Matching Items (19)

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A "Massive Fact" of American Politics: Revisitng Regions in the Contemporary House of Representatives

Description

All politics is local, but some locales practice politics differently than others. Unique, individual relationships between a place and the social institutions of politics modifies and mitigates assumptions of how

All politics is local, but some locales practice politics differently than others. Unique, individual relationships between a place and the social institutions of politics modifies and mitigates assumptions of how politics works across space. This analysis takes into account cultural theory concerning political behavior of place and regions and work by political scientists analyzing the differences in political behavior and preferences and aims to test a hypothesis about spatial patterns in the defections from party line votes in the US House of Representatives.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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A Contemporary Analysis of the History, Development, and Symbolism of the Mexican Folk Saint ‘Santa Muerte’

Description

The drug wars in Mexico have claimed the lives, either directly or indirectly, of over 34,000 Mexican citizens since 2006. With such turmoil, the Mexican government has taken some desperate

The drug wars in Mexico have claimed the lives, either directly or indirectly, of over 34,000 Mexican citizens since 2006. With such turmoil, the Mexican government has taken some desperate measures to contain the spread of violence. This includes what would be considered a distinct violation of the separation of church and state. A relatively obscure folk saint, La Santa Muerte, or "Saint Death," has gained international notoriety with the escalation in violence. With an image that has darker connotations than many mainstream Catholic saints, La Santa Muerte has become a source of contention in Mexico, both with the government and the Catholic oligarchy. This project focuses on analyzing the historical roots of Santa Muerte, her unique development and symbolic nature within the Mexican culture, the struggle between devotees and the Mexican government/Catholic Church, and her extension onto the global stage. In focusing on a relatively new area of academic study, this project will contribute to further research on similar topics.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Exploring Panem: Teaching Issues of Violence and International Development within the Context of The Hunger Games

Description

This project created a teaching curriculum resource guide for using the popular series, The Hunger Games, in 6th-8th grade classrooms to introduce cultural issues such as child soldiers and international

This project created a teaching curriculum resource guide for using the popular series, The Hunger Games, in 6th-8th grade classrooms to introduce cultural issues such as child soldiers and international development to students. Studies have shown that literature can cultivate empathy and encourage youth to act. This combined with the expanding phenomenon of participatory culture and fandom activism as outlined by Henry Jenkins demonstrate the potential for youth to learn and act when given the opportunity and resources to do so. The curriculum is composed of three units: The first is a three-week reading of the books with various activities for students to really understand the narrative and source text. The second and third units address the issues of child soldiers and international development using The Hunger Games as a framework and a keystone to build connections so that these complex issues are accessible to youth. This project is a first step in the development of a curriculum that spans the full trilogy and covers a variety of current event topics.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

Caoyang New Village: a Model for New Chinese Urban Development?

Description

Located in the Putuo District of Shanghai, Caoyang New Village is an anomaly of sorts from the perspective of contemporary Chinese urban planning. With a history dating back to the

Located in the Putuo District of Shanghai, Caoyang New Village is an anomaly of sorts from the perspective of contemporary Chinese urban planning. With a history dating back to the early Mao era, the village has long been a symbol of socialist urban imagery that seems ahead of its time because in many ways it displays contemporary "new urbanism" elements. This paper discusses the origins and history of Caoyang Workers' Village, moving forward to its present conditions and recent role as an urban site for participatory planning. It also considers future redevelopment plans for Caoyang New Village, touching upon current conflict over the preservation of its cultural heritage and the need to address its housing issues. In analyzing the past and present of Caoyang New Village, questions of its future as a unique entity within modernity-seeking Shanghai arise.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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The Structure of International Intellectual Property Agreements and their Effects on Developing States

Description

International intellectual property law has become an important factor in international trade as the world economy has become increasing interconnected. The foundational international intellectual property agreement is the TRIPS (Trade-Related

International intellectual property law has become an important factor in international trade as the world economy has become increasing interconnected. The foundational international intellectual property agreement is the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement, negotiated in 1994 and required by the World Trade Organization of all its member states. The TRIPS regime establishes minimum standards of protection, but developed states, especially the United States, continually push other countries to enact more stringent laws. This paper explains the power dynamic underlying this international legal order, and furthermore answers how developing states respond. By drawing on Immanuel Wallerstein’s world systems theory, Alisha Holland’s forbearance – the practice of states with the capacity to enforce laws choosing no to do so – and existing empirical studies of seven East and Southeast Asian states’ actions in the realm of intellectual property law in recent years, I argue that the intellectual property agreements under scrutiny are created and pushed by developed American and Western European states to serve their own economic interests. This is supported by a pattern of hegemonic meddling and threats, often by the United States, seeking to influence the domestic laws of developing states, and as a result prompts those states to pursue policies of deliberately partial enforcement – a prime example of forbearance – in an attempt to retain legal legitimacy under international agreements and drive their own economic development. This stands as a refutation of the naïve understanding that developed states have weak intellectual property protections due to apathy, ignorance, ineptitude, or other such moral failings (as developed states such as the United States have claimed). Instead, developing states are pursuing rational and deliberate legal strategies of partial enforcement.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Economic Inequality and its Roots: A Comparative Analysis of the United States and Canada

Description

In the United States, the past thirty years have brought with them a substantial rise in income and wealth inequality rates. Inequality in the U.S. has risen to levels not

In the United States, the past thirty years have brought with them a substantial rise in income and wealth inequality rates. Inequality in the U.S. has risen to levels not seen for nearly a century and shows no signs of decreasing in the near future. Conversely, Canada has experienced lower levels of inequality during this same period despite many similarities and ties to the U.S. Therefore, the purpose of this paper will be to examine the extent to which these two countries differ in this area and identify some of the more salient factors that have contributed to this divergence, including tax policies, unionization rates, and financial industry regulation, as well as the deeper, more fundamental elements of each nation's identity.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Boilerplate: the Unread Terms and Agreements

Description

Modern Americans ignorantly live under a blanket of unread terms, conditions, and binding contracts. Often, these contracts (mostly associated with products and services) come and go with little effect. Periodically,

Modern Americans ignorantly live under a blanket of unread terms, conditions, and binding contracts. Often, these contracts (mostly associated with products and services) come and go with little effect. Periodically, the products or services cause the consumer harm, leading them to seek repair. The consumer then realizes that all the fine print they failed to read makes an impactful legal difference. This paper analyzes the work of Professor Radin through her book, Boilerplate. It goes on to explore many other arguments presented by contract theorists and makes substantial claims regarding the dangers of boilerplate (unread terms and conditions).

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Geopolitics of the South China Sea: How Territory, Territoriality, and Sovereignty Reflect China's Ambitions

Description

The disputes in the South China Sea involve overlapping territorial claims from multiple nations and have grown increasingly contentious over the past decade. The area is rich in natural resources

The disputes in the South China Sea involve overlapping territorial claims from multiple nations and have grown increasingly contentious over the past decade. The area is rich in natural resources and is strategically significant regarding international trade and military capabilities. Due to the significance of the area, the competing claims have global ramifications and the conflict involves actors beyond the region. This paper examines the geopolitical factors involved in the disputes and how they shape states' actions in relation to the South China Sea. Specifically, this paper will show how China's actions in the South China Sea reflect both the geography of the region, and also its political ambitions in the region and international community. The states' claims contend the territory, territoriality, and sovereignty of islands in the South China Sea, and are based on both international law and historical evidence illustrated in the case between the Philippines and China in the Scarborough Shoal. It demonstrates China's tactics for managing competing claims, its increasing military capabilities, and the uncertainty of resolutions to the conflict. The mechanisms for the resolution of the territorial disputes in the South China Sea are shown to be largely ineffective given the differing basis of claims over the South China Sea states have. International institutions, such as United Nations tribunals, and other nations without direct claims in the South China Sea, such as the United States, have interests in the conflict related to the peaceful resolution of disputes between nations, while also influencing states' actions. This paper reviews the concepts of geopolitics and how China's strategy in the South China Sea reflects both critical and classical geopolitics and its objective of regional hegemony.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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The Efficacy of International versus State Policies towards Displaced Persons and their Effects on Human Geography

Description

The purpose of this thesis was to answer the research question of how do states and international agencies, respectively, differ in application of efforts towards implementation of refugee rights, status,

The purpose of this thesis was to answer the research question of how do states and international agencies, respectively, differ in application of efforts towards implementation of refugee rights, status, and protection and/or resettlement and why these differences occur. The respective refugee crises that arose following the Bosnian war in the 1990s and the Syrian civil war happening in the present day were used as case studies to further examine and answer this question. These case studies were chosen due to their relatively large refugee populations and differing causes for said refugee populations. To properly measure efficacy of refugee policies on a state and international level, the dispute of state sovereignty versus the right to international intervention was focused on and assessed exhaustively throughout this paper. It was determined that sovereignty could only be deemed legitimate and free of international intervention if certain basic functions (keeping the peace, upholding human rights, etc.) were being upheld within a territory's borders. In the cases of both Bosnia and Syria, the lack of protection and rights provided for refugees warranted international intervention, yet that intervention was not always carried out in the most efficient manner. This paper sought to elaborate on why international intervention occurred when it did and whether it was more powerful than state sovereignty. In the end, international agencies would be most effective in implementing refugee policies if individual states complied with those set policies. Until then, the battle between international policies and the proper implementation of those policies by individual states will remain an intricate one.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

Microfinance in Saint-Louis, Senegal: The Impact of Heterogeneous Values, Norms, and Expectations Among Interdependent Agents

Description

By volunteering with a microfinance program in the historic coastal town of Saint-Louis, Senegal in the fall of 2016, I became embedded within the Senegalese culture and gained a unique

By volunteering with a microfinance program in the historic coastal town of Saint-Louis, Senegal in the fall of 2016, I became embedded within the Senegalese culture and gained a unique perspective on the loan process. Coordinated by the for-profit organization, Projects Abroad, the microfinance office aimed to help women and Talibés (young men studying the Quran) gain financial independence through small-scale sustainable entrepreneurship while simultaneously providing its volunteers with meaningful experiences.

The purpose of my thesis is to examine the interactions among the Senegalese staff, international volunteers, and Senegalese loan participants, and the ways in which their constantly evolving reactionary relationships impacted the program. The paper provides a context of Saint-Louis, Senegal as well as the Projects Abroad Organization and outlines the loan process prior to examining the daily activities of the program. I highlight important factors such as religion, education, gender roles, and saving techniques in order to show how juxtaposing values and traditions played key roles in the program’s evolution. Ultimately, I argue that the heterogeneity of values, norms, and expectations among those participating in the program created both obstacles and opportunities for program implementation and the ways in which to gauge its success.

By sharing my personal observations and experiences, I hope to provide the reader with a greater understanding of the complexities of intercultural communication in the microfinance arena. In the words of the American economist and philosopher Tyler Cowen, “Real cultural diversity results from the interchange of ideas, products, and influences, not from the insular development of a single national style.”

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05