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From Fragile to Fractured: The Failed Political Reforms of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Their Implications for the Future of the European Union

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Despite the reactionary Habsburg regime under Emperor Franz Joseph, forces within the government and leading intelligentsia proposed various reforms to solve the issue of ethnic discrimination across the Austro-Hungarian Empire,

Despite the reactionary Habsburg regime under Emperor Franz Joseph, forces within the government and leading intelligentsia proposed various reforms to solve the issue of ethnic discrimination across the Austro-Hungarian Empire, attempting to resolve the tensions that the Ausgleich of 1867 had further aggravated by the inclusion of Hungarians as a privileged class to the detriment of the remaining minorities. This paper will look at the Austro-Marxist and Federalist reformers and the ways in which their concepts, if implemented, could have saved the Empire from its downfall in 1918. Ultimately, neither the Austro-Marxist concept of a centralized system of universal rights across the borders of all nations within the existing empire nor the Federalist idea of a national territorial sovereignty allowing for a certain degree of individual autonomy managed to be adopted by the Allied victors of World War I. The myopic focus of the ‘Big Four’ on the German Empire blinded them to the intricate economic and political balance needed for peace in the Balkans. While France, Britain, and Italy exhibited a general lack of concern to the outcome in the Balkans, Wilson’s ‘self-determination’ doctrine is most responsible for creating the unsustainable, irredentist-driven states that the reform-minded intellectuals—Austro-Marxist or Federalist—most had sought to avoid. In addition to a discussion of the reform movements in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, this paper will explore the reforms’ strong similarities to the present struggles within the European Union, particularly the divide between Euro-federalists and Euro-sceptics. The crisis situation and reform efforts of the Austrian Empire from 1867 to 1914 reveal significant policy lessons applicable to the European Union as it navigates the current crossroads between further federal integration or a return to medieval disintegration.

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  • 2019-05

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Using Block’s Distinction Between Phenomenal and Access Consciousness to Better Understand Difficult Cases in the Grey Zone

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British Neuroscientist Adrian Owen documents in his book Into the Grey Zone difficult cases of patients between a state of brain death and consciousness. His team collected evidence that sug-

British Neuroscientist Adrian Owen documents in his book Into the Grey Zone difficult cases of patients between a state of brain death and consciousness. His team collected evidence that sug- gested patients—presumed to be brain dead—were partially or, in some cases, fully conscious. The two culturally dominant metaphysical accounts of consciousness, Cartesian dualism and eliminative physicalism, are unable to explain the presence of consciousness in Owen’s cases. To better understand the consciousness present in Owen’s cases I argue we should look to Ned Block’s distinction between phenomenal and access consciousness.

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  • 2019-05

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EmPOWERed: A Study of Solar Energy in Mayan Belize

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The Solar Mamas Program, created by the Indian-based non-profit Barefoot College, brings illiterate and semi-literate older women from rural communities around the world to India for a six-month training on

The Solar Mamas Program, created by the Indian-based non-profit Barefoot College, brings illiterate and semi-literate older women from rural communities around the world to India for a six-month training on solar engineering and entrepreneurship. The Barefoot enterprise is unique in that it contrasts the typical flow of humanitarian aid and implements a South-South development dynamic. Belize is one country that Barefoot selects potential Solar Mamas from with help from its ground partner, Plenty Belize. This ethnographic study aims to identify and assess the direct and indirect impacts the solar project has created in traditional Mayan life in the Toledo District. Interviews were conducted in Santa Elena and Jalacte, which are two villages with and without solar electrification, respectively. The study observed positive impacts on various aspects of health, education, and economics, as well as gender relations. Although relatively successful in its mission, constructive feedback was provided to all actors in the solar project with the aim of enhancing the Solar Mamas’ experience and effectiveness as a “new class of leaders” in their communities, as well as to ensure the continued success that solar electrification has had in the Mayan communities.

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  • 2019-05

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Facebook Killed the Radio Star: How Targeted Advertising and Machine Learning are Remixing Music Discovery

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The purpose of this thesis is to formulate a reliable promotion strategy that will help future independent artists effectively gain exposure and create an engaged and enthusiastic audience. To do

The purpose of this thesis is to formulate a reliable promotion strategy that will help future independent artists effectively gain exposure and create an engaged and enthusiastic audience. To do this, we set out to create moments of discovery - the moment when a listener decides they have a particular affinity for an artist or song - by introducing Apollo Bravo to audiences that are most likely to enjoy what Apollo Bravo has to offer. The methodology underlying these campaigns was to present authentic and attention-grabbing content, in both brief and extended methods, to people who are most likely to enjoy Apollo Bravo.

From our research, we found that for as little as $5 a day, an independent artist can make effective introductions to audiences most likely to enjoy what they have to offer without compromising artistic expression, while also learning from and engaging with their growing audience.

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  • 2020-12

Freedom of Expression and Self-Censorship: A Study of Campus Expression at Arizona State University

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Given the importance of free speech and free expression for the learning and development of American citizens, it is important to analyze how our universities promote these principles within the

Given the importance of free speech and free expression for the learning and development of American citizens, it is important to analyze how our universities promote these principles within the classroom. In particular, it is crucial we understand how comfortable students feel sharing their views on the toughest and most controversial issues. The rise in free speech incidents over the past 20 years on college campuses has led us to question the state of free speech and free expression on university campuses and, more importantly, within the classroom. Research on this topic has taken a broad approach in attempting to understand student attitudes towards free speech, but there has been little research done on the state of campus expression within the ASU classroom.

This study utilized a modified survey instrument known as the Campus Expression Survey, a tool created by Heterodox Academy to gauge student perceptions of free speech and free expression within classroom environments. With a sample size of 366 ASU students across all four metropolitan campuses, students were asked a series of questions that included how comfortable they would be sharing their views on a controversial political issue as well as what consequences one might expect from other students and faculty members as a result of sharing one's views. Students were also asked about their ideological perceptions of their peers, faculty, and administrators.

Analysis of the responses found four primary conclusions. First, politically-oriented majors are significantly more comfortable expressing their views on both controversial and non-controversial issues. Furthermore, students are found to be significantly more comfortable when they believe other students and faculty members share their political beliefs. Third, students are more hesitant to speak up because of the perceived repercussions from their classmates rather than their professors. Lastly, students that identify as Republican, Independent, conservative, or moderate are far more likely to feel uncomfortable sharing their views than students that identify as Democrat or liberal.

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  • 2020-05

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Physical Landscapes as Living Memories: A Case Study of Belgrade, Sarajevo, and Zagreb

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Buildings and monuments serve as a communal declaration of identity and as the physical landscape upon which memories are inscribed. Through its ability to concrete identity and capacity to reconstruct

Buildings and monuments serve as a communal declaration of identity and as the physical landscape upon which memories are inscribed. Through its ability to concrete identity and capacity to reconstruct the narratives of the past, public spaces and places have the structure of memory and serve as a fundamental aspect of cultural memory from which groups derive their identities. Beyond the social function of communal spaces, as a spatial claim architecture is a political expression of the territorial imperatives of the state. Consequently, both the political and social significance of physical spaces/places lead to the direct targeting of buildings, landscapes, and recognizable monuments in the processes of war.
As evidenced by the 1991-5 War in Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia, culturally-relevant and internationally recognizable symbols of culture, like Stari Most in Bosnia and the Old Town of Dubrovnik, were destroyed with the purpose of manipulating the physical memories of the communities, thereby directly affecting the cultural identities of the communities residing there. As it stands, scholarship on the subject of memory in post-war areas has failed to consider the effects of space/place on memory, consequently failing to provide a viable theoretical framework to explain the interplay of space/place, memory, and identity. This paper is an effort to connect the current scholarship on memory, its function and effects on identity, with the realities of the physical environment in Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia and their function of imposed confrontation, and thus recollection, of the War. The purpose of my thesis is to put city landscapes (private, uncrated memories) and museum narratives (public, curated memories) in communication to demonstrate how influential a factor space/place is in determining collective memory in a Balkan context. Cultural memory is at once incredibly vulnerable to reconstruction and massively determinate of group identity, thereby necessitating a deeper understanding of its determinant factors and the present uses of such factors.

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  • 2020-05

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Addressing Mental Health in Rural Indian Primary Schools Through Experiential Learning: A Viable Model?

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Social-emotional learning (SEL) methods are beginning to receive global attention in primary school education, yet the dominant emphasis on implementing these curricula is in high-income, urbanized areas. Consequently, the unique

Social-emotional learning (SEL) methods are beginning to receive global attention in primary school education, yet the dominant emphasis on implementing these curricula is in high-income, urbanized areas. Consequently, the unique features of developing and integrating such methods in middle- or low-income rural areas are unclear. Past studies suggest that students exposed to SEL programs show an increase in academic performance, improved ability to cope with stress, and better attitudes about themselves, others, and school, but these curricula are designed with an urban focus. The purpose of this study was to conduct a needs-based analysis to investigate components specific to a SEL curriculum contextualized to rural primary schools. A promising organization committed to rural educational development is Barefoot College, located in Tilonia, Rajasthan, India. In partnership with Barefoot, we designed an ethnographic study to identify and describe what teachers and school leaders consider the highest needs related to their students' social and emotional education. To do so, we interviewed 14 teachers and school leaders individually or in a focus group to explore their present understanding of “social-emotional learning” and the perception of their students’ social and emotional intelligence. Analysis of this data uncovered common themes among classroom behaviors and prevalent opportunities to address social and emotional well-being among students. These themes translated into the three overarching topics and eight sub-topics explored throughout the curriculum, and these opportunities guided the creation of the 21 modules within it. Through a design-based research methodology, we developed a 40-hour curriculum by implementing its various modules within seven Barefoot classrooms alongside continuous reiteration based on teacher feedback and participant observation. Through this process, we found that student engagement increased during contextualized SEL lessons as opposed to traditional methods. In addition, we found that teachers and students preferred and performed better with an activities-based approach. These findings suggest that rural educators must employ particular teaching strategies when addressing SEL, including localized content and an experiential-learning approach. Teachers reported that as their approach to SEL shifted, they began to unlock the potential to build self-aware, globally-minded students. This study concludes that social and emotional education cannot be treated in a generalized manner, as curriculum development is central to the teaching-learning process.

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  • 2020-05

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That Despotism which America Today may (or may not) have to Fear: Defining, Understanding, and Measuring Tocquevillian Soft Despotism in a Contemporary Context

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Alexis de Tocqueville concludes the second volume of his influential political work Democracy in America with a discussion of “What Kind of Despotism Democratic Nations have to Fear.” The

Alexis de Tocqueville concludes the second volume of his influential political work Democracy in America with a discussion of “What Kind of Despotism Democratic Nations have to Fear.” The phenomenon Tocqueville seeks to capture in his final chapters is often called “democratic” or “soft” despotism, and it is notably distinct from the traditional conception of despotism. The threat soft despotism represents to democracies is new to the world Tocqueville lived in, and as such, Tocqueville chose the word despotism to describe it because he felt no better word existed. So, to accurately describe the phenomenon that Tocqueville feared, he had to re-conceptualize despotism. When Tocqueville discusses soft despotism, he means a democratic state where people are incapable of being truly free. In examining this concretely, I have developed five criteria which capture all the characteristics of soft despotism: 1. The equality of conditions; 2. The destruction of social connection; 3. The creation of a centralized administrative state; 4. The fulfillment of base desires; and 5. The death of the political sphere. In “Defining Soft Despotism,” I offer explanations of what each of these five criteria means, and I discuss both how Tocqueville and later scholars view them. I offer my own understanding of each of these criteria framed in Tocqueville’s thought. Next, in “Understanding Soft Despotism,” I discuss what about soft despotism is so concerning to Tocqueville and focus on his belief that it fundamentally changes the people who live under it, depriving them of their humanity. Then, I discuss why Americans should be concerned today. Lastly, in “Measuring Soft Despotism,” I take data for each of the five criteria and examine them to see if they appear to match what Tocqueville envisioned a soft despotism would be like. In my assessment, I find that America today does not seem to be a soft despotism. America does not meet all five criteria I believe define a soft despotism. Instead, it appears America is only close to experiencing two of the five: the destruction of social connection, and the death of the political sphere. Despite these findings, there is still room for concern that America is heading towards becoming a soft despotism, or is perhaps headed in a different, but equally undesirable direction.

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  • 2020-05

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Presidential Elections: Implications of a National Popular Vote

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It happened in 1824. Again, it happened in 1876. And 1888. And then again in 2000. Most recently, in 2016. Five times the president has been elected through the Electoral

It happened in 1824. Again, it happened in 1876. And 1888. And then again in 2000. Most recently, in 2016. Five times the president has been elected through the Electoral College without attaining the popular vote. Is this a feature, bug, or necessary evil of the electoral system? While the support for the national popular vote movement has grown significantly in the past decade, there are many fervent opponents. Many of the adversaries to a popular vote system argue that under a national popular vote system, candidates would visit only the most densely populated areas in the country and then simply work to get all votes possible, gaining enough support to win the election without gaining much support from the rest of the country. To analyze these key arguments, this paper tests two hypotheses, the first of which is that under a popular vote system, densely populated areas are given more attention from presidential candidates than would be proportionately expected based on population. The second hypothesis is that candidates will spend more money on advertising per person in larger cities than in smaller cities. This paper will outline research from both a social media analysis and from a statistical analysis of specific state Senate elections and their media markets before concluding by refuting the two hypotheses and suggesting that a national popular vote system would not cause vast populations of Americans to be ignored any more than they currently are.

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  • 2019-12

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Rethinking the Incentive Structure behind Utility Regulation

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Previous studies about the effects of regulatory institutions on the outcomes of regulation have resulted in a lack of consensus on the nature of these impacts. This paper seeks

Previous studies about the effects of regulatory institutions on the outcomes of regulation have resulted in a lack of consensus on the nature of these impacts. This paper seeks to resolve some of this ambiguity by analyzing two dimension of electric utility regulatory outcomes, prices and reliability, with a broader panel of explanatory variables and with a Hausman-Taylor regression technique. The results suggest that elected regulators and deregulated electricity markets result in worse reliability outcomes for consumers without strong evidence that either institution secures lower electricity prices. Incorporating these insights into a theoretical model of regulation could give more detailed insight into how to create regulatory institutions that can optimize the outcomes of governance.

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  • 2021-05