Matching Items (13)

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US DRONE POLICY AND THE PROJECTION OF FORCE: AN INVESTIGATION OF DEMOCRATIC CONSTRAINTS

Description

This paper examines the development of United States drone policy outside of traditional battle zones. It poses the question of why do states use drones as a projection of force?

This paper examines the development of United States drone policy outside of traditional battle zones. It poses the question of why do states use drones as a projection of force? In particular, the paper examines the expansion of the drone program within a system of democratic checks and balances. It looks at the effect that political and legal influences have had on the expansion of the drone program and hypothesizes that the presence of these constraints should increase drone use outside of traditional battle zones. In order to investigate this hypothesis, the paper looks at data on drone strikes from Yemen and Somalia. The data partially supports the hypothesis as there has not been a clear linear increase in the number of drone strikes in each of these countries. Nevertheless, an examination of the surrounding literature regarding political and legal influences within these countries seems to favorably point to the increase of drone operations. Future research, however, needs to be cognizant of the limitations in gathering specific statistics on drone operations as these operations are covert. It's also important to understand how the covert nature of the drone operations impacts issues regarding political oversight and legality. Lastly, it's important to constantly examine the broader implications drone policy has for US policy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Sexual Violence against Women during Conflict

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The purpose of this honors thesis is to explain the varying levels of sexual violence against women across time, location and conflicts. Violence against civilians is utilized as an independent

The purpose of this honors thesis is to explain the varying levels of sexual violence against women across time, location and conflicts. Violence against civilians is utilized as an independent variable to measure if the level of violence of a pre-conflict environment widens the space for the exploitation of sexual violence. Women's status is used as an additional independent variable in order to measure if a pre-conflict environment that promotes gender equality moderates the presence of sexual violence as it discourages unequal power dynamics. GDP per capita and population will be used as control variables in order to include consideration of state capacity. Sexual violence will be the dependent variable. In order to statistically measure and depict the relationships between these variables, bivariate correlations and multivariate linear regressions will be utilized. The bivariate correlations showed that as civilian violence increased, sexual violence increased as well, but as women's status increased, sexual violence decreased. The linear regression models found that state actors and rebel groups yielded differing results. For state actors, the increase in women's status failed to moderate the level of sexual violence as an increase in civilian violence and women's status resulted in an increase in sexual violence. However, for rebel groups, an increase in civilian violence and women's status led to a decrease in sexual violence, thereby depicting women's status as a moderating factor. This creates a problem in identifying one or a few factors that predominately lead to an increase in sexual violence; such identification is key for the development of preventative policy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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

Description

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

Critical Cartography and Territorial Conflict

Description

This paper examines the role of persuasive cartography in territorial conflict through the case study of Azerbaijan and Armenia's dispute of Nagorno Karabakh. In particular, the paper connects theories of

This paper examines the role of persuasive cartography in territorial conflict through the case study of Azerbaijan and Armenia's dispute of Nagorno Karabakh. In particular, the paper connects theories of critical cartography and territorial conflict to the way that maps can influence opinion and lead to negotiation breakdown. I analyze cultures of geography from both sides before analyzing how Armenian maps have changed between the period of 1994 and 2016. Focusing on Goddard's (2006) theory of how the way actors make claims to territory can result in indivisibility, I argue that the powerful rhetoric of maps can strongly influence perception of territory. I connect the shift in rhetoric about the territory to shifts in how the territory is depicted in maps. Using public survey information from other researchers working in Armenia, I find that Armenian geographic culture and use of maps almost exclusively uses the most maximalist depiction of the territory, which may explain why it is difficult for leaders to compromise on the territory. After conducting analysis, I concluded that cartography can be used by actors to argue their territorial claims, with the unexpected effect of polarizing public opinion. It is unclear if persuasive cartography is a symptom or a cause of territory negotiation breakdown. In order to study whether cartography itself plays a role in negotiation breakdown, a larger sample size of disputes is necessary.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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A Comparative Analysis of Human Rights Reports for Venezuela Before and After Crucial Presidential Transitions

Description

There is extensive analysis previously done on the US State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Mainly, the literature investigates biases, topical attention shifts, and changes in the content

There is extensive analysis previously done on the US State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Mainly, the literature investigates biases, topical attention shifts, and changes in the content and length of the reports over time. In aggregate, findings indicate that the State Department reports institutionalized, standardized, and converged with other reports. This honors thesis applies the expectations set by the previous literature to the analysis of reports from a singular country, Venezuela. Two Venezuelan presidential transitions and one US presidential transition provided the opportunity to qualitatively observe changes in reporting and potentially contextualize those changes with the effects of the presidential transitions. The prominent changes observed in the reporting during these periods include topical attention shifts related to democratization and elections in Venezuela and changes in reporting for minority communities.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Reminders and Social Capital: Increasing Voter Turnout in Undergraduate Student Governments

Description

Research on voter turnout has focused almost exclusively on the traditional, public elections at the local, state, and federal level. However, very little research has been done on voter turnout

Research on voter turnout has focused almost exclusively on the traditional, public elections at the local, state, and federal level. However, very little research has been done on voter turnout among college students for student government elections within universities. The purpose of this study is to evaluate voter turnout in undergraduate student governments as a function of social capital and information dissemination. Based on a survey of an organization at Arizona State University, there is no evidence a reminder of a civic obligation to vote increased a student's propensity to vote in a USG election or that social capital facilitates the treatment. Attitudes toward USGs and the internal nature of social capital relevant to the student body could explain the opposite intended effect.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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The Israeli Targeted Killing Policy: A Multidimensional Study of Efficacy

Description

Conflict in Israel is ongoing and permeates through international borders by stimulating discussion worldwide. Whether or not diplomatic relations have been successful, counterterrorism policies have developed and been adopted by

Conflict in Israel is ongoing and permeates through international borders by stimulating discussion worldwide. Whether or not diplomatic relations have been successful, counterterrorism policies have developed and been adopted by other countries like the United States. The targeting and elimination of militant terrorist figures is one of the policies that have stirred much controversy. The effectiveness of it, however, continues to be in question. This research paper aims to take a rounded approach to analyze the efficacy of targeted killings for national security. I employ a three-dimensional method by measuring the influence of targeted killings on violence, public opinion, and economy. Statistical analysis is conducted through Paired-Sample T-tests with data derived from the period of the al-Aqsa Intifada. There is suggestive evidence that targeted killings have a significant negative effect on Palestinian violence.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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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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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Morality as causality: explaining public opinion on US government drone strikes

Description

ABSTRACT

Although the US government has been using remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), more commonly referred to as drones, to conduct military strikes against terrorists and insurgents

ABSTRACT

Although the US government has been using remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), more commonly referred to as drones, to conduct military strikes against terrorists and insurgents since at least 2001, only around 2011 did media outlets and polling organizations began assessing the attitudes of Americans towards the use of drones as a weapon of war. Initially, public support for drone strikes was robust with nearly 70 percent of Americans expressing approval. As the discussion of drone strikes intensified however, public support declined over 10 percentage points.

Only a handful of studies have examined public opinion and drone strikes, and all have focused exclusively on explaining support. This study seeks to fill this gap in the literature and explain opposition to drone strikes. The primary argument put forth in this dissertation is that people’s beliefs determine their opinions, and their morality determines their beliefs. Although independent opinion formation is often considered a cognitive process, I argue that, at least in the case of drone strikes, the opinion formation process is largely an affective one.

By examining media coverage and elite discourse surrounding drone strikes, I isolate three narratives which I believe communicate certain messages to the public regarding drone strikes. I argue that the messages produced by elite discourse and disseminated by the media to the public are only influential on opinion formation once they have been converted to beliefs. I further argue that conversion of message to belief is largely dependent on individual moral attitudes.

To test my arguments, I conduct a survey-experiment using subjects recruited from Arizona State University’s School of Politics and Global Studies student subject pool. My research findings lead to two key conclusions. First, opposition to drone strikes is largely the product of the belief(s) that drone strikes are not necessary for protecting the United States from terrorist attack, and that drone strikes kill more civilians than do strikes from conventional aircraft. Second, whether an individual expresses support or opposition to drone strikes, moral attitudes are a relatively good predictor of both beliefs and disposition.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Variations in the Effectiveness of Politically Motivated Suicide: Exploring Symbolism and Group Access

Description

Although politically motivated suicides have spawned some of the largest and most impactful protest movements in recent memory, there remains a lack of research on similarities between events. Previously, each

Although politically motivated suicides have spawned some of the largest and most impactful protest movements in recent memory, there remains a lack of research on similarities between events. Previously, each famous suicide has been taken to be a random phenomenon, which cannot be replicated. This paper serves to demystify the concept of politically motivated suicides, and to draw connections between events; this research is undertaken with the acknowledgement that these world shaping events are rarely the first politically motivated suicides in their time. Two main factors combine to spell success for these events. The presence of symbolic and powerful images, and messages from the death of an actor, combined with a social group which is able to harness and direct those images, determines the potential for a politically motivated suicide to escalate issues to a national scale. In this paper I connect litterature on the individual action of politically motivated suicide with the collective action field, and through a series of case studies investigate the importance of the action of suicide, and how social groups utilize the death of the actor. This change in thought reflects the concept that specific factors, not chance, combine to determine the outcome of these potentially nation changing events.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020