Watson Institute at Brown University
International Relations

Thesis Abstracts

2017 Honors Theses Abstracts

Conditions of European Integration: 
The Salience of Religious Identity in the Case of Turkey’s EU Candidacy
Naz Akyol
International cooperation and governance have become increasingly valuable to generating solutions to the most pressing global problems of the last three decades including forced migration disasters and global financial meltdowns. That is why it is important to understand the conditions that determine integration into regional governance organizations. This thesis specifically asks, “What are the determinants of the membership outcomes of countries that are candidates for EU membership?” Research on European Integration suggests that EU membership outcomes are determined by a combination of political, economic, social, and institutional factors, which are officially represented by the Copenhagen Criteria. Moving beyond the perception that these criteria are the only determinants of EU membership outcomes, this thesis extends previous theories by arguing that factors such as religious identity can play an important role in the process of accession and membership. This thesis shows that religious identity is an important determinant of EU membership outcomes by looking at the case of Turkey and using a mixed-methods approach consisting of historical representation, quantitative comparison, and textual analysis. If religious identity affects the EU membership outcome of Turkey, then factors other than those officially stated should be considered when looking at what determines integration.
Key words: integration, European Union, Turkey, religious identity, membership

Compliance in Context: 
Extralegal Determinants of Extradition in Chile and Japan
Dolan Bortner
What explains variation in extradition outcomes, and what accounts for changes in these decisions over time? Extradition is typically evaluated through single-case studies of laws governing the return of fugitives. A few scholars, in contrast, examine the impact of extralegal factors. This scholarship, derived from compliance theory, analyzes unitary states; understands noncompliance as the opposite of compliance, rather than the result of unique decisions of the actor; and disagrees on whether self-interest or norms better explains legal outcomes. Drawing from social psychology, I develop an Integrated Contextual Model that incorporates both self-interest and norms, treats compliance and noncompliance separately, and emphasizes the individual. Through textual analysis of 1,473 news articles and government texts, I examine 13 variables in the proceedings against former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori in Japan and Chile. Both cases differ in outcome, and Chile’s verdict changed—enabling a comparison of how context influences extradition across time and space. I find that context predicts legal outcomes better than the law; self-interest trumps norms; and extralegal factors impact not only the law, but also one another. These conclusions have implications for extradition and compliance studies as well as the international legal order and human rights justice. 
Keywords: compliance theory, context, extralegal factors, extradition, Fujimori, Japan, Chile

Humanitarianism As Border: 
The Governance of Migration and the Reinforcement of Exclusion in Ceuta, Spain
Emily Nura Cunniffe
Acts of rescue and care are increasing at the same time border enforcement regimes are strengthening—from rescues in the Mediterranean, to refugee camps in Northern Jordan, to advocacy groups on the US-Mexico border. What explains this humanitarianism in the borderlands, and what impact does it have on the undocumented migrants it targets? This thesis contributes to an emerging literature on the “humanitarian border” and develops a framework of the humanitarian border complex to examine the interactions of humanitarian actors, not only at the border, but into areas that surround borders. I examine the case of Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in Northern Morocco and one of only two land borders between Africa and Europe. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and policy and legal analysis from 1985 to 2017, I analyze state and non-state responses to migration. I find that, through acts of humanitarianism—premised on protection and inclusion—the state, paradoxically, extends border functions of mobility control into the borderlands. Consequently, these areas become newly articulated spaces of confinement and exclusion for migrants beyond the physical border. Conceiving of humanitarianism as part of an extended and securitized borderland presents implications for understandings of how and for whom humanitarianism is enacted.
Keywords: borders, humanitarianism, migration, exclusion, Spain

Explaining Variations in Violence: Civil Allyship and Drug War Outcomes in China and Mexico
Paula Martínez Gutiérrez
What factors explain cross-national variations in violence during drug wars? Traditional explanations of drug policy outcomes claim structural and behavioral characteristics of criminal organizations and states are driving factors. These studies, however, under-theorize the influence of civil society in drug war campaigns. While community allyship is analyzed by scholars in other policy areas, it has been largely understated in drug war scholarship. I find that drug wars are less violent where enforcement authorities ally with members of the local community to implement their counternarcotic policies, and are more violent where state authorities lack such ties to civil society. Comparing the less violent Chinese drug war (1991-2016) and the more violent Mexican drug war (2006-2016) at both national and subnational levels, I illustrate how policy-synergy—the degree of civil support towards state policies—impacts the implementation of drug war campaigns and helps explain disparate outcomes in violence. I find that civil society’s historical narratives and security interests influence their levels of support toward drug wars and, thus, tip the scale of violence. This conclusion has implications for counter-narcotics theory, drug policy analysis, and for the promotion of more sensible drug policies at a national and international level.
Keywords: drug war, counternarcotics, civil society, policy-synergy, violence, China, Mexico

Reconceptualizing Foreign Aid Determination: 
The Influence of Migration on German and French Aid Allocation in Morocco
Sarah Stillman
What factors determine aid allocation? To what extent does migration affect aid determination? Traditional explanations for foreign aid allocation fail to account for the nuanced and dynamic nature of aid allocation. Moving beyond existing scholarship, I develop an original dynamic model that offers a multidimensional conceptualization of foreign aid allocation, which accounts for the context of individual cases and the possibility of change over time, combining strategic interests and public opinion. The migrant crisis in Europe has been a pressing issue at a constituent, state, and international level in recent years. Using Germany and France as my case studies, I determine through statistical analysis of aid determinants, analysis of values surveys, and content analysis of newspapers, that migration is a salient determinant of aid in some cases, such as in Germany. That migration can determine aid indicates that policymakers view foreign aid as the new frontier of protection against immigration, and that public opinion has the potential to influence state policies.
Keywords: foreign aid, public opinion, migration, Morocco, EU


2016 Honors Theses Abstracts

Chinese “Paisanos” in Guadalajara, Mexico:Rethinking South-South Migration Flows
Aida Patricia Palma Carpio
What are the processes and mechanisms that initiate, perpetuate, and give continuity to long-distance South-South migration flows? Scholarship of international migration has historically emphasized the study of South-North Migration. While South-South Migration is not new, research over the past decade finds that it consists primarily of back-and-forth seasonal labor and transit route migration occurring predominantly at an intra-regional level. However, these studies do not account for newer South-South Migration flows between countries that are geographically distanced. I argue that long-distance South- South Migration is best understood as long-term and economically driven migration. Migrants undergo high initial costs expecting to find opportunities of capital accumulation and upward mobility in the receiving society. Based on nearly three months of ethnographic research in 2015, I evaluate the case of Chinese restaurant and cultural shop sector immigrants in Guadalajara, Mexico. I find that social connections are fundamental to long-distance South-South movements, that low-skill international migrants find opportunities in urban pockets of development in the Global South, and that long-distances encourage family immigration—which promotes long-term settlement in the receiving society. Thus, long-distance South-South Migration exhibits similar traits to South-North Migration, and these similarities display beginnings of a bottom-up globalization processes in the Global South.
Keywords: South-South Migration (SSM), South-North Migration (SNM), social networks, transnational migration, economic inclusion.

Rethinking Security Policies: Determining Aggressiveness through Economic Preponderance and Strategic Partnerships—the Case of China
Kevin Dhali
What factors determine a country’s security policies? The realist camp proposes the Hegemonic Stability Theory, the Power Transition Theory, and the Rogue State Doctrine to claim rival states as determinants of security policies. Liberal internationalism, meanwhile, postulates partnership and cooperation as determinants of security policies. Moving beyond this general insight, I posit a more comprehensive framework, which correlates better with the modern notion of security. My framework recognizes both the self-reliance and strategic cooperation facets of security, while acknowledging the current global trend for economic advancements through international trading systems. Hence, my framework combines a country’s economic preponderance with strategic partnerships to serve as determinants of security policies. Examining the cases of China-Indonesia and China-Iran relations, I conduct process tracing and path dependency methodologies within longitudinal analyses of both cases, before applying the convergence theory to test my hypothesis. I analyze how China’s economic preponderance incentivizes the formation of strategic partnerships, before eventually determining security policies. Using the two cases, my framework also incorporates partnerships with different typologies of nation’s power status. Given that China is not the only country currently enjoying exponential economic growths, this thesis has broader implications for both China’s rise and other economically preponderant countries post-globalization.
Keywords: security policies, China’s rise, economic preponderance, strategic partnerships, post-globalization

Examining the International Political Economy of the Firm: The Dynamics of State Aggression in Georgian-Russian Trade 1996-2014
James Janison
How does state aggression influence a firm’s export decision? Existing theory of interstate peace as a condition for trade argues that state aggression –state acts of hostile coercion such as invasion or embargo– prompts uncertainty among market actors, one result of which is export deterrence. Moving beyond this general insight, I posit a more nuanced political economy of the firm in which a fluid dynamic between idiosyncratic political outlook and market factors determines a firm’s proclivity to avoid risk, shaping its export decisions under state aggression. My framework adapts the concept of risk-aversion as posited by behavioral economics, integrating risk consideration with other export factors from international trade theory. Taking the 2006 Russian embargo on Georgian agricultural goods as a critical juncture of state aggression, this framework incorporates both process-tracing of firm-level interview data and differences-in-differences economic modeling to understand how Georgian firms altered their export practices in response to state aggression. This mixed methods approach allows future research to systematize dynamics between firm-level political outlook and market factors, which purely quantitative trade approaches cannot do. Because Georgia is not unique in that Russia targets its economy for political leverage, this thesis also has broader implications for Post-Soviet political economy.
Keywords: international trade, Georgia, embargo, post-Soviet, hegemonic stability theory, mixed methods analysis

Soft Power Status in Context: Explaining Cross-National Variations in Chinese Soft Power in Latin America
Weiwei Liu
What explains variation in soft power status—the ability to shape ideas without force or coercion? While millions of dollars across the globe are funneled into soft power strategies, we know little about their effectiveness. Following Joseph Nye’s theory, scholarship claims that soft-power is determined by factors on the power-holder side—predominately the promotion of culture. However, this work overlooks the relational nature of soft power and local context of the target population. Combining literature on soft power with media theory on framing and priming, this thesis seeks to understand the influence of local media on soft power. Through content analysis of 1,566 newspaper articles from 2005-2013 in Argentina, Chile, and Peru—countries with differing views on China—I compare the frequency, issue areas, and attitudes in news coverage to understand the image of China constructed by local media. By observing longitudinal and cross-national correlations between the image of China and public opinion collected by Latinobarómetro, I find that local media coverage serves as a filter, representing certain issue areas over others, and identify economics as the most influential factor on soft power status. Soft power scholars and strategists should deemphasize universal cultural promotion and consider local context.
Keywords: Joseph Nye, soft power, China, Latin America, media

2015 Honors Theses Abstracts

Social Movements and Processes of Political Change: The Political Outcomes of the Chilean Student Movement, 2011-2015
Yelena M. Bidé
What are the political outcomes of social movements, and how are these outcomes achieved? Existing studies focus almost exclusively on policy change, thus underestimating the broader political impact of social movements. I study the case of the Chilean student movement (2011-2015), and find that it had six political outcomes, which it achieved through three causal mechanisms. Using process tracing, content analysis, and interviews with student leaders, I conclude that the political outcomes of social movements extend beyond the realm of policy and that non-institutional outcomes—particularly changes in political consciousness—are important forms of political change. By altering the way citizens perceive and engage with their political institutions, non-institutional outcomes can have long-term implications for a country’s political system and culture. Moving beyond existing scholarship, I develop an original theoretical framework that offers a multidimensional conceptualization of the relationship between collective action and political change. To more fully understand the protests and social movements that continue to emerge across the globe, scholars must study their outcomes in both the institutional and non-institutional arenas.
Keywords: social movements, political change, non-institutional outcomes, political consciousness, causal mechanisms, Chile
Advisors: Arnulf Becker-Lorca, Janice Gallagher

The Importance of Domestic Buy-In in Globalizing Social Policy: Origins Analysis of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America
Shelby L. Centofanti
What influences a country’s decision to implement a poverty alleviation program? Most scholarship on poverty alleviation evaluates program outcomes, downplaying the context of a program’s adoption. Literature on program origins, in turn, tends to offer simplistic mono-causal explanations, such as economic crisis or individual leaders. My study of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs, the model for the fastest growing antipoverty program worldwide, finds that factors influencing the adoption of these programs are multidimensional and vary across countries and over time. Analyzing variables from political, economic, program learning, international, and social categories, I find that domestic buy-in from political actors and citizens is central to the implementation, design, and success of CCTs. In other words, CCTs are, largely, shaped by a domestic political process. Using a qualitative approach in order to analyze the policy formation process, I compare the adoption of CCTs in the foundational cases of Mexico and Brazil as well as the second wave cases of Nicaragua and Colombia. My research offers a framework that places policy development and politics at the center of the debate on global social programs and outlines how to improve evaluation techniques that can be applied to policy models more broadly.
Keywords: Conditional Cash Transfers, policy formation, origins analysis, Latin America, international influence
Advisors: Claudia Elliott, Pedro Dal Bó

Compliance without Obligation: Examining State Responses to the Syrian Refugee Crisis
Samuel A. Davidoff-Gore
Why do some states comply with international human rights laws that they have not signed? As millions of Syrians flee as a result of the Syrian Civil War, Jordan and, to a certain extent, Lebanon, have hosted and protected Syrian refugees despite not being obligated to the international refugee regime. Scholars tend to study either compliance with international law or on state responses to refugees; however, this ignores the overlap between the two fields. Furthermore, it ignores the importance of past precedent in decision making. In contrast, I integrate these two bodies of scholarship and apply them to the comparative case studies of Jordan and Lebanon. I analyze Jordanian and Lebanese responses over time to Palestinian, Iraqi, and Syrian refugee situations. I find that for each refugee crisis, Jordan and Lebanon make decisions similar to their initial decision to host Palestinian refugees in 1948. This factor, along with political motivations and (dis)similar identities, helps explain the complex refugee situation in these countries.
Keywords: international law, refugees, identity, Arab Middle East, compliance
Advisors: Nina Tannenwald, Sarah Tobin

International Institutions and State Leverage: IMF Program Design and Implementation in Argentina, 1991-2002
Guo Jin Daryl Eng
What factors determine IMF program design and implementation in borrower countries? Scholars tend to focus on the ex post effects of programs, while comparatively little attention is paid to the design and implementation of program conditionality. Understanding the problems programs are designed to address and the circumstances behind their interruption or completion, however, is essential for an accurate evaluation of their effects. In contrast to existing explanations that dichotomize factors influencing the IMF and those influencing borrower countries, I argue that a more nuanced approach that incorporates the interaction between these factors is required. Synthesizing theories of functionalism, structuralism, and principal-agent relationships with a domestic political economy approach, I offer a dynamic framework that evaluates the importance of political, institutional, and economic variables under varying circumstances. Applying this framework to the case of Argentina (1991-2002), I find that the IMF’s institutional priorities gave Argentina enormous leverage over the IMF. Therefore it maintained support for Argentina despite non-compliance until deteriorating economic conditions indicated a collapse was inevitable. This thesis sheds new light on the IMF’s decision-making process, and has wider implications for the future study of conditionality as well as policy-making at the national and international level.
Keywords: International Monetary Fund, conditionality, compliance, Argentina, crisis
Advisors: Jonathan Eaton, Mark Blyth

Modeling Internet-based Citizen Activism and Foreign Policy: The Islands Dispute between China and Japan
Tomonobu Kumahira
How can citizens utilize the Internet to influence foreign policymaking? Optimists emphasize the Internet’s great potential to empower citizens, while pessimists underscore the persistent dominance of conventional actors in shaping diplomacy. These conceptual debates fail to build analytical models that theorize the mechanisms through which citizen activism impacts foreign policymaking in the Internet era. Focusing on the interactions between “old” institutions and new practices enabled by technology, I argue that Internet-based citizen activists are using multiple and evolving strategies to engage with conventional media and policymakers. My Hybrid Model provides an analytical framework with which scholars can describe new forms of non-electoral representation by citizen movements, while challenging foreign policy decision making theories established before social media. My model traces the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute between China and Japan, in which nationalist campaigns online and offline have fueled a series of confrontations since 2005. Presenting practical implications for foreign policymakers and the conventional media to respond to the transformation, this Hybrid Model also helps citizens play a more active role in international relations. In conclusion, I explore the analogy between the Internet and past innovations in communication technologies to shed light on the future of the Internet and politics.
Keywords: the Internet and politics, citizen activism, political representation, media, nationalism in East Asia
Advisors: Jordan Branch, Kerry Smith

Macroeconomic Growth in the Aftermath of Sovereign Debt Default: Neoliberal Financial Infrastructure and Emerging Market Investment in Russia, 1999-2005
Sona Mkrttchian
This thesis explores whether there should be greater regulation and supervision of international capital flows given an increase in the prevalence of financial crises in so-called “emerging” economies. To answer this question, I process trace a case study of the Russian Federation’s 1998 debt default to determine the variables that led to the macroeconomic growth recorded in the aftermath of the decision to default on debt accumulated in the GKO-OFZ market. Traditional explanations of the aftermath of sovereign default explain market mechanisms through which restructured payments are enforced given a lack of international legal infrastructure. But these models do not test well across the “emerging market” economies of the 1980s and 90s. In the “emerging market” model, global capital flows stimulate economic growth—defined through output, borrowing costs, and trade flows—that offset projected penalty losses. I process trace the Russian case empirically from 1999 to 2005 in order to prove my argumentative framework that three critical junctures fused to create a political-industrial complex under the Putin administration that generated foreign investment above and beyond the potential market penalties. My findings suggest the international system should incorporate formal architecture to protect global lenders and diffuse the quantity of debt defaults.
Keywords: Emerging Markets, Sovereign Debt Default, Market Transition, Russia, Neoliberalism
Advisors: Jonathan Eaton, Linda Cook

Islamic Immigration, Sex Trafficking, and the Media: The Implications of Racialized and Gendered Trafficking Discourses in the Netherlands
Esmé M. Ricciardi
This thesis studies the impact of the media on views on Islamic immigration through the lens of gender and sex trafficking narratives. According to Mahdavi’s Trafficking and Terror model derived from research on the United States, Islamophobia is infused into trafficking narratives to raise public support for U.S. government anti-terrorism measures in the Middle East. My research applies Mahdavi’s framework to the case of the “loverboys” in the Netherlands, a least likely case given the country’s history of liberal tolerance. Using discourse analysis, I examine perspectives on Islam, immigration, and sex trafficking in Dutch media and find that post-9/11 discussions of Islam and sex trafficking use gendered narratives to defend intolerance in a historically tolerant state. I find that this narrative, which focuses on protecting white women from brown men, is used to subtly support Islamophobic integration policies and anti-immigration measures in the Netherlands. This thesis offers a Mahdavi-inspired framework for understanding the correlation between Islamophobia and sex trafficking narratives outside of the U.S. context. This framework has implications for understanding Islamophobia and anti-immigration policies that can contribute to the growth of radical Islam, as well as the continuation of human rights abuses of migrants and sex workers.
Keywords: loverboys, Islamophobia, sex trafficking, trafficking narratives, gender
Advisors: Elena Shih, Claudia Elliott

Political Economy and Global Arts for Social Change: A Comparative Analysis of Youth Orchestras in Venezuela and Chile
Emma L. Strother
An expansive movement comprised of UN Millennium Development Goals, international banks, and hundreds of programs worldwide, promotes access to the arts as a creative means of social change. Often grounded in cognitive science and inspired by the model of youth orchestras in Venezuela known as El Sistema, this movement contends that arts training—which fosters empathy, collaboration, academic achievement, and self-esteem—helps alleviate poverty and combat inequality. In contrast to the majority of literature on public arts programs—quantitative impact studies that assume the arts create social change through universal mechanisms—I examine the influence of political economy on the implementation of public arts programs. Through a mixed-method, comparative study of youth orchestras for social inclusion in Venezuela (1974-2015) and Chile (1964-2015), I find that the scope and intensity of government control, social welfare policy, and competition for public funds shape public arts programs’ social goals, daily operations, definitions of success, and impact study procedures. Therefore, we must reexamine our understanding of arts programs as a development model. Future global efforts to combat inequality should avoid over-standardization. This thesis offers a new Arts for Social Change Context Framework that places input variables at the center of analysis, with policy implications.
Keywords: El Sistema, public arts programs, social change, comparative
Advisors: Claudia Elliott, Arnulf Becker-Lorca

2014 Honors Theses Abstracts

Trending Towards Democracy: What Explains Holdouts to Democracy Promotion?

Matthew Ryklin

What explains holdouts to democracy promotion? Over the past two decades, the European Union has successfully overseen the transition of many former communist and soviet states to democracy. Yet the EU has been unable to make progress with nearby Belarus. A prominent two-dimensional framework for analyzing international influence on regime change explains success of democracy promotion in degrees of leverage and linkage. While empirical evidence shows that external influence is less successful with low linkage between the promoter and target country, less is known about the mechanisms underlying leverage. Further, the long-term effects of leverage on linkage itself are unknown. I argue that in cases that lack linkage, leverage is not only ineffective but also counterproductive. This deepens our understanding of the democracy promotion process and implies a reevaluation of current policy. Analyzing EU leverage on Belarus since 1991, I illustrate how Belarusian linkage to Russia has rendered EU efforts impotent. Belarus borders the EU in Eastern Europe; as such, its history, location, and continued opposition make it an effective comparison to successful democracy promotion cases. If leverage is counterproductive in cases such as this, then long-term strategies that aim to create linkage should be further analyzed and reconsidered. 
Advisors: Linda Cook, Sergei Khrushchev
Keywords: Democracy Promotion, European Union, Belarus, Leverage, Linkage

Manual Intervention: A Path-dependency Analysis of the Influence of Values in Three Private Voluntary Initiatives

Youbin Kang

What explains successful attempts to improve labor conditions in the garment industry? Garment manufacturing is a global industry that utilizes reduced labor costs to construct the manufacturing base of lower value-added goods in developing nations. Since 2006, industry accidents have claimed more than 1500 lives, motivating a need for a new lens to study working conditions in the garment industry. Scholars tend to claim that strong influence of domestic political institutions, external pressures, and global value chains improve working conditions in the industry. I, in contrast, argue that values and norms of private firms matter and have significant influence in improving working conditions in the global supply chain. Using a path dependent framework for comparing the institutionalization of private voluntary initiatives in Eileen Fisher, Adidas, and Knights Apparel, I find that a period of crisis was critical to reorganizing corporate norms. Moreover, I find strong evidence that values embedded in the organization's size, hierarchical systems, and corporate culture determine successful voluntary initiatives. Scholars and companies must look beyond audit reports as a measure of success and consider the analysis of values to assess the impact of global governance. 
Advisors: Richard Locke, Keith Brown
Keywords: Private Voluntary Initiatives, Garment Industry, Corporate Values, Path Dependence

Negotiating Fortress Europe: A Discursive Approach to Italian Migration Policy and European Solidarity

Hannah Koenig

The European Union promotes solidarity as a fundamental principle where member states share burdens. Despite the inclusion of solidarity in European legislation, which member states must legally uphold, disputes persist over sharing responsibility for managing international migration flows. How do policies and principles articulated at the European level influence member states and their domestic policies? Leading scholarship on Europeanization understands this process as a top-down transmission of European norms and practices to the domestic policy and discourse of member states. And yet, evidence drawn from a study of solidarity in Italian migration policy indicates that this process is not so straightforward. I build a theoretical framework that reconceptualizes Europeanization as a negotiation occurring across time and space and at different levels of society. Through discourse analysis, I find that while discourse of the Italian political elite and civil society groups reflects the European principle of solidarity, alternate interpretations of solidarity compete for influence in the policy sphere. A better understanding of the process of domestic interpretation and implementation of European norms like solidarity has wider implications for the lives of migrants, for host countries, and for the relationship between member states and regional blocs worldwide. 
Advisors: Nina Tannenwald, David Kertzer
Keywords: Solidarity, Migration Policy, Discourse, Italy, Europeanization

A Critical Approach to Energy Security:The Field of National Practice in Poland and Germany

Hannah H. Braun

Under what conditions does energy become securitized and profoundly change a nation's policies and practices around energy? Energy security is typically defined in terms of guaranteeing the steady supply of natural resources at affordable prices, protecting infrastructure from damage, and developing sustainable technology. Traditional explanations focus on geopolitical, economic, and environmental stewardship paradigms that fail to account for national variation in defining energy security and, consequently, in developing energy policies. I argue that energy-related events are important explanatory variables and develop a Critical Framework for Energy Security that synthesizes existing scholarship on energy security with the theory of fields, theory on eventfulness, and theories on culture and security. Comparing Poland and Germany over the course of four transformative events—the 2006/2009 Russia-Ukraine gas disputes, the 2011 shale revolution, the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and the construction of the Nord Stream pipeline by 2011—I illustrate how the securitization process is set in motion by eventfulness and is given meaning within the field of national practice. I find that history and culture influence responses to energy-related events. This conclusion has implications for both energy security theory and for the promotion of more productive dialogue on policymaking within energy affairs. 
Advisors: Michael Kennedy, M. Dawn King
Keywords: Energy Security, Eventfulness, Field of National Practice, Culture, Securitization, Poland, Germany

Mediating Response: The Conceptualization of Victimhood, Media, and Humanitarian Responses to Disasters in Haiti and Japan

Takeru Nagayoshi

Why do humanitarian responses to natural disasters differ? As the frequency of disasters is projected to rise, we are increasingly faced with an obligation to reflect on the factors that pertain to humanitarian disaster response. To theorize the process of this response, I argue that the "conceptualization of victimhood," or the discourses used to delineate the victimhood of nations and their people, shapes the responses to disaster. These conceptualizations are in turn reflected in, affirmed by, and constructed through the media. This explanation extends previous approaches by incorporating an element of constructivism and holds explanatory power for subsuming all responses—whether they be NGO relief, government aid, or the donation of individuals. I illustrate this argument by analyzing the disasters in Haiti (2010) and Japan (2011) as recent large-scale catastrophes that affected two very different kinds of countries. In examining the media portrayals of and humanitarian responses to these disasters, I demonstrate how abstract notions of ideal/non-ideal victimhood can carry concrete real-world implications. 
Advisors: Carrie Spearin, Naoko Shibusawa
Keywords: Constructivism, Public Discourse Analysis, Critical Media Studies, Victimhood, Humanitarian Response

Colonialism, Self-Rule, and the Asian Tigers: Tracing the Drivers Behind 50 Years of Economic Success

Han Sheng Chia

"From the third world to the first in one generation," is a line often touted by the governments of the Asian Tigers. With the rapid economic growth of Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore, once derelict states are now some of the wealthiest in the world. Yet how much credit can post-colonial governments claim? What is the relative impact of colonialism and self-rule on achieving high growth? This thesis assesses whether there are common patterns to the growth experienced by the Tigers across both colonial and post-colonial eras. Answering these questions helps countries seeking to emulate the Tigers understand what exactly is replicable in the post-colonial era. While scholarship on how colonial legacies can impact outcomes under self-rule exists, nationalistic narratives have often downplayed the role of colonialism. Furthermore, little attention has been paid to how these legacies are transmitted across the colonial and post-colonial periods. My thesis assesses the relative contributions of colonial and post-colonial rule and identifies that there are multiple pathways to achieving the economic success of the Asian Tigers.
Advisors: Ashutosh Varshney, David Wyss
Keywords: Asian Tigers, Colonialism, Self-Rule, Developmental State, Economic Growth

Challenging the Relationship between Institutions and Economic Integration: The Path to Cross-Strait Commerce

By Justin Crist Lee

The present study seeks to provide alternative factors for economic integration in situations where formal institutional approaches are precluded by political differences. Economic integration is part of the global trend to liberalize markets and bolster international exchange. The dominant theory on economic integration focuses on the primacy of institutions as a determinant of development. However, this research answers the question of what are the alternative determinants of economic integration by examining the high levels of cross-Strait trade and investment that have existed in the absence of institutional linkages. Despite over sixty years of political conflict stemming from an unsettled civil war, Taiwan and Mainland China have developed into critical economic partners. The central thesis of this study is that three alternative factors—firm strategy, business networks, and the political economy landscape—help to explain the developmental process of cross-Strait exchange. Quantitative economic analysis, firsthand interviews conducted with Taiwanese entrepreneurs, and primary document analysis of commercial legislation inform the findings of this research. These conclusions are relevant to the legislative ratification process of future cross-Strait economic integration agreements and can be further applied to additional cases of economic development in other regions of conflict around the world. 
Advisors: Edward Steinfeld, Joaquin Blaum
Keywords: Taiwan and Mainland China, Economic Integration, Firm Strategy, Business Networks, Political Economy

The People Business: Revisiting the Function of Networks in the Practice of Human Smuggling

Galen Hunt

What factors affect the ways human smuggling groups are organized along the U.S.-Mexico border? Are they driven by social networks at the place of origin or by dynamics at the border? Does the history of migration from an area determine whether large, violent smuggling groups form? Conventional wisdom is split between those who contend that economic factors and pressures along the border cause structural changes in the organization of human smuggling and those who contend that a migrant's place of origin determines the type of smuggling operations they can access. Using a simple comparison of means with large-n survey data, I test each of these hypotheses by examining how human smuggling operations vary based on a migrant's place of crossing and place of origin. Ultimately, I argue that dynamics along the border have a much greater effect on the organization of smuggling groups. Thus, regions with established migration routes will not inevitably exhibit smaller, less violent organizations. Likewise, migration from newer regions will not be inevitably violent. Rather, the organization of these human smuggling groups is a function of decisions that policy makers implement to influence and shape the dynamics along the U.S.-Mexico border. 
Advisors: David Lindstrom, Peter Andreas
Keywords: Human Smuggling, Irregular Immigration, Organized Crime, Networks, U.S.-Mexico Border Enforcement Policy