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Malaysian 2018 General Election: The start of a Democratic Transition?

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The overall purpose of this project was to examine a democratic transition and the factors that lead to a transition by looking at a specific country case. The Malaysian 2018 General Election saw the Barisan Nasional (BN) political party, which

The overall purpose of this project was to examine a democratic transition and the factors that lead to a transition by looking at a specific country case. The Malaysian 2018 General Election saw the Barisan Nasional (BN) political party, which had been in power since the nation’s independence, lose to the opposition party, Pakatan Harapan (PH), in a shocking turn of events. When looking at this particular case, it was important to first establish what the most common factors are, that exist in democratic transitions. By applying these factors to the Malaysian case, it allowed for a deeper understanding of whether or not this democratic transition would take root quickly or instead take several years. Along with connecting these academically studied factors to Malaysia, it was also critical at examining the major events unique to the country that helped contribute to the BN’s loss. When examining this case in particular, what became evident was that the election results and overall transition had already been building up for several years.

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2019-05

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Proportional Representation Electoral Systems and Minority Representation in the American Legislature: A Comparative Analysis of Potential Reforms

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In this paper I conduct a comparative analysis of how proportional representation electoral systems could affect the political representation of racial and ethnic minorities if adopted in America. In order to do this I first discuss the central ideas of

In this paper I conduct a comparative analysis of how proportional representation electoral systems could affect the political representation of racial and ethnic minorities if adopted in America. In order to do this I first discuss the central ideas of proportional representation in conjunction with a historical and contemporary view of the American electoral system. Using this discussion as a basic framework I enter a more in depth discussion about the pros and cons of PR systems, especially in so far as party lists, district magnitude, and links between constituent and representative. To better contextualize the American electoral system I then use case studies featuring New Zealand, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Germany. These case studies discuss important aspects of each country's electoral system and how they have affected ethnic and racial minorities within those countries. Each case study concludes with an assessment of how a similar system might work if adopted in America which aims to inform a broader discussion about electoral reform. Finally I conclude with a discussion of my findings that recognizes how proportional representation systems open new pathways for minority representation, while still urging caution in viewing those systems as a straightforward solution to the chronic underrepresentation of America's ethnic and racial minorities in politics.

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2018-05

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Military Law and Mercy Killing in Iraq: The Case of Captain Roger Maynulet

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This thesis discusses the court-martial of Army Captain Rogelio "Roger" Maynulet and the public reaction to the trial. Maynulet's court-martial took place in 2005 for the mercy killing of an Iraqi during his deployment in 2004. While in pursuit of

This thesis discusses the court-martial of Army Captain Rogelio "Roger" Maynulet and the public reaction to the trial. Maynulet's court-martial took place in 2005 for the mercy killing of an Iraqi during his deployment in 2004. While in pursuit of Muqtada al-Sadr, who was considered a high value target, Maynulet killed the driver of the car which intelligence said al-Sadr was a passenger. Maynulet was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and dismissed from the military. The goal of this research is to show Maynulet was rightly convicted and delve into how public reaction reveals varied and divisive opinions toward mercy killing and military behavior.

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2014-05

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JUST ONE OF THE GUYS? AN ANALYSIS OF THE PRINT-MEDIA COVERAGE JANET NAPOLITANO RECEIVED IN THE 2002 ARIZONA GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION

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This thesis analyzes the print-media coverage of female candidates for public office in Arizona. Former research has found that, historically, female candidates receive less overall coverage, less issue coverage, and more coverage focused on appearance and family in comparison to

This thesis analyzes the print-media coverage of female candidates for public office in Arizona. Former research has found that, historically, female candidates receive less overall coverage, less issue coverage, and more coverage focused on appearance and family in comparison to their male counterparts. Such biased coverage has countless detrimental effects on female candidates in influencing the public's perception of their viability as candidates and their ability to perform in office. To explore how female candidates in Arizona are treated by their local print media, I specifically analyzed how the two largest newspapers in Arizona, The Arizona Republic and Arizona Daily Star, covered Janet Napolitano as a gubernatorial candidate in 2002. In the first chapter, I compared general election coverage of Napolitano to that of her male opponents Matt Salmon, Richard Mahoney, and Barry Hess. In the second chapter, I compared in-depth general election articles about Napolitano to in-depth general election articles about Jan Brewer during her campaign for governor in 2010. From the first chapter, then, I could analyze coverage differences between female and male candidates, and from the second chapter I could examine coverage differences between female candidates with very different lifestyles. In conjunction, these two chapters produced a broad picture of the media climate for female gubernatorial candidates in Arizona.

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2014-05

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Comparative Analysis of the Effects of Media on Hyperlocal Elections

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Although smaller and more local elections could have implications more dramatic to an individual than larger district-, state-, and nation-wide elections do, very few citizens vote in them. Moreover, citizens are limited in procuring further information on candidates, issues, and

Although smaller and more local elections could have implications more dramatic to an individual than larger district-, state-, and nation-wide elections do, very few citizens vote in them. Moreover, citizens are limited in procuring further information on candidates, issues, and the overall election when there are fewer sources of such information across various mediums. While existing literature on political communication and voter participation does not yet extend far enough to sufficiently address the most local aspects of media effects on elections, the political science field’s dominating frameworks would suggest that an increase in news media, social media, and ground mobilization tactics would increase civic engagement and voter participation. My research, which focuses on hyperlocal elections, both supports a​nd​refutes certain elements of that suggestion. Based on surveys of potential voters in a university’s student government election and a school board election, interviews with two student government presidential candidates, and an analysis of social media engagement, my research compares three mass media platforms and two elections to characterize the effects of media on hyperlocal elections—that certain tactics have drastically different results on different populations. My research expands the body of media and politics knowledge to include hyperlocal elections, suggesting that civic engagement on the local levels require increased further study.

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2015-05

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Preserving Democracy in 2020: An Examination of Policy Action within the United States during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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This paper conducts an exploration of the election policy reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic within the United States. While living through and voting during the real-time events which took place during the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020, it soon became evident

This paper conducts an exploration of the election policy reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic within the United States. While living through and voting during the real-time events which took place during the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020, it soon became evident that there was not enough experience from earlier election emergencies to properly ensure against voter disenfranchisement. Given the scope of the global pandemic and the speed with which policymakers had to act, there was very little time to properly prepare. There was also great contention regarding the legitimacy of election methods proposed to alleviate in-person election concerns, such as mail-in voting. The political battle between those who believed COVID-19 to be a grave concern against those who did not consider COVID-19 to be a legitimate threat towards their livelihoods also affected policymaking decisions. Policymakers were forced into a corner, as they experienced criticism for not enough government action, as well as disapproval on the actual regulation that came to pass. This paper therefore aims to understand what factors led to the decisions which shaped the election policy which occurred as a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic during the election year of 2020. This analysis is conducted by considering the following: prior election emergency policy; the development of reactive election policy in March, proactive policy established for the August and November elections; and a review of voter disenfranchisement which occurred due to COVID-19.

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2021-05

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Toxic Nationalism: The Rise of Xenophobic Populist Rhetoric in Modern American Election Campaigns

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This paper intends to parse out the differences between various types of nationalism. It will break down the current trend toward xenophobic rhetoric in modern democratic election campaigns. Then, it will discuss the effect of modern media coverage in the

This paper intends to parse out the differences between various types of nationalism. It will break down the current trend toward xenophobic rhetoric in modern democratic election campaigns. Then, it will discuss the effect of modern media coverage in the dissemination and sustenance of toxic nationalist rhetoric and cover the role of President Donald J. Trump in doing the same. Finally, it will outline what appears to be the root cause of this current uptick in toxic nationalism and recommend some methods by which the issue can be resolved in the current political atmosphere.

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2020-05

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Measuring Representation at the Arizona Legislature

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Political scientists have long recognized the importance of representation as being critical to the American form of government. This paper begins by establishing the theoretical basis for representational studies in political science. It then turns to the empirical question of

Political scientists have long recognized the importance of representation as being critical to the American form of government. This paper begins by establishing the theoretical basis for representational studies in political science. It then turns to the empirical question of measuring the degree to which legislators represent their constituents. While there have been comprehensive studies of representation among members of Congress, several practical difficulties have prevented similar studies at the state legislature level. Underlying measures of representation are the preferences of constituents and the representational behavior of legislators. This paper proposes two metrics, a modified Partisan Voting Index and the American Conservative Union State Legislative Ratings, to compare the district-level preferences with roll call voting behavior (a form of substantive representation) of the corresponding legislators. This methodology is then tested against data collected from the Arizona legislature, specifically incorporating election returns from 2012, 2014, and 2016, and votes taken during the 2017 and 2018 sessions of the legislature. The findings suggest a strong relationship between the partisan and ideological leaning of a state legislative district and how conservative or liberal a legislator’s voting record is, even when controlling for political party. Two special cases are also examined in the context of this data. First, the three legislative districts with a split delegation are analyzed and determined to have a moderating effect on representative behavior. Second, five mid-term vacancies are examined along with the process for filling a vacancy. The paper concludes with a discussion of how this line of research can better inform legislators and help constituents hold their elected officials to account.

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2019-05

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The One Person, One Vote Principle in United States Elections

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The right to cast a meaningful vote, equal in value to other votes, is a fundamental tenet US elections. Despite the 1964 Supreme Court decision formally establishing the one person, one vote principle as a legal requirement of elections, our

The right to cast a meaningful vote, equal in value to other votes, is a fundamental tenet US elections. Despite the 1964 Supreme Court decision formally establishing the one person, one vote principle as a legal requirement of elections, our democracy consistently falls short of it. With mechanisms including the winner-take-all format in the Electoral College, disproportioned geographic allocation of senators, extreme partisan gerrymandering in the House of Representatives, and first-past-the-post elections, many voters experience severe vote dilution. <br/><br/>In order to legitimize our democratic structures, American elections should be reformed so every person’s vote has equal weight, ensuring that the election outcomes reflect the will of the people. Altering the current election structure to include more proportional structures including rank choice voting and population-based representation, will result in a democracy more compatible with the one person, one vote principle.

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2021-05

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An Analysis of Voter Mobilization Across Working Class and Majority-Minority State Legislative Districts of Arizona and Georgia Relative to the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

Description

The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election was a presidential election unlike any other in modern U.S. history for several reasons. In the rare defeat of an incumbent president, Joseph Biden secured the title of President of the United States over President

The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election was a presidential election unlike any other in modern U.S. history for several reasons. In the rare defeat of an incumbent president, Joseph Biden secured the title of President of the United States over President Donald Trump. In this victory, Biden flipped several historic battleground states in his favor, in addition to two formerly safe conservative states: Arizona and Georgia. This research seeks to examine the role that the mobilization of voters from working class and majority-minority state legislative districts played in determining the outcome of the election in Arizona and Georgia.

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2022-05