Matching Items (9)

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The Impact of Regime Type and Alliance Strength on Nuclear Proliferation Decisions

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Nuclear weapons possess enormous potential to inflict damage on our world. The majority of countries in the world denounce the proliferation of these weapons, but a minority of countries have

Nuclear weapons possess enormous potential to inflict damage on our world. The majority of countries in the world denounce the proliferation of these weapons, but a minority of countries have a desire to proliferate. This essay analyzes the impact of regime type and alliance strength to a nuclear state on protégé proliferation decisions. Prior research focuses on single factors in proliferation decisions and fails to take in to account the multi-faceted factors that influence the international system that states operate in. The analysis finds that regime type gives an indication about a state’s likelihood to proliferate, but does not explain proliferation choices comprehensively. Alliance strength plays a large role in a state’s security calculations and must be analyzed in conjunction to regime type to understand proliferation decisions.

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  • 2018-05

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Genocide and The Anti-Imperialist Perspective

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Genocide studies have traditionally focused on the perpetrator’s intent to eradicate a particular identity-based group, using the Holocaust as their model and point of comparison. Although some aspects of the

Genocide studies have traditionally focused on the perpetrator’s intent to eradicate a particular identity-based group, using the Holocaust as their model and point of comparison. Although some aspects of the Holocaust were undoubtedly unique, recent scholars have sought to challenge the notion that it was a singular phenomenon. Instead, they draw attention to a recurring pattern of genocidal events throughout history by shifting the focus from intent to structure. One particular branch of scholars seeks to connect the ideology and tactics of imperialism with certain genocidal events. These anti-imperialist genocide scholars concede that their model cannot account for all genocides, but still claim that it creates meaningful connections between genocides committed by Western colonialist powers and those that have occurred in a neoimperialist world order shaped according to Western interests. The latter includes genocides in postcolonial states, which these scholars believe were shaped by the scars of their colonial past, as well as genocides in which imperial hegemons assisted local perpetrators. Imperialist and former colonial powers have contributed meaningfully to all of these kinds of genocides, yet their contributions have largely been ignored due to their own influence on the creation of the current international order. Incorporating the anti-imperialist perspective into the core doctrine of genocide studies may lead to breakthroughs in areas of related policy and practice, such as prevention and accountability.

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  • 2020-05

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Explaining the Link between Austerity and Immigration in the European Union: The Role of Attitudes

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European societies have experienced recent surges in immigration, particularly in the form of refugees and asylum-seekers, in the years following the Arab Spring. At the same time, we can observe

European societies have experienced recent surges in immigration, particularly in the form of refugees and asylum-seekers, in the years following the Arab Spring. At the same time, we can observe a substantial implementation of austerity policies in the European Union following the European Debt Crisis since the end of 2009. In this study, I investigate the correlation between attitudes towards austerity policies and attitudes towards immigration. I hypothesize that individuals who report being disinterested regarding austerity policy will be more positive towards future immigration from outside of the EU while those who report being concerned with austerity policies will be more adverse towards such future immigration. To explain cross-country differences, I use group threat theory, which explains that, larger inflows of immigration combined with challenging economic conditions impose a perceived threat on the host society, resulting in more negative attitudes towards immigration. I plan to analyze data from the Eurobarometer 82.3 (Standard Eurobarometer) social survey (2014) to study the results of my hypotheses within a cross-section of time. My findings largely confirm my hypotheses, though the individual-level results draw a weak correlation between austerity, nationalism, and attitudes towards immigration.

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  • 2016-12

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The Impact of Economic Sanctions on Refugee Flight: An Econometric Analysis

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While the negative humanitarian effects of sanctions are widely known, scholars and policymakers often assume these costs are geographically localized. This research questions these assertions by examining the relationship between

While the negative humanitarian effects of sanctions are widely known, scholars and policymakers often assume these costs are geographically localized. This research questions these assertions by examining the relationship between economic sanctions and refugee flight. I argue that the imposition of sanctions produces refugees for two reasons. First, in the face of rising prices and stagnant wages, people are forced to leave in order to survive. Second, sanctions increase the level of state-sponsored repression, forcing refugees to flee political violence. The empirical results offer initial support for this theory and suggest that sanctions may promote a contagion effect that could have negative consequences for regional economic and political stability.

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  • 2014-05

The VICS Test: Does Operational Code Analysis Falter for The Populist Right?

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Operational code analysis (OCA) is a common method of content analysis within the foreign policy analysis (FPA) literature used to determine the “operational code” of state leaders and, by extension,

Operational code analysis (OCA) is a common method of content analysis within the foreign policy analysis (FPA) literature used to determine the “operational code” of state leaders and, by extension, the foreign policy behaviors of their respective state. It has been tried and tested many times before, on many different world leaders from many different time periods, to predict what the foreign policy behavior of a state/organization might be based on the philosophical and instrumental beliefs of their leader about the political universe. This paper, however, questions if there might be types of politicians that OCA, conducted using the automated Verbs In Context System (VICS), has problems delivering accurate results for. More specifically, I have theoretical reasons for thinking that populist leaders, who engage in a populist style of communication, confound VICS’ analysis primarily because the simplistic speaking style of populists obscures an underlying context (and by extension meaning) to that leader’s words. Because the computer cannot understand this underlying context and takes the meaning of the words said at face value, it fails to code the speeches of populists accurately and thus makes inaccurate predictions about that leader’s foreign policy. To test this theory, I conduct the content analysis on speeches made by three individuals: Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and Narendra Modi, before and after they became the executives of their respective countries, and compared them to a “norming “ group representing the average world leader. The results generally support my hypotheses but with a few caveats. For the cases of Trump and Johnson, VICS found them to be a lot more cooperative than what I would expect, but it was also able to track changes in their operational code - as they transition into the role of chief executive – in the expected direction. The opposite was the case for Modi’s operational code. All-in-all, I provide suggestive evidence that OCA using VICS has trouble providing valid results for populist leaders.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Visual analytics methodologies on causality analysis

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Causality analysis is the process of identifying cause-effect relationships among variables. This process is challenging because causal relationships cannot be tested solely based on statistical indicators as additional information is

Causality analysis is the process of identifying cause-effect relationships among variables. This process is challenging because causal relationships cannot be tested solely based on statistical indicators as additional information is always needed to reduce the ambiguity caused by factors beyond those covered by the statistical test. Traditionally, controlled experiments are carried out to identify causal relationships, but recently there is a growing interest in causality analysis with observational data due to the increasing availability of data and tools. This type of analysis will often involve automatic algorithms that extract causal relations from large amounts of data and rely on expert judgment to scrutinize and verify the relations. Over-reliance on these automatic algorithms is dangerous because models trained on observational data are susceptible to bias that can be difficult to spot even with expert oversight. Visualization has proven to be effective at bridging the gap between human experts and statistical models by enabling an interactive exploration and manipulation of the data and models. This thesis develops a visual analytics framework to support the interaction between human experts and automatic models in causality analysis. Three case studies were conducted to demonstrate the application of the visual analytics framework in which feature engineering, insight generation, correlation analysis, and causality inspections were showcased.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Civil-military relations in authoritarian regimes

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This dissertation proposes a theory of authoritarian control of the armed forces using the economic theory of the firm. To establish a “master-servant” relationship, an organization structures governance as

This dissertation proposes a theory of authoritarian control of the armed forces using the economic theory of the firm. To establish a “master-servant” relationship, an organization structures governance as a long-term contractual agreement to mitigate the vulnerabilities associated with uncertainty and bilateral dependency. The bargaining power for civilian and military actors entering a contractual relationship is assessed by two dimensions: the negotiated political property rights and the credible guarantee of those rights. These dimensions outline four civil-military institutional arrangements or army types (cartel, cadre, entrepreneur, and patron armies) in an authoritarian system. In the cycle of repression, the more the dictator relies on the military for repression to stay in office, the more negotiated political property rights obtained by the military; and the more rights obtained by the military the less civilian control. Thus, the dependence on coercive violence entails a paradox for the dictator—the agents empowered to manage violence are also empowered to act against the regime. To minimize this threat, the dictator may choose to default on the political bargain through coup-proofing strategies at the cost to the regime’s credibility and reputation, later impacting a military’s decision to defend, defect, or coup during times of crisis. The cycle of repression captures the various stages in the life-cycle of the political contract between the regime and the armed forces providing insights into institutional changes governing the relationship. As such, this project furthers our understanding of the complexities of authoritarian civil–military relations and contributes conceptual tools for future studies.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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The decline of democracy: how the state uses control of food production to undermine free society

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This work explores the underlying dynamics of democracies in the context of underdevelopment, arguing that when society has not attained a substantial degree of economic independence from the state, it

This work explores the underlying dynamics of democracies in the context of underdevelopment, arguing that when society has not attained a substantial degree of economic independence from the state, it undermines democratic quality and stability. Economic underdevelopment and political oppression are mutually reinforcing, and both are rooted in the structure of the agriculture sector, the distribution of land, and the rural societies that emerge around this order. These systems produce persistent power imbalances that militate toward their continuance, encourage dependency, and foster the development of neopatrimonialism and corruption in the government, thereby weakening key pillars of democracy such as accountability and representativeness. Through historical analysis of a single case study, this dissertation demonstrates that while this is partly a result of actor choices at key points in time, it is highly influenced by structural constraints embedded in earlier time periods. I find that Ghana’s historical development from the colonial era to present day closely follows this trajectory.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Changing patterns of corruption in Poland and Hungary, 1990-2010

Description

Political and economic competition, so goes the broad argument, reduce corruption because competition increases the cost of actors to engage in corrupt practices. It increases the risk of exposure, provides

Political and economic competition, so goes the broad argument, reduce corruption because competition increases the cost of actors to engage in corrupt practices. It increases the risk of exposure, provides non-corrupt alternatives for consumers, and introduces non-corrupt practices into the political and economic domains. Why then, has corruption persisted in the Central Eastern European countries decades after the introduction of political and economic competition in the early 1990s?

This dissertation asks how and why the emergence of competition in the political and economic domains leads to a transformation of the patterns of corruption. I define corruption as an act involving a public official who violates the norms or regulations of their office, receives some compensation in return, and thus harms the public interest.

I argue that under conditions of a communist past and high levels of uncertainty, the simultaneous emergence of political and economic competition transforms the opportunity structures of actors to engage in corruption. The resulting constellation of powerful incentives for and weak constraints against corruption encourages political and economic actors to enter into corrupt state-business relationships. Finally, the resource distribution between the actors in the corrupt state-business relationship determines the type of corruption that emerges—legal corruption, local capture, or covert political financing.

To test the causal mechanism, I employ intensive process-tracing of the micro-causal mechanisms of eleven corruption cases in Poland and Hungary. Using paired comparisons of cases from the same business sector but at different points in time, the dissertation examines how corruption patterns transformed over time in Poland and Hungary.

The dissertation shows that the emergence of political and economic competition changes the opportunity structures of actors in favor of corruption. Moreover, the new constellation of incentives and constraints encourages political and economic actors to establish corrupt state-business relationships. Crucially, I find that the resource distribution within these corrupt relationships determines the type of corruption emerges—local capture where both sides have concentrated resources that balance each other out, legal corruption when a strong economic actor confronts a fragmented political actor, and covert political financing when a weak economic actor faces a strong political actor.

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Date Created
  • 2018