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Western Michigan University

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Perspective Taking, Multicultural Course Completion, And Political Ideology Affiliation Effects On Zero-Sum Belief Endorsement By White Counseling Trainees, Lindsay A. Okonowsky Aug 2018

Perspective Taking, Multicultural Course Completion, And Political Ideology Affiliation Effects On Zero-Sum Belief Endorsement By White Counseling Trainees, Lindsay A. Okonowsky

Dissertations

Research suggests many Whites tend to see racism as a zero-sum game, which means they believe gains for one group necessitate losses for another group (Wilkins, Wellman, Babbitt, Toosi, & Schad, 2015). Given the theoretical underpinnings of multicultural competence, and the notion that beliefs drive actions, adherence to zero-sum game-oriented beliefs may interfere with individuals in helping professions’ abilities to provide multiculturally competent services to their clients. The primary purpose of this study was to examine the effects of perspective taking and multicultural course completion as interventions with White, master’s level, counseling trainees’ endorsements of zero-sum beliefs (ZSBs). A secondary purpose of the study was to explore the relationship between ZSBs and political ideology affiliation (degree of liberalism or conservatism).

Participants were 226 White (80.5% women, n = 182; 17.7% men, n = 40), master’s level, student counselor trainees attending a large, predominantly White, public university in the Midwest. The research design was a 2 x 2 between subjects experimental design involving two manipulations. The first manipulation was whether the subject received a perspective taking intervention writing activity or maintained a first person perspective. The second manipulation was whether the subject had completed a multicultural counseling course. All participants ...


Controlling Political Corruption In Latin America: Institutional Constraints On Executive Power, George G. Lluberes Dec 2017

Controlling Political Corruption In Latin America: Institutional Constraints On Executive Power, George G. Lluberes

Dissertations

Corruption has remained resilient in Latin America. In just two decades, six Latin American executives from five distinct countries have faced impeachment processes resulting in removals from office due to issues surrounding corruption. Certainly, corruption has been a longstanding challenge to Latin American democracy and good governance. This study analyzes this phenomenon while discerning between grand and petty corruption. By focusing on executive corruption specifically, this study creates a more nuanced understanding of what affects corruption at high-levels of government in Latin America.

Why have political corruption levels in Latin America remained stagnant in spite of significant gains in political ...


A House Divided Cannot Stand: The Case For Latino-Black Coalitions, Sarah Perez Apr 2017

A House Divided Cannot Stand: The Case For Latino-Black Coalitions, Sarah Perez

Dissertations

Ethnic and racial groups are increasingly challenging the African-American-White dichotomy that has historically characterized race relations in the United States. In an increasingly multiracial/multiethnic society, the question of racial and/or ethnic cooperation is an important aspect of the larger American political process. This study examines what attitudes will lead to increased support for coalition building between African-Americans and Latinos. The research questions are: what are the attitudes that are likely to produce strong coalitions between Latinos and African-Americans? Conversely, what attitudinal barriers stand in the way of potential multiethnic coalitions? There are four sets of limitations that could ...


The House That Propaganda Built: Historicizing The Democracy Promotion Efforts And Measurement Tools Of Freedom House, Emily A. Zerndt Aug 2016

The House That Propaganda Built: Historicizing The Democracy Promotion Efforts And Measurement Tools Of Freedom House, Emily A. Zerndt

Dissertations

Democracy promotion has been an overt objective of American foreign policy ever since Woodrow Wilson declared it the goal of WWI. This dissertation examines the influence of Freedom House on those policy decisions as well as academia. Freedom House was created in 1941 with the “quiet encouragement” of both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt to combat the pervasive isolationism in the United States. Erected as the Western counterpoint to the Braunhaus, the Nazi propaganda center, Freedom House has distinctly political origins. Over the course of its institutional life, Freedom House has evolved from keeping a “balance sheet” on the level of ...


Do Parties Matter? A Political Model Of Monetary Policy In Open Economies, Hulya Unlusoy Apr 2016

Do Parties Matter? A Political Model Of Monetary Policy In Open Economies, Hulya Unlusoy

Dissertations

In this doctoral dissertation, I present an original political model of monetary policy in open economies that reframes the Mundell-Fleming model when party politics and long-term interest rates are examined with the three economic variables (monetary policy autonomy, capital mobility, fixed exchange rate) that form the basis of the Mundell-Fleming model. The Mundell-Fleming model explains that there is no monetary policy autonomy in the short term under high capital mobility and a fixed exchange rate system. To see whether I arrive at a different conclusion than the Mundell-Fleming model, I pose the following two research questions: 1. What explains variations ...


The Behavioral Revolution In Contemporary Political Science: Narrative, Identity, Practice, Joshua R. Berkenpas Apr 2016

The Behavioral Revolution In Contemporary Political Science: Narrative, Identity, Practice, Joshua R. Berkenpas

Dissertations

The behavioral revolution of the 1950s and early 1960s is a foundational moment in the history of political science and is widely considered to be a time in when the discipline shed its traditional roots by embracing its identity as a modern social science. This dissertation examines reference works published between 1980 and 2012 in order to gauge the contemporary significance of the behavioral revolution. The behavioral revolution is discussed in many foundation narratives throughout reference works like dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks. After sixty years, why does the behavioral revolution still figure centrally in the way political scientists remember their ...


Defining Equity And Addressing The Social Determinants Of Equity In International Development Evaluation, Kelly N. Robertson Dec 2015

Defining Equity And Addressing The Social Determinants Of Equity In International Development Evaluation, Kelly N. Robertson

Dissertations

The purpose of equity-focused evaluation is to examine the relationship between the evaluand and (1) experiences of social groups with different levels of advantage/disadvantage, and (2) the social determinants of equity, which shape those experiences. Equity-focused evaluation has emerged within the field of international development evaluation because of an increased emphasis on equity in the achievement of international development goals. However, empirically based theoretical and practical guidance on equity-focused evaluation is limited. There has not been a detailed examination of how equity—the conceptual root of equity-focused evaluation—is defined and differentiated from similar concepts in the field, despite ...


Innovative Governance And Natural Resource Management In Kenya: Procedural And Substantive Outcomes Of Civil Society Participation, Jane Omudho Okwako May 2015

Innovative Governance And Natural Resource Management In Kenya: Procedural And Substantive Outcomes Of Civil Society Participation, Jane Omudho Okwako

Dissertations

Kenya’s environmental sector is embracing co-management to address major threats to wildlife. In the past two decades, the Municipal-Community-Private Sector Partnership (MCPP) model evolved to address the threats. This dissertation seeks to explain variations in partnership outcomes. It evaluates whether the model as introduced empowers communities to be conservation stewards.

This study hypothesized the impact of five variables. These are decentralization of power, elite support, capacity of community organizations, partnership formalization, and resources expended. The findings confirm that three variables are indispensable and two minimally influence empowerment. More decentralized management structures are enabling and supportive of empowerment. However, empowerment ...


Mediated Homestyle: Congressional Strategy And Local Press Relations In The 111th House Of Representatives, Michael K. Romano Aug 2014

Mediated Homestyle: Congressional Strategy And Local Press Relations In The 111th House Of Representatives, Michael K. Romano

Dissertations

For over thirty years, research on Congressional behavior has provided evidence of a link between constituent opinions and the ways in which members publically conduct themselves. Homestyle (Fenno, 1978: pg. 32), the way members “cultivate their constituencies,” has emphasized that personal encounters between members and their constituents is an effective strategy for decreasing the level of uncertainty members have about their approval. Homestyle, however, overlooks the fact that members of Congress cannot directly interact with their constituents on a daily basis. The mass media, specifically local media outlets, help legislators by transmitting relevant information about political events and legislators’ actions ...


The State And Civil Society In The Arab Middle East, Stacey E. Pollard Aug 2014

The State And Civil Society In The Arab Middle East, Stacey E. Pollard

Dissertations

While the notion that civil society organizations can democratize authoritarian regimes from below has become an article of faith among many policy makers and democracy promoters, some area experts warn that practitioners and advocates should not overestimate civil society's democratizing role. This dissertation challenges a large body of scholarship on civil society by arguing that while civil society may constitute a democratic force in any given polity it may also be comprised of less democratic, even radically undemocratic forces as well. Therefore, commensurate with the research yielding that finding, this project argues that on an account of the nature ...


Like Oil And Water: How Federalism Muddies The Waters Of Interest Group Decision-Making, Melissa Shaffer-O’Connell Jun 2014

Like Oil And Water: How Federalism Muddies The Waters Of Interest Group Decision-Making, Melissa Shaffer-O’Connell

Dissertations

Federalism often creates additional decisions for interest groups in determining how best to advocate for their policy recommendations in the legislative process. Should they focus their advocacy at the local, state, or national level of government? What activities should they use at each level of government? This dissertation examines interest group behaviors in water quality policy in the Great Lakes region from 1940 to 2000, in oil policy in the Beaufort Sea region from 1970 to 2000, and in both policy areas in 2010-2013. I evaluate the reasons for interest group decisions in choice of tactics and targeted level of ...


Judicial Behavior And Litigant Success In Environmental Cases At The United States Court Of Appeals, Elizabeth Wheat Dec 2013

Judicial Behavior And Litigant Success In Environmental Cases At The United States Court Of Appeals, Elizabeth Wheat

Dissertations

This dissertation tests the legal model of judicial behavior and uses party capability, or litigant resource, theory to explain litigant success in the Court of Appeals for environmental cases and help understand the role litigant type and resources play. Environmental law has received little attention in judicial politics, and I examine which judicial behavior model explains case outcomes. The legal model argues case characteristics best explain judicial outcomes, whereas litigant resource theory posits judicial a litigant’s resources, or lack thereof, explain outcomes.

Galanter’s (1974) party capability theory focuses on advantages repeat players, the “haves,” possess and how these ...


The War Against Joblessness: U.S. Intervention In State Labor Markets In Response To Economic Recessions, Latasha Y. Chaffin Dec 2013

The War Against Joblessness: U.S. Intervention In State Labor Markets In Response To Economic Recessions, Latasha Y. Chaffin

Dissertations

In comparative political economy, nations whose governing institutions direct economic behavior towards the market are classified as liberal market economies, whereas those nations that direct economic behavior toward coordinated efforts between stakeholders, often amongst business, labor and the government, are categorized as coordinated market economies (Amberg 2008; Hall and Soskice 2001). In spite of the United States’ classification as a liberal market economy, during the recent global recession from 2007 to 2009, and in other critical times of economic decline such as the 1990–91 and 2001 recessions, the national government and state governments have mobilized their resources in order ...


The Contours Of Judicial Tenure In State Courts Of Last Resort: Accountability Vs. Independence, Todd A. Curry Dec 2012

The Contours Of Judicial Tenure In State Courts Of Last Resort: Accountability Vs. Independence, Todd A. Curry

Dissertations

The study of state courts of last resort is a field which has, up until recently, been significantly underrepresented in political science (Baum 1987, Dubois 1980). The bulk of work in judicial politics over the last fifty years has focused on the federal system. Furthermore, the study of state courts allows for a true comparative analysis. The methods of selection used for the staffing of state courts of last resort are highly varied. There are five distinctly different methods which are used for judicial selection in the states, and many states have institutional nuances that provide further variation for study ...


Varieties Of Politics, Varieties Of Capitalism: The Effects Of Political Institutions On Capitalist Diversity, Matthew P. Arsenault Dec 2012

Varieties Of Politics, Varieties Of Capitalism: The Effects Of Political Institutions On Capitalist Diversity, Matthew P. Arsenault

Dissertations

A strong correlation exists between varieties of political regimes and varieties of capitalism (VOC). Majoritarian political regimes are correlated with liberal market economies (LMEs) and consensus political regimes are correlated with coordinated market economies (CMEs). Still, correlation is not causation. The purpose of this project is to open the “black box” and identify mechanisms linking political institutions and variation in capitalist systems. Empirical findings illustrate that partisanship and policy legacies, the number of political parties, electoral rules, and constitutional constraints are significant indicators of LMEs and CMEs. I find that majoritarian institutions are conducive to an environment of adversarial politics ...


The Social And Political Philosophy Of Bertolt Brecht, Anthony Squiers Dec 2012

The Social And Political Philosophy Of Bertolt Brecht, Anthony Squiers

Dissertations

Bertolt Brecht is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in Twentieth Century literature. An acclaimed poet, he is best known as a playwright and director. His 'epic theatre' revolutionized the theatre by creating radical breaks from traditional literary and theatrical form. These radical breaks were done in an effort to facilitate radical social change. Specifically, Brecht designed his epic theatre as a revolutionary aesthetic which would help bring about the advent of a Marxist revolution. There is a broad corpus of academic work which analyzes the formalistic elements of his work. However, this body of work ...


Becoming Formal Or Informal Entrepreneurs: How Institutions Matter, Joël Luc Raveloharimisy Jan 2011

Becoming Formal Or Informal Entrepreneurs: How Institutions Matter, Joël Luc Raveloharimisy

Dissertations

This research explains the factors behind the variation of enterprise creation across countries by looking at the roles of formal and informal institutions and their interactions in the distribution of start-up enterprises in the formal and informal sectors. It tests two competing hypotheses about the individual versus mixed effects of formal institutions (measured by entry regulations) and informal institutions (measured by social capital) on entrepreneurship. The research uses quantitative analysis of data from 48 countries and a qualitative case study of Madagascar.

The findings from the quantitative and qualitative analyses are consistent regarding the independent effects of each set of ...


Recruitment To Leadership Positions In The German Bundestag, 1994-2006, Melanie Kintz Jan 2011

Recruitment To Leadership Positions In The German Bundestag, 1994-2006, Melanie Kintz

Dissertations

This dissertation looks at the recruitment patterns to leadership positions in the German Bundestag from 1994 to 2006 with the objective of enhancing understanding of legislative careers and representation theory. Most research on political careers thus far has focused on who is elected to parliament, rather than on which legislators attain leadership positions. However, leadership positions within the parliament often come with special privileges and can serve as stepping stones to higher positions on the executive level. Based on a data set I compiled of all members who served in the Bundestag from 1994 to 2006, this dissertation looks at ...


Citizen-Informed Performance Measurement And Reporting In Local Government: Key Factors For Effective Democratic Governance, Eileen L. Pierce Jan 2011

Citizen-Informed Performance Measurement And Reporting In Local Government: Key Factors For Effective Democratic Governance, Eileen L. Pierce

Dissertations

Citizen engagement and performance measurement are concepts inherently in conflict with each other. Local government values citizen input and good governance. Simultaneously, the pressure of local government to be efficient and effective utilizing managerial techniques common in the private sector is intense. Due to challenges associated with the integration of performance measurement and active citizen involvement, initiatives in this area are sparse.

This study, using a mixed methods analysis, explored the research questions through examination of thirty-six units of local government that participated in the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation‘s Government Trailblazer Program. This program provided a unique opportunity for ...


Learning Organization Principles: The Impact On A Midwest State Government As Perceived By Its Employees, Rosalee Billingslea Rush Jan 2011

Learning Organization Principles: The Impact On A Midwest State Government As Perceived By Its Employees, Rosalee Billingslea Rush

Dissertations

This study sought to determine the extent to which learning organization constructs influence performance in state government. The overarching purpose was to examine the relationship between Peter Senge’s five learning disciplines and organizational performance.

The study utilized an ex post facto survey design. The sample population was composed of supervisors and professional and administrative staff within the 19 agencies of a Midwestern state government. Participants were administered an instrument that asked them to rate their perception of the organization and its performance along seven dimensions of learning. Of the randomly selected 381 participants, 110 (or 28.9%) returned the ...


What Role For Ethnicity? Political Behavior And Mobilization In Post-Conflict Sierra Leone And Liberia, Fodei Joseph Batty May 2010

What Role For Ethnicity? Political Behavior And Mobilization In Post-Conflict Sierra Leone And Liberia, Fodei Joseph Batty

Dissertations

This dissertation examines political behavior in Sierra Leone and Liberia following the end of their civil wars. Dominant theories on politics in African societies suggest that ethnic interests underpin political behavior and elections are mere censuses of ethnic support for co-ethnic party elites. Yet, while using a proportional representation electoral system that is expected to result in splintered vote shares for multiple political parties, Sierra Leone's elections in 2002 concentrated votes around one presidential candidate and political party. Conversely Liberia's elections in 2005, held using a first-past-the-post electoral system that expectedly discourages multiple vote shares, diffused votes among ...


Competing Formal And Informal Institutions In A Democratizing Setting: An Institutional Analysis Of Corruption In Romania, Mihaiela Ristei May 2010

Competing Formal And Informal Institutions In A Democratizing Setting: An Institutional Analysis Of Corruption In Romania, Mihaiela Ristei

Dissertations

This dissertation explores the interaction between formal institutions and the informal institution of corruption in Romania from 1997 until 2006. I argue that corruption is an informal institution that creates incentives incompatible with the formal rules, alters the effectiveness of formal institutions, undermines the rule of law, and threatens democratic consolidation. Specifically, I test the capacity of formal institutions to counteract the informal institution of corruption and thus to reduce corruption in four sectors: the judiciary, customs, health care, and public procurement. The research project investigates the methods to restructure incentives and increase the effectiveness of formal institutions, the factors ...


Important Or Impotent? Radical Right Political Parties And Public Policy In Germany And Austria, Marcella J. Myers Dec 2009

Important Or Impotent? Radical Right Political Parties And Public Policy In Germany And Austria, Marcella J. Myers

Dissertations

Across Western Europe throughout the 1990s radical right political parties emerged and gained some electoral success. Since that time, particularly in the face of the popularity of the National Front in France and the Freedom Party in Austria, many studies have been conducted examining the voting behavior, party membership and ideologies of these parties, and what the parties mean to democratic governments. Largely unexamined are the effects of radical right political parties on public policy. This study attempts to evaluate the effect of radical right parties on public policy by using a most similar, case study research design, relying heavily ...


The Politics And Consequences Of Stakeholder Participation In International Development Evaluation, Anne Cullen Dec 2009

The Politics And Consequences Of Stakeholder Participation In International Development Evaluation, Anne Cullen

Dissertations

Participatory approaches to evaluation have long been vogue in the international development evaluation community. However, despite their widespread use, there is a dearth of research on the impact of stakeholder participation in international development evaluations. Although proponents of participatory approaches to international development evaluation assert many advantages of their use, the evidence to support these claims is largely anecdotal. Similarly, critics of participatory approaches do not have empirical data on which to base their assertions. Further confusing the matter are multiple and conflicting definitions of stakeholder and participation. Some interpret stakeholders to mean funders while others view stakeholders as those ...


Degrees Of Institutionalization: Family Planning Policies And Programs In Senegal, 1980-2005, Yazmine Michelle Watts Jun 2009

Degrees Of Institutionalization: Family Planning Policies And Programs In Senegal, 1980-2005, Yazmine Michelle Watts

Dissertations

Senegal's population growth rate of 2.7% is greater than double that of the world average of 1.16%. The Government of Senegal acknowledges the population problem and has made efforts to address this issue. For over the past two decades the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has served as the predominant donor in Senegal's health sector and has been a strong supporter of Senegal's family planning program. The evolution of family planning in Senegal cannot be understood without considering the roles of culture, religion, decentralization and funding in the institutionalization process. This research addresses ...


Contesting National Identities In An Ethnically Homogeneous State: The Case Of Armenian Democratization, Arus Harutyunyan Apr 2009

Contesting National Identities In An Ethnically Homogeneous State: The Case Of Armenian Democratization, Arus Harutyunyan

Dissertations

This study of recent Armenian identity politics raises two intertwined theoretical questions. First, it asks whether there can be contesting national identities in an ethnically homogeneous state. Second, following theoretical propositions of liberal nationalism it explores whether identity contestation in an ethnically homogeneous state affects political trust, perceptions of social justice, and democratic attitudes.

My research focuses on the analysis of politically relevant national identity issues: Genocide and Relations with Turkey, War in Mountainous Karabagh and Possible Solutions, and Dual Citizenship for Diaspora, and the ways these are perceived by the public and political elites in the Armenian Republic. To ...


Islamism, State Control Over Religion And Social Identity: Turkey And Egypt, Alper Y. Dede Aug 2008

Islamism, State Control Over Religion And Social Identity: Turkey And Egypt, Alper Y. Dede

Dissertations

In post Cold War politics, as a powerful alternative to the authoritarian "status-quo" regimes of the Muslim World, Islamism has become among the most critical political issues as various Islamist movements increasingly challenge governments for more political reforms, democratization, and greater participation and in the political process.

The current debates on Islamism, though useful, often emphasize the issues of security, democracy, or stability. However, they seem to overlook the importance of processes and the mechanisms of Islamism as well as how Islamists' concerns for preserving their Islamic social identity (Muslimness) and government control over religion contribute to their politicization. Thus ...


Democracy On Stilts: Bolivia’S Democracy From Stability To Crisis, Miguel Centellas Apr 2007

Democracy On Stilts: Bolivia’S Democracy From Stability To Crisis, Miguel Centellas

Dissertations

Bolivia’s recent political crisis starkly contrasts to the preceding two decades of relative democratic stability. Though a unique system of “parliamentarized” presidentialism together with lingering consensus on the national project inherited from the 1952 Revolution supported democratic stability, using qualitative and quantitative methods, this study shows that seemingly benign changes in institutional design made in the 1990s contributed to the acceleration of already existing tendencies towards divisive sectoral, regional, and ethnic politics. A key observation is that successful long-term democratization requires institutions for adequately channeling and representing social demands as well as a shared vision of a political “imagined ...


The Politics Of Neighborhood Governance: Understanding China’S State-Society Relations Through An Examination Of The Residents Committee, Jianfeng Wang Aug 2005

The Politics Of Neighborhood Governance: Understanding China’S State-Society Relations Through An Examination Of The Residents Committee, Jianfeng Wang

Dissertations

For the nearly three decades of coexistence between economic liberalization and political authoritarianism, China remains as an anomaly to the liberal mantraof our time. This project explores a segment of the China Paradox, the state-society interaction channeled by the Residents Committee. Being the largest urban neighborhood organization, the committee deserves study because of its controversial status interlaid between ordinary residents it claims to represent and the authoritarian state. The committee enters the discourse as a directly congruent example of the same paradox that the whole China displays, when it is endowed with important, yet tension-changed statutory functions ranging from social ...


Who Voted?: Social Class And Participation In United States Presidential Elections, Uisoon Kwon Apr 2005

Who Voted?: Social Class And Participation In United States Presidential Elections, Uisoon Kwon

Dissertations

Low turnout remains a persistent problem in American politics. The decline in turnout has been studied in various ways. In some cases scholars analyze aggregate turnout data and compare turnout in election districts with high and low concentrations o f particular ,social groups (Neimi and Weisberg, 1993). In other cases, surveys provide an opportunity to examine the causes and correlates o f turnout at the individual level. Various researchers find that socio-economic factors are related to turnout. People with more education vote at much higher rates than those with less education, higher income and middle class people are more likely ...