Matching Items (8)

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Is the "Special Relationship" Still Special? The Politics and Role of Anglo-American Relations since 1980

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This research looks at the state of Anglo-American political relations since 1980. By examining the political partnerships between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher and George H.W. Bush, George

This research looks at the state of Anglo-American political relations since 1980. By examining the political partnerships between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher and George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Tony Blair, Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, and Barack Obama and David Cameron, it explores if the so called ‘special relationship’ remains so special today in a world of growing political animosity and challenges. The thesis argues that the success of the ‘special relationship’ between the United States and United Kingdom has not been just due to similar political ideologies or goals, but also personal friendships which often overcame national interests or immediate personal political gain. Furthermore, it is often the periods of disagreement between these sets of leaders that helped strengthen the relationship between America and Britain, evidenced by episodes like the Falklands War, policy towards the Soviet Union, the invasion of Grenada, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ultimately, the thesis explores how current relations have deteriorated due to problems on both sides of the Atlantic under the Obama, Brown, and Cameron administrations, but the research concludes that the special relationship is, while damaged, alive and fixable.

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  • 2015-12

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Development Economics and the Counterinsurgency Strategy in Afghanistan

Description

Stability in Afghanistan has always been and will always be impossible to achieve, so long as Afghanistan remains the most corrupt country on earth, and so long as the nation's

Stability in Afghanistan has always been and will always be impossible to achieve, so long as Afghanistan remains the most corrupt country on earth, and so long as the nation's illicit drug trade continues to flourish unchecked. Longstanding conflict in Afghanistan has fostered an environment in which the interest of the nation's influential individuals tips more in favor of instability than in favor of creating a peaceful, stable country under the rule of law. Progress in securing the nation and defeating the Taliban insurgents will not win the counterinsurgency campaign alone. Dramatic political and economic reforms are required if the nation is to have a future after the withdrawal of ISAF troops and eventual reduction in foreign aid. Only permanent changes in behavior in the country can have permanent effects on the government, economy, and welfare of the population.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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The Prince and the People in the Graveyard of Empires

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This honors thesis proposes a hypothetical solution to the political problems facing the modern nation of Afghanistan. Using the model of the Roman Republic as presented by the political theorist

This honors thesis proposes a hypothetical solution to the political problems facing the modern nation of Afghanistan. Using the model of the Roman Republic as presented by the political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli, I explain what institutions are necessary for the survival and success of a republic. These include a citizen militia composed entirely of equal citizens; “political class tension,” or political compromise between the elite and the common people of a republic through observance of the rule of law; and civic virtue, which stems from participation in these two institutional aspects of a republic and assists in bolstering them.
After this examination of necessary republican components, I describe the institution of constitutional dictatorship, which I devised based on the ideas of Machiavelli and the legal theorist Carl Schmitt. I then use all the institutions and ideas discussed within the framework of a thought exercise to examine possible recommendations for action by a constitutional dictatorship operating in Afghanistan, which are to bolster the Afghan National Army and neutralize the corrupting influence of Afghanistan’s “gentlemen,” or selfishly-motivated partisan leaders. Although the recommendations attempt to be as close to feasible policy as possible, they are not written with the goal of actual implementation in mind due to their lack of empirical basis.
I conclude by examining possible domestic and strategic implications of these hypothetical recommendations. This portion is also not empirically-based, merely concluding the examination of the thought exercise. An appendix uses visual aids to demonstrate the composition of the resulting Afghan government.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-12

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Development Economics and the Counterinsurgency Strategy in Afghanistan

Description

Stability in Afghanistan has always been and will always be impossible to achieve, so long as Afghanistan remains the most corrupt country on earth, and so long as the nation's

Stability in Afghanistan has always been and will always be impossible to achieve, so long as Afghanistan remains the most corrupt country on earth, and so long as the nation's illicit drug trade continues to flourish unchecked. Longstanding conflict in Afghanistan has fostered an environment in which the interest of the nation's influential individuals tips more in favor of instability than in favor of creating a peaceful, stable country under the rule of law. Progress in securing the nation and defeating the Taliban insurgents will not win the counterinsurgency campaign alone. Dramatic political and economic reforms are required if the nation is to have a future after the withdrawal of ISAF troops and eventual reduction in foreign aid. Only permanent changes in behavior in the country can have permanent effects on the government, economy, and welfare of the population.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Second Chance, A Mobile Literacy Application for Unschooled Adults

Description

This project seeks to improve the reading and writing skills of literacy-challenged adults, specifically in developing countries, by designing and developing an interactive tablet application for unschooled adults who are

This project seeks to improve the reading and writing skills of literacy-challenged adults, specifically in developing countries, by designing and developing an interactive tablet application for unschooled adults who are passionate about learning to read. Very often in developing countries, the success rates of the literacy courses are overwhelmingly low. Those who manage to gain some basic literacy skills, often relapse into illiteracy once their program has terminated. The proposed application aims to address this challenge by providing an easy-to-use media environment for independent literacy learning on a lightweight portable device. This also offers opportunity to learn at the time and place convenient to the user, which is additionally supported by motivating and engaging instruction. For this thesis, we focus on the design of the system and have developed a working prototype.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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The Successes and Shortcomings of Provincial Reconstruction Teams in the U.S. War in Afghanistan: Lessons from the Scholarly Conflict Literature

Description

Insurgency within a state is an important and frequent occurrence during armed conflict. The large political science literature on conflict reveals that there are many factors that contribute to insurgency

Insurgency within a state is an important and frequent occurrence during armed conflict. The large political science literature on conflict reveals that there are many factors that contribute to insurgency within societies engaged in armed conflict including the scope and intensity of violence, the relative strength of insurgent groups, and the type of regime in power. In addition, there are other relevant issues for understanding the causes of insurgency in a particular place, including greed, grievance, ideology, sociopolitical institutions, geography, ethnicity, and the specific nature of the conflict’s impact on particular communities. In this study, I review the political science literature on conflict as a means of gaining insight on how and why individuals join insurgent groups and the causes and severity of state retaliation against both individuals and insurgent groups. Frameworks within the conflict literature provide a better understanding of key aspects of the U.S. War in Afghanistan from 2002 to 2012. Specifically, I focus on the ways in which these issues are related to the practices and policies of the U.S.

Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), civil-military joint teams created by the U.S. government, are intended to assist in development and reconstruction projects throughout Afghanistan. The mission of PRTs involve locally grounded engagement linking security and community assistance as a central means of supporting the larger counterinsurgency model. Humanitarian activities as undertaken by PRTs attempt provide stability to civilians that they might otherwise turn toward an insurgent group to find. Ideally, PRTs should understand the factors that cause individual and group insurgency against a state and utilize that knowledge when attempting to address the conflict that results. This study focuses on the successes and shortcomings of the Jalalabad PRT and their implementation of a new project development model in the Nangarhar province in Afghanistan in 2006. It was successful because it directly worked to remediate the underlying causes of insurgency as proposed by the technocratic conceit, with a focus on improved water sanitation and sewage, agriculture, and basic infrastructure. It was unsuccessful because it failed to promote local ownership, the development of a community identity, or a methodology to measure the effectiveness and impact of its projects.

According to the lessons from the conflict literature, the Jalalabad PRT’s actions only partly reduced the factors that lead to individual and group defection into an insurgent group.
In actively working to incorporate the lessons from the conflict literature into the Jalalabad PRT project development model, PRTs will more aptly and successfully achieve their stated goals of providing stability, reconstruction, and security. Without addressing the potential other underlying causes of insurgency, however, U.S. PRTs are unable to produce measurable, empirical reductions to insurgency in Afghanistan.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Six Post-9/11 American War Films: Towards an Evolution of Nontraditional Masculine Constructs

Description

Scholars argue that masculinity and war are united because masculinity is best observed through male-dominated arenas, such as the military. Moreover, film can serve as a medium to not only

Scholars argue that masculinity and war are united because masculinity is best observed through male-dominated arenas, such as the military. Moreover, film can serve as a medium to not only establish what is socially acceptable, but play an active role in the creation of one’s identity. Filmmakers past and present have employed the motif of masculinity in their war films, which put it at the center of the social structure and creates an overall acceptable cultural ideology. These filmmakers have established the overall rules, themes, and methods used as part of the war film genre. These rules, themes, and methods served well for pre-1970 American war cinema, when women were not allowed in the military as soldiers. However, as of 2003, female soldiers have grown to comprise twenty percent of the active soldiers and officers in the military. Studies on masculinity construction are well documented in World War II, Vietnam, and Gulf War-era combat films; however, little has been studied on post-9/11 American war films involving the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Using literature on masculinity constructs, both inside and outside of film, as well as social construction theory, identity theory, genre theory, and auteur theory, this dissertation textually examines masculinity construction in six post-9/11 American war films. This dissertation finds that the contemporary war genre continues to construct masculinity similar to past eras of war film. Comradery, the warrior image, not showing emotion, having a violent demeanor, and the demonization of women and cowardice were all prevalent in one or more of the films analyzed in this study. However, there were many nontraditional masculine ideals that were implemented, such as women being present and taking an active role as soldiers, as well as women being portrayed in the warrior image. The films analyzed demonstrate that the war film genre is still depicting and therefore socially constructing masculinity in a way that was prevalent in pre-1970 war films. However, the genre is evolving and nontraditional masculinity constructs are starting to present themselves.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Community-based development: scaling up the correct use of misoprostol at home births in Afghanistan

Description

Globally, more than 350 000 women die annually from complications during pregnancy and childbirth (UNFPA, 2011). Nearly 99% of these, according to World Health Organization (WHO) trends (2010) occur in

Globally, more than 350 000 women die annually from complications during pregnancy and childbirth (UNFPA, 2011). Nearly 99% of these, according to World Health Organization (WHO) trends (2010) occur in the developing world outside of a hospital setting with limited resources including emergency care (WHO, 2012; UNFPA, 2011). The most prevalent cause of death is postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), accounting for 25% of deaths according to WHO statistics (2012). Conditions in Afghanistan are reflective of the scope and magnitude of the problem. In Afghanistan, maternal mortality is thought to be among the highest in the world. The Afghan Mortality Survey (AMS) data implies that one Afghan woman dies about every 2 hours from pregnancy-related causes (AMS, 2010). Lack of empowerment, education and access to health care resources increase a woman's risk of dying during pregnancy (AMS, 2010). This project aims to investigate the prospects of scaling-up the correct use of misoprostol, a prostaglandin E1 analogue, to treat PPH in developing countries where skilled assistance and resources are scant. As there has been little published on the lessons learned from programs already in place, this study is experience-driven, based on the knowledge of industry experts. This study employs a concurrent triangulation approach to synthesize quantitative data obtained from previous studies with qualitative information gathered through the testimonies of key personnel who participated in pilot programs involving misoprostol. There are many obstacles to scaling-up training initiatives in Afghanistan and other low-resource areas. The analysis concludes that the most crucial factors for scaling-up community-based programs include: more studies analyzing lessons learns from community driven approaches; stronger partnerships with community health care workers; overcoming barriers like association with abortion, misuse and product issues; and a heightened global and community awareness of the severity of PPH without treatment. These results have implications for those who actively work in Afghanistan to promote maternal health and other countries that may use Afghanistan's work as a blueprint for reducing maternal mortality through community-based approaches. Keywords: Afghanistan, community-based interventions, community-driven, maternal mortality, MDG5, misoprostol, postpartum hemorrhage, reproduction, scale-up

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Date Created
  • 2013