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The Impacts of Conservation Practices on Indigenous Populations

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Conservation is a complicated entity consisting of a multitude of professional fields including social issues, cultural issues, and physical science. This thesis evaluates the positive and negative aspects of two broad types of conservation: top down fortress conservation and bottom

Conservation is a complicated entity consisting of a multitude of professional fields including social issues, cultural issues, and physical science. This thesis evaluates the positive and negative aspects of two broad types of conservation: top down fortress conservation and bottom up community-based conservation. Fortress conservation has many negative aspects, such as displacing human communities and preventing utilization of resources. However, it also has positive aspects, such as preventing the destruction of delicate ecosystems and slowing down extinctions. Community-based conservation is more inclusive and focuses on including the indigenous populations located within the proposed conservation site in the decision-making process. Its negatives include having an anthropocentric goal instead of valuing nature's intrinsic values. Understanding the differences inherent in these two methods is necessary in order to implement a conservation network with the highest chance for success.

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2014-05

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Maternal health in Ethiopia: global and local complexities

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WHO estimates that 830 women die every day due to maternal health complications. The disparities in maternal health are unevenly distributed between wealthy and poor nations. Ethiopia has one of the highest mortality rates in the world. Existing high maternal

WHO estimates that 830 women die every day due to maternal health complications. The disparities in maternal health are unevenly distributed between wealthy and poor nations. Ethiopia has one of the highest mortality rates in the world. Existing high maternal mortality rates worldwide and in Ethiopia indicate the shortcomings of maternal health interventions currently underway. Understanding the socio-cultural, economic and political factors that influence maternal health outcomes locally while simultaneously examining how global reproductive and development programs and policies shape and influence the reproductive needs and knowledge of women is important. Employing feminist and African indigenous methodologies, in this research I explore maternal health issues in Ethiopia in two of the largest regions of the nation, namely Oromia and Amhara, more specifically in Seden Sodo and Mecha districts. Using qualitative interviews and focus group discussions, I examined the various socio-cultural, political and economic factors that influence maternal health outcomes, assessing how gender, class, education, marriage and other social factors shape women's health outcomes of pregnancy and childbirth. I also explored how global and local development and reproductive health policies impact women's maternal health needs and how these needs are addressed in current implementation strategies of the Ethiopian health system. Recognizing women's social and collective existence in indigenous African communities and the new reproductive health paradigm post-ICPD, I addressed the role of men in maternal health experience. I argue that global and local development and reproductive policies and their implementation are complex. While comprehensive descriptions of national and maternal health policies on paper and gender-sensitive implementation strategies point toward the beginning of a favorable future in maternal health service provision, the global economic policies, population control ideas, modernization/development narratives that the nation employs that focus on biomedical solutions without due emphasis to socio-cultural aspects have a detrimental effect on maternal health services provision. I advocate for the need to understand and include social determinants in policies and implementation in addition to legal enforcement and biomedical solutions. I also argue for alternative perspectives on masculinities and the role of men in maternal health to improve maternal health service provision.

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2017

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Slavery in Thought and Action: Reconciling the Duality of John Locke

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The Enlightenment era in the West is traditionally referred to as the “Age of Reason” and the cradle of liberalism, which has been perhaps the dominant political ideology in the West since the eighteenth century. Philosophers such as John Locke

The Enlightenment era in the West is traditionally referred to as the “Age of Reason” and the cradle of liberalism, which has been perhaps the dominant political ideology in the West since the eighteenth century. Philosophers such as John Locke and John Stuart Mill are credited with developing liberalism and their theories continue to be studied in terms of liberty, the social contract theory, and empiricism. While liberalism is heralded as a societal advancement in the field of philosophy, some thinkers’ actions were not consistent with their written principles. This essay investigates how John Locke was involved in the creation and perpetuation of slavery in North America, but later crafted and endorsed more liberal ideologies in his writings. This dual nature of Locke has a prominent place in academia and scholarly research. Many try to address the contradictory nature of Locke by looking to the location he had in mind when crafting his philosophies, specifically those concerning the state of nature, slavery, property rights, and empiricism. While some concepts, like slavery, seem to find him contemplating only English citizens, Locke’s reference to Indigenous Americans in his philosophical works supports the argument that the philosopher’s ideology was not necessarily written exclusively for English application. By analyzing Locke’s philosophy and his economic involvement in the Carolina colony through a postcolonial theoretical framework, this essay aims to understand the Eurocentrism of Locke and how his philosophy was applied differently across borders. Using postcolonial theory, this thesis concludes Locke was a colonialist and Western author who portrayed non-European cultures, practices, and experiences for European consumption and application.

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2021