction between moralistic culture and hazing-related deaths was statistically significant. Factors that may cause a university to have a tougher anti-hazing ...


Visceral, Teetering, And Imperfect - Three Generations Of Partisans; Three Generations Of Gay And Lesbian Americans, John Mcinerney Jan 2018

Visceral, Teetering, And Imperfect - Three Generations Of Partisans; Three Generations Of Gay And Lesbian Americans, John Mcinerney

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The two party system in United States politics belies the complexity and nuance of political identity. Understanding the partisan psychopolitical behavior of lesbian, gay, and bisexual U.S. citizens informs our collective understanding of the American political tradition. There is currently a scarcity of literature on the topic of LGB political partisanship. This thesis draws out the complex nature between human beings and their partisan behavior, or lack thereof. Data collected from 10 partisan LGB U.S. citizens in tandem with quantitative models drawn from General Social Survey variables suggest that an identity based model is the best predictor of ...


Representational Effects Of Campaign Spending In U.S. Congressional Primaries, Patrick Buhr Jan 2018

Representational Effects Of Campaign Spending In U.S. Congressional Primaries, Patrick Buhr

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The average member of Congress is increasingly wealthier than the average citizens they represent, despite evidence that voters disapprove of wealthy candidates. This paper advances a potential explanation: wealthy legislators have advantages during party primaries, thereby limiting the pool of viable candidates in a general election. By combining F.E.C. donor files from the 2006-2016 congressional elections with demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, I find that congressional candidates come overwhelmingly from a district's wealthiest neighborhoods. Wealthy candidates are successful in congressional primaries primarily because of their fundraising advantage--which is driven by donors from their same ...


Changing Confidence In The News Media: Political Polarization On The Rise, Robert Reedy Jan 2018

Changing Confidence In The News Media: Political Polarization On The Rise, Robert Reedy

Undergraduate Honors Theses

A large number of Americans no longer have confidence in the news medias ability to report the news accurately. With ongoing anti-media rhetoric and presence of "fake news" in the political climate, Americans remain divided on the topic of the media, and believe the news media is biased in their coverage of President Trump's administration. Historically, a free and open press is vital for healthy democracies around the world, and is well protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Negative views towards the press can have dire consequences with regards to the political scene. This research ...


Renegade Neoliberalism And Reactionary Politics: Donald Trump, Higher Education, And The Public Sphere, Emily Anderson Jan 2018

Renegade Neoliberalism And Reactionary Politics: Donald Trump, Higher Education, And The Public Sphere, Emily Anderson

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Neoliberalism is undoubtedly the hegemonic governing rationality of the early 21st century. However, despite its apparent infiltration into various spheres, such as education, scholars have often understood it as a monolithic phenomenon. Because of this, the rise of Donald Trump has been difficult to explain. While Trump certainly fits into the standard neoliberal definition in many regards, there are areas where his political ideology is less explicable–his positions on trade, and his authoritarianism, for example. This thesis argues that Trump represents a new trend in neoliberalism –renegade neoliberalism. Using higher education as a case study, it argues that renegade ...


Help Wanted? Examining Individual Support For Government Aid In Crises, Leigh Francia Jan 2018

Help Wanted? Examining Individual Support For Government Aid In Crises, Leigh Francia

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Faced with the current opioid crisis, United States citizens do not agree as to what kind of aid, if any, the federal government should offer to help solve this problem. Therefore, using the current drug crisis as a lens, this paper explores what causes variation in public support for government intervention in crises. I hypothesize that punitive attitudes, helping behavior, personal well-being, and general support for welfare are all significant factors. To test this, I employ logistic regression models using data from the 2016 General Social Survey. Then, I compare the findings from this quantitative analysis to a case study ...


Communists And Soldiers: Comparing Gendered Rhetoric In Different Crises, Helen Stritzel Jan 2018

Communists And Soldiers: Comparing Gendered Rhetoric In Different Crises, Helen Stritzel

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The post-World War II era ushered in the beginning of Cold War politics. In this shifting political landscape, the United States government had to face accusations that some State Department employees were disloyal, as well as confront a shortage of troops to fight in potential conflicts arising from the Cold War. In this paper, I classify the former as a bureaucratic conflict and the latter as a military crisis. There has been considerable research conducted on how gender is used as a tool by politicians, but in this paper, I examine the differences in how gender operates in a bureaucratic ...


Social Media And Political Participation, Isabelle Granger-Frye Jan 2018

Social Media And Political Participation, Isabelle Granger-Frye

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Social media use is becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States, and its uses are becoming more politicized. Since Barack Obama’s campaign for presidency in 2008 to the 2016 presidential election, the conversation around how social media is impacting our political environment has grown. Through this thesis, I examine how using social media politically affects the likelihood that someone will participate in politics. I look at four different acts of political participation: contacting a political official, donating to a political campaign, participating in a political activity like a rally, and voting. I also look at the timeline of Facebook ...


For Hate Or Money; Causes Of Support For President Trump And Conservatism, Geneiveve Schneider Jan 2018

For Hate Or Money; Causes Of Support For President Trump And Conservatism, Geneiveve Schneider

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In this paper I explore voter choice and what influences candidate support. Using the 2016 ANES pre- and post-election survey data I was able to examine the different social and economic variables that contributed to President Donald Trump’s election. The largest predictor of support for President Trump was having values associated with the alt-right movement; thus, sexism, racism, and nationalism were very influential in determining if a White individual would support then-candidate Trump. While current economic pessimism was also a contributing factor, it was the social issues of racism, nationalism, sexism, and anti-LGBTQ sentiment that influenced support the most ...


Hues And Cues Of Voting Behavior On Ballot Initiatives: Party Affiliation And Direct Democracy In Colorado, Gabrielle Vermeire Jan 2018

Hues And Cues Of Voting Behavior On Ballot Initiatives: Party Affiliation And Direct Democracy In Colorado, Gabrielle Vermeire

Undergraduate Honors Theses

How do voters behave when faced when faced with direct democracy measures? What informational cues do voters rely on when, unlike candidate races there is no explicit labeling of an “R” or a “D” on the ballot? I used election results from the 2014 midterm and 2016 presidential elections in Colorado to determine 1) if people do indeed vote on initiatives according to their political affiliation, 2) to what degree people vote in a partisan manner, and 3) what factors within and outside of an initiative impact the partisanship of their vote. I found that, to a high degree, a ...


Mean Tweets: An Analysis Of Average Negativity In The 2016 Us Presidential Campaign, Aaron Chesler Jan 2017

Mean Tweets: An Analysis Of Average Negativity In The 2016 Us Presidential Campaign, Aaron Chesler

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The 2016 US Presidential Election is not just notable for its result, but for the historic mediated setting that provided the backdrop. This was not the first election to see widespread adoption of social media as campaign tools, but 2016 arguably saw some of the highest attention paid to the activity of the candidates in this medium. This paper will explore how the major party candidates used the micro-blogging website, Twitter, and more precisely how campaign negativity was expressed by both the candidates and the rest of the tweeting population. Conducted from the 26th of September to the 9 ...


The Limits Of Cooperation: Social Conflict And The Collapse Of The Democratic Party-Organized Labor Alliance, Isaac Effner Jan 2017

The Limits Of Cooperation: Social Conflict And The Collapse Of The Democratic Party-Organized Labor Alliance, Isaac Effner

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The historic Democratic Party-organized labor alliance, created during the New Deal and strengthened during the postwar era, has become increasingly strained. Scholars of various disciplines have identified causal mechanisms for this decay, focusing on the role that the Party, neoliberal ideology and labor unions have played in facilitating this decline. Rather than select the most salient explanation or promote an alternative causal mechanism, I argue that these factors are all the result of an inevitable social conflict underlying the alliance. By synthesizing the different casual mechanisms, I illustrate how these factors reinforce each other and develop an understanding of the ...


Giving Up On The Supreme Court: The Role Of Political Grievance And Betrayal, Lauren Strauss Jan 2017

Giving Up On The Supreme Court: The Role Of Political Grievance And Betrayal, Lauren Strauss

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The Miller-Citrin debate, inspired by the widespread distrust of the U.S. government in the early 1970s, has tended to focus on whether trust has implications for alienation from the system or whether people simply distrust incumbents. My theory is that distrust alone is not a measure of alienation because this measure does not distinguish between people who have become alienated and those that are merely superficially distrustful. Using diffuse support for the U.S. Supreme Court as the dependent variable, I have used original data from Mechanical Turk to do a pilot study on the role of political betrayal ...


Estimating Education Quality Capitalization Using Time Series Modelling, Jared L. Wold Jan 2017

Estimating Education Quality Capitalization Using Time Series Modelling, Jared L. Wold

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This paper attempts to determine the degree to which variation in property values can be explained by variation of the quality of the public school district in which the property is located using time-conditional econometric modelling.


"Frack Off!" Strategic Framing In Colorado's Grassroots Challenge To Oil And Gas, Grant Stringer Jan 2017

"Frack Off!" Strategic Framing In Colorado's Grassroots Challenge To Oil And Gas, Grant Stringer

Undergraduate Honors Theses

With the arrival of the 2000s oil and gas boom in Colorado, a robust coalition of grassroots and professional organizations emerged as a challenge. However, this coalition is very diverse, and some fractures have emerged in the movement. This thesis studied the anti-fracking movement in Colorado through interviews with leaders (co-founders or committee members) of organizations that are involved in further regulating or banning oil and gas development in their communities. Specifically, I studied how this diverse group of organizations “frames,” or presents, the issue of fracking to the public, and what the role of geographic factors (political party affiliation ...


An Examination Of The Public's Perceptions Towards Transgender Populations, Free Roath Jan 2017

An Examination Of The Public's Perceptions Towards Transgender Populations, Free Roath

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Issues concerning transgender rights have become more salient in the present-day political atmosphere; this is largely due to well-publicized ordinances which restrict bathroom use per an individual’s assigned gender at birth. While transgender individuals make up a small minority of the population, their rights and treatment by society sit at the front of civil rights debates. In this study, I evaluate possible factors associated with the public’s support or opposition to the implementation of transgender rights policies. First, using original pre-election survey data collected from citizens in the state of Colorado, I examine how elements like party identification ...


Discrepancies In Voter Turnout: American Primary Election Types, Sophia E. Jean Jan 2017

Discrepancies In Voter Turnout: American Primary Election Types, Sophia E. Jean

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Voter turnout in the United States is low in comparison to other modern democracies. Turnout also varies significantly from state to state and from year to year. This study seeks to examine why these discrepancies in voter turnout exist on both the aggregate (state) and individual (voter) level. Many recent legislative attempts to reconcile low voter turnout have been unsuccessful. In learning why voter turnout is lower in some years and states compared to others, we might be able to implement relevant policies in order to increase turnout. In order to learn why voter turnout is low, I analyzed two ...


Manufacturing Discrimination: A Quantitative Analysis Of Felon Disenfranchisement Laws, Andrew Chiang Jan 2017

Manufacturing Discrimination: A Quantitative Analysis Of Felon Disenfranchisement Laws, Andrew Chiang

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Felon disenfranchisement laws pose a unique threat to the fundamental ideal of our democracy that every individual deserves equal representation in government. Drawing from the literature on felon disenfranchisement, these laws have racially discriminatory effects by disproportionately depriving black and other minority voters of their voting rights. This paper analyzes the claims made by the academic community through the use of statistical techniques to assess their overall effectiveness at predicting both patterns of felon disenfranchisement laws across states today and the changing strictness of felon disenfranchisement laws since the turn of the century. Ultimately, this paper finds the claims made ...


Before The Blacklist: How The New York Jazz Community Promoted Radical Politics As An Agent Of Social Change Leading Up To The Mccarthy Era, Brian Casey May 2016

Before The Blacklist: How The New York Jazz Community Promoted Radical Politics As An Agent Of Social Change Leading Up To The Mccarthy Era, Brian Casey

Thompson Jazz Studies Program Graduate Theses & Dissertations

As a musical form that is inextricably linked with the story of race in America, jazz has had a long-standing connection to American politics. While the most obvious period of these connections according to the common narrative of jazz history is the Civil Rights era, there are other periods in which jazz and politics have told an equally compelling story. Overlooked by many jazz historians, the important role of radical politics in the jazz of the 1930s and 1940s creates an impressive precursor to the jazz of the 1950s and 1960s in terms of activism, and should be considered a ...


War Weariness : Within The 21st Century & In The Global War On Terror, Kenny Van Nguyen Apr 2016

War Weariness : Within The 21st Century & In The Global War On Terror, Kenny Van Nguyen

Political Science Undergraduate Contributions

By the end of the 2010s, the United States of America had been in several military campaigns in the Global War on Terror. In the past, U.S. interventions often were swift and decisive campaigns and rarely lasted more than five years. This research paper’s main purpose is to publicize attitudes in relation to military and foreign policies within the 21st century. This was accomplished by analyzing two primary variables. This research paper looks into the correlation between military casualties in the War on Terror starting from 2004 to the present. The independent variables of this paper will be ...


Do Campaign Donors Influence Polarization? Evidence From Public Financing In The American States, Jeff Harden, Justin H. Kirkland Feb 2016

Do Campaign Donors Influence Polarization? Evidence From Public Financing In The American States, Jeff Harden, Justin H. Kirkland

Political Science Faculty Contributions

Does the source of campaign funds influence legislative polarization? We develop competing theoretical expectations regarding the effects of publicly-financed elections on legislative voting behavior. To test these expectations, we leverage a natural experiment in the New Jersey Assembly in which public financing was made available to a subset of members. We find that public financing exerts substantively negligible effects on roll call voting. We then find a similar result in an examination of state legislatures. We conclude that, counter to the logic of the U.S. Supreme Court, pundits, and reformers, the source of campaign funds exerts minimal influence on ...


Local Economies And National Politics: How Members Of Congress Respond To Economic Crisis, Adam Forrest Cayton Jan 2016

Local Economies And National Politics: How Members Of Congress Respond To Economic Crisis, Adam Forrest Cayton

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This dissertation examines the nature of dyadic representation in the House of Representatives during the contemporary era of elite polarization and nationalized political conflict. Members of the House are each accountable to a unique geographic constituency but face pressures from polarized national parties. How do lawmakers balance these competing pressures? I argue that members of Congress are responsive to the needs of their districts, but that the nature of the representational relationship depends on the characteristics of the district, level of intra-party consensus on the issue at hand, and the visibility of the behavior in question. I have compiled a ...


The Advantage Of Wealth: How Partisan Success Is Affected By Rising Income Inequality In The United States, Aaron Carpenter Jan 2016

The Advantage Of Wealth: How Partisan Success Is Affected By Rising Income Inequality In The United States, Aaron Carpenter

Undergraduate Honors Theses

After the end of the Second World War, the United States when through a period of great growth. As the economy grew, income inequality also grew within the country. Parallel to this, as income inequality increased, Republicans began to break the stronghold of Democratic congressional control. This begs the question, what happens to politics as income inequality increases in the United States? Can Republican success be explained by increased inequality? In order to answer this question, I theorize that income inequality increases the power of the Republican core support base, while it mitigates the power of the Democratic support base ...


Voter Identification Laws And Their Effects On Voter Turnout, Joseph Javier Mabrey Jan 2016

Voter Identification Laws And Their Effects On Voter Turnout, Joseph Javier Mabrey

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Voter identification (voter ID) requirements have become a salient political issue recently as more states have moved to implement increasingly strict voter ID requirements. I conjecture that, especially due to the politicized debate surrounding voter ID, conservatives rationally propose the laws to produce a negative effect on poor and minority turnout. I empirically evaluate these claims surrounding voter ID laws. Specifically, I examine the impact of voter ID laws on overall turnout and on racial and socioeconomic gaps in turnout. I find no results when examining the effect of voter ID on levels of turnout in states or their racial ...