Browsing Government & Politics Theses and Dissertations by Title
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- ItemAbortion Escorts and Democratic Participation(2008-04-16) Maloney, Steven Douglas; Alford, Charles F; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)My dissertation explores the theoretical value of political participation. I argue that some acts of political participation, such as abortion escorting, constitute "political action" as Hannah Arendt used the term. These acts do not fall under the umbrella of either civil society or activism. A more nuanced account of political participation is needed. This account must include participatory, deliberative, and republican ideals, and it must take political action more seriously than the predominant procedural, communicative, or economic visions of liberalism currently do. Here, abortion escorts exemplify the type of political participation that Hannah Arendt argued was missing at Little Rock Central High School during the period of integration. Arendt called for citizen escorts during integration, and abortion escorting provides a positive example of this behavior today. Arendt confessed she was moved to write her essay only from a photograph that she saw, and she was criticized for her lack of fieldwork. However, I went into the field to observe abortion escorting. Moreover, while Arendt's factual statements about integration and American racial politics have been somewhat discredited, I argue there are still important theoretical insights in her essay--and in Arendt's theoretical work more broadly--that need resuscitating even if her empirical account is troubled at times. As such, I use abortion escorts as an example--a means of rescuing Arendt's theory of political action and integrating it into a contemporary body of American political theory that has been both inspired by Arendt and unsettled by her contributions
- ItemActing Against Reason? Explaining Minority Group Decision Making(2004-08-30) Johns, Michael Kim; Tismaneanu, Vladimir; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This study examines why minority groups choose to employ or not to employ militant strategies when dealing with the state. It examines four cases in Europe: the Corsicans in France, the Basques in Spain and the Russian speaking minorities in Estonia and Latvia. While it is generally assumed that minority groups who are accommodated by the state remain peaceful and groups who face discrimination are more likely to use violence, these cases were chosen specifically for the reason that they have chosen the opposite path. Through the use of primary elite interviews, survey data and secondary sources four hypotheses are tested. The role of economic discrepancy, the international community, culture and the institutionalization of culture are examined. The institutionalization of culture is further broken down into three parts: the impact of geographic isolation, time and repertoires. The study finds that while economics appears to be a sufficient condition for a group choosing violence, it is not a necessary one. The international community, however, appears to be extremely important. When the international community is engaged in a country the minority group sees it as an 'ombudsmen' and remains quiet. Conversely, groups ignored by the international community feel isolated and seek to bring attention to their cause. Culture also plays an important role. The culture of some groups is more accepting of violence than others. Groups with cultures that do not accept violence are much less prone to use it than groups who see violence as an acceptable strategy. Geographic isolation appears to be a way for culture to be institutionalized. Groups who must interact with other groups are less likely to use violence than those who remain physically distant. While time appears to have some role, the more important factor appears to be the time period when the group is in conflict with the state. Certain ideologies are acceptable at different times in history, this impacts the groups available choices. Finally, the use of repertoires also appears to be a factor. Once violence is used it is difficult to stop.
- ItemActivist Globalization: How Markets, Societies and States Empower Cause-Oriented Action in Transnational Relations(2011) Pinto, Rodrigo G.; Conca, Ken; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This study examines how transnational conditions of markets, societies and states empower civic groups, social movements, advocacy networks or resisters to participate in cause-oriented action that connects two or more polities. Preliminary theses infatuated with the latest and thickest wave of globalization have blown back into a solidified antithesis. Under this influential antithesis, international interactions between states create more opportunities for transnational activism than do global flows between societies or markets. The evidence analyzed here suggests a refutation of that prevalent antithesis. Instead, it supports the synthesizing hypothesis of this study: The more markets and societies globalize and the more states interact, the more transnational activism occurs. The research conducted here develops on a promising explanatory typology that is the best attempt to answer the main question about activism in international relations (IR) studies at present. This dissertation builds on such theory, moderating short-range and statist imbalances in conventional IR and cross-national (comparative) research on the consequences of interstate regimes and political opportunity structures, respectively. The study goes on to make this prior scholarship more accurate, comprehensive and reflective. First, tests of the prime theory over a longer history, which predates 1945, here elevate globalism toward a favorable condition that is as consequential as internationalism for activism across borders. Second, this study conceptualizes four explanatory processes--or chains of causal mechanisms--that link activism mainly to encouragement from globalization. These original models expose a grand, causal theory to have outpaced its necessary processual, mechanismic bases. Finally, the study addresses the spatial transnationality and transnationalization of activism. It extends the typology of explanatory processes to distinguish the primary scale of activist actions from the locus of activist causes, along a domestic-foreign frontier. The extension renders as unexamined a conventional assumption that activism transnationalizes through a one-dimensional globalization from local toward global proportions. The dissertation uses qualitative, case-study and process-tracing, methods to compare and generalize beyond two transnational activist campaigns. These campaigns are situated temporally from the 1860s to the 1950s, geographically through inclusion of actors based in Brazil, and thematically via incorporation of biodiversity in activist deed or discourse.
- ItemAdapting to Norms at the United Nations: the Abortion-Rights and Anti-Abortion Networks(2007-11-20) Swinski, June Samuel; Conca, Ken; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation examines the practical effects of international norm construction for social movements attempting to navigate the UN system, specifically UN global conferences. Do norms become ingrained in the practices of intergovernmental organizations to such an extent that they hinder a movement with different norms or help a movement that conforms to them? In studying the UN and especially UN global conferences on issues of social significance, it has been argued that the norms stemming from classic Lockean liberalism, such as emphasis on individual liberties, a rights-based framework for developing policy, and progress through science and reason, are embodied in the procedures and frameworks of UN global conferences. I compare the strategies and influence of the abortion-rights and anti-abortion movements over time at the UN, particularly through the International Conferences on Population and Development, and trace how each movement has adjusted its strategies to accommodate the normative context it has encountered at the UN. I use a combined structural and agency-oriented framework that identifies the concrete mechanisms and processes through which the interplay of movement ideology and institutional-normative context may constrain or facilitate a social movement's actions within the UN system. What I've found in my research is that the abortion-rights network has had more success in actually influencing the debate and changing the language of population policy to reflect their goals, whereas the influence of the anti-abortion network can really only be measured by the language that they have blocked. But it is important to note that both the abortion-rights network and the anti-abortion network have adjusted over time to the UN in terms of their strategies, which is interesting because of the more progressive character of one, and the conservative character of the other. However, the progressive and conservative characters of the two movements still affected how easily each movement adapted to these norms at the UN, and the success of their strategies in that forum.
- ItemAfrican American Women State Legislators: The Impact of Gender and Race on Legislative Influence(2001) Smooth, Wendy G.; Williams, Linda Faye; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)The increasing diversity of state legislatures coupled with the transference of power back to the states through devolution necessitates a closer look at these governing institutions. This study focuses on influence in state legislatures, questioning the impact of this increased diversity on the allocation of institutional influence. In this study, I specifically focus on the experiences of African American women state legislators to discern the impact of both race and gender on legislative influence. To do this, I analyzed both African American women's self-perceived influence, and their colleagues' perceptions. By utilizing an institutional approach, this analysis moves beyond state legislators' attributes and addresses the institutional and contextual variables that play a role in determining legislative influence. This study uses both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to address its major research questions. In addition to conducting the National Survey of African American Women State Legislators, I also conducted face-to-face interviews with a cross section of legislators in Georgia, Maryland and Mississippi; document analysis; and participant observation. The resulting data show that both gender and race play a role in determining who is regarded as influential in state legislatures. Reflective of the deeply embedded gender and race divides existing in the state legislatures studied, influence is found to be both race and gender specific. African American women's influence was largely limited to other African Americans. Few white legislators considered any African American legislators as influential. Further, I find that while some African American women have acquired the attributes that traditionally confer influence in state legislatures, they have not acquired the institutional power and influence that are traditionally associated with these attributes. I also find that the legislative context matters significantly in the allocation of legislative influence. African American women were more likely to be perceived as influential in more professional legislatures that preference knowledge of policy issues and prior expertise as opposed to less professional legislatures that were more apt to operate according to norms reflecting gender and race-based preferences. Overall, the findings of this dissertation confirm that preferences around gender and race have become institutionalized and manifest as norms governing legislative behavior. State legislatures, like other institutions do not escape the ills of their state's political culture; instead, they most often mirror it.
- ItemAFTER EXTENDED-IMMEDIATE DETERRENCE: A PROTÉGÉ’S NON-ACCOMMODATION OF ITS DEFENDER’S SECURITY INTERESTS(2018) Chang, Jung-Ming; KASTNER, SCOTT L.; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Some countries in the world depend on security assurances provided by other countries to maintain security. It makes sense for these countries to accommodate security interests of their defenders. Then, what makes it puzzling is why do these countries sometimes do not act accordingly. This is the research question that the author attempts to answer in this dissertation. Using qualitative means, the author conducts the research utilizing personal diaries, memoirs, archives, and newspapers with a focus on Taiwan that has been viewed as a flashpoint in East Asia. Among the sources, personal diaries of President Chiang Kai-shek are especially helpful in understanding various attempts to recover mainland China by initiating plans for a counter-offensive, the Kuokuang Plan being the most famous one, which is a form of non-accommodation. The temporal domain of this research is from 1950 to 2008. Four presidents of the Republic of China are examined during this period and they are Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang Ching-kuo, Lee Teng-hui, and Chen Shui-bian. Other presidents such as Yen Chia-kan and Ma Ying-jeou are also touched on, but with limited coverage. Two theories are utilized in this dissertation: alliance politics and presidential tenure. Alliance politics theory is an established one which stipulates that the weaker ally in an alliance is afraid of being abandoned, while the stronger ally concerns about being entrapped in an unwilling war. Presidential tenure theory is a product of my creation through combining existing theories and it expects that presidents of protégés are likely to become non-accommodative in their second terms. Both theories own explanatory power over the cases during the time span in this research. That is to say, when security assurances are robust, Taiwan leaders are more likely to be non-accommodative. In addition, Taiwan leaders are more likely to adopt non-accommodative actions in their second terms of office.
- ItemAfter the Fire the Embers Still Burn: A Theory of Jus Post Bellum(2013) Kirkpatrick, Jesse; Soltan, Karol; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Ending wars right and justly has been an ethical imperative since they have first been fought. Given that the postwar periods of numerous wars fought in the recent past have been seriously bungled, the need for postwar ethics has become perspicuously clear. This need is also striking. It is striking because theories of jus post bellum have recently begun to take shape, yet they remain seriously deficient. Jus post bellum theorizing often remains narrowly focused on interstate warfare and is not reflective of the existing complexity and modalities of twenty first century conflict. In addition, current theories typically focus on punishment, recriminations, and backward–looking models of justice that do not necessarily prioritize relief and aid to war-torn soldiers, societies, and civilians. By theorizing the concept of jus post bellum as a forward-looking cosmopolitan model of justice, where the central task is on building a just and lasting peace through stabilization, aid, and development, this dissertation aims to fill this gap. In so doing, the dissertation seeks to broaden the scope of jus post bellum by connecting it, and the just war tradition more generally, with the emerging contemporary literature of cosmopolitan global justice.
- ItemAgriculture, Trade, and Development in the International Political Economy: A Case Study of Jamaica(2004-05-12) Calhoun, Michelle Benjamin; Schreurs, Miranda; Government and PoliticsThis project hypothesizes that Jamaica should be more developed given its natural and human resource endowment. In light of Jamaica's agricultural underdevelopment, the project utilizes an agricultural framework to assess the processes by which politico-economic forces have shaped development in Jamaica and the larger Caribbean since independence. The project conjectures that both externally-driven and domestically-motivated forces have impeded Jamaica's development and investigates the extent to which these forces have forestalled national development. In so doing, the research tests the validity of the following competing theories of development for Jamaica: neoliberalism and dependencia. The Jamaican experience is highlighted as a case study that is representative of and generalizable to the Caribbean at large. As the Caribbean country that is arguably the most structurally adjusted in the region, with significant ties to the United States, the Jamaican experience can be viewed in the (dominant) neoliberal paradigm as the "best case scenario" for development in the region, one that should have "made it." As Elsie Le Franc (1994) stated, "one can always identify 'winners' and 'losers' in any situation of change, but it is necessary to try to tackle that more difficult issue of whether or not any identifiable winners can function, and most important, expand in a market economy." The research therefore demonstrates how structural adjustment conditionalities; bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade realities; limited investment into local agriculture; and overall domestic apathy and lack of agricultural reform have played out in what has been argued to be a model case for socioeconomic expansion, and how they have shaped that country's development and options in our rapidly globalizing market economy. The project's research findings reveal the conception of development, neoliberal or dependency, that is more relevant to Jamaica's experience. Finally, recognizing that mainstream strategies of development have not eradicated the problems of Caribbean underdevelopment, the project proposes an alternate model of development that reflects the voice of all segments of society and has at its core a strong state that fosters technological innovation, encourages export diversification, and channels investment to improve Jamaica's production, productivity, and competitiveness in the international political economy.
- ItemAlbert Camus and the Political Philosophy of the Absurd(2008-05-12) Bowker, Matthew Hamilton; Alford, Charles F; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Compared to the unmistakable impact of absurd theatre, literature, and art on contemporary European and American cultures, the philosophy, morality, and politics of the absurd have remained relatively obscure. Few interpretations of Albert Camus' philosophic contribution have successfully defined the meaning of absurdity, its components and dynamics, or its moral and political consequences. This dissertation attempts to clarify these areas of absurd thought by applying the logic of ambivalence to Camus' philosophy of the absurd, revealing its compelling diagnosis of extremism and indifference, its experiential grounding for post-traditional values, and its unique appeal for moral and political maturity. After reviewing the recent history of the concept of absurdity in Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre, Nagel, and elsewhere (Chapter 2), I offer detailed analyses of Camus' absurd and the contributions of his scholarly critics (Chapter 3). I introduce the concept of ambivalence in the work of Eugen Bleuler, Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, Otto Kernberg, and relevant sociological and political researchers (Chapter 4) to argue that the absurd is best understood not in skeptical or existential terms, but as an ambivalent 'position' with respect to countervailing desires, primarily a desire for unity and a kind of principium individuationis (Chapter 5). These ambivalent desires are implicated in the moral and political tensions between self and others, absolutes and limits, creation and destruction, even good and evil. Applying this interpretation to Camus' The Stranger and its main character, Meursault (Chapter 6), and to The Myth of Sisyphus, The Rebel, The Plague, and other works (Chapters 7 and 8), I argue that the destructive ideologies Camus decried may be understood as defenses against the ambivalence of the absurd, while an absurd morality demands mature and creative resolutions of contradiction, resistance against defensive reactions, and deliberate moral and emotional identifications with others and enemies. Analyses of two controversial cases, Camus' defense of Kaliayev and the 'fastidious' Russian assassins of 1905 and Camus' unpopular stance on the Algerian War (1954-1962), are offered as miniature case-studies to ground conclusions about the meaning of absurd morality and politics (Chapter 9).
- ItemALLIES OR ADVERSARIES? THE AUTHORITARIAN STATE AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE: A CASE STUDY OF THE MEKONG DELTA(2017) Wallace, Jennifer; Haufler, Virginia; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Natural resources are collective goods that the state has the authority and responsibility to protect from overuse and overexploitation. In order to achieve this protection, the state must rely on the actions of local actors, experts, and business leaders who are most closely connected to the natural resource base. The dependence of the state on local actors to implement resource-protection policies makes the conduct of environmental management within authoritarian regimes a particularly interesting area in which to observe the state’s strategic choices concerning its relations with civil society. The potential threat to state control posed by an emergent civil society means that the state must weigh its interests in maintaining its authoritarianism against the benefits provided by civil society, such as the ability to analyze and implement the state’s policies effectively. This dissertation focuses on how the government of Vietnam manages these apparent tensions between allowing participation on a critical issue area and maintaining its control as an authoritarian state. I argue that the state does not respond uniformly or consistently to all types of civil society actors, even within a single issue area such as natural resources protection. Prevailing explanations of why the authoritarian state has shown permissiveness toward civil society actors fail to account for variation in the state’s response to different actors and across levels of governance. In this paper I present an alternative framework that provides a more nuanced understanding of the state’s interests with respect to various types of civil society actors. I argue that the state’s engagement with various civil society organizations depends primarily on three characteristics: 1) the organization’s mobilizing capacity; 2) issue independence; and 3) the external strategic value of the organization. These three characteristics shape whether the authoritarian state of Vietnam views the organization as a threat to be subverted and repressed in order to maintain its own authority, or a cooperative partner in the management of the state’s natural resources. In addition, this dissertation discusses the implications for successful water management in the region.
- ItemAmerican Populism, Political Information, and Trade Opinion(2022) Campana, Robert David Louis; Gimpel, James G.; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Trade policy is a complex issue that involves economics and international politics. Traditionally, Americans have not often expressed opinions on trade policy due to its high issue complexity and because Democrats and Republican politicians since the later part of the 20th century have been inconsistent in their support for neoliberalism or protectionism. Despite this, populist candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have repeatedly used their support for protectionist policies to differentiate themselves from more mainstream candidates. Using multiple public opinion surveys and survey experiments, this project explores how populism, anti-expert sentiment, anti-capitalism, diversity anxiety, and ethnonationalism influence American’s views on free trade policy and shows that all these factors are associated with greater support for protectionist policies. Additionally, this project examines and adjusts for the unusually high level of non-response regarding questions about trade policy.This project also analyzes what causes Americans to think trade policy (specifically, the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership) is more important. This project finds that Americans who believe themselves to be strangers in their own country are more likely to believe the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific partnership is important. Meanwhile, Americans who believe the United States is less respected than in the past are less likely to believe the Trans-Pacific Partnership is important. Two survey experiments are conducted to see how the presence of “don’t know” responses in trade opinion questions and patriotic framing shift attitudes on trade policy. In both cases, issue framing does not significantly shift opinion on trade policy. This project carries out a longitudinal study to see how the same group of Americans shift their attitudes on trade policy over a multi-year time frame. Generally, these shifts are very small; however, Americans with differing views on regulation displayed the greatest attitudinal shift. Initially, Americans who wanted more government regulation were the most protectionist while Americans who wanted less government regulation were the least protectionist. Over the multi-year period, this association became significantly less visible. Finally, this project analyzes how economic attitudes, immigration attitudes, economic identity, immigrant identity, local immigrant populations, and local economic data influence views on trade policy. The study finds that immigration attitudes are closely aligned with views of trade policy.
- ItemANOTHER EMPTY PROMISE? STATES’ COMMITMENT TO THE OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT(2018) Chang, Hyo Joon; Kastner, Scott L.; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) was established in 2002 to facilitate implementation of the Convention against Torture. Due to its regular visitations and national preventive mechanisms (NPMs), as well as increasing ratifications, the OPCAT has been regarded as a paradigm shift in the human rights arena. This dissertation study attempts to discover if states’ commitment to the OPCAT is a sign of increased commitment to human rights or another empty promise. Empirical analyses of states’ ratification of and compliance with the OPCAT provide evidence questioning the high expectations surrounding the treaty’s ratification. First of all, the treaty terms of the OPCAT do not incur as high costs of commitment as expected. Human rights-violating countries have not been deterred from ratifying the treaty, indicating that they are not particularly concerned with potential costs of international and domestic monitoring. Neither has states’ commitment to the OPCAT functioned as a costly signaling. The cost-based theories are further challenged by empirical findings for regional clustering of commitment. Moreover, states’ compliant behavior suggests that the treaty ratification does not guarantee compliance. Regarding the NPMs, about one-third of states parties have not complied with their obligation to designate or establish NPMs. Although most states parties have allowed the international monitoring body unhindered access to places of detention, institutional loopholes in the OPCAT permit states parties to offset the negative consequences of the international visiting program. About the half of states parties have not requested their reports by the international monitoring body to be publicly released, nor have they responded to their reports. The case of the Philippines illustrates that states’ selective compliance or non-compliance with the OPCAT could undermine its effectiveness in preventing states’ practice of torture. Overall, the treaty’s innovative measures make states’ commitment to the OPCAT more than another empty promise. However, ratification is not automatic proof of states’ increased commitment to human rights. Therefore, the international community is strongly recommended to develop effective strategies encouraging states parties to implement the OPCAT rather than simply praise its increasing membership.
- ItemARISTOTLE'S TREATMENT OF THE SOCRATIC PARADOX IN THE NICOMACHEAN ETHICS(2009) McBrayer, Gregory A.; Butterworth, Charles E.; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation seeks to understand one of the most perplexing statements uttered by the Platonic Socrates, the so-called Socratic Paradox that no one voluntarily does wrong. In such dialogues as the Gorgias and the Protagoras, Socrates famously, or infamously, declared that all wrongdoing is a result of ignorance and is therefore not culpable. While the beginning point for this investigation is Socrates, this dissertation turns for the most part to Aristotle as the first and foremost commentator on the Platonic dialogues, guided by the belief that Aristotle can aid in the discovery of what Socrates' outlandish assertion means. In Books III and VII of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle takes up the questions on which the Socratic Paradox touches, submitting the so-called paradox to scrutiny in Book VII. While much research has focused on the Socratic Paradox, the contribution of this work is to exploit the intellectual genius Aristotle has brought to bear on this question. Turning to Aristotle will allow us to gain greater clarity into this central tenet of Socratic Political Philosophy.
- ItemArming Agents or Assailants? A Principal-Agent Approach to Examining US Military Aid and Repression(2015) Cutrufello, Emma; Huth, Paul K; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)The United States provides billions of dollars each year in military assistance to foreign nations, yet we know very little about how aid affects recipients. This dissertation considers the impact of military aid on repression. I use a principal-agent framework to examine the strategic interaction between the United States and recipient country and evaluate the conditions under which an agent "works" or "shirks" on human rights policy. The principal-agent theory of military assistance reveals that the extent of U.S. oversight of aid, preference similarities between the principal and agent, the expected costs of being caught and punished for shirking, and the potential payoff to shirking affect the likelihood of repression. I argue that critical explanatory power comes from disaggregating U.S. military aid programs: material aid increases the power of the recipient armed forces and is subject to less U.S. oversight compared to education and targeted funding programs. I test my theory using a quantitative analysis of U.S. military aid to 180 foreign countries from 1991-2011 and two outcome variables, government one-sided violence and scaled physical integrity rights. The results indicate that education and targeted funding reduce the likelihood of one-sided violence. On average, I find that material aid is associated with an increased likelihood of physical integrity abuse in recipient countries. In addition, material aid to full democracies is associated with a lower likelihood of repression, while countries with oil exports are more likely to repress. This study improves upon previous research by theoretically and empirically disaggregating military aid from foreign aid writ large as well as augmenting our understanding of state repression. The project reveals that material aid may undermine other U.S. efforts to promote stability and democratization and that there are opportunities for policy changes to improve U.S. oversight of material assistance.
- ItemAutocephaly as a Function of Institutional Stability and Organizational Change in the Eastern Orthodox Church(2005-02-01) Sanderson, Charles; Pearson, Margaret; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)The ecclesiastical organization uniquely characteristic of the Christian East is the autocephalous ("self-headed," or self-governing) church, which in the modern states of Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Balkans are truly national churches, whose boundaries, administrative structures, and identities closely mirror those of the state. Conventional wisdom attributes autocephaly to nationalism: Christianity inevitably becomes closely associated with national identity in those states whose churches are of Byzantine political patrimony, and autocephaly is the organizational manifestation of that association. This study argues that a better explanation for the prevalence of autocephaly lies with the church's institutional framework. Formal and informal institutions, or "rules of the game," structure the relationships between groups of local churches and provide incentives to observe constraints upon actions that restructure those relationships. A restructuring of ecclesiastical relationships implies that an alteration in incentives changed the equilibrium. In the Christian East, enforcement of the equilibrium historically has been carried out by the state. This study explores the institutional framework of the Orthodox Church, outlining the formal (canon law) and informal (conventions and tradition) rules governing organizational change. These rules are then examined in light of historical evidence of how autocephalous churches have come into being throughout the two millennia of the church's existence. The study concludes that the institutional framework of the Orthodox Church, formed within the political context of the Roman and later East Roman (Byzantine) Empire, became increasingly incongruent both with the changing political geography of Eastern Europe and with the enforcing role afforded to secular political authority as imperial structures gave way to modern nation-states. Since the formal institutional rules have proved resistant to change and unable to keep pace with the changing political geography, the Orthodox Church has relied increasingly upon flexible informal rules which has resulted in a proliferation of autocephalous churches. In addition to locating a more compelling explanation for autocephaly within institutional theory, this study argues that the Orthodox Church provides a compelling area for exploration of some of the more vexing analytical problems in institutional theory, such as why institutions change slowly or even appear not to change at all.
- ItemAWAKENING ACTIVISM: THE POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS(2018) Braun, Joseph; Reed, William L; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Individuals are an integral part of international human rights. While central to our leading theories of human rights change and to the efforts of human rights organizations in the real world, empirical scholarship has not systematically investigated how individuals choose to become advocates. Without the mobilization of individuals, human rights institutions and campaigns are deprived of the energy and material that fuel their success. In this dissertation, I closely evaluate the reasons why individuals choose to become engaged in human rights campaigns, what drives them to advocacy, and what this tells us about the relationship between political psychology and international human rights. In Chapter 1, I consider how incidental emotions influence individuals’ support for child hunger relief and refugee assistance, finding that negative emotions like disgust tend to amplify pre-existing views. In Chapter 2, I evaluate the effects of the negativity bias and loss-aversion bias on support for child hunger relief. I find that the combination of negative imagery and gains-focused messaging had a significant and positive effect on individuals’ support for both personal and government action to help feed and house the hungry. In Chapter 3, I discuss the important effects that political ideology had on the relationships I observed in Chapters 1 and 2. I illustrate how those on the political left and right responded in systematically different ways in each of the experiments, and note how these differences reveal the critical importance of targeted messaging with an emphasis on ideology. Finally, I conclude with a discussion of these dissertation findings as theoretically important and practically useful, with an emphasis on a focused and practically-oriented future research agenda.
- ItemBECAUSE WE WILL IT: THE POSSIBILITIES AND LIMITS OF DEMOCRACY IN LATE MODERNITY(2006-07-25) Olson, Lawrence James; Tismaneanu, Vladimir; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Cornelius Castoriadis' life can be characterized as one of engaged dissent. As a founding member of the Socialisme ou Barbarie group in France, Castoriadis maintained a consistent position as an opponent of both Western capitalism and Soviet totalitarianism during the Cold War. This position also placed Castoriadis in opposition to the mainstream French left, particularly Jean-Paul Sartre, who supported the French Communist Party and defended the Soviet Union. After the dissolution of the group, Castoriadis continued to assert the possibility of constructing participatory democratic institutions in opposition to the existing bureaucratic capitalist institutional structure in the Western world. The bureaucratic-capitalist institutional apparatus of the late modern era perpetuates a system where the individual is increasingly excluded from the democratic political process and isolated within the private sphere. However, the private sphere is not a refuge from the intrusion of the bureaucratic-capitalist imaginary, which consistently seeks to subject the whole of society to rational planning. Each individual is shaped by his relationship to the bureaucracy; on the one hand, his relationships with other become subjected to an instrumental calculus, while at the same time, the individual seeks to find some meaning for the world around him by turning to the private sphere. Furthermore, a crisis of meaning pervades late modern societies, where institutions are incapable of providing answers to the questions posed to them by individuals living in these societies. As a result, when individuals are able to participate in the democratic process, they tend to carry political ideas constructed in the private world into the public sphere, often to the detriment of the democratic process itself. Castoriadis seeks to reconcile liberty and broad public participation through the inclusion of the imaginary in democratic theory. He contends that it is possible to construct an autonomous society that emphasizes the creativity of the individual and the collective in the construction of the institutions that govern it. However, democratic theory conceived in this fashion must construct limits to political participation in order to insure that the democratic process itself is not destroyed by the emergence of political ideas antithetical to democracy.
- ItemBeing Human, Being Good: The Source and Summit of Universal Human Rights(2004-07-26) Madigan, Janet Holl; Butterworth, Charles E.; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation uses the concept of universal human rights to explore the relationship between the individual, society and truth. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written in the wake of World War II, was meant to provide a moral standard for judging the state's treatment of the individual. Yet to this day some contend that the principles expressed therein are not universal, but culturally relative. The dominant arguments for universality, however, are themselves relativistic because they are not grounded in the idea of a natural order that supplies objective standards of value. The result is not a morally neutral explanation of human dignity, but a new moral philosophy altogether that upholds personal autonomy as its highest good. But this position ultimately undermines human rights, for it entails that what is understood to be human is not fixed, but determined by the most powerful elements of society. How did we arrive at this point of wishing to say something universally true about human beings even while lacking the philosophical means to do so coherently? To answer this, I explore the changing relationship between truth and politics from Plato to Locke. Plato and Aristotle saw truth as essential to the proper ordering of individual and political life. Christianity concurred, but held that knowing truth was no longer the sole province of philosophers. Machiavelli rejected transcendent standards as inadequate for politics. Modern political philosophy actually begins with Grotius, who, in reaction to Machiavelli's political realism, constructs a natural law philosophy divorced from the idea of objective good. This leads inevitably to Locke's non-theistic natural law and the elevation of human will to the level of the sacred, thus resulting in the current crisis of understanding in universal human rights. The only logical ground for the concept of universal human rights is Thomistic natural law. An investigation of Aquinas's notion of being and goodness reveals that the only truly universal human rights are to life and free will. Applying this principle yields the conclusion that if human rights are to have any meaning whatsoever, there can never be a "human right" to abortion.
- ItemA Better Place to Be: Republicanism as an Alternative to the Authoritarianism-Democracy Dichotomy(2016) Binetti, Christopher; Alford, Charles F; Government and Politics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)ABSTRACT Title of Dissertation: A BETTER PLACE TO BE: REPUBLICANISM AS AN ALTENATIVE TO THE AUTHORITARIANISM-DEMOCRACY DICHOTOMY Christopher Ronald Binetti, Doctor of Philosophy, and 2016 Dissertation directed by: Dr. Charled Frederick Alford, Department of Government and Politics In this dissertation, I argue that in modern or ancient regimes, the simple dichotomy between democracies and autocracies/dictatorships is both factually wrong and problematic for policy purposes. It is factually wrong because regimes between the two opposite regime types exist and it is problematic because the either/or dichotomy leads to extreme thinking in terms of nation-building in places like Afghanistan. In planning for Afghanistan, the argument is that either we can quickly nation-build it into a liberal democracy or else we must leave it in the hands of a despotic dictator. This is a false choice created by both a faulty categorization of regime types and most importantly, a failure to understand history. History shows us that the republic is a regime type that defies the authoritarian-democracy dichotomy. A republic by my definition is a non-dominating regime, characterized by a (relative) lack of domination by any one interest group or actor, mostly non-violent competition for power among various interest groups/factions, the ability of factions/interest groups/individual actors to continue to legitimately play the political game even after electoral or issue-area defeat and some measure of effectiveness. Thus, a republic is a system of government that has institutions, laws, norms, attitudes, and beliefs that minimize the violation of the rule of law and monopolization of power by one individual or group as much as possible. These norms, laws, attitudes, and beliefs ae essential to the republican system in that they make those institutions that check and balance power work. My four cases are Assyria, Persia, Venice and Florence. Assyria and Persia are ancient regimes, the first was a republic and then became the frightening opposite of a republic, while the latter was a good republic for a long time, but had effectiveness issues towards the end. Venice is a classical example of a medieval or early modern republic, which was very inspirational to Madison and others in building republican America. Florence is the example of a medieval republic that fell to despotism, as immortalized by Machiavelli’s writings. In all of these examples, I test certain alternative hypotheses as well as my own.