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Theses/Dissertations

Western Michigan University

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Inequality, Patronage, Ethnic Politics And Decentralization In Kenya And Botswana: An Analysis Of Factors That Increase The Likelihood Of Ethnic Conflict, Rei Gordon Aug 2019

Inequality, Patronage, Ethnic Politics And Decentralization In Kenya And Botswana: An Analysis Of Factors That Increase The Likelihood Of Ethnic Conflict, Rei Gordon

Master's Theses

Scholars have recommended numerous institutional arrangements for mitigating ethnic conflict in divided societies. Electoral systems are often considered to have an impact on ethnic conflict, and scholars have recommended both proportional representation systems and majoritarian systems for their respective effects on mitigating ethnic tensions. However, in a cross-national analysis of 18 sub-Saharan democracies, I find no impact of electoral systems on ethnic conflict. Countries employing proportional representation systems and majoritarian systems are compared according to three measures of ethnic conflict, yet neither electoral system correlates with higher or lower levels of conflict. In the interest of identifying factors that do ...


A Case For A Moral Theory Of Property: How Digital Copyright Reveals The Insufficiency Of Hume's Pragmatic Justification Of Ownership, Mattew Davis May 2019

A Case For A Moral Theory Of Property: How Digital Copyright Reveals The Insufficiency Of Hume's Pragmatic Justification Of Ownership, Mattew Davis

Honors Theses

This paper addresses the following questions: Why does property exist? How does one come to own something? In it, the author attempts to answer these questions by comparing the property theories of political theorists John Locke and David Hume with modern U.S. copyright law, with a special focus on digital copyrights. The purpose of this comparison is to identify principles and explanations of property that are consistent between seventeenth- and eighteenth-century political theories and modern laws. The product of this comparison is the discovery that Locke, Hume, and U.S. Copyright Law either use labor as a metric for ...


The Relationship Between Droughts And The Tourism Industry: A Case Study On Cape Town, South Africa, Katelyn Drummond Apr 2019

The Relationship Between Droughts And The Tourism Industry: A Case Study On Cape Town, South Africa, Katelyn Drummond

Honors Theses

The Cape Town water crisis has been a worsening problem for the city since its start in 2016, although there has been some alleviation in the second half of 2018. Several researchers have developed a framework for analyzing the impact that droughts have on a location, with some insight into the impact of this occurrence on the tourism industry specifically. This thesis aims to examine the relationship between droughts and the tourism industry through the case study of the Cape Town water crisis. The hypothesis of this study was that the number of tourists visiting Cape Town has been lower ...


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 ...


Impact Of 2001 - 2016 Supreme Court Establishment Clause Cases, Nicole Cumming Apr 2018

Impact Of 2001 - 2016 Supreme Court Establishment Clause Cases, Nicole Cumming

Honors Theses

This study will look at United States Supreme Court Establishment Clause cases from 2001-2016. During those 16 years, the Court decided 1,276 cases. Only 10 of those cases dealt with the establishment clause.

At an absolute minimum, the Establishment Clause was intended to prohibit the federal government from declaring and financially supporting a national religion, which existed in many other countries at the time of America's founding. This idea has become vital to the values Americans hold dear. Throughout history, religious freedom and tolerance have been celebrated, and most of that is due to the Establishment Clause. However ...


The Changing Geopolitical Dynamics Of The Middle East And Their Impact On Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts, Daniel Bucksbaum Apr 2018

The Changing Geopolitical Dynamics Of The Middle East And Their Impact On Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts, Daniel Bucksbaum

Honors Theses

In this thesis the status and feasibility of the two-state solution, the primary and most widely-accepted potential resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be analyzed. It considers aspects such as physical challenges (geography and topography of the land), regressive and damaging actions to the peace process by Israelis and Palestinians, and the newly developing changes in regional alliances and interests in the Middle East. The status of the traditional two-state solution, due to its history, obstacles, and current regional developments, has implications for future negotiations and have changed the direction of peace talks. Dramatic shifts in regional interests and the ...


Guide To Understanding Catalonian Dissent: From Proclamation To Referendum, Andrew Larkin Apr 2018

Guide To Understanding Catalonian Dissent: From Proclamation To Referendum, Andrew Larkin

Honors Theses

"Guide to Understanding Catalonian Independence Efforts: From referendum proclamation to 1-O" explains and chronicles key events from June 9 to October 1, 2017 that have impacted Catalonia's ploy for independence. The northeastern region in Spain is situated on the Mediterranean coast and plays a strong role in the Spanish economy. Although the region is well situated and prosperous, some push for an independent Catalonia. The guide is written with readers from the United States of America in mind and includes excerpts translated into English so that the struggle between Spain and independence-minded Catalans can be easily understood. Official statements ...


The Effects Of Repealing The Estate Tax And Reducing The Corporate Tax Rate Coupled With A Repatriation Act, Trenton Vanderlende Dec 2017

The Effects Of Repealing The Estate Tax And Reducing The Corporate Tax Rate Coupled With A Repatriation Act, Trenton Vanderlende

Honors Theses

Given that significant U.S. federal tax reform is taking place for the first time in over 30 years, this paper examines how changing specific tax provisions may affect the average individual taxpayer as well as the wealthiest 1% of Americans. Three potential federal tax law changes are addressed: repealing the estate tax, reducing the corporate statutory income tax rate, and offering a repatriation holiday for remitting the foreign profits earned by U.S. businesses. These changes are analyzed using publicly available data from U.S. Congressional hearings, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS ...


Analyzing The Legislative Productivity Of Congress During The Obama Administration, Zachary Hunkins Dec 2017

Analyzing The Legislative Productivity Of Congress During The Obama Administration, Zachary Hunkins

Honors Theses

Our nation looks to Congress to solve problems by producing legislation. Four congressional sessions took place during the eight years of the Obama administration; these were the 111th (2009-2011), 112th (2011-2013), 113th (2013-2015), and 114th (2015-2017). These four congressional sessions were often labeled and stigmatized as some of the least productive sessions in our nation’s history. This raises the questions, what explains legislative productivity? What variables effect it? Were the four sessions that took place during the Obama administration that ineffective? How do these sessions compare to sessions that took place during past presidential administrations ...


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 ...


The Clean Power Plan: A Legal Analysis Of The E.P.A.'S Final Rule, Robert Paul Apr 2016

The Clean Power Plan: A Legal Analysis Of The E.P.A.'S Final Rule, Robert Paul

Honors Theses

The consensus among scientists is that climate change and its consequences are upon us as the result of human activity. The necessary reductions of emissions of greenhouse gases to mitigate these consequences have long been identified. The continued failure of the United States Congress to pass any national legislation directly addressing climate change has led President Obama to pursue executive action, through the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency, to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act section 111(d). Collectively known as the Clean Power Plan, the heart of this action is the carbon dioxide emissions Final ...


Allied Paper Landfill, A Case Study Of Superfund, Kaitlin Braunschweig Apr 2016

Allied Paper Landfill, A Case Study Of Superfund, Kaitlin Braunschweig

Honors Theses

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (1980), more commonly known as Superfund, delegates the responsibility for cleanup of more than 1,300 hazardous waste sites to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This thesis is designed as a case study to investigate the Superfund program through the lens of the Allied Paper Landfill portion of the Kalamazoo River Superfund Site. Through interviews with key stakeholders an evaluation was completed based on the following research questions: 1) are the current goals of Superfund appropriate, 2) is the funding mechanism sufficient to fulfill the goals of Superfund, and 3) is ...


Global Paths To Enlightenment: A Foundation Scholar Study Abroad To The Dominican Republic, Tacy Allan Apr 2016

Global Paths To Enlightenment: A Foundation Scholar Study Abroad To The Dominican Republic, Tacy Allan

Honors Theses

There are many different ways for students to gain a multicultural awareness and a global focus, which are important tools for their lives. Study abroad opportunities are seen as one of the widest-reaching and best hands-on learning paths that can be taken to broaden the horizons of students. This proposal combines service learning, a social justice issue (clean water), and global impact; giving students the chance to learn what is here in Kalamazoo and what is in Dominican Republic, how those issues compare and contrast as well as how each location is dealing with these issues. This proposed class will ...


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 ...


Political Utopias Of The Renaissance: An Analysis Of Thomas More’S Utopia, Johann Valentinus Andreae’S Christianopolis, And James Harrington’S The Commonwealth Of Oceana, Brittany Page Brake Apr 2016

Political Utopias Of The Renaissance: An Analysis Of Thomas More’S Utopia, Johann Valentinus Andreae’S Christianopolis, And James Harrington’S The Commonwealth Of Oceana, Brittany Page Brake

Master's Theses

Utopian works have entertained generations throughout history. Much like more recent genres including science-fiction novels or movies, utopian works stimulate the mind and ultimately cause its readers to question whether an author’s design of such a place, or society, is possible in the real world. While some may perceive the purpose of utopias to be completely fantasy-driven, there is a great deal of scholarly literature that dedicates itself to proving otherwise. More specifically, many scholars argue that utopias are serious and practical, ultimately aimed at re-shaping the entire political structure of a society.

This thesis aims to understand the ...


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 ...


Language Policy In Turkey And Its Effect On The Kurdish Language, Sevda Arslan Aug 2015

Language Policy In Turkey And Its Effect On The Kurdish Language, Sevda Arslan

Master's Theses

For many decades the Kurdish language was ignored and banned from public use and Turkish became the lingua franca for all citizens to speak. This way, the Turkish state sought to create a nation-state based on one language and attempted to eliminate the use of other languages, particularly Kurdish, through severe regulations and prohibitions.

Firstly, this thesis traces the language planning policies in the 20th century which resulted in the invisibilization and denial of Kurdish through an attempted linguicide. Through decade long oppressions which resulted in mass killings, arrests, re-location of Kurds, monopolization of education in Turkish and eventually the ...


State Of Memory: National History And Exclusive Identity In Contemporary Denmark, John Terrell Foor May 2015

State Of Memory: National History And Exclusive Identity In Contemporary Denmark, John Terrell Foor

Master's Theses

Increased rates of immigration to Western European states over the past three decades have yielded a wealth of literature in the social sciences, much of which has focused on cases of individuals from so-called ―non-Western‖ countries of origin. Immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia often bring with them cultural and religious traditions that are unfamiliar to the citizens of states which receive them. Tensions between majority populations and growing minorities in Western Europe have resulted in skepticism—and, increasingly, hostility—toward immigrants, particularly those regarded as ―"Islamic."

But is this type of tension inevitable? Are ...


Why Abstain? Trends In And Origins Of Indifference And Estrangement In The United States, 1968-2012, Christopher R. Keeler May 2015

Why Abstain? Trends In And Origins Of Indifference And Estrangement In The United States, 1968-2012, Christopher R. Keeler

Master's Theses

Abstention rates have remained quite high in the United States for the last several decades. This thesis explores the trends in and origins of the nonvoters from 1968 to 2012 using a statistical model of abstention in presidential elections. The objective is to determine why nonvoters have chosen to abstain and who are they?

Using data from the American National Elections Studies, four groups of nonvoters are identified – voters who are both alienated and indifferent, voters who are neither alienated nor indifference, voters who are only alienated, and voters who are only indifferent. The two groups exclusively analyzed are the ...


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 ...


Gay Marriage Laws In Europe Compared To The United States, Megan Stamm Apr 2015

Gay Marriage Laws In Europe Compared To The United States, Megan Stamm

Honors Theses

The issue of same-sex marriage has been the hot social issue of the decade, even of the generation. This social issue has been debated to and fro in countries around the world. Each country has differing policies towards same-sex marriage. Certain countries in the Middle East hold same-sex relationships as crimes punishable by death. Some countries in Europe hold same-sex marriage as completely equal to heterosexual marriage. Each country is different. Each country is made up of different cultures and this plays a huge role in the debate. This thesis will compare and contrast European countries with the United States ...


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 ...


Failure Of Democratic Consolidation: The Three Year Interlude Of Military Rule (1958-1962) In Burma, Zaw Thein Aug 2014

Failure Of Democratic Consolidation: The Three Year Interlude Of Military Rule (1958-1962) In Burma, Zaw Thein

Master's Theses

Many scholars believe that the period between 1948 when Burma won Independence and 1962 when the military took over the country from the elected civilian government as the parliamentary democracy era. During this era, there was a three-year interlude where the military leaders ruled the country as the Caretaker Government- a euphemism for the three-year military interlude. My argument is that this interlude happened due to the growing strength of the military as an institution and the decline of political parties in Burma. The strength of the military institution was due to the civil war that broke out just after ...


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 ...


Protestantism, Liberalism, And Racial Equality, Abraham Uppal Feb 2014

Protestantism, Liberalism, And Racial Equality, Abraham Uppal

Honors Theses

In this paper, I will examine liberalism in Protestantism. Liberals who are Protestant, Mainline Protestants, are an interesting group who are different from the conservative, Evangelical Christian crowd. I will pay special attention to racial issues like affirmative action and racism. Liberalism in Protestantism is often called the social gospel, a theology in which Protestants believe Christian teachings mandate an active role in society in which values such as freedom, equality, and love are pursued. The social gospel contrasts with the theology called individual salvation, often identified with conservative or Evangelical Christianity, in which one’s personal relationship with God ...


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 ...