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Doctoral Dissertations

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Allocative Poisson Factorization For Computational Social Science, Aaron Schein Jan 2019

Allocative Poisson Factorization For Computational Social Science, Aaron Schein

Doctoral Dissertations

Social science data often comes in the form of high-dimensional discrete data such as categorical survey responses, social interaction records, or text. These data sets exhibit high degrees of sparsity, missingness, overdispersion, and burstiness, all of which present challenges to traditional statistical modeling techniques. The framework of Poisson factorization (PF) has emerged in recent years as a natural way to model high-dimensional discrete data sets. This framework assumes that each observed count in a data set is a Poisson random variable $y ~ Pois(\mu)$ whose rate parameter $\mu$ is a function of shared model parameters. This thesis examines a specific ...


Partisan Policymaking: Research And Advocacy In An Era Of Polarization, Zachary Albert Jan 2019

Partisan Policymaking: Research And Advocacy In An Era Of Polarization, Zachary Albert

Doctoral Dissertations

In recent decades, partisan polarization has not only grown but also extended to a wide variety of political processes. Despite this fact, we lack a strong understanding of the policy process under conditions of relatively extreme polarization. The roles of interest groups and think tanks in this environment are particularly understudied. How have research producing institutions changed in response to partisan polarization? And which types of organizations are most influential under the current system? Existing theories often lack an appreciation of the role of partisanship and assume relatively unstructured pluralistic competition in the development and debate of public policy. To ...


Applying Stakeholder Analysis To Lay The Groundwork For Conflict-Sensitive Education In The Somali Education Sector, Nina Aristea Papadopoulos Jan 2018

Applying Stakeholder Analysis To Lay The Groundwork For Conflict-Sensitive Education In The Somali Education Sector, Nina Aristea Papadopoulos

Doctoral Dissertations

ABSTRACT

APPLYING STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS TO LAY THE GROUNDWORK FOR CONFLICT-SENSITIVE EDUCATION IN THE SOMALI EDUCATION SECTOR

SEPTEMBER 2018

NINA ARISTEA PAPADOPOULOS

B.A., University of South Carolina, Columbia

M.A., American University, Washington, D.C.

Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS, AMHERST

Directed by Ash Hartwell, College of Education

This research represents the growing convergence of two previously discrete fields: education in conflict and crisis, and stakeholder analysis. Momentum for an improved and more sophisticated approach to education in conflict and crisis is gaining speed. We are now engaged in a crucial analysis of the interaction between the conflict or crisis ...


Why Education Matters: Political Participation And Interpretive Experiences At High School, Samuel V. Stoddard Jan 2018

Why Education Matters: Political Participation And Interpretive Experiences At High School, Samuel V. Stoddard

Doctoral Dissertations

Political scientists have long recognized educational attainment as a strong predictor of voter turnout, but the mechanisms through which educational experiences lead voters to the polls remain under-explored. This research begins the process of opening the proverbial black box of education to understand the specific types of scholastic experiences that encourage voting. Grounded in previous findings by scholars of policy feedback and political socialization, I use a mix of qualitative and quantitative data analyses to reveal that nonacademic high school experiences can have powerful and lasting interpretive effects. Results show that participants in performance and service-based extracurricular activities are commonly ...


The Negritude Movements In Colombia, Carlos Valderrama Jan 2018

The Negritude Movements In Colombia, Carlos Valderrama

Doctoral Dissertations

Black politics is a diverse range of social practices, actions, and thoughts through which subordinate groups, political figures, activists and artists negotiate power relations and propose alternatives to their forms of oppression. Negritude was the framework which facilitated the emergence of sites and forms of black politics in Colombia during the 70s. While the founders and leaders of the negritude movements -among them, Étiene Léro, Jules Monnerot, René Menil, Aimé Césaire, Léon Damas, Léonard Sainville, Aristide Maungée, the Achille brothers, Léopold Sedar Senghor, Osmane Sosé and Dirago Diop, from French colonies-, were thinking of “It is time for good Cuban ...


"The Whole Nation Will Move": Grassroots Organizing In Harlem And The Advent Of The Long, Hot Summers, Peter Blackmer Jan 2018

"The Whole Nation Will Move": Grassroots Organizing In Harlem And The Advent Of The Long, Hot Summers, Peter Blackmer

Doctoral Dissertations

“The Whole Nation Will Move” provides a narrative history of grassroots struggles for African American equality and empowerment in Harlem in the decade immediately preceding the era of widespread urban rebellions in the United States. Through a street-level examination of the political education and activism of grassroots organizers, the dissertation analyzes how local people developed a collective radical consciousness and organized to confront and dismantle institutional racism in New York City from 1954-1964. This work also explores how the interests and activities of poor and working-class Black and Puerto Rican residents of Harlem fueled the escalation of protest activity and ...


Beyond The City-County Divide: Race, Referenda, And Representation In Consolidated Governments, Christopher Johnson Acuff Aug 2017

Beyond The City-County Divide: Race, Referenda, And Representation In Consolidated Governments, Christopher Johnson Acuff

Doctoral Dissertations

Despite an abundance of research on the impacts of city-county consolidation, the majority of studies to date have focused on outcomes related to efficiency, effectiveness, and economic development. However, two areas which have gone relatively unexplored, particularly from a quantitative perspective, relate to the impact of consolidation on minority representation, as well as the determinants of successful referenda often required in establishing these forms of government. The existing literature on representation is sparse, and often relies on anecdotes or a small number of individual examples. Further, while several in-depth studies have attempted to assess the factors which contribute to successful ...


America’S Imperfect War: The Ethics, Law, And Strategy Of Drone Warfare, Treston Lashawn Wheat Aug 2017

America’S Imperfect War: The Ethics, Law, And Strategy Of Drone Warfare, Treston Lashawn Wheat

Doctoral Dissertations

This study explores the ethics, law, and strategy of targeted killings by drones in the War on Terror. It starts with an exploration of just war theory, its historical development and criteria, to create a foundational framework by which to analyze the ethics of drones as a tactic. Then it defines terrorism and insurgency, establishing how sub-state actors operate, and the strategies states will use to neutralize them as threats. This shows that the War on Terror is actually an armed conflict because terrorism and insurgency are forms of warfare under the law and in warfare theory. After looking at ...


Politics At The Intersection Of Sexuality: Examining Political Attitudes And Behaviors Of Sexual Minorities In The United States, Royal Gene Cravens Iii May 2017

Politics At The Intersection Of Sexuality: Examining Political Attitudes And Behaviors Of Sexual Minorities In The United States, Royal Gene Cravens Iii

Doctoral Dissertations

The existing political archetype of sexual minorities in the United States present lesbians, gays, and bisexuals as more ideologically liberal and Democratic than heterosexuals, as well as politically driven by issues specifically related to LGBT life. Ascribing political distinctiveness based solely on identification with a group, however, commits the fallacy of “difference-as-explanation” (Shields 2008:3030), equating a “shared [LGBT] history of sexual oppression and [LGBT] political sympathies” (Duong 2012:381).

Post-modern theories posit that social positions in society, i.e., socially-constructed categories of identity, exist as part of a simultaneously-experienced and mutually-reinforced “matrix of oppression” (Collins 2000:18). The personal ...


Master's Tools And The Master's House: A Historical Analysis Exploring The Myth Of Educating For Democracy In The United States, Timothy Scott Jan 2017

Master's Tools And The Master's House: A Historical Analysis Exploring The Myth Of Educating For Democracy In The United States, Timothy Scott

Doctoral Dissertations

Over the past forty-years, neoliberal education reform policies in the U.S. have spurred significant resistance, often galvanized by claims that such policies undermine public education as a vital institution of U.S. democracy. Within this narrative, many activists call to “save our schools” and return them to a time when public schools served the common good. With these narratives in mind, I explore the foundational and persistent power structures that characterize the U.S. as a means to reveal the fundamental purpose of its public education system. The questions that guide my research include: (1) With an understanding that ...


Voter Turnout Overreports: Measurement, Modeling And Deception, Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina Jan 2017

Voter Turnout Overreports: Measurement, Modeling And Deception, Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina

Doctoral Dissertations

American politics scholarship has in great measure dedicated itself to the study of

democratic participation in elections. Texts that are considered the cannon on electoral

participation have extended our knowledge of the factors that increase/decrease turnout,

however, this work has relied on self-reports of turnout in surveys. The use of selfreported

turnout is problematic because a non-trivial proportion of survey respondents

say they went out to vote when they actually did not, meaning they overreport turnout.

Overreports of voter turnout are false reports of participation in elections by nonvoters

when responding to political surveys.

Appropriately, scholars of voting behavior ...


Controversy Analysis And Detection, Shiri Dori-Hacohen Jan 2017

Controversy Analysis And Detection, Shiri Dori-Hacohen

Doctoral Dissertations

Seeking information on a controversial topic is often a complex task. Alerting users about controversial search results can encourage critical literacy, promote healthy civic discourse and counteract the "filter bubble" effect, and therefore would be a useful feature in a search engine or browser extension. Additionally, presenting information to the user about the different stances or sides of the debate can help her navigate the landscape of search results beyond a simple "list of 10 links". This thesis has made strides in the emerging niche of controversy detection and analysis. The body of work in this thesis revolves around two ...


The Decline Of Agriculture And The Rise Of Republican Party Strength In The South, John Marshall Dickey Dec 2016

The Decline Of Agriculture And The Rise Of Republican Party Strength In The South, John Marshall Dickey

Doctoral Dissertations

In recent decades, there has been an extensive examination of the resurgence of the Republican Party in the American South in the period after World War II. There were many events that occurred during this time period that might have helped the Republican Party achieve increased success at getting Republican candidates elected in the South. One of the relationships that should be explored is the relationship between the decline of agriculture as the primary provider of jobs and economic prosperity, and the increased ability of the Republican Party to win election to public office. The purpose of this project is ...


The Dynamic Effects Of Political Parties And Economic Hardship On Voter Turnout, Allan M. Wilford Aug 2016

The Dynamic Effects Of Political Parties And Economic Hardship On Voter Turnout, Allan M. Wilford

Doctoral Dissertations

In the last 50 or so years, observers have noted with concern declining rates of voter turnout in many democracies. Explanations for these declines have often focused upon institutional factors that explain differences in turnout between countries but do little to explain declines within countries. However, the suspicion remains that more dynamic factors such as the make-up of party systems or economic effects - factors which vary within countries over time – have greater potential to better explain these declines. The first substantive chapter of this dissertation considers number of parties and polarization jointly to identify the conditions under which party systems ...


Ownership In The Development Discourse: A Case Study In Education In Tanzania, Satomi Kamei Jan 2016

Ownership In The Development Discourse: A Case Study In Education In Tanzania, Satomi Kamei

Doctoral Dissertations

Today, there is a solid consensus in the international development community that “country ownership” is essential to promoting sustainable development in developing countries. Many donors also address ownership as essential to improving aid effectiveness. In this context, there have been continuous debates and emphasis on the importance of ownership. Meanwhile, the debates were further accelerated by the “Paris Declaration” to reform aid delivery and country ownership as an aid effectiveness principle.

Despite various attempts to better define ownership, the notion remains unclear and debatable. Furthermore, the development discourse is still largely dominated by international donors. Consequently, the ownership agenda is ...


Managing The Agricultural Biotechnology Revolution: Responses To Transgenic Seeds In Developing Countries, Alper Yagci Jan 2016

Managing The Agricultural Biotechnology Revolution: Responses To Transgenic Seeds In Developing Countries, Alper Yagci

Doctoral Dissertations

There has been heated debate over transgenic or genetically modified (GM) crops in agriculture. Advocates and critics argue over possible economic, environmental, public health implications of this technology. This study examines varying policy approaches to regulating GM crop cultivation in four developing countries where the technology has large potential application. Why have some countries banned GM crop cultivation in their territory while others encouraged it? In countries where GM crops were allowed, why have varying systems of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection been constructed? To investigate these questions I comparatively examine the policy experience (1995-2015) of Argentina, Brazil, Turkey relying ...


American Authoritarianism In Black And White, Matthew C. Macwilliams Jan 2016

American Authoritarianism In Black And White, Matthew C. Macwilliams

Doctoral Dissertations

How can African Americans be described simultaneously by political scientists as one of the most liberal and the most authoritarian groups in the United States? This conundrum frames the puzzle at the core of this dissertation.

I argue that the political behavior of many African Americans is caught in a tug of war between their racial identity and their predisposition to authoritarianism. When the issue at hand engages African Americans’ authoritarian predisposition, authoritarianism can trump racial identity, produce attitudes that defy conventional wisdom, and dash the common theoretical assumption that African American political behavior is homogeneous. Counter to some of ...


Examining The Civil-Military Divide Through New (Institutional) Lenses: The Influence Of The Supreme Court, Allen Linken Jan 2016

Examining The Civil-Military Divide Through New (Institutional) Lenses: The Influence Of The Supreme Court, Allen Linken

Doctoral Dissertations

Civil-military relations have existed for as long as there has been a military, but only in the last sixty years has research in the field began to examine the relationships between civilian elites and the military. Who controls the military? What level of influence by the military is acceptable in a liberal society, such as the United States? What is the appropriate role of the military? Who serves in the military? What pattern of civil-military relations best ensures the effectiveness of the military instrument?

The study of these questions began with examining relationships between the military and the President, and ...


Economic Development Policy And Foreign Direct Investment In The American States: Assessing Their Impact On Private Sector Unionization, Sarah Lynn Young Dec 2015

Economic Development Policy And Foreign Direct Investment In The American States: Assessing Their Impact On Private Sector Unionization, Sarah Lynn Young

Doctoral Dissertations

Most previous research on the role of U.S. state policy in shaping unionization outcomes has emphasized presence or absence of “right-to-work” laws as the key explanatory factor. This dissertation emphasizes the role of state economic development programing in driving the variation in unionization observed across the American states. It also revisits the role that foreign direct investment plays in regard to union power.

I first discuss the variation in private sector unionization levels among the 50 states. I then provide a literature review on two key types of economic development policy, entrepreneurial and locational. I revisit previous scholarship on ...


Russian Anti-Americanism, Public Opinion And The Impact Of The State-Controlled Mass Media, Natalie Manaeva Rice Dec 2015

Russian Anti-Americanism, Public Opinion And The Impact Of The State-Controlled Mass Media, Natalie Manaeva Rice

Doctoral Dissertations

From 2011 to 2015, a rise in anti-Americanism was strongly reflected in Russian public opinion during President Vladimir Putin’s third term. The study examined the phenomenon of anti-Americanism in Russia and the role of state-controlled mass media in promoting anti-American attitudes. Statistical analysis of polls conducted in Russia by the Pew Research Center in 2012 demonstrated that anti-Americanism in Russian society should not be treated as a monolithic phenomenon. A segment of the Russian populace held a strong and deep-seated anti-American ideological bias that affected its perception of everything related to the United States. Other sentiments, however, fit a ...


Labor Unions And Economic Inequality In The Wealthy Democracies, Eric Graig Castater Dec 2015

Labor Unions And Economic Inequality In The Wealthy Democracies, Eric Graig Castater

Doctoral Dissertations

Previous research on the determinants of economic inequality in the wealthy democracies has found that differences in the size and constitution of labor unions accounts for much of the cross-national and over time variation in economic inequality. Despite numerous theoretical and empirical reasons to suppose the contrary, most of this research assumes that the union effect on economic inequality is independent of the particular socio-economic and political environment unions are situated within and the types of workers actually unionized. The broad purpose of this dissertation is to push back against these assumptions and examine whether the union effect on economic ...


Financial Deregulation, Income Inequality, And Partisan Politics From The Great War To The Great Recession, Eric Reed Keller Aug 2015

Financial Deregulation, Income Inequality, And Partisan Politics From The Great War To The Great Recession, Eric Reed Keller

Doctoral Dissertations

This study examines how financial deregulation and partisan politics shaped American market-based income distribution from 1914 to 2012 through a process called market conditioning. By using time-series data analysis, I access the effect of legislative and bureaucratic financial deregulation on market-based income concentration for the very wealthy. Then, I use process-tracing to determine why both political parties converged in the 1980s to support financial deregulation. I find financial deregulation does increase market-based income for top income earners, especially the top .01 percent. In addition, I determine that both parties were captured by neoliberal economic ideology and through the bureaucracy, shaped ...


An Exploratory Study Of The Presence And Direction Of Agenda-Setting Effects Between Leading U.S. Foreign Policy Think Tanks And U.S. Newspapers, Dzmitry Yuran Aug 2015

An Exploratory Study Of The Presence And Direction Of Agenda-Setting Effects Between Leading U.S. Foreign Policy Think Tanks And U.S. Newspapers, Dzmitry Yuran

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation explores the roles news media and think tanks play in U.S. foreign policy in an analysis of their possible effects on each other’s agendas. In an analysis of salience of, or attention to, multiple countries over time in coverage from leading U.S. newspapers, The New York Times and Washington Post, and in published online materials from leading U.S. foreign policy think tanks, Brookings Institution and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the research looks at the presence, direction, and strength of agenda-setting effects in the construction of news agendas and attention foci of think tanks ...


Developing A Methodology To Characterize The Use Of Emerging And Converging Technologies In Federal Agencies, Dorian Akerman Stiefel Aug 2015

Developing A Methodology To Characterize The Use Of Emerging And Converging Technologies In Federal Agencies, Dorian Akerman Stiefel

Doctoral Dissertations

Although some methodologies exist for the systematic and strategic consideration of emerging and converging technologies, they typically do not incorporate agency current use, strategies, or foresight. This research develops a methodology to characterize current and potential United States federal agency use of emerging and converging technologies to fulfill agency strategic plans and serve society.

Phase 1 of this research develops a methodology to fulfill criteria derived from a literature review and an assessment of best practices. Designed to be implemented in four phases—develop, apply, evaluate, disseminate—the steps of this methodology include definition, collection, organization, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and ...


Economic Wealth And Social Welfare: A Longitudinal Analysis Of Transnational Well-Being, Kelly Brooke Martin Aug 2015

Economic Wealth And Social Welfare: A Longitudinal Analysis Of Transnational Well-Being, Kelly Brooke Martin

Doctoral Dissertations

Macro changes in the financial arena have prompted ongoing research focused on global economic trends. As America emerges from an era of stagnant wages, rising unemployment, and growing class stratification it is necessary to explore differences in cross-national socioeconomic behavior to address the changing needs of our country. Many studies attempt to describe statistical correlations between economic wealth and social well-being domestically and abroad by utilizing methodological perspectives that do not account for longitudinal change. To address the gap in existing research, this study seeks to measure variations in econometric indicators between the U.S. and Nordic countries to further ...


The Effects Of Using Security Frames On Global Agenda Setting And Policy Making, Sirin Duygulu Elcim Jan 2015

The Effects Of Using Security Frames On Global Agenda Setting And Policy Making, Sirin Duygulu Elcim

Doctoral Dissertations

Why do transnational advocacy campaigns on environmental, health, human rights or humanitarian causes sometimes (but not always) frame these problems as security issues? This is an important question because there is an under-analyzed assumption made by some transnational advocacy networks (TANs) and securitization studies scholars that framing an issue as a security threat has an overall positive effect on convincing states to take actions in addressing transnational social problems. The lack of systematic comparison across cases limits our ability to reveal the advocates’ motivations in adopting security frames and the contrasting effects that securitization might have at various stages of ...


The Economy Effect, Jeremy N. Wolf Jan 2015

The Economy Effect, Jeremy N. Wolf

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation focuses on the production of “the economy” as a structural effect. Following the work of Timothy Mitchell, JK Gibson-Graham, Michel Foucault, and others who have suggested that the economy is a relatively recent innovation, this dissertation traces its development, and examines some of the implications that such a claim might have for contemporary politics. The dissertation begins by identifying a set of six characteristics that characterize the contemporary economy. Chapter 1 reviews relevant literature regarding the ways in which we theorize objects that are produced and contingent, but nevertheless real, with a focus on the concepts of “structural ...


Interest Groups, Political Party Control, Lobbying, And Science Funding: A Population Ecology Approach, Allyn Katherine Milojevich Dec 2014

Interest Groups, Political Party Control, Lobbying, And Science Funding: A Population Ecology Approach, Allyn Katherine Milojevich

Doctoral Dissertations

Science plays an increasingly important role in public policy in a range of issues from national security to public health. Thus, scientists will play an increasingly important role in society. This dissertation first examines how federal science funding changes with partisan control of key political institutions. Next, science-related interests groups, including their formation, specialization, and lobbying activities, are examined. Interest groups are a growing aspect of the American political system. However, they are an understudied aspect of political institutions. While much of their activity occurs within the legislative branch, they also work in the executive and judicial branches to advocate ...


Antigone Claimed, "I Am A Stranger": Democracy, Membership And Unauthorized Immigration, Andres Fabian Henao Castro Sep 2014

Antigone Claimed, "I Am A Stranger": Democracy, Membership And Unauthorized Immigration, Andres Fabian Henao Castro

Doctoral Dissertations

My dissertation offers a new framework through which to theorize contemporary democratic practices by attending to the political agency of unauthorized immigrants. I argue that unauthorized immigrants themselves, by claiming their own ambiguous legal condition as a legitimate basis for public speech, are able to open up the boundaries of political membership and to render the foundations of democracy contingent, that is to say, they are able to reopen the question about who counts as a member of the demos. I develop this argument by way of a close reading of Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone[1], which allows me to dramatize ...


A Veteran Welfare State: Veterans' Benefits, Coalition Politics, And Social Policy Change, 1943-1973, Melinda R. Tarsi Sep 2014

A Veteran Welfare State: Veterans' Benefits, Coalition Politics, And Social Policy Change, 1943-1973, Melinda R. Tarsi

Doctoral Dissertations

America’s commitment to the reintegration of veterans via social policy is not a recent political development; since the end of World War II, federal and state government programs have been designed (and redesigned) to successfully transition former military personnel back into civilian life. Beginning with the 1944 Serviceman’s Readjustment Act (commonly known as the G.I. Bill), the federal government has taken the primary role in this reintegration initiative, investing billions of dollars into veterans’ benefit programs for education assistance, unemployment compensation, and job placement services. Even as the legislation has been renewed after military conflicts, veterans’ education ...