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Undergraduate Honors Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Havelian Presidency: A Study In Theory & Practice, Chelsea Johnson May 2019

Havelian Presidency: A Study In Theory & Practice, Chelsea Johnson

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Despite former dissident and Czech president Václav Havel’s widespread influence, his presidency has not been seriously considered as a framework for how one should head a government. A reasoned and thorough examination of Havel’s presidency is conspicuously absent in the existing literature. Havel is known for and evaluated most in terms of his sweeping moral principles and philosophical treatises, but I wish to know whether his 13-year presidency passes the test of ideal world leadership that he provides so clearly in his written works and speeches. Specifically, I develop a set of ideal traits for world leadership and ...


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 ...


Everyone Is Pro-Life: The Historical And Cultural Influences On Elite Discourse Of Abortion In Argentina, Emily Earls May 2019

Everyone Is Pro-Life: The Historical And Cultural Influences On Elite Discourse Of Abortion In Argentina, Emily Earls

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Due to its influential roots in Latin America, the Catholic Church is often an explanation for understanding abortion policy discourse and outcomes. Considering the case of Argentina and its debates to legalize abortion in Congress June/August 2018, there may be reason to suspect the Catholic Church as a wholistic or even dominant explanation of the values that were expressed. In this paper, I trace relevant topics such as human rights, the law, science, and health in the debates, ultimately culminating in the conclusion that at the core of all concerns, regardless of the side that is arguing, is life ...


The New Covenant: Welfare Reform And American Exceptionalism, Villemaire Choo May 2019

The New Covenant: Welfare Reform And American Exceptionalism, Villemaire Choo

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The project connects the rhetoric in Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign to the social contract tradition in American political thought in order to understand the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (1996). Using Charles Mills’ The Racial Contract, my analysis demonstrates that instead of a social contract, it is a racial contract that structures the relationship between the American people and government. I then examine how Clinton refers to a mythologized social contract to call for a modern-day revolution to create a “New Covenant.” However, by equating personhood with “responsibility” and “hard work,” the New Covenant creates a new ...


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 ...


Who Does The Dying?: 'Martial Races' And War Time Unit Deployment In The Indian Army, Ammon Frederick Harteis May 2019

Who Does The Dying?: 'Martial Races' And War Time Unit Deployment In The Indian Army, Ammon Frederick Harteis

Undergraduate Honors Theses

During the Second World War, the Indian Army held back units and soldiers that were not from the so-called “martial races” from frontline combat service. The British “martial races” theory held that only a small number of communities in India were fit for military service and people from all “non-martial” communities should be excluded from the Army. Has the Indian Army, after gaining independence from British leadership, contended the Second World War practice of deploying “martial” units in combat while assigning “non-martial” units to non-combat roles? It has been conclusively demonstrated that “martial race” groups have contended to be overrepresented ...


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 ...


Impact Of China's One Belt One Road Initiative At Different Geographical Scales, Yuxiang Hou Apr 2019

Impact Of China's One Belt One Road Initiative At Different Geographical Scales, Yuxiang Hou

Undergraduate Honors Theses

China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR), proposed in 2013, is an ambitious initiative that aims at enhancing connectivity and integrating economies across countries. This thesis, by tracing its mechanism at three different geographical scales---global, national, and local, analyzes its multidimensional impact at each scale. It shows that at a global scale, OBOR is in the form of competing narratives over its global impact and nature; at a national scale, OBOR is represented as economic corridors, aiming at improving infrastructures, increasing multilateral trade, integrating financial systems, and strengthening cultural ties; and at a local scale, OBOR exerts an impact on ...


A Comparative Analysis Of Media And Legislative Rhetoric On Gun Control, Samyuktha Mahadevan Apr 2019

A Comparative Analysis Of Media And Legislative Rhetoric On Gun Control, Samyuktha Mahadevan

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In this paper, I analyze the use of language in the debates on gun laws in three different countries: the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Through systematic analysis of both legislative debates and media coverage of gun violence and gun control, I identify the major frames utilized by these political elites and news networks when discussing the issue.My findings show that there are indeed measurable differences between the rhetoric used by both legislators and the media. Each country has both shared and unique frames that are used by both types of actors. The rhetoric in the United ...


"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.


Comparing The Behavior Of Indigenous Tribes, States, And Foreign Sovereigns As Submitters Of Amicus Curiae Within The Supreme Court, Grace Murray Apr 2019

Comparing The Behavior Of Indigenous Tribes, States, And Foreign Sovereigns As Submitters Of Amicus Curiae Within The Supreme Court, Grace Murray

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Indigenous tribes, states, and foreign sovereigns possess different degrees of sovereignty outside the federal government yet frequently interact within the United States’ judicial system. In their presence in the Supreme Court, do indigenous tribes behave more like foreign sovereigns or more like states? I explore how each actor behaves as a submitter of amicus curiae briefs in order to compare the macro-level behavior of tribes, sovereigns, and states. I analyze the amicus brief submissions of these actors to all merits cases throughout the Roberts Court. My dataset is unique in the attention paid to the network of signees and entities ...


Proliferation & Instability: How Nuclear Weapons Acquisition Alters Inter-State Relations, Tyler Sagerstrom Apr 2019

Proliferation & Instability: How Nuclear Weapons Acquisition Alters Inter-State Relations, Tyler Sagerstrom

Undergraduate Honors Theses

I theorize that in a dyad of a status quo nuclear state and a new nuclear state, the stage of nuclear development of the new nuclear state affects the level of tensions that the status quo nuclear state directs at the new nuclear state. Threat perception is the variable that causes the status quo nuclear state to respond to the new nuclear state’s stages of nuclear development. I hypothesize that as the new nuclear state develops its nuclear arsenal, tensions will rise until the new nuclear state’s first nuclear test and then fall. This thesis tests this theory ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 ...