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CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

American Politics

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Ain’T We Women? Assessing The Place Of Women Of Color In Campaign Training Programs, Catherine Monk Apr 2019

Ain’T We Women? Assessing The Place Of Women Of Color In Campaign Training Programs, Catherine Monk

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

While descriptive representatives enhance democratic legitimacy and deliver substantive results to their constituents, women remain underrepresented in American politics. Recent literature regarding electoral politics has concluded that this is because women do not run for office. Scholars identify many reasons for this candidacy gap including the lack of an institutional support structure and barriers on the campaign trail. In this thesis, I argue that women of color face additional barriers not addressed by traditional literature. I use in-depth interviews with the founder of a campaign training program, and a review of their recruitment and training materials, to examine how the ...


Partisan Issue Linkages In Presidential Campaign Speeches: A Case Study Of Abortion, Ashutosh Mishra Apr 2019

Partisan Issue Linkages In Presidential Campaign Speeches: A Case Study Of Abortion, Ashutosh Mishra

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

This study examined how presidential candidates used partisan issue linkages to discuss their abortion views over the 2008, 2012, and 2016 elections. It qualitatively examined 64 speeches, town halls, and interviews in which candidates spoke about abortion to identify trends in their rhetoric. It also measured the frequencies with which candidates used partisan messages, specific vocabulary, and issue linkages. As candidates employed stronger and more partisan issue linkages across these three elections, they transformed abortion from a stand-alone issue to one entrenched in a partisan policy package. The development of Planned Parenthood as a symbol for pro-choice positions in 2012 ...


Rifles And Reinforcement: The National Rifle Association’S Partisan Approach To Gun Ownership, August Gebhard-Koenigstein Mar 2019

Rifles And Reinforcement: The National Rifle Association’S Partisan Approach To Gun Ownership, August Gebhard-Koenigstein

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

The NRA has long been the dominant player in the battle over gun control. Scholars have attributed this dominance in large part to the NRA’s ability to mobilize its membership when necessary. Lacombe (2018) has written of the NRA’s cultivation of a politicized social identity around gun ownership that assists it in doing so. In this thesis, I show that the NRA has tied this gun owner identity to conservatism and to the Republican party. I find that the NRA’s homogenous membership composition advantages it in its strategy of developing a partisan politicized gun-owner identity among its ...


Shift In The Suburbs: An Analysis Of Changing Vote Patterns In American Suburbs, 2000-2018, Jack D. Weisman Mar 2019

Shift In The Suburbs: An Analysis Of Changing Vote Patterns In American Suburbs, 2000-2018, Jack D. Weisman

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

In the 2016 Presidential Election, the movement of well-off, highly-educated suburbs towards the Democratic Party was one of the most significant yet undercovered stories. In this paper, I analyze the political changes in suburbs around five major cities (Boston, Charleston (SC), Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis) both in 2016 and in elections dating back to 2000. I find that between 2000 and 2014, municipalities close to core cities with high percentages of college graduates became slightly but significantly more Democratic, with much of this movement taking place around 2004 and 2006. Comparing 2016 to previous elections, I find that proximity ...


An Acquired Taste: Evolving Approaches To Nutrition Education In The United States, Callie Holtermann Mar 2019

An Acquired Taste: Evolving Approaches To Nutrition Education In The United States, Callie Holtermann

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

This thesis considers the effectiveness of three approaches to nutrition education in the United States: classroom lessons about nutrition, cooking classes, and a mandate for educators to improve the food environment. It brings interviews with eight Philadelphia-area nutrition educators into conversation with scholarly program evaluations in order to explore the impacts and outcomes of nutrition education policy change on students, educators, and communities. Especially given high rates of obesity, it is a goal of nutrition education to influence children’s behavior in a way that is conducive to healthy eating. The feedback of nutrition educators and scientific evaluations of each ...


Media Distrust: Whose Confidence Was Lost?, Hunter Pearl Mar 2018

Media Distrust: Whose Confidence Was Lost?, Hunter Pearl

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

The news media is among the least-trusted institutions in the nation, with only 41% of Americans reporting a great deal or fair amount of trust in it (Swift 2017). This is a major change from the highly trusted media of the mid-20 th Century, although historically this independent, powerful, and widely respected media establishment is an anomaly. To analyze the causes of media distrust over the last forty years, I have demographically broken down results from a question asked by the General Social Survey since 1972. I tested these results, isolated through a regression analysis, against my predictions of potential ...


Unintended Consequences In Higher Education Finance Policy: Implications For Current Income-Share Agreement Legislative Efforts And Beyond, Patrick A. Zancolli Mar 2018

Unintended Consequences In Higher Education Finance Policy: Implications For Current Income-Share Agreement Legislative Efforts And Beyond, Patrick A. Zancolli

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Although the creation of a federal financial aid system in the United States has greatly expanded opportunity for students seeking postsecondary education, the higher education financing system faces a handful of problems in its current state. At the same time that the higher education financing system is facing these issues, an alternative to traditional student loans known as income-share agreements (ISAs) is gaining attention. There is currently a lack of federal legislation that provides a national framework for ISA providers and students to work within. Policymakers are considering this situation and attempting to address it in a way that properly ...


Let's Talk About Sex: Why The Topic Of Sexual Violence Prevention Should Be Prioritized In K-12 Sex Education, Abbie Starker Mar 2017

Let's Talk About Sex: Why The Topic Of Sexual Violence Prevention Should Be Prioritized In K-12 Sex Education, Abbie Starker

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

While campus sexual assault has recently garnered a lot of attention in the United States, there has been less recognition of individuals who experience sexual and gender-based violence outside of the university/college system. Many people who experience sexual violence have never attended a post-secondary institution, or they experienced sexual violence before they were college-aged. Because of this reality, it is important that there are resources and education about sexual violence for people at a younger age. Through an analysis of public policy, interviews with experts in the field, and a survey that I administered, this thesis examines both formal ...


Explaining The Empty Booth: An Experiment In Candidate Traits And Their Predictive Power On Youth Voter Turnout, Sophia Elliot Jan 2017

Explaining The Empty Booth: An Experiment In Candidate Traits And Their Predictive Power On Youth Voter Turnout, Sophia Elliot

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

This paper is motivated by the overall trend of decreasing youth voter turnout since the 1960s in the U.S, which has been accompanied by large fluctuations in turnout between election cycles. By contrast, older age groups vote at higher rates with less variation in turnout between elections over time. This paper aims to identify some independent variables that affect youth voter turnout rate and its’ fluctuation over time. Using American National Election Survey data, a correlation is observed between certain candidate character traits and youth voter turnout. This study focuses on a candidate’s morality and intelligence by studying ...


Understanding Our Own Cassandra: The Construction Of Public Opinion And The Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas Hearings, Sonja Li Breda Mar 2016

Understanding Our Own Cassandra: The Construction Of Public Opinion And The Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas Hearings, Sonja Li Breda

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

The Senate Judiciary hearings of 1991 held in the wake of allegations that Clarence Thomas, nominated to the Supreme Court by George H.W. Bush, had sexually harassed a woman named Anita Hill captivated the nation. Thomas’ confirmation was eventually postponed in order to allow Dr. Hill an opportunity to testify before the country. Hill’s testimony would prove groundbreaking for women who were victims of sexual harassment in the workplace and usher in the 1992 “Year of the Woman.”

Initially, fast-reaction public opinion polls conducted in the wake of the hearings seemed to show immense support for Clarence Thomas ...


Daca/Dapa And The Relational Conception: An Assessment Of Inter-Branch Conflict Over Constitutional Authority In Immigration, Yessenia Moreno Mar 2016

Daca/Dapa And The Relational Conception: An Assessment Of Inter-Branch Conflict Over Constitutional Authority In Immigration, Yessenia Moreno

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

In the history of the American republic, no branch of government has increased its powers more than the Executive Branch and no area of policy, arguably, has caused as much intense inter-branch conflict in recent years as immigration. Since the last major bipartisan immigration reform in 1986, Presidents have time and again exercised their executive powers to make immigration policy. Most of these exercises of power have been in the form of executive orders and actions granting reprieve from deportation to groups of undocumented immigrants. With the rise of illegal immigration in the 90s and steady decline in recent years ...


Convincing The Reluctant Superpower: Political Communications, Influence, And Public Diplomacy, Samuel H. Ruddy May 2015

Convincing The Reluctant Superpower: Political Communications, Influence, And Public Diplomacy, Samuel H. Ruddy

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

This paper seeks to understand the real influence that public diplomacy may have over American foreign policy vis-à-vis its effect on public opinion. In order to examine that influence, the paper uses the case of American intervention against the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS, ISIL, or Dash) to examine how different kinds of elites influence American public opinion through political communication. It tests RM Entman’s Cascading Activation model of elite influence as a framework to understand public diplomacy, replicating his qualitative study of press coverage with specific focus on foreign sources. It also expands the model by ...


The Impact Of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Of 2010 On National School Meal Participation Rates, Irene Hong Feb 2015

The Impact Of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Of 2010 On National School Meal Participation Rates, Irene Hong

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010 is the most recent child nutrition reauthorization bill. It authorizes $4.5 billion in new funding for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s core child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. Public focus and attention with regard to the HHFKA has chiefly been focused on the dramatic changes implemented in nutritional requirements for all food served in schools, including new restrictions on the amount of calories, sugar, fat and sodium in school meals. Nutrition advocates have lauded these efforts to address rising rates of ...


Unlocking The Latino Vote: Civic Organizations As Tools For Latino Voter Mobilization And Participation, Elizabeth L. Thom Apr 2014

Unlocking The Latino Vote: Civic Organizations As Tools For Latino Voter Mobilization And Participation, Elizabeth L. Thom

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

For decades now, politicians, pollsters and pundits have tried to define, unite and persuade Latino voters. Presidential campaigns dating as far back as the 1960s have made efforts to appeal to the Latino electorate in order to win elections. In 1983 Ronald Reagan concerned himself with winning over Latinos voters during his reelection bid. Today, the diversifying electorate has placed Latinos at the center of twenty-first century American politics.

It is no secret that Latinos are the largest minority population in the United States. Their share of the electorate increases daily, along with their importance in winning national elections. Now ...


Racial Bias And Interstate Highway Planning: A Mixed Methods Approach, Bradford P. Sherman Jan 2014

Racial Bias And Interstate Highway Planning: A Mixed Methods Approach, Bradford P. Sherman

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

This paper is an analysis of highway alignments based on the census tracts that surround them. First, I perform a quantitative analysis of the tracts with highways and the percentage of non-white and African-Americans in these tracts as opposed to in the state and region in general. In areas where the T-Tests noted a significant difference, a case study approach was employed to conjecture as to the reasoning for these suspect alignments.


Capitalism Democracy And Food Stamps: A Case For The Right To Food In The Land Of Freedom And Plenty, Emilie Abrams Jan 2014

Capitalism Democracy And Food Stamps: A Case For The Right To Food In The Land Of Freedom And Plenty, Emilie Abrams

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

14.5% of Americans do not have enough food, and over 1 in 3 Americans is obese. Yet adequate nutrition remains one of the only base human needs whose delivery to communities is not ensured by the government. The United States is one of five countries that has failed to ratify the U.N. covenant establishing a right to food. In the face of these pressing problems, most of the talk associated with movements seeking to make improvements in America’s food system has little grounding in the kind of rigorous debate about rights, and their central role in protecting ...


The Other Pro-Israel Lobby: The Mearsheimer And Walt Controversy And The Rise Of J Street, Maya Spitzer Apr 2013

The Other Pro-Israel Lobby: The Mearsheimer And Walt Controversy And The Rise Of J Street, Maya Spitzer

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

In this thesis, I investigate the influence of the pro-Israel lobby, as a means of assessing more generally the role of interest groups in shaping American public policy, and whether the so-called “lobbies that can’t be beat” are truly unassailable. First, I probe the prevailing treatise on pro-Israel lobby influence, which portrays the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as the nerve center of a pro-Israel lobbying network that almost never fails to coerce policymakers to bow to its will. I ask two distinct but related questions: do AIPAC and the other groups depicted as the “Israel lobby” wield ...


No School Left Uncorrupted: How Cheating, High-Stakes Testing, And Declining Budgets Affected Student Achievement In Philadelphia, James R. Sadler Apr 2013

No School Left Uncorrupted: How Cheating, High-Stakes Testing, And Declining Budgets Affected Student Achievement In Philadelphia, James R. Sadler

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

The No Child Left Behind education act, signed by President Bush in 2002, imposed high-stakes testing standards on all schools in the nation. A decade later, amidst a cheating scandal and a budget crisis, the School District of Philadelphia experienced dramatic standardized test score declines after nine years of increases. This study aims to place these declines in the context of national, state, and local education policy and provide statistical evidence for the cause of the declines. School climate among schools flagged for cheating and budget decreases experienced by all Philadelphia schools significantly contributed to the declines. Nevertheless, the major ...


Take The Money And Run: Business Influence In The Legislative Process, Jacob T. Silverman Apr 2012

Take The Money And Run: Business Influence In The Legislative Process, Jacob T. Silverman

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

This political science honors thesis investigates corporate influence on the lawmaking process, with an emphasis on financial services legislation. The research question is: “As evidenced by the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act and Dodd-Frank Act, to what extent do corporate interests influence the lawmaking process in absolute and relative terms vis-à-vis their adversaries (consumer advocates, labor, etc.)?” In assessing the absolute influence of business groups, this thesis seeks to identify their power in the lawmaking process in relation to legislators; in identifying their relative power, it compares them to adversary groups. The hypothesis of this thesis is that corporate powers have significant ...


Bureaucracy In Crisis: How The State Department Responded To 9/11, Darina Shtrakhman Mar 2012

Bureaucracy In Crisis: How The State Department Responded To 9/11, Darina Shtrakhman

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

When and under what circumstances does a bureaucracy implement reforms? What can inhibit it from doing so? This thesis explores these questions through the particular lens of the State Department and the terrorist attacks carried out by Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001. I examine State Department reform in two capacities: first, how State responded to Al Qaeda attacks leading up to 9/11, and second, how prior historical watershed moments have changed State. To achieve this, I rely on the 9/11 Commission Report, congressional hearings, interviews, and memoirs of relevant actors. Viewing State’s response to 9/11 ...


The Switch In Time That Saved Nine: A Study Of Justice Owen Roberts's Vote In West Coast Hotel Co. V. Parrish, Brian T. Goldman Jan 2012

The Switch In Time That Saved Nine: A Study Of Justice Owen Roberts's Vote In West Coast Hotel Co. V. Parrish, Brian T. Goldman

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

During President Roosevelt's first term in office (1932-1936) the Supreme Court ruled several landmark New Deal measures unconstitutional; a handful of these decisions were by 5-4 margins. It all changed in 1937, when swing Justice Owen Roberts voted to affirm a minimum wage statute in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish; a year earlier he had voted against minimum wage legislation in a similar case.

This "switch in time that saved nine" has no established consensus that explains its occurrence. Some have posited that President Roosevelt's "court packing" legislation forced Roberts's hand, while other have argued that ...


Bowling Online: Examining Social Capital And The Impact Of Internet-Generated Interactions, Alon Gur Jan 2012

Bowling Online: Examining Social Capital And The Impact Of Internet-Generated Interactions, Alon Gur

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Part of who we are is whom we communicate with. That basic premise, that our family and friends affect our own personality, is accepted even in academic treatises that promote nature over nurture as determinants of personality (McCrae & Costa Jr. et al., 2000). Social capital, as a theory, is directly tied to that notion; we build a fund based on friendship and trust and favors – a trust fund, figuratively – and we “invest” in jobs or other relationships for the sake of personal benefit. Harvard Professor Robert Putnam’s 1995 Journal of Democracy paper and the follow-up book, Bowling Alone, hypothesize that America has declining social capital.

Putnam believes in the power of local relationships: "The ...


Proposition 8: Religion, Morality Politics And California's Same-Sex Marriage Debate, Nathalie Jill Kun Baker Apr 2011

Proposition 8: Religion, Morality Politics And California's Same-Sex Marriage Debate, Nathalie Jill Kun Baker

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

This paper explores the relationship between religious affiliation and support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and how this relationship changes over the course of the campaign. There is a demonstrable connection between religious beliefs and partisan and ideological preferences in the United States (Patrikios 2008; Campbell 2007; Layman 2001). Using Proposition 8 in California (2008) as my primary case study, I consider how religion shapes voter behavior specifically in same-sex marriage ballot propositions and how moral policy decisions most clearly expose the link between religious beliefs and ideological preferences. I find that the predictive capacity of religion with ...


How Congresswomen Of Color Affect Policymaking In The U.S.: 110th - 111th Congress, Chiyel R. Hayles Apr 2011

How Congresswomen Of Color Affect Policymaking In The U.S.: 110th - 111th Congress, Chiyel R. Hayles

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Congresswomen of color yield a distinct policy impact in Congress through their perspectives as women and as Americans of color, and through the mix of congressional tools they most often use. Both despite and through the legislative process and the institutional leadership positions they hold, they are able to influence policy by engaging with the executive branch. These more frequently utilized tools include scrutinizing and pressuring the executive branch as advocates, critics and advisers, and public outreach to generate more inclusive and better-informed policymaking. These congresswomen often specifically address substantive interests that are especially pronounced for people of color around ...


Political Opportunity And The Tea Party – Why And Where Tea Party Protests Occurred, Daniel Rudofsky Apr 2011

Political Opportunity And The Tea Party – Why And Where Tea Party Protests Occurred, Daniel Rudofsky

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

The TEA Party initially formed in 2009 to protest excessive government spending and skyrocketing debt. Very quickly their message caught on with many Americans across the country. Local groups sprouted up across America without any hierarchical organization directing their efforts. While some national TEA Party groups provide training and funding to certain local organizations, many of these local groups remain fiercely independent of any national affiliation. By examining their most basic political tool, the protest, this paper explains why the TEA Party movement chose certain congressional districts to hold its protests. It discovers that the TEA Party rationally chose certain ...


Game Changers In Us Defense Strategy: An Examination Of The Causes Behind The Increased Emphasis On Irregular Warfare Since 9/11, Jessica Parisi Apr 2011

Game Changers In Us Defense Strategy: An Examination Of The Causes Behind The Increased Emphasis On Irregular Warfare Since 9/11, Jessica Parisi

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Despite the vast research devoted to the shifting focus of the defense strategy toward irregular operations and developing a counterinsurgency doctrine since September 11, 2001, little is known about the driving political forces behind the process. Most assume that the strategy has shifted because after ten years embroiled in two wars—Iraq and Afghanistan—the United States has learned that conventional operations do not work against unconventional enemies. While this is true, how and why the strategy is integrated at the policy level is less well understood. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to fill in this void. An ...


Bringing Down The House: The Causes And Effects Of The Decline Of Personal Relationships In The U.S. House Of Representatives, Evan Philipson Apr 2011

Bringing Down The House: The Causes And Effects Of The Decline Of Personal Relationships In The U.S. House Of Representatives, Evan Philipson

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Over the past 35 years, personal relationships have declined among members of the United States House of Representatives. In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, polarization and partisanship have risen on Capitol Hill, only to be exacerbated by the impact of Newt Gingrich and the 1994 Republican Revolution. As a result of this increased polarization and partisanship, members of Congress are less able and less willing to forge the personal relationships that are necessary for Congress to function. These relationships make Congress more effective as an institution and result in the body passing more productive legislation. In the absence of ...


Democratic Political Socialization On University Campuses, Amit B. Patel Apr 2011

Democratic Political Socialization On University Campuses, Amit B. Patel

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

This paper intends to contextualize early research on political socialization with recent developments that provide new considerations for the transmission of democratic political learning at a more advanced learning stage. It attempts to demonstrate this literature on political socialization as the foundation for evaluating the continuing research of the Penn Democracy Project in the field of democratic political socialization of undergraduate students. In light of the political socialization literature, this paper reveals the results of the most recent iteration of the Penn Democracy Project research study, which provide insight into the state of citizenship at the University of Pennsylvania. The ...


First Amendment "Beefs": Agricultural Checkoff Programs And Freedom Of Speech, Sarah A. Vaughn Apr 2011

First Amendment "Beefs": Agricultural Checkoff Programs And Freedom Of Speech, Sarah A. Vaughn

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

In the past fourteen years, the Supreme Court has ruled three separate times on the constitutionality of Federal Farm Promotion Programs under the First Amendment. The challenge has been that the programs, which fund generic advertisements such as “Got Milk?” and “Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner,” compel the subsidization of objectionable speech from private producers. The answers handed down from the Court have been conflicting, but each has contributed to the new, still-emerging “government speech doctrine.” In the most recent case, Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association (2005), the Court ruled that the speech in question was completely governmental ...


A Local Analysis Of Regional Differences In Economic Indicators And Electoral Outcomes, Mukul Sharma May 2010

A Local Analysis Of Regional Differences In Economic Indicators And Electoral Outcomes, Mukul Sharma

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

No abstract provided.