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Undergraduate Honors Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

The Caged Bird Still Sings: The Poetics Of Peace, Sofia Diane Skavdahl May 2019

The Caged Bird Still Sings: The Poetics Of Peace, Sofia Diane Skavdahl

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Although poetry has been used as a method of peacemaking since Homer’s Iliad, little research, theory, or analysis has been done evaluating precisely what role poetry holds in the realms of peacemaking and conflict resolution. Poetry, along with other arts-based practices of peacemaking, is beneficial because of its ability to encourage personal autonomy and emotional communication, while offering an open and creative space to heal from violent conflict. In terms of the arts, poetry is especially unique because it holds the ability to transform relationships between adversaries and the relationship with the self. This paper seeks to analyze both ...


The Art Of Repression: Digital Dissent And Power Consolidation In El-Sisi’S Egypt, Wesley Garner May 2019

The Art Of Repression: Digital Dissent And Power Consolidation In El-Sisi’S Egypt, Wesley Garner

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Imprecise measurement tools impede the study of protest mobilization. Mobilization proxies, such as counting protesters and protest events, result in significant outliers and variance while ignoring sociocultural, cybernetic, economic, legal, and other features that relevant academic literature considers essential to understanding mobilization dynamics. Without accurate empirical models, researchers’ and policymakers’ investigations of autocratic repression have little explanatory power. This thesis proposes a methodological addition to the mobilization literature: Two three-level scales distinguish an event’s potential to attract an audience from the protest’s actual output relative to similar episodes. I employ the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED ...


"Full Of Internal Contradictions": A Neutral Case For The Invalidation Of The Death Penalty, Carson A. Whitehurst Apr 2019

"Full Of Internal Contradictions": A Neutral Case For The Invalidation Of The Death Penalty, Carson A. Whitehurst

Undergraduate Honors Theses

A neutral evaluation of the modern death penalty, a fundamentally flawed institution, necessitates its invalidation. I analyze 428 death sentences and their appellate outcomes from Virginia, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Wyoming, states which represent the gamut of capital punishment regimes in the United States. Employing a legal framework derived from the work of Justice Antonin Scalia—a lifelong and staunch supporter of the death penalty—I argue that the harmonious-reading canon and irreconcilability canons offer a neutral means for ending the American death penalty, and one which would be appropriate given the politicization of what is an irreversible punishment.


Sometimes Enemies, Sometimes Friends, Christopher David Gundermann Apr 2019

Sometimes Enemies, Sometimes Friends, Christopher David Gundermann

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Political polarization and the growing power of the presidency have created new incentives for political actors in the realm of foreign policy that have not existed prior in American his- tory. I argue that these new incentives in formulating foreign policy has created repeating and predictable trends in how America relates to various regime types (here meaning all ruling governments, regardless of political system) due to shared ideological concerns. The foreign policy pushed by the Democratic Party places emphasis on democratization and human rights in the post-September 11th period, which leads to improved relations between America and like- minded liberal ...


Crashing Waves: Policies And Opportunities In The Venezuelan Migration Crisis, Hannah Daniel Jan 2019

Crashing Waves: Policies And Opportunities In The Venezuelan Migration Crisis, Hannah Daniel

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This research seeks to understand migration, by asking the question, what shapes migration patterns in a crisis? To answer this question, the Venezuelan Migration Crisis, a situation emerging in 2014 and continuing to cause large flows of migration throughout Latin America into 2018, is used as a case study. This research presents unique policies and opportunities in Peru and Colombia, showing that migrants and policymakers have a cyclical relationship, which dictates flows of migration. Finding that policy strongly influences the opportunities available in a country, migrants have preferences to move toward countries that have crafted emergency-specific responses. The level to ...


The Role Of Dehumanization In Shaping Attitudes About Undocumented Immigrants, Cassidy Francies Jan 2019

The Role Of Dehumanization In Shaping Attitudes About Undocumented Immigrants, Cassidy Francies

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In the context of undocumented immigration, dehumanization and humanization have potential to provide insight to the long sought-after question of what impacts public attitudes toward undocumented immigrants. The current study assessed whether dehumanizing and humanizing images and rhetoric impact political tolerance, prejudice, perceived threat, and immigration policy preferences. I hypothesized that dehumanization would predict less political tolerance for undocumented immigrants, support for more restrictive immigration policy, and a more negative view of undocumented immigrants overall, while humanization would do the opposite. It is important to investigate the role of both humanizing and dehumanizing rhetoric on attitudes about immigration policy to ...


World Leaders A-Twitter: Communication Platforms And Agenda-Building During The 2018 Nato Summit, Katja Walton Jan 2019

World Leaders A-Twitter: Communication Platforms And Agenda-Building During The 2018 Nato Summit, Katja Walton

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Twitter is a thriving microblogging service with growing prominence in the political sphere. In this study, I examine the differences between Twitter communications and verbal communications by three heads of state and government in relation to the most recent NATO Summit in July 2018. Through a three-step analysis, including descriptive statistics, content and tone analysis, and comparative analysis, the study investigates Twitter’s influence on content and tone and its agenda-building capacity for face-to-face summits. After hand-coding over 2,000 tweets and 15 verbal communications, I find that Twitter does not support more negative content and tone among world leaders ...


Timing Turnout: The Competing Electoral Schedules Of European Elections, Jeffrey Nonnemacher Jan 2019

Timing Turnout: The Competing Electoral Schedules Of European Elections, Jeffrey Nonnemacher

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Since direct elections to the European Parliament began in 1979, variations in voting behavior in European Parliament (EP) elections from national elections raise interesting questions about political behavior. Previous studies into European elections conclude that turnout is lower because EP elections are second order contests, meaning that they are seen as extensions of national politics and of low importance. However, as the EU has grown, some studies have found that European considerations do influence electoral outcomes in EP elections. In this study, I add to this growing literature on how Europe matter and I argue that EP elections are more ...


One Belt, One Road: Explaining The Destination Of Chinese Foreign Direct Investment, Angela Peterson Jan 2019

One Belt, One Road: Explaining The Destination Of Chinese Foreign Direct Investment, Angela Peterson

Undergraduate Honors Theses

What explains foreign direct investment (FDI) from China? It has been assumed by many scholars that investment climate matters when selecting a location of FDI. Factors such a level of corruption, quality of government, and strength of political institutions, tend to attract more FDI. Despite this, China’s One Belt, One Road initiative (BRI) is pouring billions of dollars into some of the most politically unstable and corrupt countries in the world. The goal of this paper is to understand why China invests into these corrupt countries, while many other actors do not. I argue that China has the confidence ...


Xi Jinping And Confucianism: Legitimacy And A National Moral Identity, Makenna Zoglmann Jan 2019

Xi Jinping And Confucianism: Legitimacy And A National Moral Identity, Makenna Zoglmann

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Decades after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) demonized Confucianism as a backwards philosophy, Confucianism has once again become popular in Chinese political culture and society. This paper investigates how the president of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, is using Confucian rhetoric to legitimize himself and the CCP. The paper explores the Chinese people's search for a national moral identity, the resurgence of Confucianism, and finally examines the speech Xi gave on the 40th Anniversary of the Reforms and Opening-up.


Left Or Right?: The Competing Politics Of Europe’S Radical Party Families, Grady Mcginnis Jan 2019

Left Or Right?: The Competing Politics Of Europe’S Radical Party Families, Grady Mcginnis

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Both radical right and left parties are on the rise across Europe. Previous research has shown similarities between voters of radical parties. However, prior analyses have focused on voters of one radical party, while ignoring the other. In turn, differences between radical party voters are inferred rather than proven through qualitative evidence. In this study, I examine support for radical right and left parties across the same years and nine European countries, in order to understand why voters prone to radicalism support either the left or right. I find that while voters of both parties share commonalities, they differ in ...


Explaining Attitudes Towards The U.S. In Latin America, Lilith Gamer Jan 2019

Explaining Attitudes Towards The U.S. In Latin America, Lilith Gamer

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Foreign policymakers have long since agonized over how citizens of foreign countries perceive the United States, and why. In the face of alleged American hegemonic decline, fears of so-called “anti-Americanism,” a term first popularized during the Cold War, have been rekindled by politicians, TV anchors, and students of international affairs alike. Does the world like Americans, how much or how little, and why? What determines mass attitudes towards the United States? While largely focused on Latin America in the ‘80s, research on the subject has since shifted to explaining hostility in the Middle East. This sea change has left contemporary ...


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 ...


Party Politics In The Muslim World: The Nexus Between Institutionalization And Agency In The Development Of Islamist Parties, Khalifa Alqaz Jan 2019

Party Politics In The Muslim World: The Nexus Between Institutionalization And Agency In The Development Of Islamist Parties, Khalifa Alqaz

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Islamist parties are comparatively assessed across Muslim majority countries to determine the effects of structural conduciveness and effective agency on party performance. Using correlative studies with historical analyses, institutionalization is observed to establish the limits of party success while effective agency has been demonstrated to facilitate electoral success. These findings suggest that while institutionalization could structurally impede the development of Islamist parties, their ability to spatially compete in party politics were primarily determined by the party’s ability to maximize voter mobilization.


Welfare And Democratic Legitimacy: The Impact Of Need-Based Welfare On Women’S Political Engagement In Latin America And The United States, Suzannah Ranzo Jan 2019

Welfare And Democratic Legitimacy: The Impact Of Need-Based Welfare On Women’S Political Engagement In Latin America And The United States, Suzannah Ranzo

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Political engagement from a diverse populace is vital for the functioning of a legitimate democracy that proportionately represents the interests of the governed people. Impoverished women experience at least two forms of oppression due to their socioeconomic status and gender—and often other forms of oppression—which intersect to enhance their marginalization and exclusion from the political sphere. This research compares data from the United States and Latin America to discover if receiving welfare benefits from the government can mobilize or hinder low income women from engaging in politics. This research analyzes welfare’s impact on three forms of political ...


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 ...


Signaling Illiberalism: Democratic Backsliding. A Case Study Of Germany And Hungary., Emily Schweitzberger Jan 2019

Signaling Illiberalism: Democratic Backsliding. A Case Study Of Germany And Hungary., Emily Schweitzberger

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In the past decade, the decline, or backsliding, of democracy has reemerged as a concern in international affairs with many leaders overstepping constitutional restraints to accumulate power in their hands. While democratic backsliding occurs in various ways and in regions all over the world, Europe has struggled to control its spread as populist parties become closer and closer to taking power with each election cycle. In this paper, I examine the cases of Germany and Hungary, which share similar historical and cultural backgrounds yet differ in their democratic strengths: Germany remains a strong beacon of Western, liberal democracy, but Hungary ...


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 ...


Tracking And Reflecting On Hate And Discrimination: A Meta-Analysis And Survey Experiment Depicting Perceptions Of Sikh Americans And The Sikh Faith In The United States, Serene Singh Jan 2019

Tracking And Reflecting On Hate And Discrimination: A Meta-Analysis And Survey Experiment Depicting Perceptions Of Sikh Americans And The Sikh Faith In The United States, Serene Singh

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Abstract: Sikhs have been largely ignored in the literature surrounding criminal justice and religious tolerance. The many pressures faced by this group, including hate crimes, present an urgent need for political scientists to understand the issues this community faces and further, to challenge those issues to ensure their well-being. This research examines both of these concepts through two separate analyses: a meta-analysis and a survey experiment. In the meta-analysis, the Sikh experience is contextualized by assessing trends in media coverage and representation of turbans in the United States. This section reports a meta-analysis of 81 published journals, articles, and studies ...


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.


Liability, Responsibility, And Sexual Exploitation And Abuse: The Problematic Implications Of United Nations Discourse For Addressing Sexual Exploitation And Abuse By Un Personnel, Mallory C. Hale Jan 2019

Liability, Responsibility, And Sexual Exploitation And Abuse: The Problematic Implications Of United Nations Discourse For Addressing Sexual Exploitation And Abuse By Un Personnel, Mallory C. Hale

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In this paper, I examine how the United Nations (UN) discourse regarding sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by UN personnel constructs the problem of SEA and distances the UN from institutional liability and responsibility. The documents analyzed are from 2002 to 2018.

I make the argument that the UN discourse depicts SEA as being a problem of military personnel as opposed to civilian personnel. This attribution of the problem to military personnel is done through the deployment of racialized, gendered tropes regarding Global South masculinities. The use of tropes is made possible because military personnel are overwhelmingly men from the ...


Scandinavian Radicalism: The Politics Of Inequality And Right-Wing Voting, Jeffrey Nonnemacher Jan 2019

Scandinavian Radicalism: The Politics Of Inequality And Right-Wing Voting, Jeffrey Nonnemacher

Undergraduate Honors Theses

What conditions influence a voter’s decision to vote or support the radical right? In this paper, I argue that inequality plays an important role in boosting support for the radical right, but that the relationship is more complicated and depends on where a voter lives and under what conditions. I compile a cross-sectional dataset of Swedish municipalities and conduct an original survey experiment of Swedish citizens in order to determine how inequality impacts support for the radical right, how voters generate perceptions around the issue, and then how they use those perceptions in political decision making. I find that ...


A Nordic Anomaly: Examining The Establishment Of An Anti-Immigrant Party In Sweden, Louise Paulsen Aug 2018

A Nordic Anomaly: Examining The Establishment Of An Anti-Immigrant Party In Sweden, Louise Paulsen

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This thesis examines the establishment of an anti-immigrant party (AIP) in Sweden. Until recently, Sweden was known as the Nordic anomaly with no AIP in spite of high levels of immigration and high rates of right-wing violence. This has now changed, and the AIP, Sweden Democrats, are rising to popularity in high speed. I examine the causes given for the anomaly up until 2006 and show that a change in these has since created a favorable environment for an AIP to become successful. First, socio-economic cleavages have become less salient through decreasing party loyalty and increasing numbers of party switchers ...


Mafia And Globalization: The Consequences Of Economic Integration Without Legal Symmetry, Benjamin White May 2018

Mafia And Globalization: The Consequences Of Economic Integration Without Legal Symmetry, Benjamin White

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This project will examine the relationship between mafia and globalization through the lenses of two case studies, focusing on the Calabrian criminal organization known as ‘Ndrangheta. The first case study revolves around the Port of Gioia Tauro, which serves as the drug trafficking hub of ‘Ndrangheta and is emblematic of the overall trends in global commercial traffic and security deficits. The purpose of this case study is to demonstrate how ‘Ndrangheta exploits the advanced economic integration that began in the 1990s and continues to exist in the gap between frantic commercial activity and limited government oversight. This case study begins ...


Comparing U.S. And French Approaches To Counterterrorism In Africa, Alexa Audino May 2018

Comparing U.S. And French Approaches To Counterterrorism In Africa, Alexa Audino

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Although terrorism is typically associated, in the U.S., with the Middle East, there is also a significant presence of terrorist groups in Africa. Both the United States and France are involved in counterterrorism in the Sahel region, where the two states often work together. However, the strategies of the U.S. and France in this region also frequently diverge. This project analyzes the differences in the strategies taken by France and the United States in counterterrorism interventions in the Sahel, specifically studying the ways in which these two countries are fighting Boko Haram, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb ...


Under Strain: A Robust Russian Foreign Posture Despite Limitations, Chiara Sutton May 2018

Under Strain: A Robust Russian Foreign Posture Despite Limitations, Chiara Sutton

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The geopolitical maneuverability held by the Russian Federation has been considered to be intrinsically connected to the prices of hydrocarbons, as roughly half of the government’s budget derives from hydrocarbon revenues. The year 2008, with oil prices flitting above $150 per barrel, was a particular boon for the Kremlin and its international significance- incidentally, 2008 also oversaw the Russo-Georgian war and the start of that now-frozen conflict. In the quite different current climate, as hydrocarbon prices stay remarkably collapsed for the third year, the Kremlin’s revenue problems are compounded by international sanctions and a level of international mistrust ...


Popular Motherist Activism In Argentina: Why Do Mothers Radicalize?, Emily B. Jackson May 2018

Popular Motherist Activism In Argentina: Why Do Mothers Radicalize?, Emily B. Jackson

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In 1977, the second year of Argentina’s last dictatorship, the Madres de Plaza de Mayo donned white headscarves (pañuelos) and began weekly marches around the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires to bring attention to the disappearance of their children. By taking up a public defense of motherhood, they transferred a private role into a public, political act, established themselves as motherist activists, and effectively criticized the dictatorship. Today the women continue to organize, but their agenda has shifted from "apolitical" motherism to a radical anti-neoliberal, anti-imperialist critique. What caused this shift in the Madres' message? Although the literature ...