Mershon Center Graduate Student Research

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Now showing 1 - 14 of 14
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    The United States and European Detente: Nixon, Ford, and the Helsinki Accords, 1969-75
    (Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2008) Gurney, Ursula
    When Richard Nixon became president in 1969, he attempted to manage America's global Cold War with the policy of détente. This policy was designed to contain the spread of communism through negotiation rather than confrontation; however, American hegemony continued to be challenged by the Soviet Union, China and Third World nationalists. By the time Gerald Ford took office in 1974, détente had become synonymous with weakness. The 1970s were one of the most challenging decades for officials in Washington, as Nixon and Ford both faced the dilemma of managing America's vulnerable position in a hostile and diverse international order. Focusing on the theme of transition during the Cold War, Gurney examines the role played by the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and resulting Helsinki Accords of 1975 in restructuring American policies, transatlantic relations, and the East-West divide.
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    Problem Definitions: Understanding the NGO Response to Sex Trafficking
    (Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2008) Hernandez, Marguerite
    The U.S. Department of State estimates that 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year. Of these, 80 percent are women and children, most of whom are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Marguerite Hernandez's dissertation explores the efforts of non-governmental organizations and government agencies to curtail and combat human trafficking. Although NGOs must coordinate with each other and with government agencies, little research evaluates the effectiveness of these groups and their ability to work together.
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    Sherman was Right: The Experience of AEF Soldiers in the First World War
    (Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2008) Gutierrez, Edward
    Gutierrez's dissertation analyzes the results of questionnaires completed by more than 2,000 soldiers from Connecticut, Virginia, Minnesota, and Utah during World War I. The dissertation also features a comparison of the testimonies collected in 1919 with 5,500 testimonies collected in 1975 by Don Rickey of the U.S. Military History Institute from veterans in their 70s, 80s, and 90s.
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    From Boma to Boomtown: Extraction, Place, and Politics in Solwezi, Zambia
    (Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2008) Negi, Rohit
    In 2003, the northwestern province of Zambia witnessed the opening of the Kanshanshi and Lumwana copper mines. These mines employ more than 7,000 workers, most of who live in the nearby town of Solwezi — a previously small boma, or administrative town. Rohit Negi's dissertation explores Solwezi's transformation as a mining town, providing a valuable case study of social and political change brought about by economic development.
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    War, Propaganda and Photography: The Chinese Photographer Sha Fei (1912-50)
    (Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2008) Ho, Eliza
    Eliza Ho's dissertation explores the growth and development of prolific war photographer Sha Fei, and how his work contributed to the rise of revolutionary, proletarian culture in China. She contends that his work demonstrates a progressive erasure of the boundaries between art and politics.
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    Women At/On the Ballot: Examining the Effects of Tokenism and Quotas
    (Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2008) Xydias, Christina
    By 2006, about 40 countries had legislated or constitutionally mandated gender quotas for candidates running for seats in the national legislature, and many more political parties had self-imposed such rules. Proponents of quotas hail this trend, arguing they are necessary to achieve truly democratic forms of representation. Others, though, charge that any form of quotas conflicts with the basic tenets of liberal democracy. All too absent from the debate is an understanding of if and how quotas actually change political outcomes. Christina Xydias aims to fill this gap by investigating whether female legislators pursue different policy agendas than their male counterparts, and if so, under what circumstances?
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    Information, Intelligence and Negotiation: The Atlantic European Diplomatic World, 1558-1585
    (Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2008) Fett, Denice
    In a September 1561 dispatch sent from Madrid to English Secretary of State Sir William Cecil, ambassador Sir Thomas Chaloner noted that he had remained so long without letters or contact from England that he could not fulfill his duties as an ambassador to Spain. Chaloner could not effectively negotiate with King Phillip II of Spain about English policy decisions, trade strategies, or positions on foreign affairs, simply because he lacked the necessary information. His predicament reflects the importance of reliable communications networks to develop, transmit, and implement foreign policy initiatives. Denice Fett examines the development of a diplomatic communications system that depended on gathering and transmitting information and intelligence during the late 16th century. While some scholars have explored international diplomacy from the perspective of a single nation, Fett's dissertation draws from archival sources in five different countries and five different languages.
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    Race and Revolution: The International Dilemma of Apartheid, 1960-69
    (Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2008) Irwin, Ryan
    The 1960s saw a clash over how the international political system should relate to the Third World. The great powers of the United States and Soviet Union insisted on viewing the Third World as a proxy battleground for the Cold War, advancing a discourse dominated by the imperatives of order and national security. At the same time, dozens of newly independent African and Asian states began to see the Cold War as a diversion from the true struggle – a struggle between the North and the South over colonialism, white racism, and economic exploitation. In place of order and national security, these countries demanded emancipation and justice. The height of this clash, and the focal point of Ryan Irwin's doctoral dissertation, is the transformation of South African Apartheid into an international political crisis.
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    The "Anglosphere": A Genealogy of an Identity in International Relations
    (Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2008) Vucetic, Srdjan
    The Bill of Rights. Trial by jury. Presumption of innocence. A man's home is his castle. A man's word is his bond. These are among the ideas that scholars who argue for the existence of the "Anglosphere" believe are taken for granted in a group of states that share the values and institutions associated with the historical experience of England. How did the Angloshere become possible and what effects does it have on international politics? Srdjan Vucetic sets out to answer this question in his dissertation, which tells the story of how Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States came to share common expectations of dependence and cooperation in the area of international security.
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    The Alliance City: NATO and Berlin, 1958-63
    (2008) Rice, Mark
    Mark Rice is investigating the Berlin Crisis and the diplomatic and strategic effects that NATO had on Western policy from 1958 to 1963. He hopes to show that NATO was not only a useful forum for the Western allies to develop a unified strategy toward the Soviet threat, but also that NATO had its own interests and goals and played a significant part in the formulation of that unified approach.
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    The Perils of Movement Parties: An Investigation of Political Parties in Mexico and Argentina
    (2008) Mossige, Dag
    In the United States and Western Europe, political parties are often placed along a left-right continuum. In Latin America, however, some parties defy this kind of categorization. Examples of such parties include the Partido Justicialista, or Peronist party, in Argentina and the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) in Mexico. In his dissertation, Dag Mossige classifies the PRD and Peronist party as "movement parties" and explores the structure and development of these political organizations.
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    Locational Decisions and Perceived Risk of U.S. Multinationals in the New Gulf Development States
    (2008) Ewers, Michael
    American multinational corporations have done business in the Persian Gulf since the oil and construction boom of the 1970s. In recent years, however, the types of companies and their choices of where to locate have evolved. With the explosion in oil prices since 1998, U.S. firms are increasingly choosing to locate in the smaller countries of the lower Gulf, particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These countries have been using oil windfalls to expand their economies, creating new hubs for global corporations in non-oil sectors. Michael Ewers' project explores the decisions of U.S. corporations to locate in the Gulf, as well as corporate perceptions of security risks in these countries. The actions and perceptions of American firms in the Gulf can support or disrupt economic security in the region and affect the perceived security of U.S. commercial interests.
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    Why do People Riot? Understanding the micro-level processes motivating Hindu-Muslim Riots in India
    (Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2008) Chidambaram, Soundraya
    Since its partition in 1947, India has experienced a rise in Hindu-Muslim violence. Despite the large social and economic strains that riots place on the Indian state and society, violence occurs frequently in India’s northern and western cities. Soundarya Chidambaram explores the factors that provoke people to participate in ethnic violence. She investigates the causes and nature of such violence, asking: Why do people decide to riot? What factors determine why, when, and where riots are likely to occur? How do these factors shape people's motivation to riot as members of an ethnic group?
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    Graduate Student Research 2007-08
    (Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2008) Mann, Melanie
    The Mershon Center provides support for select graduate students to focus on research related to international security. Projects cover an interdisciplinary range of fields, from geography to political science.