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University of Colorado, Boulder

2015

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Articles 1 - 30 of 34

Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Persistent Policy Pathways: Inferring Diffusion Networks In The American States, Bruce A. Desmarais, Jeff Harden, Frederick J. Boehmke May 2015

Persistent Policy Pathways: Inferring Diffusion Networks In The American States, Bruce A. Desmarais, Jeff Harden, Frederick J. Boehmke

Political Science Faculty Contributions

The transmission of ideas, information, and resources forms the core of many issues studied in political science, including collective action, cooperation, and development. While these processes imply dynamic connections among political actors, researchers often cannot observe such interdependence. One example is public policy diffusion, which has long been a focus of multiple subfields. In the American state politics context, diffusion is commonly conceptualized as a dyadic process whereby states adopt policies (in part) because other states have adopted them. This implies a policy diffusion network connecting the states. Using a dataset of 187 policies, we introduce and apply an algorithm ...


International Institutions And Domestic Commitments In Non-Democratic Regimes, Jia Chen Jan 2015

International Institutions And Domestic Commitments In Non-Democratic Regimes, Jia Chen

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Conventional wisdom holds that countries ruled by non-democratic regimes are less likely to join international organizations. But scholars have been unable to explain why some of the non-democratic states are involved in international institutions more than others. This dissertation furthers a theoretical explanation for the variation in non-democratic regimes' international cooperation behavior and presents quantitative evidences that support it. I argue that non-democratic regimes will participate more in international cooperation when the domestic political economic structure allows the autocrat to use international institutions to secure their political tenure at home. The biggest threat to the political survival of autocrats stems ...


Networks And Legislative Politics In Brazil: Exploring The Causes And Consequences Of Political Networks For Parties And Legislators, Stefan J. Wojcik Jan 2015

Networks And Legislative Politics In Brazil: Exploring The Causes And Consequences Of Political Networks For Parties And Legislators, Stefan J. Wojcik

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Do political and legislative ties matter as much as conventional partisan or institutional factors for parties, candidates, and legislative voting? Scholars frequently think of parties as more or less discrete, stable political entities which form and compete in elections. Similarly, when they talk about influence between legislators, they tend to talk about institutional sources of influence - such as leadership influence, constituent influence, or party influence; but scholars often ignore social sources of influence - influence due to actors' embeddedness in social networks. In this dissertation, I develop theories of legislative network formation and legislative influence; and leverage network-analytic techniques to empirically ...


Trauma, Exile, And Identity: A Study Of Iranian Baha'i Refugee Experience In The United States, Naghme Naseri Morlock Jan 2015

Trauma, Exile, And Identity: A Study Of Iranian Baha'i Refugee Experience In The United States, Naghme Naseri Morlock

Sociology Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This dissertation research is the primary sociological study of Iranian Baha’í refugees in the United States and lies at the intersection of trauma, immigration, religion, and gender. Using data from fifty in-depth qualitative interviews with first generation Iranian Baha’ís in the United States, I investigate how members of this religious minority community experience, respond to, and cope with the trauma of persecution, the experience of exile and the challenge of religious preservation in the aftermath of mass trauma. More specifically, using feminist methodologies, I analyze the Iranian Baha’ís’ experiences of persecution in Iran and their responses to ...


Lines In The Water: Why Do Some Maritime Disputes Linger While Others Get Resolved?, Benjamin Swift Purser Iii Jan 2015

Lines In The Water: Why Do Some Maritime Disputes Linger While Others Get Resolved?, Benjamin Swift Purser Iii

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

To explore potential policy opportunities for managing the disputes of the South China Sea and the Arctic, this multi-method research combines quantitative and qualitative analysis of the population of all modern maritime disputes (since 1900). This inquiry engages multivariate analysis of a unique data set and comparative case studies in order to examine how different factors (of both the disputed areas and the claimant nation-states) can explain dispute duration, escalation, and resolution. While extant literature treats maritime disputes as the unexplained error term of territorial conflict, this project argues that there are three distinct types of maritime disputes and that ...


Taking The Lead: Congressional Staffers And Their Role In The Policy Process, Sara Lynn Hagedorn Jan 2015

Taking The Lead: Congressional Staffers And Their Role In The Policy Process, Sara Lynn Hagedorn

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

The world of congressional staff is largely an unseen one, both in the media and within political science. Little scholarship exists on their role in Congress, with nearly none on their role in the policy process and agenda setting. Most of the research on Congressional agenda setting and policy development ignores the role staff play in the process, assuming members do all of the work themselves and staff handle menial tasks. This dissertation looks at the role Congressional staff play in the agenda setting process in Congress. Using the data acquired from an original survey of over 500 current and ...


Explaining A New Foreign Aid Recipient: The European Union's Provision Of Foreign Aid To Regional Trade Agreements, 1995-2013, Brandy J. Jolliff Jan 2015

Explaining A New Foreign Aid Recipient: The European Union's Provision Of Foreign Aid To Regional Trade Agreements, 1995-2013, Brandy J. Jolliff

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

What explains the emergence of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) as recipients of foreign aid? I argue that foreign aid provision to IGOs is a significant development in the foreign policy of the European Union and explain this phenomenon by modifying the traditional donor interest versus recipient need framework for understanding aid allocations, where aid giving to IGOs, rather than states, is a new tool of aid allocation for the purpose of recipient need rather than the pursuit of donor interests. Using original data on European Commission foreign aid allocations to PTAs from 1995-2013, I test the argument that EU aid allocations ...


Scientific Authority: An Epistemic Proceduralist Framework For The Legitimate Authority Of Science In Environmental Policy, Matthew Evan Heller Jan 2015

Scientific Authority: An Epistemic Proceduralist Framework For The Legitimate Authority Of Science In Environmental Policy, Matthew Evan Heller

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

The formation and implementation of effective environmental policies by Western liberal democracies are frequently hindered by disagreement over the appropriate role of scientific knowledge. In my dissertation, I argue this obstruction is resolved by recognizing the legitimate authority of science in environmental policy-making. Drawing on David Estlund’s epistemic proceduralist theory of democracy, I demonstrate the compatibility of the authority of scientific knowledge claims about the cause and effect relationships of the biophysical world in environmental policy-making with our normative expectations for the justifications of democratic governance. After defending this approach to understanding the science-policy interface, I demonstrate the feasibility ...


Potential Fighting Capability And State Concessions: A Study Of Violent Rebellion And Nonviolent Resistance, Christopher Joseph Cyr Jan 2015

Potential Fighting Capability And State Concessions: A Study Of Violent Rebellion And Nonviolent Resistance, Christopher Joseph Cyr

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This dissertation examines the reasons that some non-state actors choose to engage in nonviolent resistance while others, with similar goals, engage in violent rebellion. I then look why, among groups that do use violence, some see longer and more intense conflicts than others. I argue that the variance in the potential that these groups have to grow in strength during the process of fighting has an impact on all three of these variables, with groups that have less potential being more likely to use violence, and fighting longer and more intense conflicts. I test my hypotheses quantitatively with several indicators ...


Drinking Water Provision In Rural China, Elise Pizzi Jan 2015

Drinking Water Provision In Rural China, Elise Pizzi

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Why do governments succeed in delivering services to some communities but not to others? To assess the factors that explain cross-community variation in public goods provision, I examine government spending on water infrastructure and drinking water outcomes in China. I find that connections from villagers to individuals and officials outside the village affect drinking water provision. Despite the lack of elections and associated need to cater to voter demands, the Chinese government spends more on water provision to the politically dominant ethnic group. I find that the dominant group is favored because officials rely on network connections for policy implementation ...


History And Politics In The Work Of Jacques Derrida, Oriel Eisner Jan 2015

History And Politics In The Work Of Jacques Derrida, Oriel Eisner

Comparative Literature Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This thesis will address three of Jacques Derrida's later works, which are also some of his more explicitly political texts, in order to delineate what type of political thought or engagement Derrida's work both takes on, and promotes. The three texts are: "Force of Law", Specters of Marx, and Rogues: Two Essays on Reason. Discussions of history are significant in all three of these works and foreground the politics Derrida is concerned with. Derrida's discussion of history seeks to respond to a dominant/traditional understanding of history as teleological or linear. This understanding of history also determines ...


How Energy Industry Special Interests Affect Renewable Portfolio Standard Adoption Rates: An Empirical Study, Ryan Langhorst Jan 2015

How Energy Industry Special Interests Affect Renewable Portfolio Standard Adoption Rates: An Empirical Study, Ryan Langhorst

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This study explores how special interest spending from the oil and gas industry affects the adoption of Renewable Portfolio Standards. These energy policies have been adopted in 29 states across the US, making them a popular policy choice for promoting renewable energy development. I created a hazard model including both spending variables as well as political and energy potential variables to see if oil and gas industry spending would influence the adoption of these renewable portfolio standards between 1998 and 2010. The model showed no effect on adoption rates due to oil and gas industry spending, but rather significant effects ...


Differentiated College-Prep Course Access: An Analysis Of Colorado Public Schools, Alexandra Wolk Jan 2015

Differentiated College-Prep Course Access: An Analysis Of Colorado Public Schools, Alexandra Wolk

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This thesis makes the case that the United States has an education system that provides different access to different kinds of students. More specifically, this paper questions whether or not students have differentiated access to classes that would realistically prepare them for and help them get accepted to college. The question this thesis attempts to answer is: Are schools systematically shunting low socio-economic status students into non-college tracks compared to students with higher socio-economic statuses? Through original data collection and data obtained from a case study it is clear that there is an achievement gap between low income and high-income ...


Berlin Re-Visited: Nikita Khrushchev's Influence In The American Pressroom, Daniel Naftel Jan 2015

Berlin Re-Visited: Nikita Khrushchev's Influence In The American Pressroom, Daniel Naftel

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Existing research suggests that in most cases, foreign elites hold influence over the domestic media coverage of international crises only when they are considered to be hostile. This is unsurprising, as it is often their hostile rhetoric that drives the events of the crisis. Thus far, however, there has been no distinction made between the various types of rhetoric these hostile leaders engage in, or how different categories of statements might have different degrees of influence on domestic media coverage. For example, might these foreign leaders’ more benign public utterances, that do not change the status quo of a crisis ...


The Role Of Civil Society In The Tunisian Democratic Transition, Veronica Baker Jan 2015

The Role Of Civil Society In The Tunisian Democratic Transition, Veronica Baker

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This paper explores the effects of civil society’s involvement in the Tunisian democratic transition through a case study on its contributions to the constitution drafting process. Tunisia gained widespread international attention following its popular uprising against authoritarian leader Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and successful transition to democracy. Many, however, have dismissed Tunisia’s triumph as a lucky break aided by the country’s small size, religious and ethnic homogeneity, pre-existing liberal social values, and “relatively moderate” Islamist party. Those focused on such “Tunisian exceptionalism” conclude that the country’s transition has little to teach other countries in political flux ...


"Pure As The Driven Snow": Oligopolies Of Coercion And The Colombian Cocaine Industry, Alexandra Lawrence Jan 2015

"Pure As The Driven Snow": Oligopolies Of Coercion And The Colombian Cocaine Industry, Alexandra Lawrence

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This thesis is examining the question: What factors play a decisive roll in the existence of the Colombian cocaine trade, and more importantly, what is the relationship between Colombian cocaine production and the nation’s systemic violence? Undemocratic political centralization and weak state capacity led to the creation of a legitimacy gap, which has been attributed to the emergence of the cocaine industry and Colombia’s civil violence. However, the relationship between cocaine production and that violence has been unclear. I propose that this relationship is economic in nature. The illegal nature of the good means that cocaine markets must ...


The Impacts And Implications Of Whale Shark Ecotourism: A Case Study Of Three Ecotourism Sites, Laura B. Korman Jan 2015

The Impacts And Implications Of Whale Shark Ecotourism: A Case Study Of Three Ecotourism Sites, Laura B. Korman

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The biggest fish in the sea the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, still remains one of the biggest mysteries. This species named the whale shark, after it’s size, is one of the most charismatic shark species in the world. This colossal, yet harmless shark surfaces in certain areas across the globe. The sites where these sharks surface and aggregate are transforming into ecotourism hotspots. Globally, these ecotourism sites are valued at US$ 66 million (Higman, Luck, & CABI, 2008). However, a growing problem with these sites is the absence of positive management strategies that protect the sharks, and allow humans to ...


Bipartisan Cosponsorship And District Partisanship: How Members Of Congress Respond To Changing Constituencies, Wilson Scarbeary Jan 2015

Bipartisan Cosponsorship And District Partisanship: How Members Of Congress Respond To Changing Constituencies, Wilson Scarbeary

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Previous research in this area has focused on how MCs specifically change their voting behavior to respond to constituents. For this paper, I chose to focus specifically on MCs who were particularly vulnerable to changes in their district. These MCs serve in politically volatile districts that are close to, or already have flipped to supporting the opposing party. While changes in voting behavior can help explain how some MCs are able to hold despite changes in their districts, this is only part of the picture. Another equally important way that MCs can adapt to changing districts is by changing their ...


American Jewish Republicans: What We (Still) Don't Know, Ezra Sackett Jan 2015

American Jewish Republicans: What We (Still) Don't Know, Ezra Sackett

Undergraduate Honors Theses

What causes American Jewish conservatism and why, like Jewish liberalism, has it remained relatively unchanged for so many years? This study approaches the question by assuming that the relationship between Orthodox Jews and Republican identity is more complex than a matter of religiosity. The theory of this paper supports the idea that the religious makeup of close social structures will be indicative of which political party American Jews identify with. Using data from a comprehensive survey of American Jewish life recorded in 2013, this study examines the closest social relationships of American Jews; specifically looking at close friends, spouses, and ...


The Death Of Superman: Superheroes In Contemporary Hollywood, Corey Shaw Jan 2015

The Death Of Superman: Superheroes In Contemporary Hollywood, Corey Shaw

Undergraduate Honors Theses

For my undergraduate honors thesis, I propose a study on the evolution of Superman and Batman as superheroes in America over the course of the past century, ultimately leading to the creation of the comic book movie genre in contemporary cinema. The study will be done using the close analysis of two films, with each film viewed through the historical (social, political, religious) lens of the period it was made. The two films are as Superman (1978, Dir. Richard Donner) and Batman (1989, Dir. Tim Burton).

Comic books, per the decade they are made, can offer a fantastic metaphor for ...


Institutional And Personal Homophobia In Sub-Saharan Africa: A Post-Materialist Explanation, Andrew Ormsby Jan 2015

Institutional And Personal Homophobia In Sub-Saharan Africa: A Post-Materialist Explanation, Andrew Ormsby

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Sub-Saharan Africa is currently the most homophobic place in the world in terms of both state institutions and public opinions. Many scholars have blamed this on the former colonial powers of Africa who imposed homophobic policies on their landholdings. In order to explain variations in African homophobia, this study conceptualizes homophobia in two forms: institutional, using a measure of the homophobic actions of African states, and personal, using a composite score of multiple opinion surveys regarding homosexuality. Using linear regression models, this paper contends that Inglehhart’s post-materialist framework does a much better job of explaining variation in homophobia within ...


Sex Is The Warmest Color: Intimate Relations Of Power And Truth In England And Thailand, Maria Valershteyn Jan 2015

Sex Is The Warmest Color: Intimate Relations Of Power And Truth In England And Thailand, Maria Valershteyn

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Substitutive sexuality….the infinite cannot be made into matter, but it is possible to create an illusion of the infinite: the image…and skin, a mass of scars, a skeleton’s robe…but they certainly are truth.

Andrei Tarkovsky, ‘The Sacrifice’

This honors thesis outlines the importance of sexuality and its connotations in the political as well as social sphere of society. The purpose of this work is to illustrate the underlining reasoning within people and states using a sexual discourse. By applying Michel Foucault’s theory of sexuality and relations of power, a description of a society’s system ...


Polisee, Polido? Examining The Inter-Municipal Communication Of Climate Action Policy And Strategy, Emily Raquel Sandoval Jan 2015

Polisee, Polido? Examining The Inter-Municipal Communication Of Climate Action Policy And Strategy, Emily Raquel Sandoval

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This undergraduate thesis provides an examination of inter-city communication regarding climate change policy in the United States. It examines some of the existing literature regarding municipal climate action, policy dissemination, and existing formal communication networks for cities. Through the results of a 20-question survey sent to municipal employees specializing in climate action policy design and implementation, this thesis analyzes whether communication exists between cities and if so, how such communication relates to other city characteristics. The thesis finds that cities are in general communicating directly with and researching the policies of their peers using a variety of media and methods ...


The Roots Of Salafist Terror: An Analysis Of The Growth Of Violence In The Middle East From 1991-2010, Tyler D. Abboud Jan 2015

The Roots Of Salafist Terror: An Analysis Of The Growth Of Violence In The Middle East From 1991-2010, Tyler D. Abboud

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Though originally ascertaining that both blowback and interest sharing were the primary causal factors giving rise to Salafist terrorism from 1991-2010, the project found evidence supporting the idea that the two concepts are related instead. Blowback, specifically from “direct interventions,” increases interest sharing by providing Salafist terrorist groups with the means to expand their objectives to make their fight seem like that of ordinary citizens thereby swelling their numbers. It can also lead to the unification of various groups who previously may have had no common goals. In turn these intertwining phenomenon lead to more attacks and damage done by ...


The Positive Effects Of Aid On Health Development Outcomes, Bensley Pearson Jan 2015

The Positive Effects Of Aid On Health Development Outcomes, Bensley Pearson

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This study uses a combination of foreign aid data and development proxies to assess the value of health related foreign aid and the achievements of the global community during times of increased aid focus. It uses regression models to present a statistically significant relationship between aid and health outcomes, and then utilizes three case studies comparing similar countries in order to reinforce the argument, and account for any inconsistencies within the models. Both the models and the case studies support aid as an asset in the health development of a state, and the implication is that, if this is indeed ...


Selectivity Of Television Media: The Effects Of Quasi-Social Networks On Voter Participation, Mykala Keuter Jan 2015

Selectivity Of Television Media: The Effects Of Quasi-Social Networks On Voter Participation, Mykala Keuter

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Television has changed the way average citizens receive information. It has made expressing opinions to a mass amount of people very quickly a possibility. Conventional wisdom suggests that most forms of television depress political participation. However, as the forms of media change and the types of shows change to function more as a social network than simply entertainment, then perhaps television has the capacity to persuade people and to make them more likely to participate. This can potentially change the way in which election seasons function and political parties spend their funds. The only way to get at this is ...


Colorado Farmer's Influence On Flexible Water Policy Decisions: A Uniform Political Bloc?, Tyreen L. Livingston Jan 2015

Colorado Farmer's Influence On Flexible Water Policy Decisions: A Uniform Political Bloc?, Tyreen L. Livingston

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Water in the western United States is a controversial topic because of the decreased supplies due to urban and population growth, climatic changes such as drought, and continued disagreements about how existing water supplies should be allocated. The agricultural community in Colorado uses approximately 85% of the existing water supplies and a majority of Colorado’s water is located on the Western Slope. The Eastern Plains and Front Range areas are projected to see the majority of the population and development growth over the next thirty years and water supplies will continue to dwindle as more users demand more water ...


Achieving Universal Access To Water And Sanitation Services: The Role Of Political Will In Implementation Practices, A Study Of Pakistan And India, Sarah Landreth Jan 2015

Achieving Universal Access To Water And Sanitation Services: The Role Of Political Will In Implementation Practices, A Study Of Pakistan And India, Sarah Landreth

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Adequate access to water and sanitation services (WSS) is a fundamental component of human development and has hugely positive effects on health, education, economic productivity, gender equity, and regional stability. Achieving universal access to WSS in a sustainable manner is not only a focus of the UN Millennium Development Goals framework, but it is also a key priority for the entire globe. This paper utilizes qualitative case studies of Pakistan and India to reveal how properly channeling political will is a crucial element to improving the implementation of public service delivery for WSS. Currently, both countries exhibit huge theory-practice gaps ...


A Character Study: Partisan Politics In The Age Of Twitter, James Bradbury Jan 2015

A Character Study: Partisan Politics In The Age Of Twitter, James Bradbury

Undergraduate Honors Theses

It’s no secret that the world is quickly shifting from the nightly news and the daily paper to a 24/7 rapid-response information environment driven by smartphones and other personal computing devices. Also readily apparent is the hyper-partisanship that has come to mire America’s legislative process. This paper will explore the connection between the two phenomena by reviewing a mix of academic and popular literature and conducting an original experiment to arrive at a better understanding of how Internet-mediated communication technologies drive political opinions at the individual level. Specifically, statistical analyses are performed to parse out the differences ...


Income Inequality As A Political Issue: Does It Matter?, Jacqueline Grimsley Jan 2015

Income Inequality As A Political Issue: Does It Matter?, Jacqueline Grimsley

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Income inequality has been increasing since the early 1970s, but there has been little analysis of whether American voters consider this issue when casting a ballot. This study combines survey data from the 2012 American National Election Study with Gini coefficients at the Congressional district level to evaluate whether attitudes about income inequality and actual income inequality have a significant impact on vote choice for Congressional candidates in the 2012 election. As control variables are added, predictor questions about income inequality remain significant, while Gini coefficients become statistically insignificant. This analysis provides evidence that attitudes about income inequality as a ...