Alumni Dissertations

 

Alumni Dissertations

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  • Being All She Can Be: Gender Integration in NATO Military Forces

    Author:
    Lana Obradovic
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    Irving Markovitz
    Abstract:

    For centuries national military forces excluded women from their ranks. However, in the last four decades numerous states have passed legislation permanently integrating women into their military services and have dramatically increased their numbers and their role. By examining twenty-four NATO member states, this study will attempt to build the theoretical model that explains why states abandon their policies of exclusion and seek to integrate more women into their military services. It combines both large-N quantitative analysis and case studies of the United States, Italy, Hungary and Poland. The main argument put forth in this dissertation is that civilian policymakers and military leadership no longer surrender to parochial gendered division of the roles, but rather integrate women to meet the recruitment numbers due to military modernization, professionalization and levels of threat to national security; to meet the demands of domestic women's movements and to meet state's responsibilities under international agreements regarding gender equity and gender mainstreaming in the military.

  • REGIONAL PARTY SYSTEMS IN ETHNOFEDERAL STATES

    Author:
    Yekaterina Oziashvili
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    Susan Woodward
    Abstract:

    Scholars of federalism and political parties argue that ethnic federalism leads to the creation of regional and ethnoregional parties at the expense of national parties. Critics of ethnofederalism claim that a regional party system dominated by branches of national parties in ethnofederal states is virtually impossible and argue that ethnoregional parties act as centrifugal forces that threaten the territorial integrity of the state. Using the case of Russia this dissertation shows that the rise of regional parties is not a direct result of ethnofederal institutional structures but a product of specific electoral systems. Then, using the cases of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, and Nigeria, I demonstrate the central role of electoral rules and institutions in shaping party systems in ethnofederal states. Next, I look at the sources of variation in regional party systems in ethnofederal democracies. I demonstrate that the ethno-demographic compositions of the federal units provide the best explanation for this variation. Using the cases of India, Pakistan (1988-1999), Spain, Canada, and Belgium I show that the ethnoculturally and politically dominant communities are more likely to provide electoral support for national parties, regardless of their region of residence. For example, I find that Hindus, despite their linguistic, regional, and tribal heterogeneity, are more likely to support national parties than other ethnic communities in India. Similarly, I find that Anglophones in Canada and Castilian-speakers in Spain provide the most consistent support for national parties. Belgium and Pakistan, on the other hand, lack an ethnoculturally and politically dominant community; as a result, Belgium has no national parties and Pakistan's national parties in the 1990s were perceived as increasingly ethnoregional, drawing most of their support from Sindh and Punjab regions. My findings, therefore, are twofold: they demonstrate that the formation of regional parties is not solely a product of ethnofederal institutional design and that electoral strength of regional parties is not a common characteristic of all ethnofederal states. Their presence depends on electoral institutions and on the ethno-demographic composition of the federal unit in question.

  • THE "SOCIAL FACTORY" IN POSTWAR ITALIAN RADICAL THOUGHT FROM OPERAISMO TO AUTONOMIA

    Author:
    David Palazzo
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    Jack Jacobs
    Abstract:

    This dissertation examines the "social factory" as it developed conceptually within postwar Italian Autonomist Marxism. This concept is defined historically as an outgrowth of the critique of political economy that accompanied a rethinking of Marxism in postwar Italian working class political thought through the experience of Quaderni Rossi, which culminated in the theoretical and practical work of Potere Operaio, with fragments in the area of Autonomia. Historically, this dissertation locates the "social factory" as derivative of two figures: Raniero Panzieri and Mario Tronti, as well as two subsidiary movements that were articulated, separately, by Antonio Negri and Mariarosa Dalla Costa. Conceptually, the "social factory" is understood in two differing modes: as the result of capitalist accumulation and, the other, as the consequence of the increasing tertiarization of economic life. Both are problematic and unresolved within Italian workerist thought; Negri and Dalla Costa contribute to the discussion of a "social factory" critique of political economy in terms of extending the conceptualization of class and the understanding of social relations within advanced, post-Fordist capitalism. The idea of the "social factory" is understood historically to signify the relationship between capital and class, to understand the role of capital as an element of command within a particular, historical mode of production. In this regard, the development of operaismo is delineated in terms of the critique of political economy and its secondary concept: class composition. The history of a rather rich and varied political orientation constitutes the substantive matter of this work, with the conceptual apparatus forming the definitive characteristics of a distinct political movement: operaismo. In short, the "social factory" is explained historically through its articulation in Quaderni Rossi, Classe Operaio, the student movement, the "hot autumn," Potere Operaio, and Autonomia. Between the early-1960s and the mid 1970s Italy was the country of class conflict. This dissertation tells a story of that historical moment as understood through the development of its main concept, the "social factory," as a critique of political economy.

  • The Caring Precariat: Home Health Care Work in New York City

    Author:
    Diana Polson
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    John Mollenkopf
    Abstract:

    Home health care sits at the nexus of several recent coinciding processes--the fraying of the welfare state, privatization and the externalization of social reproductive costs onto individual families. This dissertation examines the ways in which government funding and public policies structure service delivery and working conditions in the home health care industry in the nation's most populous city--New York City. This study augments in-depth interviews of policy elites, government bureaucrats, employers, advocates and unions with analysis of a new data set collected from hard-to-reach low-wage workers to explore the role of the federal, state and city government in creating and regulating contract arrangements that determine wages and working conditions of a low-wage workforce situated between the formal and informal economy. Several themes emerge from this research. First, by examining the relationship between the formal, regulated, publicly-funded home health care system and the informal, gray market privately-funded home care system in NYC, I found that the state relies on the informal care economy (and therefore workers working outside of the regulated, formal system) to fill in the care gap created by piecemeal public coverage. Shifts in government regulation, funding and constellations of third party government move the boundaries between formal and informal jobs--in this case, growing informal work and putting more financial burdens on families. Second, this dissertation explores how a union, namely SEIU 1199, that had previously been unable to raise wages significantly for home health aides, was able to win, remarkably, a living wage by creating and then taking advantage of opportunities to revamp the home health care industry during a period when the State was looking to cut Medicaid. Third, the State, with the help of 1199, facilitated a reorganization of the home health care industry, which led to its consolidation and the growth of Managed Care (which many fear will lead to a decrease in hours of care for patients and less work for aides).

  • Engaging Bad Governments: Resource Groups and Patterns of Engagement in Bangladesh

    Author:
    Nayma Qayum
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    Vincent Boudreau
    Abstract:

    Bangladesh's governments have pursued an aid-based neoliberal development agenda since the 1980s, which has allowed new resources and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to permeate rural society. These NGOs operate programs through resource groups, small groups of impoverished women who gather at the village or ward levels. This dissertation argues that resource groups have built new citizen-state relationships and enabled new forms of engagement between citizens and their governments. These new transactional relationships are governed simultaneously by informal institutions of accountability and informal institutions of exchange; the former allow actors to reinforce formal rules when badly-performing institutions deviate from them, and the latter permit actors to navigate weak formal institutions through illegal exchanges. Findings illustrate that transactional relationships are replacing patronage relationships with a combination of transaction-driven and programmatic linkages, and allowing poor women to engage with formal institutions in multiple ways - in partisan politics, local government, and informal avenues - that coexist with ongoing urban resistance politics.

  • State Structure and Economic Development: The Political Economy of Thailand and the Philippines

    Author:
    Antoinette Raquiza
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    Susan Woodward
    Abstract:

    This dissertation investigates the factors that account for different economic performance among late developing countries that are vulnerable to external shocks, crony capitalism, and political instability. The dissertation undertakes an historical, comparative analysis of industrializing Thailand and relatively low-performing Philippines, and argues that differences in economic performance are due to variations in the institutional configuration of state power, defined along two dimensions: the embeddedness of governing elites in state institutions, and the relationship between the political leadership and economic technocracy in the development policy process. The dissertation adopts the concept of bureaucratic polity, used in Thailand studies, to refer to the series of coalitions between military rulers and senior technocrats that controlled state power for most of that country's modern history. Thai political rulers and technocrat economic managers were deeply embedded, respectively, in the military and civilian bureaucracies; economic technocrats had relative autonomy from the political rulers. For the Philippines, this study introduces the concept of proprietary polity, a form of elite rule in which personalistic politicians gain power because of their personal wealth, connections, and political skills. Philippine political leaders belonged to weak political parties and recruited technocrats from the private sector. Hence, the development bureaucracy was strongly subordinate to political leaders. These distinct institutional settings produced different economic growth patterns. Thailand's more stable bureaucratic polity proved conducive to long-term capital accumulation, necessary for the rise of a robust industrial sector. Because political contestation proved much more disruptive under the Philippines's proprietary polity, investment flowed more into the commercial sectors, where economic activities promised fast turnovers. Four causal mechanisms link the institutional setting to economic outcomes: (1) political contestation, 2) presence of policy continuity, 3) choice of policy design and tools, and, 4) the consolidation of different policy constituencies.

  • Becoming Transnational Citizens: The Liberian Diaspora's Civic Engagement in the United States and in Homeland Peacebuilding

    Author:
    Janet Reilly
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    Susan Woodward
    Abstract:

    This study examines the relationship between civic participation in homeland peacebuilding and immigrants' political incorporation and integration in their local communities in the United States. It explores the impact of state (U.S. and Liberia) policies and local context on individuals' civic participation locally and in transnational activities. The study demonstrates the mechanisms through which state policies and local context influence Liberians' political participation in the United States and their transnational citizenship, defined as full legal membership and civic participation. The relationship between civic engagement in the United States and in transnational activities is not an adversarial one. Engagement with the diaspora correlates positively with integration in the United States and vice versa. In fact, those Liberians who participate most actively in their local communities in the United States are also the ones who engage most frequently in transnational activities. The ability of Liberians to participate fully in their local and transnational communities, however, is affected by U.S. immigration and reception policies that have promoted integration for refugees and asylees but, at the same time, trapped many Liberians with TPS/DED in a legal limbo. The study highlights the social nature of political involvement and the importance of context in promoting Liberians' political belonging in the United States and as transnational citizens.

  • Cooperating for fairness: The role of electoral institutions in generating more egalitarian legislation in the sub-Saharan African region

    Author:
    Karin Riedl
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    Susan Woodward
    Abstract:

    This dissertation examines the impact of electoral systems on legislation that should produce more socially egalitarian societies in the sub-Saharan African region. Based on a data analysis of 47 sub-Saharan African countries, this dissertation establishes that proportional representation (PR) electoral systems are significantly more likely than plurality or absolute majority electoral systems to generate legislation that establishes and protects equal rights and opportunities for vulnerable societal groups, including women, gays, and people most likely to be infected with HIV. The analysis also shows that plurality and absolute majority systems are more likely to generate legislation that threatens the equal rights and opportunities of vulnerable groups. The dissertation provides causal explanations for the correlation between PR electoral systems and legislation that protects vulnerable groups. An in-depth examination of four countries in the sub-Saharan African region - Benin, Kenya, Namibia, and Uganda - illustrates that proportional representation electoral systems produce incentives for political parties to adopt issues that are of interest to pockets of the electorate and that do not necessarily enjoy the support of the majority of voters. The dissertation shows that the comparatively weaker relationships between individual Members of Parliament (MPs) and their largely conservative constituents allow political parties in PR electoral systems to be better equipped than their counterparts to ensure relatively stronger party discipline. As a result of this, political parties are more capable of efficiently pursuing such legislation within political parties and through more effective inter-party cooperation within committees.

  • LIGHTS ON, LIGHTS OUT: THE ELUSIVE PROMISE OF PUBLIC SERVICE DELIVERY AND ELECTRICITY PROVISION FOR THE RURAL POOR UNDER DECENTRALIZATION IN GHANA: 1992-2008

    Author:
    Naaborle Sackeyfio
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    Irving Markovitz
    Abstract:

    Electricity is a ubiquitous element of modern life. While it is elusive for many in the developing world by all accounts Ghana has achieved a successful rate of electrification and outpaced many states in sub-Saharan Africa. As a country widely admired for its democratic governance, economic growth and relative stability, the benefits of ample sources of hydropower and other forms of electric energy have not accrued to the rural poor as the target population of decentralized electrification programs. Previously dismal electricity access prior to the early 1990s led to the pursuit of electrification initiatives to power the country more efficiently and equitably. Under a mantle of decentralized institutions-thought to produce optimal outcomes for public service delivery of goods like electricity and water, access for the rural poor has improved. Yet questions of how political decentralization and market oriented power sector reforms have structured electricity access for the rural poor remain under explored. Since the completion of this study, a 55% access rate substantially increased to 66%. This dissertation argues that though Ghana has made remarkable progress in electricity provision, the merits of decentralized electrification initiatives have yielded differential benefits for the rural poor who comprise a significant bulk of the country's population. I maintain that under a decentralized institutional framework, thought to be inherently ideal for societies in transition, successful service delivery of electricity reflects uneven outcomes for the rural poor evident in the political capture of local institutions charged with utility provision. This dissertation is significant because it focuses on electricity access as an inconspicuous but critical socio-economic component for large numbers of people in the developing African world. Virtually taken for granted in advanced, industrial and post industrial world, the quest for equitable, and affordable access in developing, emerging economies like Ghana in many ways represents a microcosm of the public-private battleground to reconstitute the state's role in the economy, through a neo-liberal agenda of electric power reforms.

  • Free Spaces, Collective Identity and Political Consciousness: Student Activism and Repression on West Java, 1920-1979

    Author:
    Stephanie Sapiie
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    Irving Markovitz
    Abstract:

    Whereas previous studies of the Indonesian student movement have been limited to studies of single episodes of activism of student protests, this work focuses on the narratives, and repertoires that, together with crucial external events of political and economic realignments created both pressures and opportunities that produced contentious identities of Indonesian student activism. This study reveals the development of a particular type of contentious student activism was driven by private frustrations, grievances and intellectual concerns, and that led to particular forms of collective action that became institutionalized in two ways: 1) as a repertoire relied on by students; and 2) more generally, as a culturally acceptable mode of expressing opposition. However, the development of student's political consciousness did not reflect only political grievances and frustrations. Student activism was the result of many different resources and opportunities. To be successful, student movements required both the physical and conceptual space in which they could construct political opposition. This dissertation challenges the assumption that free spaces must always be local, free and participated in by groups from below. Free spaces may be as important for highly-visible privileged groups as they are for an invisible subaltern. This may force activists to seek free spaces in places far from local settings supported by transnational actors and social networks. This study finds this phenomenon in fields as different as the anti-European anti-colonial student movements of the 1920s to the post Indonesian independence movements of the 1950s down to the present. By focusing on the claims and contentious identities of the study movement and of the student movements, this study reorients the study of Indonesian student activism from analysis of protest to the analysis of the specific spaces created through their reliance on the powerful narratives that shaped each decade of student activism.