Postwar Possibilities: The Allied Occupation and Gender Inequality in Japan
Mark D. Thyrring A. Taylor | 2007 I argue that the Allied Occupation of Japan was a unique period of fluidity in gender relations and that the roots of Japan’s postwar gender inequality in labor and politics can be traced to this period. I tie gender inequality in the postwar era to systems of inequality that emerged during the Occupation. I identify the structural components of gender inequality as stemming from Japan’s system of ‘convoy capitalism’, which is built on the availability of women to act as labor force slack and to provide an informal system of social welfare. Women’s position in this system ties them to the home and combines with an election system with strong gender biases to limit conventional participation by women in politics.
In arguing that gender relations under the Occupation were particularly malleable, I identify three key shifts in the nature of gender relations in the fifty years prior to the war. I argue that the Meiji Restoration, the rise of feminist movements during the Taisho Democracy, and the mobilization of women as part of the war effort by the Showa government resulted in a drastic break from women’s status under Japan’s pre-Meiji feudal system. The ‘family-state ideology’ employed by the government to mobilize women as resources also served to elevate their status as subjects. I argue that these shifts, combined with the economic devastation experienced by Japan at the end of the war, poised the Occupation as a period of immense social upheaval with the potential to fundamentally reshape gender relations in Japanese society.
I divide the Occupation into two separate periods characterized by two distinctly separate sets of Allied goals. I define the initial phase as the first year and a half of the Occupation, during which policy was directed towards broadly liberalizing Japan’s social, economic, and political structures. I examine the roots of the Occupation mission in order to identify its intersections with issues of gender equality. I argue that gender equality was absent from the core of Allied policy and, as a result, women’s claims to equal opportunity in economic and political participation were not sufficiently secured. I further argue that, despite the fact that gender equality was not a primary goal of the Allies, women still received important incidental benefits because of the overlap between their interests and those of the Allies.
I identify the second phase of the Occupation as the period characterized by the Allied ‘reverse course’, an about face on its previous support for labor and the left in the face of growing Cold War concerns and the failure of initial phase policy to jump start Japan’s economy. I examine the ways in which the weakening of labor unions and liberal political parties removed many of the incidental benefits women received during the initial phase. I also detail the ways in which the reverse course led to the development of a gendered employment system and a conservative political hegemony that largely excluded women. I argue that this resulted in a regression of gender relations to a state that paralleled that of the prewar era.
The Devil’s Excrement: A Property Rights and Institutional Explanation of the Resource Curse
Charles A. Taylor | 2007 The resource curse theory suggests that countries with abundant natural resources are destined to underperform countries with less favorable resource endowments in terms of nearly every measure of development. Over the long run, resource curse proponents assert that natural resource fed growth breeds everything from economic stagnation to corrupt governance to domestic conflict and civil war. But some oil-rich countries seem to be ‘cursed’ by oil more than others. What is the omitted variable that explains why some countries utilize their oil resources for development while others choke on what the former Venezuelan oil minister Juan Pablo Perez Alfonso calls the ‘devil’s excrement’?
I seek to answer this question by analyzing how oil resources affect countries in the medium and long term. First, I develop a model of the oil market that elucidates the political and economic factors that influence the price of oil, production decisions, and the bargaining power of oil producers. I then employ an econometric analysis to both test whether there is a resource curse and to understand what characteristics make some oil producers susceptible and others not. In the medium term, I find that the more dependent a country is on oil for its livelihood, the greater the likelihood that the country will mismanage its oil revenue. In the long term, I find that a country’s initial level of dependency on oil, as well as changes in dependency over time, play a major role in determining long run growth outcomes.
I investigate possible political economic explanations of why highly oil dependent countries have such poor development records. I find that my empirical results are best understood in terms of social-property relations and institutions—what I argue are omitted variables in the resource curse equation. I then develop a comprehensive framework that traces the effect of oil, with an emphasis on who controls the oil rent and how these actors decide to disburse it. Capitalist countries with good institutions are immune to the resource curse, and in fact often benefit from increases in oil revenues. Countries with moderately capitalist social-property relations and poor institutions are susceptible to the rent-seeking effects of oil production. However, these countries are likely to cede more control of oil revenues to the private sector, which insulates them from some of the negative public spending effects associated with the resource curse. Pre-capitalist countries with poor institutions are doomed because ineffective and corrupt governments control the oil rent. These governments spend the oil rent in ways that increase future dependency on oil and institutionalize rent-seeking, thus precluding long-term growth and other positive developmental outcomes. I then elaborate on the specific channels through which the private and public sector can spend oil revenue, and speculate how these different spending decisions affect into a country’s development.
In my case study of Angola, I describe in detail how the worst of the resource curse plays out on a country-specific level. I conclude by testing the robustness of the resource curse by checking how the presence of oil affects non-economic development indicators such as political rights, education, health, and inequality. I then suggest how globalization has altered the environment faced by oil-rich countries, and highlight some of the unprecedented opportunities and challenges for newly oil producing countries.
Radical Democracy: Grassroots Social Movements in Latin America and the Challenge to Global Liberalism
Elizabeth V. Stork | 2007 I argue that contemporary grassroots social movements in Latin America represent a viable challenge to the global dominance of economic and political liberalism. These movements articulate a platform that combines democracy with socialism to achieve “radical democracy.” They receive political support from powerful states through transnational advocacy networks.
The radical democracy represented by these grassrootsmovements emerged in Latin American politics as an alternative to revolutionary socialism. The decline of the political left in the 1970s and 1980s that coincided with failed socialist projects, military authoritarianism, and a “Lost Decade” of economic crisis has opened political opportunities for new sectors of civil society. Formerly excluded from revolutionary movements based on class, women, ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups have used transnational networks to express their political demands. The central tenets of radical democracy include: autonomy from the “top-down” influence of state corporatism and party politics; inclusiveness of all sectors of society in political decision-making; and an anti-neoliberal vision for social justice that acknowledges poverty as a political issue.
I explore three cases in which grassroots social movements emerged to advocate for radical democracy in the 1970s and 1980s amidst crises in party politics. The urban poor living in Chile’s poblaciones mounted a formidable challenge to the military dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet. Feminists across Latin America created a women’s movement that politicized gender in fights against political repression. The Zapatista movement in Mexico mobilized international support for indigenous struggles against the neoliberal program of the Mexican government. The Zapatistas, the feministas and the pobladores all prize consensus-based, non-hierarchical decisionmaking within their movements. They pursue radical social change through peaceful means by using demonstrations and democratic discourse to garner international support.
Transnational solidarity networks have formed to support these grassroots movements because their democratic ideals carry international appeal and because they advocate peaceful change from the bottom-up rather than violent revolution. By controlling funding and exercising discursive influence, liberal, Northern governments may tend to sideline radical goals for social justice in the interest of promoting a free-market-oriented vision of a good society. Movements for radical democracy also encounter obstacles when lobbying for change within liberal governments. Though a wave of democratic transition has swept Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s, the democracies that have resulted remain more accountable to international financial institutions than they do to popular demands.
Radical democratic movements have enabled minorities who were once side-lined by socialist struggle to become powerful political actors.While advocacy in the context of liberalizing regimes can tend to mute their radical efforts, the capacity of transnational networks to offer opportunities to these new social movements lays the groundwork for meaningful resistance to the neoliberal order in Latin America.
Unveiling War’s Influence on Gender Dynamics
Daniel Pike | 2007 I begin with a curious finding from regression-based studies of 125 countries between the years 1960 and 2000: other relevant factors held constant, more patriarchal countries are more prone to civil conflict. In chapter one I revisit these studies and assess their attempts to control for economic, political and social factors that contribute to civil conflict. I then consider their central results and proffered explanations. The studies centrally claim that greater patriarchy increase the likelihood of civil war by granting men, who for either biological or non-biological reasons are more aggressive than women, more control over the use of force.
There is plausible evidence that men are, on average, slightly more aggressive than women. But there is little convincing evidence that these differences are biologically determined. Men’s relative aggressiveness seems culturally determined. As the militarization of culture that precedes and follows civil war tends to profoundly (en)gender male aggressiveness, the argument that patriarchy causes civil war by enabling male aggressiveness becomes somewhat circular. It runs, in effect: civil war is partly caused by patriarchy because men are relatively aggressive, and men are relatively aggressive because of war and its cultural effects.
Finding this argument inadequate, I consider evidence for other potential causal dynamics. In chapter two I investigate European colonialism’s role in exacerbating modern patriarchy and political instability in colonized areas, demonstrating how British rule further subordinated women in Uganda and Nigeria. In chapter three I address connections between female subordination, high rates of childbirth and Malthusian-type population pressure, focusing on population pressure’s role in the Rwandan genocide. In chapter four I consider connections between civil conflict, the documented rise in religious fundamentalism post-1960, and increased patriarchy, looking in-depth at the Taliban’s ascendance in Afghanistan.
In chapter five I present unified statistical models that account for all the relevant factors identified in the literature, as well as those identified in chapters two through four. I also find strong evidence that patriarchy was strongly determined by civil war between 1965 and 2000. I argue that civil war could exacerbate patriarchy in three ways: (1) by directly diminishing women’s personal and economic security; (2) by enabling fundamentalist, patriarchal religious movements to grow in stature; and (3) by reviving or reinforcing age-old hegemonic masculinities that idealize the warrior male and the doting, nurturing female. I also find strong evidence of a separate but nonetheless important causal mechanism: high fertility rates increase population pressure and land scarcity, which increases the chance of conflict, especially if land is unequally distributed.
I conclude by noting that, as civil war has become more technologically sophisticated, financially rewarding, and physically devastating, its gender effects have changed. In this postmodern era of entrenched, devastating conflict, mechanisms one and two seem to be growing in salience. Accordingly, education and economic empowerment programs for women should be central to postconflict reconstruction efforts. Thankfully, though mechanism three may help explain gender dynamics in poorer conflict-torn countries, the ideal of the warrior male seems to be losing its appeal.
Broken Structures, Not Broken Windows: How NGOs Can Mitigate the Structural Violence of Neoliberalism
Timothy Ly | 2007 In this thesis, I argue that NGOs have the power to change the structural inequalities that have led to the AIDS epidemic in Africa. I begin my thesis by asserting that the real catalyst of AIDS is poverty. To prove this, I must dismiss three competing paradigms used to explain the spread of AIDS. These paradigms are the sexual, the individualist, and the economic poverty paradigms. The sexual paradigm blames the AIDS epidemic on a racialized stereotype of black sexuality and only serves to “orientalize” Africa. The individualist paradigm, understands the disease in scientific terms, but does not address the effect of socioeconomic circumstances. Finally, the economic poverty paradigm recognizes that poverty is the catalyst of the AIDS epidemic, but conflates economic growth with a reduction in poverty.
In place of these views, I use the paradigm of structural violence. Through structural violence, I show that the AIDS epidemic is a result of inequalities of state and international power. Using South Africa as a case study, I trace the historical progression of colonialismand apartheid in creating the South Africa of today. Moreover, I show that international financial institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization profoundly influenced the maintenance of structural inequalities in the new democratic South Africa.
Because the international financial institutions use neoliberalism as the basis for their actions, I look at the way neoliberal ideology has shaped globalization and created poverty. During its heyday, neoliberalism promised to reduce world poverty. Today, we see that poverty has in fact increased and I argue that neoliberalism created this poverty at two levels. At the level of understanding, neoclassical models oversimplify the analysis of human interaction and cannot take into account the complexity of human interaction. This is compounded by a problemat the level of implementation. Although based on principles of “freedom” and “choice” the implementation of neoliberalism takes place in a non-democratic way. Thus, neoliberalism serves as a façade for the interests of transnational corporations and powerful nations.
Considering the fact that the neoliberal world order harms the least-advantaged of the world, I then make a moral case for global justice. In an effort to skirt the either/or debate between “statists” (who argue that global justice does not exist) and “cosmopolitans,” (who argue that egalitarianism is the best principle for global justice) I use the “middle-ground” approach to argue that the prospects for global justice do exist. By using Thomas Pogge’s theory of justice of malfeasance, I also assert that international institutions must be constructed so as not to harm the poor.
But because institutions are burdened by stagnant bureaucracy and powerful special interests, I begin the last part of my thesis by exploring the ways that NGOs can implement change at the “grassroots” level. I argue that many NGOs find themselves under the pressure of donors, governments, and their constituents. As a result, many NGOs invariably reproduce the same problems that plagued development projects or colonialism. But there are some NGOs, like the Treatment Action Campaign, who do manage to rearrange the structures of power to some degree. I conclude my thesis with some observations that should be helpful in guiding other NGOs on a similar path towards changing structural violence.
The Daughters of Storm-footed Steeds: Metaphor and the Hybridization of Rhetoric in India
Alana Levinson-LaBrosse | 2007 I argue that Aristotle’s rhetoric – a triangular structure based on content, style and composition – has, in the modern context of Indian communal and religious violence, as Paul Riceour outlines lost its connection to objective reality. In addition, through studying metaphor usage in instances of violence from Partition (1948) to Gujarat (2002), I have observed that a new rhetoric has emerged dependent not on philosophy for its content but rather on the more subjective and emotionally volatile discipline of poetry. Within poetry, metaphor has traditionally been used to imitate a world in an inexact and subjective way for purposes of personal expression. However, incorporated into the political realm, the same poetic mimesis becomes a tool for constructing a world that encourages massive violence. Rather than producing reasoned discourse and giving voice to public and civic observations, rhetoric in areas of conflict in India now produces a directed catharsis that buttresses the emotions that help produce violence as opposed to ameliorating them.
As shown throughout the case study on the systemicmetaphors revolving around gender, ritualized in physical attacks on the body, the ‘vocabulary of violence’ has become the metaphor that rhetoric uses to express and give direction to the rage of a given group of people. Jokes about ‘castrating’ the progenitive capacity of Muslim men or ‘ravaging’ the ability of Muslim women to bear or nourish children Muslims may sound like mere expressions of anger, helplessness, or aggression. But in instances of communal violence all over India, these expressions manifest quite literally with physical castration, rape, and cutting off of breasts.
Demonstrated by the virulence of metaphors of gender and the corresponding gendered violence, supported by the metaphors of space and the eventual ghettoization of Muslims in urban areas, language has ceased to exist only in the realm of expression. Rhetoric and its linch-pin use of metaphor in India performs such perfect mimesis that it enflames and perpetuates the very reality it describes. Rhetoric, through the use of metaphor towards the production of catharsis, encourages the literal form of violence it figuratively agitates for. As this continues, change in rhetoric becomes more and more difficult as the language, having in substantive ways, shaped the current situation, perfectly describes the violence and the emotion of the times.
Finally, I observe that the increase in language of this kind, hateful in intent and violent in repercussion, comes up in interviews as one of the most disturbing factors in recent years. Hate speech, unchecked, has taken over the public sphere. The paper concludes that the escalation and growing permissibility of violent metaphors that incite and perpetuate aggressive behavior, as put forward by both survivors of violence and more neutral bodies such as the court system in India, have contributed markedly to the greater frequency and destructiveness of recent riots and other outbreaks of violence.
“Let us tell them what is true:” Limiting and Enabling Women in Local Politics in Sahiwal, Pakistan
Maha Kausar | 2007 I argue that the literature on Pakistani women’s political participation is not fully representative of the conditions on the ground, and that further, more localized research is necessary to be able to properly identify and analyze the factors constraining and enabling their participation. I base this critique on primary research conducted in Sahiwal, a city in the heart of the Punjab in Pakistan. I interviewed 100 women at different levels of political participation: women who do not vote; women who vote; women who participate in campaigns; and women who run for election to local office. The purpose of this research was to identify and analyze the factors that limit and enable women’s participation in local government at these four levels.
Much of the current literature is focused on the constraints facing Pakistani women, and little attention is given to enabling factors and successes. Even the literature that analyzes constraints places a disproportionately heavy emphasis on Islam as a patriarchal tool that limits Pakistani women’s political participation, to the neglect of all other limiting factors.
I argue that three main factors limit women’s political participation in Sahiwal: the gendered public sphere; the system of patronage in the political culture; and finally the low sense of personal efficacy among women.
The public sphere is gendered by three main socio-cultural factors: the patriarchal use of Islam as legitimation for traditions such as purdah, or the seclusion of women; the baradari system of organizing communities which elevates the seclusion of women; and the idea that women can shine only in the home.
The system of patronage means that many families and communities consolidate their vote so they can win patronage from local politicians. This is especially disadvantageous for women, for the consolidated vote usually serves to silence their preferences. The low sense of personal efficacy means that women feel unable to influence political decisions or outcomes, even through their vote, so refuse to participate in the political process. I argue that these three reasons interact to form a complex set of constraints to Pakistani women’s meaningful political participation.
Despite these constraints, there are a large number of women who do enter local government. I argue that the space created by gender quotas enables women with political linkages to successfully run for election. These political linkages can be family members or higher level politicians, but these women make use the political experience, organizational skills, contacts and sometimes even financial aid offered by these political linkages to enter local politics. In fact, the stratification of Pakistani society means that the women with political linkages can often be poor and uneducated, but still enter local government. I argue that despite being dependent on support from established male elite these women maintain their independence in decision making.
I further argue that gender quotas enable women in a wide variety of ways above and beyond creating a space in local government. These quotas have a trickle down effect which generates women’s interest in political participation; mobilizes women to campaign and vote; makes local government more accessible and accountable to women constituents; and also creates a support network which allows women to challenge patriarchy in the domestic and political spheres.
Further research should be conducted to see if the trends I have identified are visible in the rest of the Punjab, or even all of Pakistan.
Eyes on the World: The Potato in Andean Agricultural Development and its Implications for Global Food Systems
Jackie Kruszewski | 2007 The potato tells us many things about the Andean world it originated in and about the development world that champions staple food products as the end to global hunger. This thesis begins with the curiosity of the potato, its influence, and its journey from the Andes to Europe, and argues for a shift in international agricultural and food policy. Andean agriculture conveys much about the potato’s wealth and the natural diversity of species that flourished without the help of modern agricultural science. That the Lake Titicaca basin supported a higher population in the Inca era than the rural Andes does in the present begs the attention of sustainability proponents and the people of the development industry. But in chapter one I elucidate some remaining prejudice that may influence research on Andean agriculture.
Chapter two examines the modern potato in light of various interventions on its behalf. Framed by a visit to Idahoan potato farms, the chapter briefly traces the development of modern agricultural science and the industry of agricultural development. I critique an influential force in the potato field, the International Potato Center, by tracing its roots to the Green Revolution movement of the mid-twentieth century. This ancestry warrants a closer, critical look at the projects and discourse that the Center applies. In analyzing the power of this organization, I have to consider the external forces to the potato’s advancement in the developing world—namely, the presence of an established global market for potato production and consumption. This chapter and the next observe an increasingly globalized potato in the tradition of western agricultural science, and the problematic implications of its extension by means of the agricultural development industry. Despite laudable goals of reducing hunger, I submit that there is something wrong with the agricultural development model as it augments powerful, international political and economic forces, and ignores alternative models provided by anthropologists, historians and scientists with a more holistic approach to the study of agriculture.
In chapter three I reexamine questions of agricultural production through a short evaluation of consumption habits in the developed world and the deeper implications of American conventional and commercial potato use. I reflect on the dominant patterns of the global potato and its corporate sponsors to understand the model that they seek to export to developing nations. I will also briefly examine more recent investigations into Andean potato agriculture and the organizations that employ alternatives to the CIP model, relying on a few scientists and anthropologists who are concerned about the future of potato agriculture in the Andes. These observations I use to advocate a more holistic, sustainable paradigmfor agriculture in the Andes and, implicitly, globally. In conclusion, I return to some general ideas about the nature of the agricultural ‘discipline’ in environmental conservation, anthropology and the politics of our food production. Where the potato is concerned, a holistic understanding of its unique history, its social and political dynamics, and its ecological niche in the Andes and in America would do much to aid national and supranational organizations touting the international potential of the tuber.
In the Wake of the American Dream: The Duplicity of Progress
Jennifer A. Kane | 2007 I argue the conflicting forces of the American Dream can claim responsibility for both the nation’s greatness and its many flaws. I define the American Dream as an ideology containing the following notions: equality of opportunity, individual freedom to pursue one’s vision of the good life, and the reasonable expectations of progress, success, and socialmobility through hard work. My initial claim is that the American Dream is the singular and formative ideology of this country, and I use the term as a kind of shorthand for the defining national ethos.
Beyond that, I contend the Dream is beset with contradictory and problematic features which serve to exacerbate and perpetuate social problems. I strive to show how deeply embedded cultural contradictions simultaneously propel us forward and constrain our progress in everything we do from public policy, to land use, to individual life satisfaction and achievement. Some of the key tensions I continuously revisit are: egalitarianism v. meritocracy, the individual v. the community, and private sector v. public interest.
I focus primarily on the ways in which unsustainable environmental, social, and economic behaviors are both manifestations and consequences of the Dream. I argue that particular expressions of the American Dream are deleterious to society and perpetuate an American culture of inequality. I also argue the American Dream and its inherent contradictions have always shaped the country’s approach to social policy. Using the New Deal, War on Poverty, and Welfare Reform as case studies, I examine the possibility that this underlying influence can render policy efforts troublesome, inequitable, and often inadequate.
I trace the idealization of land through American history, as well as the nation’s unique approach to property rights and ownership. The American Dream guided the way we regard land as sacred on the one hand, while exploiting and irresponsibly using land and resources on the other. I argue the Dream has provided Americans with the ability to rationalize living in a nation of plenty that is replete with ascriptive inequalities and other injustices. It also provided the conditions for a consumer-driven culture to evolve into today’s culture of consumption. When the Dream’s promises prove unattainable, individuals are left with frustration, restlessness, and self-doubt on account of the heavy focus upon personal agency.
Nonetheless, there is hope. Throughout the chapters, I demonstrate the ways in which the American Dream has united disparate groups and provided the impetus for social reform. It has continuously challenged the American people to fulfill abstract promises of equal rights and opportunity. I conclude the thesis with a discussion of the ways in which the American Dream could be reformulated to alleviate the problems of social injustice and unsustainability.
The Imprint of Violence: Studying Mutilation in the Context of Genocide
Caitlin N. Howarth | 2007 The study of violence frequently confronts acts that defy explanation and threaten to overwhelm both victim and analyst. In the context of genocide, these acts occur with even greater frequency: once we have moved beyond the horror of the sheer numbers involved, we find ourselves blocked again by the extent of the inhumanity. Through its extremity and scope, collective violence overwhelms the capacity of our expressions and silences us.
By studying the imprint of violence upon the body, we listen to the things that still echo in that silence. As awful as the mutilated body appears, its form can be recognized as a construct built by the perpetrator of violence, its deformation a kind of language to interpret. Pushing past the natural desire to avoid the subject altogether, we can discover how the mutilated body testifies to the crimes perpetrated upon it. Sometimes, it designates the victim’s identity; other times, it demonstrates the perpetrators’ intent. And it is always relevant to the witness of the body, for the witness is one of the vital keys to the logic of mutilation. By turning our attention toward this subject and refusing to look away, the witness can defy the plans of the perpetrator and make the commission of violence that much harder to deny.
Through a series of comparative illustrations and extended case studies, this thesis will explore the mutilated body’s potential as a harbinger of violence. Combining a forensic form of analysis with more traditional, macro-level considerations of socioeconomic and political conditions, it may be possible to develop a more definitive analysis of genocide in the early days of its occurrence. To this end, we keep in mind that the first victim of genocide is no less important than the 100th or the 1000th, and contend that the first victims may be able to tell us more about their situation than previously thought, through the signs etched in violence upon their bodies.
What they say varies from case to case. In Germany they speak of uncertainty among the persecutors, and a challenge to local witnesses, daring them to speak out. In Cambodia they speak of the strategy of a disproportionate response, one that both punishes the ‘offender’ and seeks to protect the perpetrator against future reprisal; this mechanism propels extreme violence forward in a selfperpetuating manner that is unlikely to stop until a third party forcibly intercedes. In Iraq, the bodies speak of a people targeted for extermination on the basis of their religion, despite the swell of counterarguments and macro-level chaos. From witness to perpetrator to victim, the bodies bear testimony to each party’s role in these acts of collective violence. Incorporating a collection of theories, many of which trace back to Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, these testimonies are deciphered and analyzed for what they contribute to our understanding of violence. Ultimately, they may provide insights into the vulnerabilities of perpetrators and the strengths of witnesses, insights that can be utilized against those who employ extreme violence and mutilation to mask their actions and hasten their success.
毛主席万岁 Long Live Chairman Mao: How the Symbol of Mao Zedong Reconciles the Paradox of Modern Chinese Political Culture
McKenzie Haynes | 2007 I argue that the symbol of Mao Zedong is an essential aspect that reconciles the paradox of modern Chinese political culture. Prior to the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, China adhered to a rigid socialist philosophy, Marxism-Leninism Mao Zedong Thought. However during the Reform Era, which began in 1978, China has undergone capitalist economic reform and is currently the second largest global economy. Despite these immense changes, the Chinese government considers itself a “socialist” government. China operates under an authoritarian one-party system led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), engages in free-market practice yet spouts socialist rhetoric.
I will argue that the CCP appropriates the symbol of Mao to sustain its legitimacy as well as legitimize new economic reforms. I also argue that the people of China use the symbol of Mao to reconcile the changing social and economic nature of the society. Before Mao became a symbol used to reconcile the changing nature of the society, the symbol had to be created. My thesis will discuss the ways in whichMao, an iconic paramount leader in Chinese culture, became a symbol. I will argue that during the Cultural Revolution Era, Mao’s political manipulations and ideological indoctrination resulted in a schism between the man and the symbol. The schism between man and symbol occurred during the height of Mao’s personality cult. The creation of Mao’s symbol transformed the society and replaced “old culture” with “new culture.” The “new culture” existed on the principles of Maoist thought. The schism between Mao the man andMao the symbol, entrenched Mao into the political and social culture. This allowed for the eventual appropriation of the symbol by the Party and the people.
Although the one-party government uses authoritarian measures to sequester revolt against the political system and sustain its legitimacy, I argue that this is only one part of the equation. The symbol of Mao is used by the CCP to legitimize the changing social and economic structures and maintain a balance between the past and a rapidly changing present. The Party’s reassessment of Mao during the Eleventh Plenum of the Central Committee in 1981 left Mao Zedong Thought unblemished, where as Mao Zedong practice was denounced. The Party took ownership of Mao after 1981, and appropriated his symbol to legitimize the changing policy.
Similarly, the Chinese people appropriated the symbol of Mao to reconcile the changing society and economy. In the 1980s and 1990s, a new cult of Mao formed. This new cult was different from the Cultural Revolution cult. The new cult was a consumerist cult where Mao paraphernalia was sold on the emerging free-market. I will argue that the recent cult was a reaction to the new consumerist society and represents how the people reconcile the changing society with symbols of the past.
I use Social Interaction Theory to explain how the meaning given to a symbol allows a symbol to remain in the cultural sphere. The CCP and the people give meaning to Mao’s symbol; whether to legitimize reform, sustain political legitimacy, or to reconcile the changes of the past, Mao is given meaning. Through this process, modern Chinese society is able to reconcile the paradox.
“The President in His Labyrinth”: Chavismo & the Search for a Multipolar World
Andrew Braedon Duncan | 2007 Since the Venezuelan elections of 1998, Hugo Chávez and his supporters have undercut the conventional wisdom that it is infeasible for Latin American states to resist the free-market neoliberal order. The Chavistas have begun to forge an alternative path to political participation and economic development that refuses to subordinate social equality and the pursuit of redistributive policies to the demands of globalized markets in the 21st century. Chavismo’s relative success in this effort calls into question assertions made frequently by U.S. policymakers regarding the “radicalism” of the Bolivarian Revolution. The counter-hegemonic nature of the movement also raises questions about the appropriate role of the nation-state in the era of “globalization.”
The sociopolitical and ideological underpinnings of Chavismo must be understood in terms of the failures of Venezuela’s Punto Fijo democracy after its founding in 1958. Elites from the dominant parties (AD and COPEI) of the Punto Fijo regime assumed that distributive policies funded by oil revenues would indefinitely contain social conflict. Although the regime was lauded as the region’s most “exceptional” democracy, its elitist orientation rose to the surface as oil revenues declined in the 1980s. By 1989, resentment towards the regime peaked when the adoption of an IMF austerity package sparked riots across the nation. Living standards deteriorated among the poor during the 1990s, and voter abstention increased as the dominant parties were increasingly perceived as corrupt and unresponsive to the needs of citizens. In his 1998 campaign, Chávez excoriated AD and COPEI, and pledged to cure the nation’s “moral cancer” by way of a “Bolivarian Revolution.” Given the undemocratic elements of the Punto Fijo regime, it is difficult to argue that democratic governance has deteriorated under the Chávez administration.
With the Bolivarian Revolution, the Chavistas have attempted to endow the legacy of Simón Bolívar with renewed significance for modern Latin American identity by emphasizing his beliefs about the sovereignty and equality of citizens. This attempt can be traced directly to the “Cult of Bolívar,” which raised the Liberator to a status worthy of near-religious adulation during the 19th and 20th centuries. The hero of Latin American independence has been invoked by countless despots, and Chavismo seeks to exorcise the Liberator from an insipid symbolism. Chávez also seeks to portray himself publicly as the rightful political heir to Bolívar. Furthermore, he claims that the 1998 elections marked the beginning of a new era in Venezuela’s history in which the state responds to the challenges faced by el pueblo—the people. Rhetorically, the Chavistas emphasize the importance of humanized capitalism, participatory democracy, and pan-American political and economic integration.
My research shows that efforts to categorize Chavismo as another manifestation of “populism” prove misguided. Chávez’s persistent electoral dominance (despite the efforts of a U.S.- backed opposition) and his movement’s ability to bring tangible benefits to poor Venezuelans constitute a novel approach to stimulating civil society activism. These efforts include the creation of community-based education programs, healthcare clinics, and the provision of credit for small business cooperatives. Popular diplomatic initiatives also suggest a novel role for oil in economic integration and trade among Latin American nations. Lastly, Chavismo has disproved critics who argued that its hostility to the private sector would cripple the Venezuelan economy. Although recent developments justify apprehension regarding the authoritarian tendencies of the Chávez administration, I argue that it is too early to judge Chavismo as a failure. Should the Bolivarian Revolution continue to prove successful in the years to come, Chavismo’s vision of pan-American integration and “twenty-first century socialism” may become a model of resistance to other nations struggling with the purportedly untamable forces of global capitalism.
Translating the Boundaries: A Comparative Study of Ancient, Modern and Contemporary Conceptions of Disciplinarity
Benjamin P. DeForest | 2007 I analyze the works of three philosophers—Aristotle, René Descartes and Auguste Comte—with the aim of demonstrating that the conceptions of intellectual disciplines active or implicit in their works diverge in important respects from the conception of disciplines most prevalent in contemporary intellectual discourse. I suggest four characteristics according to which a conception of disciplinarity might be analyzed: the imagery and vocabulary employed in the conception, the manner in which the claims of various disciplines are coordinated, the means by which the aims or ideals of a discipline are established, and the relation between the subject and the object of a disciplinary inquiry.
In Aristotle’s conception of disciplinarity, the imagery of technê—an art, or skilled craft—dominates. This imagery is characterized positively by a contingency and flexibility of constituent practices, a conception of action in a limited scope of time, the equivalence of particular identity with action, and the image of the human being engaged in the practice of any discipline. It is characterized negatively by a lack of any sense of spatiality. Aristotle coordinates the claims of various disciplines by admitting their mutual efficacy and explanatory power. Aims and ideals of particular disciplines in Aristotle’s conception are stated with respect to the activities peculiar to their disciplines, and not with respect to an activity shared by all disciplines. The subject and object of particular disciplines in Aristotle’s conception are characterized by a relationship of reciprocal determination.
The dominant set of imagery in Descartes’s conception of disciplinarity is light, both as it emanates from the sun and as it is reflected off of various objects. This imagery is characterized by a dependence upon objects for the determination of particular identity and a subordination of particular inquiries to inquiry as such (like the subordination of reflected light to the light of the sun). Descartes coordinates the claims of various disciplines by evaluating their correspondence with the truth. The aim of every discipline in Descartes’s conception is the same: the attainment of truth. The object of a disciplinary inquiry in Descartes’s conception determines the subject of a particular discipline.
In Comte’s conception of disciplinarity, disciplines are viewed as the branches of a tree. This imagery is characterized by a hierarchy of individual parts, a unity of substance among individual parts, structural connection among individual parts, and a dependence upon the relation between individual parts and the whole of the system for the determination of particular identity. Comte coordinates the claims of various disciplines by positing their relational dependence, with the activities of subordinate disciplines being dependent upon the claims of more foundational disciplines. Aims and ideals of particular disciplines in Comte’s conception are determined with reference to the aims and ideals of the system as a whole. The subject and object of particular disciplines in Comte’s conception are both determined by the relation of the particular disciplines to the system as a whole.
The imagery dominant in academic discourse today is that of disciplinary fields. This imagery is characterized by a conception of spatiality, a conception of interiority, an association with military and agricultural practices, and a dependence upon the subject of the inquiry for the determination of particular identity. We coordinate the claims of various disciplines by asserting their dominance with respect to certain sorts of claims. The aims and ideals of particular disciplines in the contemporary conception are determined by the particular disciplines with respect to the totality of all possible disciplinary activity. The subject of particular disciplines in the contemporary conception determines the object it studies.
I conclude that the various conceptions of disciplinarity analyzed in this study differ from one another in important respects. The premises according to which disciplinary work is evaluated vary among the different conceptions of disciplinarity, a circumstance which suggests that the evaluation of disciplinary work is dependent upon the conception of disciplinarity in which a disciplinary inquirer is operating. I suggest that an awareness of this dependence as it operates in past conceptions of disciplinarity can help us better explain the history of western thought in the context of its production. I further suggest that an awareness of the peculiarities of our disciplinary situation today can help us avoid the wrongful explanation, interpretation and evaluation of contemporary disciplinary work by means of outmoded premises of disciplinary action and production.
Art Matters: The Role of Socially Engaged Art in Improving Local Communities
Kate Daughdrill | 2007 In this thesis, I explore the use of community-based, socially engaged art by arts organizations and collaborative groups in responding to local social problems. I argue that in order for this type of work to be considered compelling art, it must be concerned with both its artistic and social effectiveness. I assert that community-based, socially engaged art is particularly successful in making a sustainable impact on both local social conditions and the broader discourse of art when it incorporates local communities into the format of the work. To demonstrate this, I analyze the varying approaches utilized by the international arts organization ArtCorps, the arts organization Sculpture Chicago’s “Culture in Action” program, and the collaborative artist group WochenKlauser in creating community-based, socially engaged art that helps improve social conditions in local communities.
First I provide historical and theoretical context through with to understand community-based, socially engaged artwork. I explore Grant Kester’s writings on dialogical and community-based public art, Suzi Gablik’s arguments for a more relational, participatory model of art making, Nicholas Bourriaud’s theories of relational aesthetics, and the broader field of arts-based community development. After situating this type of work within its developing critical discourse, I explore the artistic practices employed by Arts Corps, “Culture in Action,” and WochenKlauser as I tease out how each organization or collaborative group defines artistic and social effectiveness. To better understand how these different approaches function, I analyze how content is generated, communicated, and received in each type of work and explore its varying relationships to its respective public and relevant bureaucratic agencies and organizations.
Ultimately, I compare and contrast these observations in order to demonstrate that the most compelling socially engaged, community-based artwork aims at both its artistic and social effectiveness. I utilize the modernist art criticMichael Fried’s artistic criteria of fecundity; this considers what a work of art gives birth to or begets, to demonstrate how “Culture in Action” most successfully addresses the concerns of the critical discourse of art while incorporating participating communities into the format of the work in ways that allow for the art to continue influencing both the artistic and social realms. I argue that socially engaged art is most successful when it is employed as the format or process of social engagement rather than the means. In incorporating a local community into the format of the art, community members participate in artistic and social engagement in ways that shape them to continue working to improve local social conditions after the work’s completion. Ultimately, I make demands that community-based, socially engaged art be concerned with its own fecundity—and that it be art.
Property Formalization and Infrastructural Development in Peri-Urban Lima
Rachel Crouch | 2007 In this thesis, I argue that in peri-urban Lima formal property titles have had significant positive effects on investment in public goods for the improvement of urban human settlements. Though—according to my findings—formal, individual property titles tend to have a negative effect on collective action and investment in urban improvements within settlement communities, they do promote greater investment in community infrastructure by entities external to the settlements.
Since the 1940s, Lima—like other major cities in the developing world—has faced rapid population growth resulting from migration from the countryside. In the absence of adequate state- or market-provided housing options, the majority of migrants and their children have informally occupied land, without titles, and have built homes in informal human settlements on the periphery of the city. Since the 1960s, attempts have been made to legalize such informal property holdings, but bans on future informal settlement have made a sustainable property formalization regime impossible. I focus on the most recent, and perhaps most comprehensive, of these attempts: the Commission for the Formalization of Informal Property (COFOPRI).
I argue that once a community receives formal titles, although settlers are more inclined to invest in their own residences as a result of their greater tenure security, they tend to do so at the expense of effort and money spent in collective community improvement projects. This centrifugal tendency, however, need not doom effective community organization in human settlements; rather, with an effective leader, settlement governing organizations can use titles as tools for encouraging investment in their communities by public and private service providers and other agencies.
Indeed, in deciding whether to invest in infrastructure in a poor settlement community, these external entities put a great deal of stock in whether a settlement has received formal, registered titles; for this aspect of investment in public infrastructure, title and the cadastre that accompanies them have a very positive effect. External investors, like the public water company, take titles as a guarantee that the settlement will not move off the land it occupies. They rely on the cadastre to be certain that they are placing their infrastructure on land on which they have a right to so, in order to be certain that they will not have to move it or become involved in legal entanglements if someone claims it as private property. In order to fund this large-scale, more efficient provision of communal infrastructure, titles also provide the government with the opportunity to more efficiently tax settlement residents, both because they can now be obliged to pay taxes on property that is formally theirs and because they can be tracked by means of the cadastral system.
Because property titles are so important for facilitating the coordination of investment in public infrastructure in human settlements, the recent focus on titling programs by the Peruvian government and international development agencies is warranted. However, in order to prevent the accumulation of illegally held property and the bottlenecks to the legal system it has caused, a system of property titling and registration based on individual initiative should be explored. Such a system could allow for more humane urbanization by encouraging more rapid provision of basic urban infrastructure and could reduce the opportunity for national politicians to use centrally directed property titling initiatives as populist projects that have been shown to be unsustainable.
“No Little Lady’ing Her:” Gender and Electoral Representation in American South
Kate Cristol | 2007 Where are the women? Scholars of gender studies and political science have studied numerous explanations for the lack of gender parity in American government, particularly at the highest levels. Aggregate data guides much of their analysis, but this thesis approaches the issue at hand from a regional perspective. Throughout the summer of 2006, I conducted original field research in North Carolina, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Drawing upon this research, I assert that there are commonalities to the election of the female U.S. senators representing those states. I advance two major explanations for their successes and argue that certain characteristics of gender relations in the South served to benefit them as political candidates. I begin this thesis with the argument that the South’s traditionalism creates a climate for women candidates that is unique to the region. To support this, I rely on polling data and representation statistics as compared with the rest of the nation, the model of political scientist Daniel Elazar for measuring political culture, and the historical perspective on the evolution of Southern politics of seminal southern political historian V.O. Key to substantiate my case for designating southern states as traditionalistic political societies.
I offer two potential explanations for the success of these women senators. The first explanation is that southern women benefit, in campaigns and electoral politics, from the residual chivalric code that still governs the interaction between the sexes in the South. I support this gentility explanation with a discussion of both the historical and contemporary public and private sphere relationships between men and women in the South. Using my case studies as illustrations, I argue that chivalry advantages southern women candidates by allowing them to opt out of the paradox of negativity that disadvantages their counterparts running in non-South states.
My second argument claims that southern women capitalize on familial stereotypes as a way of bridging historical private sphere power into the public sphere. This argument explores the role of these archetypes in electoral politics and asserts that women candidates are conscious of and directly involved in the perpetuation of gendered stereotypes in their campaigns as well as historical perspectives on matriarchal power in the southern private sphere. Paired with evidence drawn from my case studies, I use these findings to make the argument that familial stereotypes have allowed southern women candidates to negotiate power in a way that is unthreatening in a traditionalistic society.
More generally, I argue that these two phenomena work in concert to allow southern women candidates to benefit from gendered campaigning. From a normative perspective, I aim to shed insight into the broader question of achieving equal gender representation in traditionalistic political cultures within the United States.
Public Housing and the Difference Principle: A Policy Analysis in post-Katrina New Orleans
Elena Maria Coyle | 2007 The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), acting in receivership of the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO), has violated the foundational precepts of social justice through its proposal to demolish more than three thousand units of public housing in New Orleans, Louisiana. Although these properties sustained only minor damage as a result of the heavy wind and high floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina, the St. Bernard, B.W. Cooper, and C.J. Peete developments will be subject to disposition, and to subsequent redevelopment, as private, mixed-income, mixedused communities (barring an injunction in the pending civil action Yolanda Anderson et al. v. Alphonso Jackson et al., 06-3298.) Should HUD be successful in these endeavors, the number of affordable rental units provided through federal housing subsidies will be decreased by nearly eighty percent- occasioning the permanent displacement, and the effectual homelessness, of asmany as fourteen thousand low-income persons.
I argue that the current policy debate on the rehabilitation of these developments has need of normatively evaluative standards. These will provide a uniform basis for comparison among the three disparate redevelopment proposals with respect to considerations of equity and fairness. The three proposals are as follows: the first, set forth by the housing authority is that described in the introductory paragraph; the second, advanced by the displaced tenants, calls for the right of all former residents to reoccupy their units; the third, presented by a coalition of the tenants, private investors, and socially responsible developers, advocates the creation of a Limited Equity Cooperative (LEC) to allow for the rehabilitation of seventy percent of the units to be demolished under the HUD plan and for the creation of affordable homeownership opportunities.
Efficiency, utility, and stability are insufficient standards within this policy analysis owing to the fact that they cannot secure the just entitlements of the displaced tenants. I illustrate, in contrast, the benefits of a deontological, social contract theory approach above those of these teleological alternatives. Moreover, I suggest how certain features of Rawlsian ideal theory, namely, the difference principle, could be modified to serve as the guiding precept of the policy analysis. The difference principle maintains that the distribution of primary goods within the basic structure of society is to be to the advantage of the least well off. I argue that the HUD proposal ought to be rejected in accordance with this standard. I further conclude, through comparison of the right of return and LEC alternatives, that the latter best satisfies, the demands of justice expressed through the difference principle, and as such, ought to be adopted.
Edit This Thesis: The Power ofWikipedia, Community, and Democracy
A-J Aronstein | 2007 With every great technological innovation comes a transformation in the way humanity organizes and socializes itself. The Internet has ushered in an age of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) and has fundamentally altered the way human beings collaborate and socialize into communities.While there are many Internet communities to study, there is one in particular that is unique among its peers:Wikipedia. I argue thatWikipedia represents a new model of online community, one that effectively combines mass collaboration and interaction with elements from more close-knit Open Source software projects. Through this unique model,Wikipedia instills democratic values into its users and encourages civic engagement. I suggest further that Wikipedia’s community model could be applied to many problems outside the domain of a free encyclopedia project.
To prove my arguments, I first trace the historical development of the Internet, Open Source movements, and primitive communities online to provide context to Wikipedia’s development. I consider Howard Rheingold’s conception of virtual community and build a framework to discuss online communities.With that framework in mind, I examine the history of the Wiki concept, Nupedia, and ultimately Wikipedia, and show how the Wikipedia community developed into its modern state.Within that development, I trace both qualitative and quantitative elements of Wikipedia’s community: how many contribute, who contributes, how much they contribute, and whether their contributions benefit the project. I compareWikipedia’s community model, which I dub the “wikiunity” model, with other Open Source projects, and ask why anyone would contribute to any of these projects.
After I show that Wikipedia’s wikiunity is a largely effective community, I examine three of the major criticisms against the project through case studies, and show how the wikiunity model adapts to each of these criticisms. To see if the wikiunity model could benefit from other online communities, I compare the wikiunity model to several other modern models of virtual community, including blogs, media/content sharing sites, social networks, and online games. I demonstrate that the wikiunity model already incorporates most of the positive features of these communities, and make one final comparison: to Citizendium, an expert-edited version of Wikipedia that automatically constructs elitism and power differentials within the community. The wikiunity model may be superior to Citizendium, but the analysis is incomplete and speculative, since Citizendium is still not open to the public. After I establishWikipedia as one of the most effective online communities, I demonstrate that the wikiunity model also instills democratic values and engages its users through theWiki process of editing, the statistical accuracy of the project, innovative content licensing, and the hesitance of certain authoritarian states to unblock Wikipedia from their country-wide firewalls. Finally, I recommend that given Wikipedia’s demonstrated efficacy and civic engagement, the wikiunity model should be applied to other policy and government-based missions outside of the free encyclopedia.
Realistically Speaking: New American Realists and the Politics of the Contemporary Novel
A-J Aronstein | 2007 I argue that contemporary novelists find themselves at a crossroads when considering the future of the novel as a genre. In an era of unprecedented media penetration, novelists face declining readership even as they must somehow respond to questions posed by the implications of antifoundationalist modern/postmodern theory. They must therefore confront both practical and abstract problems by writing serious but popular novels that address significant literary concerns while reaching broad audiences to compete with other forms of media. Introducing the problem with an analysis of the last thirty years of American literature, I suggest that a new school of realists presents the best response to these pressing issues. Their solution, an aesthetic that reexamines the goals of traditional realism and offers a new set of formal criteria, stands as the best chance to reinvigorate the novel’s capacity for political and social significance. To argue this position, I use studies of three authors who I claim exemplify the New Realists in America.
Jonathan Franzen, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Claire Messud have written works that exemplify the means by which New Realists have redefined the role of the novel in contemporary America. In Franzen’s novel The Corrections, he admits the impossibility of using the realist novel as a form of social instruction and instead uses the form of his novel to reflect on the interconnectedness and interdependence of individuals in contemporary society. Lahiri, who uses a different tactic in both Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake, focuses almost exclusively on the revitalization of the everyday as a worthwhile arena of consideration for literary significance. Her portrayal of the everyday lives of Indian-Americans not only creates an account of their experience of assimilation, but more broadly considers questions of identity and self-definition in America. Messud’s novel The Emperor’s Children represents a combination of these two aesthetic approaches, as she combines an analysis of historical moment with a close examination of literature’s place in the everyday lives of her characters. She asserts that the uniqueness of the novel as a genre rises out of its ability to appropriate and integrate different literary and media “languages” into one narrative. This integrated narrative realistically represents the world as individuals experience it.
All three of these novelists deal with the interaction of individuals with society, and though they borrow formal elements from traditional realist, they have different underlying assumptions about both the nature and purpose of literature. Using novels as a means of reflecting the world in a given historical context, while recognizing a real need for accessible language and recognizable plot and characters, I conclude that the New Realists have transformed the realist aesthetic. In doing so, they offer a future course for the novel, and have redefined how authors should engage with politics and society in their fiction.
On Icy Heights: An Exploration of Genius in Nietzsche’s Philosophy
Zaahira Wyne | 2006 A recurrent theme in Nietzsche’s work is the longing for genius, for a “higher” kind of human being. In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the genius is solitary Zarathustra, a herald of the overman (übermensch) and prophet of the doctrine of eternal recurrence. In his own lifetime, Nietzsche singled out the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and, before the disappointment at Bayreuth, the composer Richard Wagner as “men of vision.” Finally, Nietzsche recognized early on in himself the seeds of genius and marked himself as heir to the line of men—including Beethoven, Goethe, and Montaigne—who possessed “natures of iron.” Mankind’s highest aim, Nietzsche claimed, should be to create the conditions under which geniuses—as the most fully realized members of humanity—can live and, indeed, flourish.
In my thesis, I address the question: Who is the “Nietzschean genius” and what makes him possible? In “Schopenhauer as Educator,” the philosopher’s most explicit discussion of genius, Nietzsche identifies three types of genius as well as a number of basic traits that the genius must possess. The most important of these traits—which perhaps encompasses all the others—is “unmodern-ness.” Nietzsche’s ideas on the genius and its conditions are important because they form the basis of his critique of German culture. Nietzsche’s cultural critique, I argue, arises, in part, from his views of great men and, in turn, reinforces and re-conceptualizes these views; in my thesis, I trace and analyze the relationship between Nietzsche’s critique and his conception of great men.
A secondary question I have explored, which adds context to my main question is: Who is Nietzsche addressing in his work and why—when he talks about the genius? In Reading the New Nietzsche, David Allison observes, “Perhaps more than any other philosopher who readily comes to mind, Nietzsche writes exclusively for you….For you, the reader….Like a friend, he seems to share your every concern—and your aversions and suspicions as well.” I argue that this is only partly true, since Nietzsche’s audience appears to shift from the general, educated public in his Meditations to a subset of that public, namely men who have the potential to be great, in Beyond Good and Evil.
Finally, I offer a critique of the genius, as Nietzsche seems to have characterized him. As is well known, the Nazis used Nietzsche’s work to justify and exalt the crimes of the Third Reich and, in particular, used those concepts—such as übermensch, will to power, and slave/master morality—that have crucial bearing on the discussion of the Nietzschean genius. In light of this (mis)appropriation and the general tendency of Nietzsche’s work to lend itself to misunder-standing, I explore what many consider to be some of the more disturbing aspects of Nietzsche’s thoughts on genius.
Argument and the Aesthetic Attitude of Kant and Schopenhauer
Lucas L. Thornton | 2006 I argue that Schopenhauer’s attempt to formulate an aesthetic attitude theory of beauty—a theory that understands beauty as a quality of the relation that exists between a subject and the world during a moment of “disinterested contemplation”—leads him to develop an “aesthetic argument” that stands in marked contrast to Kant’s analytic method. I define an analytic argument as an argument wherein every premise, proposition, and conclusion stands in a logically necessary relation to every other premise, proposition, and conclusion in that argument.
In the Tracatus Logico-Philosophicus Wittgenstein asserts: “that about which we cannot speak, we must pass over in silence.” This statement is a curious analytic tautology. Obviously, if you cannot speak about a subject, you must pass over that subject in silence. Consequently, one might take Wittgenstein to mean that all subjects about which we can speak are analytic. To make such a statement one commits to the belief that all subjects can be exhaustively described in language. I argue that it is possible to think of good art as a kind of language that speaks of “that about which we cannot speak.” When you look upon the beautiful can you conceptually define all that you feel? Neither Schopenhauer, nor I, can provide such a definitive account. This, however, presents a unique problem for philosophy. How does one speak philosophically about art, if one believes art defies conceptual knowledge? I argue that Schopenhauer’s opus, The World as Will and Representation, provides a response to this question.
Understanding Schopenhauer’s “aesthetic argument” demands a familiarity with Kant’s Critique of Judgment. In the first part of my thesis, “The Analytic Approach to Beauty in the Philosophy of Kant,” I show how Kant develops a theory of taste that focuses on the interrelation, or free-play, of man’s cognitive faculties during a moment of aesthetic reflection. I argue that the subject of Kant’s argument stands in tension with his commitment to the analytic method and leads to two diametrically opposed interpretations of the Critique of Judgment. On the one hand, Kant’s attention to the “subjective feeling” lays the groundwork for Schopenhauer, and others, to develop a more complete aesthetic attitude theory of beauty that emphasizes the creative role of the aesthetic judge in any experience of the beautiful. On the other hand, Kant’s clinical method of argument inspires many to focus on the objective properties of a beautiful object in complete isolation from the aesthetic judge.
The second part of my thesis, “The Aesthetic Appropriation of Kant’s Idea of ‘Disinterested Contemplation’ in the Philosophy of Schopenhauer,” examines the way in which Schopenhauer responds to both the form and the content of Kant’s argument. The first three books of Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Representation form a synthetic whole. The integrity of this whole manifests in both the formal composition of parts and in the thematic content of the narrative. It is my argument that the thematic progression of the World as Will and Representation (epistemology to metaphysics to aesthetics) runs parallel to a shift in how Schopenhauer thinks about argument. In his first book, I argue that Schopenhauer presents an argument that expresses methodical continuity with Kant by offering an analytic interpretation of Kant’s Transcendental Aesthetic. Schopenhauer’s second book moves away from Kant’s style of argument by exposing the limitations of logical (or transcendental) deductions. Finally, I argue that Schopenhauer’s third book represents a completely new kind of aesthetic argument. It is my contention that only an “aesthetic argument” can capture the importance we ascribe to everyday judgments of beauty.
A Theory of Student-led Revolution: Examining Three Cases of Modern Student Protest
David Szakonyi | 2006 I argue first that students must be studied as a specific demographic responsible for initiating and leading social movements. As the dominant paradigm of social movement theory, the “political process” model offers tangible insight into student movements, but fails to address the specific challenges students face when constructing mass oppositions. I contend that, as isolated, inexperienced, and often radical actors, students encounter numerous obstacles that prevent them from mounting successful political challenges. Without avenues into the polity, students must take to the streets to actualize their demands, but the risk of such a venture requires careful, calculated strategizing. These characteristics of student activism often determine both the trajectory and outcome of the student activism.
I argue that students can best achieve their revolutionary aims by creating a “critical mass” of thousands of supporters challenging a government. Capitalizing on ritualized public events, such as commemorations or elections, student activists need to mobilize large sections of the populace into street protests against a regime. To achieve a high level of mobilization, students must first earn the trust of the society that they claim to represent by employing a formidable movement strategy.
My research suggests that three main areas of strategic decision-making affect the possibility of a successful outcome for student-led revolutions. First, the organizational structure of the movement must incorporate both decentralized and centralized elements. Leadership and responsibility must be diffused across a wide range of movement participants, but a central executive committee is also needed to regulate action-committees and facilitate discussions and debates within the movement. Next, students’ choice of tactics influences the reception of the movement by potential participants and allies. All strategic actions must be diverse, innovative, and nonviolent, as the moral suasion offered by a strong adherence to pacifist principles will attract the most bystanders to an emergent movement. Lastly, as leaders of a movement, students must generate collective action frames that appeal both emotionally and rationally to bystanders. The moral suasion of injustice frames or nonviolent direct action may activate the consciences of bystanders, but ultimately sustained participation depends on the offering of pragmatic solutions to society.
By looking at three case studies of student-led revolution, I have undertaken a comparative analysis of these decisive factors affecting the chances of students to overthrow regimes. Chapters of my thesis will be devoted each to two abortive cases (France in 1968 and China in 1989) as well as one successful revolution (Georgia 2003). In each case, a verifiable political opportunity existed within society for a student movement to exploit and build a challenge against different degrees of authoritarian regimes. All three of the student movements attempted to dramatically reshape the political climate of the state by pressing for increased political participation and representation. I finish the work by offering a set of questions concerning the future of student-led revolution.
Honor in Contemporary Universities: History, Tradition and Inclusion
Lauren Kelley Ross | 2006 The history of honor in the United States is deeply rooted in the South. Honor was one of the primary values for southern society. I explore the key factors that defined southern honor, such as an emphasis on community and individual reputation. The concept of southern honor, though, was founded on exclusivity. White, southern men derived power from honor by excluding certain groups of people. After establishing the history of honor in the southern United States, I explore how honor became institutionalized in colleges throughout the South. Using the University of Virginia as a specific example, I consider the early history of the school and the formation of the original Honor System.
I then introduce four other schools and their honor systems: Washington and Lee University, Vanderbilt University, Duke University and the University of South Carolina. I explain the history of each university and the history of honor at the university, expanding on the earlier history of the University of Virginia. I also explore the current honor system in place for each school; I characterize each system as either traditional or modified. I focus particular attention on the philosophy and processes of the contemporary honor system.
After establishing these five schools, I ask whether or not the systems are effective. I measure one aspect of their effectiveness: the ability to mitigate levels of cheating. Drawing on two important studies conducted by Donald McCabe and Linda Trevino, I contend that schools with honor codes have lower levels of cheating than schools without a code; I also find that traditional honor systems have the lowest levels of cheating, followed by rates of cheating at schools with modified honor codes. An honor system in and of itself will not reduce the level of cheating; one key to the success of an honor system is its integration within the school environment.
Given the importance of congruence between the community and the honor system, my research considers this factor at each of my five sample schools. I ask whether or not the schools’ honor systems have adapted to their changing environment. I argue that the most traditional honor systems are the slowest and least likely to change. A more modified system however, came from a desire to serve the needs of the contemporary students. Though all systems reflect some aspects of southern honor, traditional systems have the strongest ties to their southern heritage; modified systems seem include and to adapt to the current student body better than their traditional counterparts.
Despite its troubled history, the concept of honor is not irredeemable; many schools work, in good faith, in teach students the value of integrity and honesty. An awareness of this history is crucial in moving forward. Schools must consider how they can separate themselves from the exclusive, traditional aspects of honor while retaining the value of integrity. The ideal is important to preserve, and changing the processes and certain aspects of the systems makes honor inclusive of the entire student body.
“For the Life of the World”: Christian Mission and the Postmodern Condition
Kathleen Pennock | 2006 The purpose of this thesis is to explore the contemporary cultural context of mission, both in its challenges and opportunities, and treat this as an occasion to recall some essential aspects of biblical Christian mission. Missiology is the theological study of the mission of the church—of the purpose of the Christian church’s existence in the world. While written in its theological content for a Christian audience, this thesis contains extended sociological insights which should be relevant to all—the postmodern condition is the cultural context of everyone.
Summarizing the work of four contemporary missiologists—N.T. Wright, Lesslie Newbigin, Richard Bauckham, and Brian Walsh—I define the church’s mission as to live for the life of the world, and to do so, in the power of God’s Spirit, by being restored to the image of God and anticipating the life of the kingdom of God.
The first chapter then attempts to lend perspective on important facets of contemporary culture through an extended cultural history that explores both intellectual and institutional developments from the 18th-century Enlightenment onward. After characterizing these cultural developments, it highlights the phenomenological consequences of modernity—how modernity affects our very way of being-in-the-world and making sense of reality—especially the experience of radical deinstitutionalization and subjectivization. It names the contemporary situation, for lack of a better term, “the postmodern condition.” The chapter concludes by raising three issues which both are part and parcel of the postmodern condition and are imperative for mission—meaning, authority, and power.
In Chapter Two I take on the question of meaning and suggest that the cumulative effect of modernity has been to render universal truth and coherent meaning intellectually incredible and institutionally implausible. Then, using foremost the work of N.T. Wright, I lay out an alternative epistemological account—“critical realism”—which attempts to make room for the credibility of coherent meaning, while reorienting epistemology towards the essentially relational character of human life. I then take the work of Bauckham and Newbigin to reconsider the doctrine of election, which actually rests on a type of critical realist epistemology, as the biblical concept of the navigation of universal and particular meanings—precisely the very relational activity that takes place as the local church goes out in mission.
In Chapter Three I look at the question of authority, considering the way authority transitioned from a primarily sacred form into the radical subjectivism present in therapeutic culture today. I consider the way that authority functions within mission, both in how the church lives under the authority of the biblical narrative and, as bearers of the image of God, reflects the rule of the God she worships into the creation. And finally, in Chapter Four, I address the question of power—both the postmodern suspicion of all truth as expression of the will-to-power and the experience of life under modern forms of empire. I propose that mission involves the church acting as witness to the liberating truth of Jesus and embodying a profoundly anti-imperial ethic, one that will include suffering, weakness, and identification with the marginal and forgotten.
I conclude that the temptation for mission today will be either for the church to behave as a vender in the therapeutic spirituality marketplace or a coercive political body enforcing an inflexible moral agenda. Against these, I argue for the importance of reimagining mission as the vocation of living for the life of the world, reflecting the image of the triune God into the creation and anticipating in the church’s communal life the fullness of life in the coming kingdom of God.
Broodje Kaas Met Falafel, Astublieft: An Analysis of Muslim Immigrants in the Netherlands
Johanna Peet | 2006 In this thesis, I analyze and explain the variations in the absorption of Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands. I will focus specifically on the period of between 1945 and 1989, when the largest waves of Muslim immigration took place and also the period during which the Netherlands shifted from assimilationist polices to a clear multicultural immigration policy in 1983. Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands are identified not according to sect, but by according to their ethnic identity. Ethnic identity, therefore, remains the most useful analytical unit, and in this thesis, I will focus on five major ethnic immigrant groups: Indonesian-Dutch, Surinamese, Moluccan, Turkish and Moroccan immigrants. I argue that their divergent integration experiences can be explained by three critical factors: colonial legacies, the time of their immigration, and the nature of their of Islamic identity.
Colonial Legacies prove significant in three ways: language, culture, and citizenship rights. Indonesian-Dutch and Surinamese immigrants coming from former Dutch colonies spoke Dutch, had extensive interaction with Dutch culture and society, and came over as Dutch citizens. I argue that these three characteristics led to weak ethnic identity formation amongst the immigrants, including Muslims, and resulted in a fairly successful integration process. Moreover, since the immigrants came over as citizens, the Dutch government 1) recognized their immigration was permanent; and 2) responded to their arrival with strong economic, education, and housing policies to ensure a smooth integration process. Turkish and Moroccan immigrants, in comparison, lacked Dutch language skills and an orientation to Dutch culture and traditions. Instead of weak ethnic identities, the immigrants came over with strong cultural identities and ties to their country of origin. Finally, unlike the colonial immigrants, the Dutch government viewed their immigration as temporary and failed to implement policies to ensure their integration.
Time. In the case of Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands, two broad periods can be distinguished: pre-economic recession and post-economic recession. Immigrants, such as the Indonesian-Dutch, that came earlier and at the height of Dutch economic growth in the 1950’s, quickly became absorbed into the Dutch labor market. In comparison, the guestworkers arrived in the 1960’s and early 1970’s and gradually brought their families in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. The severe economic recession left many of the unskilled guestworkers unemployed. Lacking sufficient knowledge of Dutch or strong educational backgrounds, many of these guestworkers and their families continue to suffer economic marginalization and limited economic integration.
Islamic Identities Unlike the Indonesian and Surinamese immigrants, the Turkish and Moroccan guestworkers represented a very homogenous population, bringing to the Netherlands a strong commitment to Islam and a cultural identity centered on their religion. I argue that Christian background of the Netherlands and the recent secularization of Dutch society, immigrants practicing a more secular version of Islam integrate much easier than those practicing a more fundamentalist or radical Islam. Moreover, the more visible one’s Islamic practice, the more likely members of society are to criticizes your presence as a threat to national cultural integrity.
Finally, I argue that the failure to integrate Turkish and Moroccan immigrants represents the failure of multiculturalist polices in the 1980’s and has led, instead, to a gradual return to assimilationist polices. I therefore conclude with a brief commentary on the future of Dutch immigration policies, arguing due to the failure of multiculturalist policies, the Netherlands is gradually returning to an assimilationist policy.
Revisiting a Repudiated Dream: A Critique of Economic, Nationalist, and Geopolitical Approaches to the Soviet Collapse
Srinivas Chidambaram Parinandi | 2006 This thesis critically reviews historiography that deals with one of the most important events of the last quarter century: the December 1991 disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. During the last fifteen years, a new area of academic debate has opened up surrounding the issue of the causes and motivations of Soviet collapse. Scholars have framed the collapse in a number of different ways but have largely settled on three explanations in response to the question of “why” the USSR broke apart.
The first explanation focuses on the economic deficiencies of the Soviet system and maintains that the USSR was destroyed by a combination of inept management and foolish development practices. It particularly suggests that the absence of private property in the USSR created a situation in which the Kremlin was responsible to no one and pursued economic projects with political rather than financial considerations in mind. The end of the Soviet Union came, according to this explanation, in 1986 when a drop in global oil prices forced Moscow to embark on the disastrous reform programs of glasnost and perestroika.
The second explanation focuses on the national deficiencies of the Soviet system and situates the Soviet collapse in the context of ethnic turmoil. Here, the argument is that the USSR imploded because its diverse and multiethnic population was tired of Marxism-Leninism and wanted to be rid of a regime that perpetuated cultural chauvinisms in the name of eliminating them. The Russians, even though they were the “imperial” ethnicity of the Soviet state, agreed to let the non-Russians secede because they no longer wanted to shoulder the burdens of empire. According to this explanation, 1991 represented the culmination of a process of decolonization that began in Russia in 1917.
The third explanation focuses on the so-called geopolitical deficiencies of the Soviet system and argues that the defeat of the Soviet Union in the 1945-1989 Cold War fueled the collapse of the Soviet state two years later. This explanation also posits two smaller claims: one that America (and Ronald Reagan) spent the USSR out of existence and showed the Soviets the virtues of democracy; and two that Mikhail Gorbachev unwittingly provoked the Soviet demise when he repudiated Cold War conflict with the United States.
The three explanations make provocative and valuable points about the nature of the Soviet collapse but have not been compared against each other to determine the strengths and weaknesses of their respective claims. In this thesis, I conduct such a comparison and try to evaluate the persuasiveness of these “economic,” “nationalist,” and “geopolitical” schools of thought. I devote the three body chapters of the piece to surveying and critiquing prominent works of history that are associated with each particular school of thought. Each chapter is a self-contained historiographical paper that deals with one specific issue of the Soviet collapse in depth. The thesis thus represents a series of review essays rather than one whole integrated piece.
In the conclusion of the thesis, I link the different review essays together and comment on the persuasiveness of the three explanations. I argue that the economic explanation is the most convincing of the three and base my claim on a “proximate” reason related to glasnost and perestroika and an “ultimate” reason related to the nature of the Soviet experiment. I end the thesis with a short discussion about the future of Sovietology and about how future monographs on the Soviet collapse might differ from current ones.
Civil Marriage: New Directions, Old Values
Daniel Edward Lipton | 2006 I argue that the federal recognition of same-sex couples is a social and political necessity in the United States. Civil marriage is currently the only kind of federal recognition afforded to intimate couples. It provides married partners with added financial and legal security, and social recognition. These benefits secure a more stable union for married partners, and greater stability for their family. The benefits and espoused political purposes of civil marriage do not preclude the recognition of same-sex couples. Nevertheless, the federal government continues to deny same-sex couples legal recognition on account of exclusive religious and moral convictions. In light of the religious and moral roadblocks to same-sex marriage, civil unions offer the most viable alternative for the federal recognition of same-sex couples.
Civil marriage is first and foremost, a political institution. The state registers married couples for the purposes of distributing benefits, structuring families, encouraging stable relationships and preserving social stability. Critics of civil marriage argue that in light of its socially and morally constraining effects, marriage has no place as a political institution in the liberal state. But, the liberal state cannot afford to ignore intimate and sexual relationships, given their significant role in reproducing society and its basic institutions. Similarly, married couples depend upon civil marriage to validate, stabilize, and give private and public meaning to their commitment.
Adversaries of same-sex marriage contend that same-sex couples threaten to undermine the tradition of civil marriage, and shatter the marital ideal. But, recent court rulings – both in favor of and in opposition to same-sex marriage – offer no evidence that same-sex relationships would undermine the most fundamental characteristics of the tradition of civil marriage. The traditional interpretation of civil marriage, as put forth in the federal government, is a narrow construction of an evolving and diverse tradition. The social ideals of monogamy, fidelity, spirituality, and long-term commitment apply to both heterosexual and homosexual couples. The proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage threatens to place artificial constraints on the tradition of civil marriage for present and future generations.
Despite the federal government’s unwillingness to recognize same-sex marriage, it still has a social and political responsibility to grant same-sex couples equal rights and benefits. A federal system of civil unions is the best alternative in light of the deadlock over civil marriage. Granting same-sex couples social and legal recognition would shore up inconsistencies in American law and society. Same-sex couples and the gay community are a well-established cultural, economic and political force. They embody the most central qualities of the marital arrangement and marriage-like relationships. By failing to recognize same-sex couples, the federal government reinforces harmful ambiguities in the moral fabric of American society.
The federal recognition of civil unions and same-sex couples requires competing political camps to permit ideological concessions for the sake of a more coherent social policy and stable society.
Intellectuals in the Information Age: Confronting the Crisis of Public Authority
James L. Kennedy | 2006 Intellectuals are those individuals who cultivate a unique passion for ideas and publicly bring those ideas to bear on contemporary social and political issues, in a style accessible to a general audience. In this thesis, I defend this definition of intellectuals while challenging two competing definitions: the Dreyfusard definition, which refers to the Dreyfus Affair in late-nineteenth century France, and the recently-invented term public intellectuals.
I begin by presenting a genealogy of the term intellectual. The dictionary definition of the term is too broad; the only criterion it suggests for intellectuals is intelligence. However, intellectuals are a much more than just intelligent persons; this definition is too broad. On the other hand, the Dreyfusard definition, which overemphasizes an intellectual’s marginality and reliance on universal principles, is too narrow. The account that I offer and defend attempts to explain how intellectuals operate in contemporary, developed societies. The core of this definition is the intellectual’s engagement with a tension between her personal autonomy, or free relationship to ideas, and her public authority, or ability to address a public on matters of general concern.
I analyze two predominant categories of intellectuals in contemporary society: critical intellectuals and expert intellectuals. Critical intellectuals attempt to maximize their personal autonomy to maintain the freedom to critique existing authority and the status quo. Although many authors claim that critical intellectuals must resist institutions and pursue a free-floating status, I claim that critical intellectuals can (and should) affiliate with contemporary institutions. Some claim that challenges to universal values, such as reason, truth, or justice, invalidate the critical intellectual’s ability to address the public sphere. I claim that contemporary critical intellectuals can pursue new epistemological foundations and continue to voice critical opinions.
Expert intellectuals are those professionals and specialists who not only cultivate expertise in an intellectual field, but enter the public sphere to apply their expert knowledge to contemporary social and political questions. Though some claim that expert knowledge is too rarefied to be communicated to a general audience or applied to public matters, I claim that experts can (and do) successfully engage the public sphere. In the end, I challenge the very distinction between critical intellectuals and expert intellectuals. I claim that contemporary conditions offer the opportunity for critical expert intellectuals to emerge and play a positive and provocative role in the public sphere.
Finally, I analyze four contemporary conditions that simultaneously present new challenges to and opportunities for intellectuals in the information age. These conditions are: professionalization, the challenge to universal values, fragmentation of the public sphere and diffusion of authority. Though intellectuals face new challenges, a closer look reveals that contemporary society offers intellectuals many promising opportunities for engaging in public discourse and criticism. Contemporary conditions call for a new account of intellectuals.
“The Desire To Be Important”: A Comparative Analysis of the Effect of NGO Size, Origin, and Scope in a Changing Global Context
Ellie Kates | 2006 I argue that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) of different sizes and contexts affect their target groups differently. In addition, I argue that though we rely increasingly upon large, international NGOs, there exist certain subtleties that only intimately connected organizations can recognize. I explore how NGOs of different sizes and contexts affect communities differently by examining how the different NGOs themselves evaluate their work and evaluate success. I compare four NGOs, all with programs in Central America or Mexico. The organizations I compare are: Oxfam America (large/international), The Hunger Project (medium-sized/international), the Highland Support Project (small/partially local) and The Foundation for Autonomy and Development on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (small/completely local).
In addition to comparing how success is characterized, I also evaluate each of these organizations on its own terms. I look at each NGO in reference to terms and standards promulgated by the greater NGO community. NGOs currently promote a general set of universal human rights. Certain ideals appear in nearly all NGO literature and analysis. Most prevalent and most pertinent to my analysis are the following three: empowerment, partnership, and sustainability. Instead of defining these terms myself, I examine each term as it relates to each organization’s mission and practice. In addition, I examine whether or not the NGOs examined incorporate the terms into their respective definitions of success.
I couch my analysis in a context we all share: globalization. Though the concept of globalization holds great potential, its challenge has been and will continue to be maintaining equally distributed economic benefits among different sectors of society. If globalization is to be truly effective, I argue, it must be made to benefit everyone—the affluent and impoverished alike. NGOs serve a valuable function in helping communities in the developing world make the transition to globalization. NGOs help communities adapt to new global and technological demands and help those that have suffered because of them.
At the same time, I argue that international NGOs rely heavily upon international donors and thus promote agendas that do not match the needs of those they mean to help. Moreover, though they offer considerable resources, international NGOs are often outsiders to the particular context and thus either inadvertently or purposely promote their own ideology and framework. For example, many workers in large NGOs believe their concepts of justice, human dignity, peace and respect can translate into any context, i.e., are universal. I remain skeptical. In the context of rights-based initiatives, many NGOs focus their energies on more marginalized groups—those most deprived of these rights. Unfortunately, these marginalized groups are often also the most vulnerable and thus most susceptible to the influence of outsiders.
Though international institutions are increasingly relied upon, I am not convinced that they provide the support they intend to. On the contrary, I argue, it is the locally enmeshed organizations that are best equipped for such aid and support.
What Balaam’s Talking Ass has to Say: Shared Interpretive Tendencies among Postliberal Christians and Aftermodern Jews
Peter Kang | 2006 I construct this thesis around three central claims. First: a group of Christian theologians emerging around the 1980’s and a group of Jewish philosophers writing in the early 20th century both attempt to repair problems they find within their respective religious communities in a surprisingly similar fashion. For ease of reference, I label the former group “postliberals” and the latter group “aftermoderns.” Second: when put into relation with each other, their reparative efforts can be mutually enriching. Third: the postliberals’ interpretive tendencies motivate them to reject supersessionism and to enter into dialogue with members of the Jewish community, and likewise, by their own method of reasoning, the students of the aftermoderns are led to embrace dialogue with the postliberals.
I use my first two chapters to elucidate the first claim. I argue that both groups find that their religious communities are suffering through a crisis of identity and moral authority. They identify the cause of this crisis with patterns of thought associated with Enlightenment rationalism. And they maintain that both liberal and orthodox theologies fail to abate this crisis. In response, they attempt to repair their communal crises by arguing for a return to scripture and its traditions of interpretation as the central means for knowing the world and their place in it. However, unlike traditionalist orthodoxy, they affirm the polysemous nature of the biblical texts, and they claim that scripture only acquires meaning in relation to context-specific instances of communal interpretation.
In my third chapter, I choose representatives from each group to support my second claim. From the postliberals I pick George Lindbeck, and I use Franz Rosenzweig to speak on behalf of the aftermoderns. I argue that while Lindbeck’s most popular book The Nature of Doctrine is ostensibly a response to conceptual problems he observed within intra-Christian ecumenical discussions, it also addresses problems that Rosenzweig focuses on within the Jewish community. I claim that their proposals for repairing their analogous communal problems are both isomorphic and mutually enriching. Accordingly, I analyze how Rosenzweig’s system of speech-thinking both confirms Lindbeck’s theories of religion and doctrine, and provides them with a missing level of epistemological reflection. In turn, I show how Lindbeck’s cultural-linguistic theory of religion confirms and clarifies some of Rosenzweig’s theological endeavors.
In my final chapter, I discuss how the traditional form of Christian supersessionism is dramatically exacerbated during the modern period. I connect this change to the same modern trends of thought that the postliberals criticize. This connection provides me with one reason why the postliberals reject supersessionism. The second reason is connected to the postliberals return to scripture. When they attempt to recover a scriptural self-understanding, the postliberals find that their identity as Christians is predicated on the continued existence of the people Israel’s covenant. Yet, by rejecting supersessionism, the postliberals also suggest that more than fifteen-hundred years of traditional Church teachings need to be reevaluated. For help with this project, the postliberals actively seek dialogue with members of the Jewish community.
New Urbanism and Inner Cities: How HOPE VI Grants Transformed a Neighborhood from the Ellen Wilson Dwellings to the Townhomes on Capitol Hill
Allyson Elizabeth Gold | 2006 I argue that the New Urbanist ideology, adopted by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE VI) grant program, has succeeded in improving the quality of life for residents of distressed inner city neighborhoods. New Urbanist ideology champions mixed use, mixed income neighborhoods that are architecturally consistent with the surrounding city. New Urbanists believe that such physical elements can achieve positive social outcomes.
I determine quality of life by using Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach, which measures individual well being on the basis of one’s choices and opportunities. The individual’s options are called his capabilities, which determine his functionings, or the realized state of an individual’s opportunities and choices. Sen’s capabilities approach is contrasted with Robert Putnam’s theory of social capital, which influenced HUD’s decision to adopt the New Urbanism charter and incorporate New Urbanist ideology into the HOPE VI grant program for distressed inner cities. However, while social capital helped HUD conclude community design that encourages interaction among residents is vital to improving neighborhood conditions, I argue that Putnam’s theory is flawed for three reasons: misappropriation of the word capital, falsely assuming that inner cities are devoid of social capital, and ignoring individual agency. Due to these flaws, I offer Sen’s capabilities approach as a more appropriate measurement of individual well being and use it to determine the success of a HOPE VI grantee.
In 1993, the District of Columbia Housing Authority was awarded a HOPE VI grant in order to revitalize the former Ellen Wilson Dwellings, which had been officially closed in 1988 because of deteriorated conditions. The grant awards for the neighborhood eventually exceeded $25 million; these grants radically changed the neighborhood, both physically and socially, using designs influenced by New Urbanism. Architecturally, the neighborhood was redesigned in the style of the surrounding Capitol Hill District historical housing units. Whereas before, the Ellen Wilson Dwellings were barracks style apartment buildings, the newly redesigned neighborhood, renamed the Townhomes on Capitol Hill, were modeled after local townhomes and carriage style housing units. Accompanying the physical change, the neighborhood became mixed income, with residents representing a variety of income levels. The mixed income structure allows the neighborhood to sustain itself without further government support, despite the fact that fifty percent of the residents have annual incomes below fifty percent of the median area income.
My research on the transformation of the Ellen Wilson Dwellings shows that residents’ lives have improved since the 1993 grant award. The New Urbanist inspired changes have successfully improved the well being of residents, according to Sen’s capabilities approach, by reducing crime, increasing employment, increasing sustainable funding and increasing community morale. Based on transformation of the Ellen Wilson Dwellings to the Townhomes on Capitol Hill, I argue that HOPE VI’s decision to adopt New Urbanism design principles is successful at improving the quality of life for residents in inner city neighborhoods.
Who Will I Become? A Comparison of Race and Gender Identity Formation and Affinity in Girls of Early Adolescence
Jessica Christine Fowler | 2006 This work addresses the process and patterns by which identity formation takes place for girls in early adolescence. Girls’ biological, psychological, emotional, and intellectual development are all affected by the changes that occur during the period of adolescence, and this paper seeks to address how these changes are manifested in the formation of identity. Concentrating on racial identity and gender identity, the internal processes and external pressures young girls experience are described and discussed in order to gain a better understanding of how the self-concept is impacted by their self-perceived racial and gender labels. I argue that by comparing the studies that have occurred and examining the ways in which both gender and racial identity formation take place, one can see that race is more salient for girls of color and that gender is not a primary consideration or factor for girls of color when examining their overall self-concept.
A great deal of research on girls in early adolescence has only recently taken place. Much of the work done previously was focused on white, middle class females, and the findings were then projected onto all females of that age. It has become clear that the same types of issues are not important or influential for all middle-school aged girls, because they grow up in different environments, amidst varying cultures, with different economic and education advantages or disadvantages, and enduring different types of racial and cultural experiences. This work, therefore, seeks to approach the question of identity formation from the sides of multiple groups of pre- and early adolescent girls in order to grasp a greater understanding of the different factors that play into the self-concept these girls develop.
The studies and research reviewed demonstrates that much is left to be discovered with regard to the development and maturation of girls in early adolescence. While much more is known about their identity formation, some variations between racial groups, as well as inconsistencies regarding girls of varying socioeconomic status make it difficult to grasp a complete picture of the process undergone by these young girls. It is clear from my research that there are differences in the racial and gender development of girls of varying race, particularly when comparing majority or White adolescents to non-White minority adolescents. Race is more salient and a central factor in the general self-concept of minority girls, reflective of the importance of their racial formation in comparison with that of their majority counterparts. I argue that because of the pressures and expectations placed on racial minorities, early adolescent, minority girls are more prone to cling to their racial or ethnic identity than White girls who have greater agency with regard to their racial identity determination. I also argue that minority girls, because of the salience of race as a central defining factor, do not show or, in some cases, have as much concern with issues of gender.
From Gastarbeiter to Citizen: The Integration of Turkish Immigrants into the German Volk
Farah Dilber | 2006 I argue that the longstanding belief that “Germany is not a country of immigration” is a blatant denial of fact that has prohibited the proper integration of Turkish guest workers in the postwar period. This credo has been elevated to official and normative dogma that, when coupled with Germany’s ethnocultural nationality law has positioned a well-defined and bounded German Volk against Turkish immigrants, leading to the inevitable exclusion of Turks from both the institutional and cultural order. I take the Nationality Law reform of 2000 and the Immigration Law of 2005 as departures from the standing policies and argue that they have great potential to reverse the hitherto ghettoization and stigmatization of Turkish immigrants.
I begin by tracing theoretical accounts of citizenship and multiculturalism as a mode of integration. I find consensus among leading scholarship that citizenship bestows both material and symbolic benefits and postwar immigration has tipped the scales such that citizenship now functions primarily as a status-conferring tool. States therefore play a critical role in either affirming or denying one’s belonging in the Volk. Postwar immigration has created the conditions for multiculturalism to take place and I evaluate several critiques of multiculturalism as this is one of the potential outgrowths of the recent policy reforms.
My next point of interest is the heretofore integration of Turks since their arrival in 1961. This study of integration identifies four main dimensions where integration takes place and I conclude that Turks are poorly integrated on all four fronts. The practice of Islam is a key barrier to proper integration, not so much because of the religion itself, but because of the trepidation and insecurity it engenders on the part of the host society.
I then evaluate more closely the public perception of Turks that have circumscribed their ability to integrate into German society. Despite these persistent negative sentiments, 2000 saw the liberalization of naturalization procedures followed by a 2005 law promoting integration and multiculturalism. I highlight here the tensions between the two positions and the factors that prompted these reforms.
My attention then turns to the evolution of nationality and immigration laws, noting the resilience of the former and the capriciousness of the latter. In both cases, the standing policies militated against the integration of Turkish immigrants. I conclude that the new policies show great promise and may work to undo current trends and rewrite the normative and political maxims guiding German policies.
Re-Imagining the Black Power Movement: The Cultural Politics of Black Identity
Kurt Leo Davis Jr. | 2006 I argue that the Black Power Movement is not a separatist movement but rather a movement that works to articulate a new black identity in contention with the racialized and sexualized identity of American citizenship. Furthermore, I argue that Black Power challenges the normative criteria for and ideas of citizenship in America. Often, the movement can be relegated to that of a foreign opposition to the existence of America or, even at some level, that of a terrorist movement. Such dictations, as rationalized and indirectly explored by my thesis, illustrate ignorance of not only the Black Power Movement but also of the complexities of this cultural-political movement.
Because identity politics can often be negated as non-essential to the proper political discussion, it is my effort to transform the discussion of the political and the cultural. Indeed, this thesis is also a work to illustrate the intimate and dialectical relationship between the cultural and political agenda of the Black Power Movement. This thesis highlights the self-empowerment notion of the new black identity as aligned with the political integration aspect of Black Power.
Finally, this thesis is an effort to devise a new framework for investigating identity politics in a broader sense. My examination of the initiation of the Black Power Movement in chapter two illustrates the historical roadmap that infused the movement. The formulation of identity, as described in chapters three, four and five, arrives as more than an expression of discontent or an articulation of culture in America. In essence, this thesis confronts this casual and subtle disregard for identity politics as the external because it has been relegated simply to the cultural.
Killed in the Name of Honor: A Demographic and Socio-legal Analysis of Honor Killings in Jordan and Pakistan
Pooja Ramesh Dadhania | 2006 I argue that honor killings in Pakistan and Jordan have similar origins in patriarchal, honor-based societies from the pre-Islamic era. In addition, I contend that although similar gender-biased legal provisions and applications of the law in both nations have led to the perpetuation of these crimes, I claim that different population demographic and socio-economic variables contribute to the contrasting demographic patterns of honor killings in Pakistan and Jordan. I define an honor killing as a murder perpetrated by a family member or a community with the stated intention of punishing a female for alleged misconduct in order to restore a family or community’s honor, which her act ostensibly would have compromised.
Economic considerations and social ideals from pre-Islamic tribal societies led to the emergence of honor as a central tenet to gain status within a community. Despite the fact that many perpetrators of honor killings use religion as a justification, I argue that the concept of honor and honor killings did not stem from Islam. As a result of patrilineal modes of inheritance within the patriarchal system from pre-Islamic times, men increasingly began to regulate the sexual activity of women through restrictions on mobility in order to ensure the legitimacy of offspring to inherit the possessions and land of a family. The honor and status of a familial unit is thus not only derived from the economic possessions of its members, but also from the chastity of its women, which preserves the family’s integrity. Women are objectified as their actions are strictly monitored and controlled, because they are regarded as the vessels of honor for a family.
A woman who violates a social norm that leads to the subsequent diminishment of a family’s honor can be targeted by an honor killing in order to punish her, and to restore the lost honor of the group. In the eyes of an honor-based community, the crime is not the honor killing, but is the behavioral transgression committed by the woman. The victims are perceived as woman’s the male relatives whose honor is tarnished as a result of her act.
Gender discrimination within the penal codes of Pakistan and Jordan, in addition to through the application of laws by conservative police and judges, allows perpetrators of honor killings to receive minimal sentences for murder. The judicial systems and governments of Pakistan and Jordan do not provide an effective deterrent to curb the practice of honor killing as perpetrators are not adequately held accountable for their crimes.
In addition, various socio-economic factors within Pakistan and Jordan perpetuate honor-based patriarchies that condone honor killings. These variables also affect the patterns of crimes in these nations. The vast majority of Pakistan’s honor killings occur in rural areas that are dominated by conservative, feudal structures. My evaluation of the feudal system in Pakistan reveals that the roles of women have not changed significantly in these areas as a result of minimal development and educational initiatives. Feudal lords preserve the lower status of women and retain the practice of honor killings because they confer economic benefits to the parties in power.
Honor killings in Jordan, conversely, occur in an equal proportion in both rural and urban areas. My assessment of the pattern of honor killings in this nation finds that urbanization and the subsequent loss of physical proximity to tribal structures of power prompts individuals to extremism. Honor killings are used to punish transgressors of behavioral norms to demonstrate an individual’s adherence to these customs in order to preserve social standing, especially in more liberal urban areas that often promote increased rights and autonomy for women.
My research illustrates that honor killings have origins in honor-based patriarchal societies. The perpetuation of these crimes depends on the role of the government through the judicial system to provide an effective deterrent, in addition to socio-economic factors and population demographics that dictate the strength of the values of honor-based patriarchy.
Felt Like Livin’: Black Women, Leisure and Liberation in the Second Wave of the Great Migration
Jade Alexander Craig | 2006 I argue that lower-class black migrant women joined in a culture of consumption and pursued leisure activities in order to create an experience of personal and racial liberation in the North. They rejected white racism and black bourgeois values in favor of adopting a lifestyle based on black pride, cultural authenticity and a lower-class community that afforded them a sense of racial pride and roots. Their legacy of using leisure and consumption for personal empowerment shaped the black-centered cultural ethos that informs the worldview of their descendants.
The first chapter begins this argument in the Jim Crow South. I argue that black women took flight from the region because they were frustrated by the lack of personal freedom and power in their own lives. They keenly experienced their disempowerment in the physical dominance that whites had over their bodies and the world around them. Poverty constricted their ability to pursue opportunities for leisure and physical adornment that would make their lives worth living.
The second chapter focuses on migrant women’s arrival in Chicago and their acculturation to urban life. Newly arrived women often entered recent migrant communities mired in poverty and constricted by racial segregation—similar to the conditions they had left behind. These neighborhoods, however, also helped newly arrived women find jobs to pursue the economic opportunity that they sought. Working-class migrant women used their economic resources to escape the white racism surrounding them and enjoy the consumer pleasures of the city, including beauty culture opportunities. Consumption gave them membership into a free society in which their blackness was beautified, affirmed and empowered.
The third chapter examines the class conflict between lower-class urban migrants and upper-class black Chicagoans, or “old settlers.” Pride and solidarity found in black Northern communities encouraged poor and working-class migrant women to ignore white racism and pursue leisure and liberation on culturally black terms. Old settlers consistently chastised lower-class black migrants for their public display of black Southern cultural norms, which challenged the image of respectability that they had constructed for white Chicagoans. Migrant women used entertainment, social expression and the joy that consumption would afford them to make life in the North, even with the same societal flaws as in the South, worth living.
The epilogue explores how migrant women’s rejection of white middle-class culture and black assimilation has shaped the cultural identity of lower-class black Northerners and American culture today. After the postwar economic boom ended in the 1950s, industrial decline, residential segregation and the failure of public housing turned black neighborhoods into racially isolated and economically depressed ghettoes. The Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s and 1970s generated a sense of black cultural nationalism, pride and a rejection of the larger, majority-white society. In these communities, lower-class black Northerners, many of them the children and grandchildren of poor black migrant women, developed a variety of ways to survive outside the mainstream economy. These types of “hustling” ranged from cooking and doing hair to selling drugs and prostitution. They looked to the lifestyle that came out of these practices as the definition of authentic black culture. They took pride in these lifestyles and their roots in “the ghetto” through forms of popular media, including “blaxploitation” films and hip-hop music celebrated and affirmed them. The descendants of black migrant women, often known as “ghetto divas” and “welfare queens,” use leisure and consumption to find liberation in their poverty, carrying forward the legacy of their ancestors.
Chinese Socialism Meets Global Capital: The Fate of Industrial Labor in the Post-Mao Era
Maddin Meredith Corey | 2006 I argue that China’s post-Mao era economic liberalization and restructuring of state-owned enterprise have disadvantaged the industrial workforce. While many of the social changes that have accompanied economic reform are paradigmatic of global capitalism, the plight of industrial labor in post-Mao China is a result of a unique collision of global capitalist forces, China’s socialist legacy, and the continued authoritarianism of its political leadership. China offers a particularly salient example of capitalist labor exploitation because it is supposed to be a workers’ state, founded in opposition to capitalism.
Beginning in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) initiated the socialist nation-building project and proclaimed workers “masters of production” and “rulers of society.” The result of this process was an imperfect egalitarianism where urban workers benefited from equal wages, benefits, pay and lifetime job security—the “iron rice bowl” of socialism—and lived consistently above the means of their rural counterparts. The industrial enterprise became the fulcrum of all political, social and economic life and the locus of the Party-proletariat social contract.
But the economy by the end of the Mao era was stagnating. Maoist socialism thus created an unviable economic model and an industrial workforce that was, nonetheless, morally committed to it and economically dependent upon it. This model was also integral to the Party’s political legitimacy. The Party’s liberalization of foreign direct investment (FDI) and use of market forces, and the subsequent dismantling of the state-owned apparatus, was thus a politically volatile process—ultimately constituting the Party’s abandonment of the social contract.
I argue that the means of reforming the industrial economy were synonymous with the means of disarticulating China’s socialist legacy and the political stature and economic security that it guaranteed to industrial workers. Liberalization of foreign direct investment and integration into the global economy demanded the abandonment of the socialist proletariat and “iron rice bowl” and the recreation of the workforce to respond to global capital. A new industrial workforce composed of once-socialist workers and once-rural migrants has thus emerged along the traditional fault lines of social inequality. This workforce is subject to economic deprivation and physical exploitation that were unseen in the pre-reform era, and the Party leadership has failed to develop an alternative form of social security to replace the socialist “iron rice bowl” and protect its workers.
Through the analysis of CCP plenum documents, I argue that the Party is attempting to justify its socially painful reform program through appeals to a new nationalism that rationalizes capitalism as “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” necessary for national economic survival. But nationalism will only go so far. The communist revolution and Maoist socialism, although now only vestiges of history, armed workers with a profound sense of political agency and a memory of a life where workers were the elite and integral to the important task of socialist nation-building. This memory will be a powerful force in mobilizing workers against their plight. If the Party does not find a way to extend the “fruits of development” to its workers, social unrest is almost certain for the future.
Service Learning in American Higher Education: Re-Directing the Debate
Kathleen G. Baireuther | 2006 I argue that the debate surrounding service learning in higher education is misdirected because it stresses model design over fundamental philosophical tenets. I demonstrate that effective models of service learning can be achieved in practice by: establishing a clearer definition of service learning; identifying the objectives of key stakeholders; and creating models that are intentionally embedded in an institution’s mission statement and larger development goals. This methodology can be applied both across colleges and universities as well as within them to create a spectrum of unique opportunities. The variety of potential models stemming from this methodology reflects the diversity of institutional missions across American higher education as well as the internal diversity of each institution.
Service learning is a form of experiential education that intentionally links community service to academic coursework. I distinguish the philosophical foundation of the service learning pedagogy from practice and argue that definitions of service learning should not encompass program objectives. Based on its philosophical and historical development, I derive an elemental definition that includes six criteria: (1) clear mission; (2) relationship to an academic context; (3) reciprocity and collaboration; (4) autonomy and creativity; (5) guided reflection; and (6) mutual evaluation. Establishing these criteria as a working definition liberates the pedagogy of service learning from a discussion of case studies and emphasizes its adaptability.
The institution, the community, faculty, and students can all potentially benefit from the establishment of service learning programs. Service learning serves as a response to public criticisms of higher education, generates institutional renewal, and forges a stronger connection between the institution and the community. Students benefit academically and personally. Civic engagement and leadership experience are frequently identified as important objectives of service learning in the American context. I argue that programs can be intentionally designed to achieve specific goals for each party involved; coordination and consistent communication are essential to effectively achieving these goals.
I offer a general discussion of practice and emphasize how an institution’s mission statement can direct the creation of locally embedded models. I stress the importance of reciprocity, collaboration, and diversity and argue that these values, in addition to the six criteria in the definition, a clear understanding of program objectives, and mission statement can all serve as general guidelines for program creation. This methodology demonstrates the inclusive and flexible nature of the service learning pedagogy. I argue that this holistic approach to the educational enterprise is inherently democratic and therefore is especially relevant to American higher education.
Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach: An Alternative Feminism
Daniel Robert Ciarrocki | 2006 I argue that Nussbaum’s capabilities approach to social justice represents a successful alternative to both first and second-wave feminist theories if one accepts its concept of the human individual. I define first-wave feminism as including any approach that primarily pursues civil and political rights as a basis for social justice. Second-wave feminism, on the other hand, involves a focus on the way certain social structures (such as gender or the family) engender injustice.
The capabilities approach diverges from both first and second-wave feminism by using a universal notion of humanity to create a list of functions that everyone should possess. In short, Nussbaum believes that some activities are constitutive of human life itself. To be human, then, she holds that one must have the capability of exercising all of the functions in her list of central human capabilities. This approach contradicts the first-wave feminist’s desire to use a procedure that fairly aggregates individual’s preferences to decide on the “good” and how society will enable its members to pursue it. By starting with an intuitive account of the good that society should facilitate rather than arriving at one via individual preferences or some procedure, Nussbaum distances herself from the first-wave feminist’s preoccupation with civil and political rights and procedural equality. Nussbaum’s use of this account of the human essence also distances her from second-wave feminism. Specifically, Nussbaum holds that her notion of proper human functioning provides a guide by which social change can be measured and enacted. This strongly disagrees with the second-wave feminist’s belief in the impossibility of assembling a universal picture of humanity, as well as with the more radical second-wave idea that harmful social structures inhabit such a prominent place in society that little can be done to escape them.
Although Nussbaum’s capabilities approach diverges from first and second-wave feminism, I argue that it successfully addresses the concerns raised by both groups without giving way to their inadequacies. By suggesting a framework in which individuals can form preferences in their own best interest, apart from the influence of traditions of male domination, Nussbaum seeks to advance the goals of first-wave feminists. She accounts for the necessity of providing the proper social basis for the effective use of civil and political rights. Furthermore, Nussbaum addresses the concerns of second-wave feminists by offering an objective standard of the good by which injustice can be measured and reform proposed. Overall, the capabilities approach’s focus on enabling Nussbaum’s specific vision of properly human functioning dissociates it from first and second-wave feminism. However, Nussbaum ably uses this focus to tackle both groups’, concerns while avoiding first-wave feminism’s ineffectiveness and second-wave feminism’s pessimism. For these reasons, Nussbaum’s capabilities approach provides a successful and comprehensive alternative to first and second-wave feminism, though it contains the caveat that one must accept the specific vision of properly human functioning underlying it.
Into the Jungle: An Ethnography of International Service-Learning
Abigail Bellows | 2006 International service-learning advocates argue that by influencing the paths young people pursue, their programs can make a long-term contribution to global justice. Yet we lack the longitudinal data to defend this point, and ironically, participants’ experiences may run counter to the ideals of grassroots sustainable development. Others advocate service-learning based on a commitment to community-based experiential education, in opposition to what they perceive as academia’s disconnection from the “real world.” Social justice educators add an edge to this field, with their greater attentiveness to power, privilege, and the potential for harmful impact in the server/served binary. Still, these scholars generally continue to speak for “the community” and their criticisms are muted by an attachment to service-learning in some form. On the whole, there is a remarkable absence of ethnographically-oriented studies conscious of the complexities of service-learning interaction with host communities.
Thus I present ethnographic material, enriched by outside literature, on Volunteer Summer (VS), an international service-learning program organized by the American Jewish World Service (AJWS). In my participant observation of VS-Peru, fifteen North American college students and two facilitators spent five-and-a-half weeks in the Amazonian village of Santa Rosa, interacting with local residents and each other, and working daily with a grantee of AJWS, Minga Peru. My formal research was restricted to the American participants, though I include Peruvian perspectives from what I could gather, supplemented by secondary sources.
Some VSers did not recognize poverty among the Peruvians with whom we stayed, which participants theorized could be due to the participants’ inattentiveness, denial, or variations in distinguishing between wants and needs, poverty and culture. The majority, though, recognized poverty and reflected on it intellectually and emotionally, with varying degrees of surprise, condemnation or romanticization. Likewise, while a few did not see their privilege, most processed its manifestations, including being “put on a pedestal,” with varying degrees of acceptance. I discuss cross-economic engagements, including concerns about exposing Santa Roseñas to privileged lifestyles, restrictions on our gift-giving, and the dissonance between AJWS’s sustainable grassroots ideology and much of our activities and presence.
In similar terms, some participants did not express recognition of substantial cultural difference, reflecting the subjectivity of “the cross-cultural” as a category in itself. For those who did perceive cultural difference, I trace several responses to it: disengagement, minimization, and embracing it with an ideal of sincere, personal, “real” relationships. Such cross-cultural engagement was facilitated by several factors, including our role as worker/volunteers and our relationships with children, and was challenged in some cases by the spatial divide, time constraints, language difficulties, and lack of motivation, perhaps out of an awareness of the potential harm interaction could cause. I examine fields of cross-cultural interaction including the tourist encounters in which participants ambivalently engaged.
Just as they entered with different motivations, participants left the summer with a variety of stories to take home. Most were grateful for first-hand encounters with poverty and cultural difference, and articulated greater wariness about the complexities of service-learning. Yet this study opens the door to a more systematic and longitudinal evaluation of positive and negative outcomes for all parties. Such research is vital if we are to understand the risks and possible successes of international service-learning.
The Paradises That We Have Lost: Weimar Republic Historiography and the Bauhaus Experience
Jennifer L. Allen | 2006 In this text, I defend the argument Frank Ankersmit outlines in Sublime Historical Experience. Ankersmit contends that historians must detach themselves from epistemologically, archivally focused methods of historiography and must remain open to allowing experience of the past to enter their historical narratives. In order to form a bridge between Ankersmit’s largely theoretical text and the world of concrete historical narratives, I situate his ideas in the context of historiography of Germany’s Weimar Republic. Its wealth of complexities within a short, well-defined period of time, in conjunction with its historical significance make the Republic an appealing case study in an application of Ankersmit.
To introduce Ankersmit’s idea of historical experience, I begin by setting his argument in conversation with two narratives of the history of the Republic. Their methods, though divergent, represent larger historiographical trends. I look first to Stephen Lee, in The Weimar Republic, who explicitly aims to keep his own narrative from impacting interpretation of archival data and attempts to present this data in the most ‘objective’ way possible. I then turn to Peter Fritzsche’s text, Germans into Nazis, which attempts to create a ‘sense’ of what things might. Fritzsche utilizes his position as a subjective historian to craft an imaginative sensory experience behind the archival information he includes.
In the language of these two texts, I clarify what Ankersmit means by sublime historical experience. He compares a successful (sublime) historical experience to a powerful aesthetic experience, which develops as the result of a specific set of components, namely a unity between subject and object and a sense of loss in experience the artwork. Both Lee and Fritzsche lack these features. Unfortunately, Ankersmit also argues that historians cannot include these components at will, and it seems luck alone governs the ability to produce sublime historical experience.
In order to make Ankersmit’s theory a useful one, I overturn his argument for the irreproducibility of sublime historical experience in historical narratives. I offer a distinction between the pictorial arts on which Ankersmit focused and the practical arts. Sublime historical experience relies on the subject’s ability to engage with a work of art (and historical narrative) on an interactive and intimate level. By shifting our focus to the practical arts, I suggest we can achieve this unity, access of which necessarily lies beyond the scope pictorial arts. Returning to the Republic, I engage the architectural works of Bauhaus Weimar and Bauhaus Dessau which feature three pivotal elements: (1) they exists as works of art in which the subject can participate; (2) they were created by an institution whose lifespan and ideology mirror that of the Republic; (3) they were created in fulfillment of an institutional objective which shares striking similarities with the idea of sublime historical experience.
To conclude, I create a blueprint for an application of Ankersmit’s theory in the context of a history of the Weimar Republic. I demonstrate how to employ Bauhaus art as a medium through which we can begin to create sublime historical experience in a historical monograph. My own narrative, though only a segment of a complete Ankersmitian narrative, forms a crucial bridge between historical theory and practice that validates the interrelation of these components and justifies the need for attention to theory to illuminate the potential of historical narratives.
Redefining “Access”: A Preliminary Evaluation of the University of Virginia’s New Financial Aid Initiative
Jeffrey M. Tebbs | 2005 Significant disparities in attendance by students from high- and low-income families have persistently plagued colleges and universities nationwide, even those selective institutions practicing “need-blind” admissions. In February 2004, the University of Virginia garnered national attention by implementing “AccessUVA,” a new financial aid paradigm that replaces all need-based loans with grants for families below 200 percent of the poverty line. The program also caps the total value of loans issued to individual students at 25% of the four-year cost of attendance. Work-study requirements are waived for all students demonstrating financial need. This thesis evaluates the efficacy of the $18 million per year investment in AccessUVA.
The spectacular rise in the wage premium for college graduates and the declining real value of the high school diploma indicate that upward mobility is increasingly determined by educational opportunity. In chapter one, I review the key barriers to access faced by low-income students considering application to elite universities. I find that a story of credit-constraints plausibly explains the low enrollment rates of a significant segment of the low-income population. This explanation proves less salient for selective institutions, where resources for financial aid programs are far more substantial. Low-income students may also systematically misperceive the potential costs and benefits of attending an elite institution. The lack of evidence supporting federally means-tested aid, in conjunction with the mounting evidence demonstrating strong effects for more transparent aid programs, indicates the viability of this interpretation. Concomitantly, Carneiro and Heckman provide strong evidence on the role of gaps in academic achievement across income classes. The chasm in standardized test scores between high- and low-income youth is sizeable and factors heavily in the under-representation of low-income students at selective institutions. The relative weight of these two latter causal modalities is difficult to determine.
In chapter two, I investigate whether schools with a higher fraction of poor students exhibit disproportionate increases in applications in the first year of AccessUVA (Spring 2005). While I find a general increase in applications across all quartiles, I do not find a disproportionate gain for schools with a higher proportion of low-income youth. This analysis is conducted at the high school level, utilizing a single year of post-policy data, with the sample restricted to Virginia public high schools.
In chapter three, I explore the joint evolution of AccessUVA and the “Charter Initiative.” I review the impetus for Charter, including the Commonwealth’s erratic historical commitment toward funding higher education. Declining state General Fund support, in conjunction with mid-range tuition levels, explains the collapse of faculty salaries relative to peer institutions. In examining the structural political forces, I conclude that the level of state appropriations is unlikely to rise appreciably. I review the components of charter and conclude that the charter initiative is necessary for the long-term health of the institution, in spite of the drawbacks associated with a “high-tuition / high-aid” model.
In general, the evidence presented points toward the desirability of obtaining and analyzing individual-level application and matriculation data on an on-going basis. Should AccessUVA fail to deliver the desired result in the long-term, it appears that employing a “dynamic concept of merit” (i.e., an admissions preference for low-income students) offers a viable strategy for boosting socioeconomic diversity at the University of Virginia.
Constructing and Reconstructing Social Communication: A Model for Understanding Advertising as a Social Structure and its Implications for Promoting Transformative Social Action
Angela Rose Schutte | 2005 I argue that in contemporary consumer society, advertising has become a dominant social structure through which individuals construct their identities and communicate meaning. Although the concept of “social structure” plays a fundamental role in social science discourse, only vague definitional consensus has ever been formed over the term. Therefore, I develop a definition of social structure by drawing on three main models of social structure: Marx’s base-superstructure model, William Sewell’s schema-resource model, Anthony Giddens’s systems of social relationships-systems of meaning model. From these, I extract three dualities that function within social structure and describe the dialectical relationship between individuals and social structure. First, social structure is both virtual and material; it has no material existence in itself, but affects social life in concrete ways and is embodied in individuals. Second, social structure enables and constrains human agency; it limits the possibilities for action while creating a framework through which individuals can function. Third, social structure is both stable and changing; the interaction between individuals and social structure continually forms and reforms each element, which creates constant potential for change, even though the dynamic remains relatively stable over time.
Using these dualities as a foundation, I describe how contemporary branded advertising creates a mutually sustaining and relatively stable bond with individuals. It functions as a social structure by creating a framework for human interaction and producing meaning in society. Branded advertising emerged during the Industrial Revolution as a means for manufacturers to differentiate their virtually indistinguishable products by attaching images and symbolic meaning to them. In the subsequent years, advertising has developed a complex system of brands that work together as a symbolic language. Individuals act as agents within the system of advertising, continually making decisions about how to appropriate the symbolic meaning of brands in order to communicate. I argue that because contem-porary consumers have grown up in advertising and understand how it works, individuals neither reflect nor blindly reproduce branding’s symbolic vocabulary. Rather, individuals produce advertising’s structure by embodying it in ways that reproduce and transform it.
Individuals have agency within social structures and the capacity to transform them. Therefore, I argue that individuals have the capacity to utilize advertising’s structure in radical and transformative ways. Because contemporary consumers better understand how branding functions (brand = product + meaning), they can more successfully wield branding in order to create new meanings and disrupt existing ones. This mindset has spawned the technique “culture jamming” which uses the structure and language of advertising in order to talk back to brands. Because corporations spend so much time and money creating effective brands, hacking into that system in order to create new meanings is a powerful and accessible form of communication. Culture jamming creates meaning from within advertising—it both uses and challenges advertising’s sign system—which allows it to disseminate alternative ideas and identities through a means that already permeates social life. By infiltrating branded meaning, culture jammers transform advertising’s structure. Although advertising companies have made a number of attempts at neutralizing culture jamming by commodifying it (moving it away from radicalism into the mainstream), culture jamming already exists within the system and gains its communicative power from this position, which makes it more difficult to disarm. In fact, culture jamming garners by engaging in constant dialogue with advertising.
Predictable, Not Paradoxical: Using the Concept of Structural Violence to Understand the Rapid and Extensive Spread of HIV in Botswana
Jonathon Leserman Robbins | 2005 The rapid transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Botswana has been a source of puzzlement for the international HIV/AIDS community. Unlike its politically and economically volatile neighbors, the economy of Botswana has grown at breakneck speed since the early 1970s, while at the same time institutions of liberal democracy took root and flourished. Botswana quickly became a rare ‘success story’ of sub-Saharan Africa, a shining paradigm of stable and prosperous post-colonial development. Revenue from the lucrative diamond industry has been used to expand the national economy beyond the traditional activities of cattle ranching and arable farming. A shrewd cadre of politicians ensured that the fruits of the mining industry were distributed throughout the nation.
The first AIDS case was reported in Botswana in 1985; twenty years later, nationwide HIV prevalence among 15-49 year-olds is a staggering 37%. In a country with a double-digit growth rate during the 1970s and 1980s and a record of free and fair elections since independence in 1966, the spread of HIV appears to be a paradox: How could a country that did so well in its economic and political development do so poorly with regard to HIV/AIDS?
The concept of structural violence provides a useful framework with which to appraise the HIV pandemic in Botswana. Fundamental to a theory of structural violence is the belief that individual agency can be constrained and curtailed by imbedded societal injustices and inequities.
An examination of Botswana’s colonial history and political economy unearths such injustices. With the implementation of indirect, or soft, colonialism over the Bechuanaland Territory and the imposition of a hut tax, rural Botswana were forced to seek wage-work in South African mines or on European-owned farms. Labor migration is endemic in Botswana, which has been called “a nation on the move.” Recent economic development in Botswana has been driven by the mining industry, while few structural improvements have been made in the rural economy.
Labor migration allowed for the rapid spread of tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Migrant laborers transported disease from high-concentration urban areas to rural villages. The pattern of spread of HIV mirrors these historical epidemics.
To effectively address the root causes of the HIV pandemic in Botswana, the national government must implement structural prevention programs. The provision of subsidized anti-retroviral treatment has been central to the government’s response. Because anti-retroviral treatment does not address rural poverty and labor migration (which have been central to the spread of HIV), the government response to HIV prevention has been insufficient. Substantive changes must be made in the rural economy, including the creation of wage employment and an increase in rural wage rates. International organizations have an important role to play in the push for rural development in Botswana.
What is a “Reasonable Parent”?: Exploring the Ethical, Cultural, and Psychological Complexities of Pediatric Medical Decision Making
Leah Beth Rosenberg | 2005 Based in my experiences as a social work intern at a Virginia Beach pediatric hospice, my thesis explores the complexities of parental medical decision making. I begin with a narrative about a young leukemia patient, Emily, whose case involved a series of hard choices for her parents. I visited Emily on a weekly basis during the summer of 2003 and witnessed her parents’ difficulties acknowledging her medical realities following a third relapse of her cancer. The decisions and dilemmas of Emily’s parents form the basis for a set of ethical questions about her care. From these questions, I consider parental decision making for seriously ill children with respect to complicating moral, cultural, and psychological factors. While the mainstream bioethical framework considers choosing for children in terms of surrogate decision making grounded in the autonomy principle, I conclude that clinician obligations to parents and pediatric patients should be expanded to include active promotion of parental beneficence. I want to call the appropriateness of this framework as it applies to children into question and complicate the view of a parent as a strictly rational or even reasonable decision maker.
The framework for parental decision making put forth in Tom Beauchamp’s and James Childress’ Principles of Biomedical Ethics draws upon the Western philosophical tradition and synthesizes diverse strands of religious as well as secular thought. Beauchamp’s and Childress’ view of parental deliberators emphasizes the promotion of parental autonomy and the creation of a reasonable parent who utilizes his or her cognitive faculties to make an appropriate decision. Their positions seem to be clearly informed by the socio-cultural history of relations between parents and children in the West. In the second and third sections, I discuss the ways in which culture and emotion affect parental decision making. Anthropologist Arthur Kleinman describes a distinction between the codified, principle-based world of the ethical and the experiential, multifaceted world of the moral. These two categories both have specific forms of knowledge and epistemologies. The standard denies the reality of parental deliberators in favor of a rational, appropriate model that is detached from both culture and emotional reasoning.
Physicians should support the parents of their patients and encourage the exercise of not only their autonomy but also their beneficence. As a guiding hand and a compassionate ear, the physician has a unique role to play. Closer communication and collaboration between physicians and the parents of seriously ill children will bring about positive changes for both parties. When medicine and bioethics come to accept the moral world as a valid source of knowledge, the frustrated search for a reasonable parent may give way to a more empathetic pursuit to support the caregiver and patient.
A Reader’s Guide to the Life of Ashwin Upadhyaya
Mythili Rao | 2005 I began this project with an alphabetized list of twenty-five Sanskrit terms collected from a variety of texts on Hinduism. I then transposed these terms onto the life of a fictional Indian-American protagonist (Ashwin Upadhyaya) through a series of one- to three- page vignettes interspersed through this character’s life. The stories start when Ashwin is two years old and end when he is seventy-nine.
The stories are not intended to be parables or illustrative definitions of the concepts I selected. Instead, they are creative explorations of the way ancient ideas may weave into a modern life. In the accompanying essay, I discuss some of the key factors relevant to writers of Indian descent (subject matter, use of language, selection and use of genre, and choice of ethnic identification), reviewing critical discussions of the work of such major writers as V. S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, and Jhumpa Lahiri to inform my own attempt at fiction.
Together is Better: The Need for Public Goods to Restrain Competitive Consumption
Brandon Possin | 2005 The past two decades have seen unprecedented material prosperity in the United States. Yet people continue to feel pressures to consume as never before. Consuming desires are complex, but social incentives comprise a growing part of those individual desires. Clearly, individuals are not consuming for the use value of goods as much as those goods’ social exchange value. What drives much purchasing behavior is the need to spend whatever it takes to emulate a chosen reference group. Competitive consumption is what I call this socially-influenced type of consuming.
Influencing pressures to consume competitively, I argue, is the lack of public goods, specifically those public goods/services that can complement private goods (such as transportation, education, playgrounds, libraries). Private goods have excludable benefits that rank their users on a consumption hierarchy—positionality. People seek position through ownership of goods and services. Public goods, however, tend to enable less positionality than private goods because public goods are frequently non-rival goods and available to all. The reason that more private goods fail to satisfy in the era of excess is because consumptive satisfaction is relative to the social context. The positionality enabled by consuming private goods creates social externalities which have deleterious impacts on well-being. Besides creating positionality concerns, the presence of competitive consumption erodes support for public goods, and fewer public goods lead to more competitive consumption.
To understand how public goods influence the relationship between consumption and well-being, I first look at the intensifying social meaning of goods themselves. I then consider psychological and social motivations to consume and how structures of the political economy influence practices of competitive consumption. While psychological and compensatory offensive motivations to consume do exist, I notice a defensive aspect to a majority of consuming decisions. Money does not buy happiness as much as money prevents unhappiness. For many reasons, public goods prevent the social externalities of private consumption. As a case study, I examine the relationship between the presence of competitive consumption and politics, social structure, democratic values, cultural norms regarding consumption, religion, and support for public goods in the U.S. between 1980 and 2000. I then critique the dominant “invisible hand” ideology, arguing that individual self-interest and market incentives do not lead to optimal consuming patterns in affluent societies. I finish with recommendations of how to best change today’s flawed consumption practices. I incorporate previous arguments, relate animal evolution to flawed consumption patterns, recognize the social irrationality of competitive consumption, and argue against the sustainability of current consumptive trends.
Limiting expenditures on positional goods will increase the well-being of all. Competitive individualistic advance through consumption no longer serves individuals or society as a whole. The best way to limit expenditures on positional goods is for a community to consume collectively to a greater extent. Together is better.
The Politics of Fertility: Women’s Bodies as Battleground for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Stephanie Irene Maximous | 2005 According to the UNRWA, birth rates in the Palestinian Occupied Territories are among the highest globally. The West Bank and Gaza are already quite densely populated and some might say overcrowded, with over 3 million inhabitants, and that figure is expected to rise to 5.5 million by 2014. In Gaza, where fertility rates are some of the highest in the world, women have an average of seven children, which is about four times the average in the United States.
An examination of the general political situation in the Israel/Palestine region as it relates to women and their reproductive decisions is crucial. The Palestinian case presents a seeming paradox of expectation and reality: there is a constellation of factors in place that would indicate for declining birth rates; however fertility remains high. The political conflict is effectively the variable in play that explains the unfulfilled expectation, since the conflict infiltrates and bears upon all aspects of social life, even in the private sphere. There are several elements to this complex problem, from how it is an extension of the socio-cultural history of the region to the interaction with the political conflict to the public health ramifications as well as the root structural causes of the problem. In order to gain a more multi-dimensional understanding of the issue, stories of many women in the Occupied Territories are presented in order to demonstrate the complexity of pronatalism and the wide range of opinions on the current situation of uniquely high fertility in the region.
By introducing arguments in favor of expanding women’s capabilities, I provide an examination of the capabilities and rights that might be compromised given the refugee women’s perceived obligations to the family, community, and future of Palestine. The sources of pressure urging high fertility and projecting these obligations are neatly integrated into the socio-political woodwork of the society and in many cases have been imbibed by the women giving birth. By analyzing these bodies of force—namely the influence of history, the lure of incentives, the impact of politics, and the function of religion—in light of theories of coercion, it will be possible to conclude whether or not women are making free and independent choices. I next explore the extent of coercion or exploitation attained by pronatalist policies and their subsequent impact on and interest to a variety of agents, from individuals to global interest-holders. Finally, arguments in defense of the nationalist cause are juxtaposed against the call in favor of protecting individual capabilities, followed by an appeal to justice for the stakeholders involved.
The purpose of this thesis is to tease out the demographic dynamic in the region, specifically in the Occupied Territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It is an understatement to simply state that the political debate is heavily shrouded in biased language, yet it is imperative to recognize that the population balance between Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Arabs has also been absorbed into the convoluted and highly rhetorical discourse. The points brought up are part and parcel of a broader issue related to the tenuous interaction between population and politics as well as the perennial clash of institutions and people, as well as the community and individuals. This paper examines the political tension through the lens of population study and demographic assessment. The status of women and the viability of their rights and capabilities as counterbalanced by the exploitative and potentially coercive pressures placed on them by external forces is the crucial factor on which the Palestinian claim to mandate and justify pronatalist efforts hinge.
Justice, Fairness… Wealth Maximization? Questioning the Moral Justification for Richard Posner’s Normative Law & Economic Theory
Jeffrey Lenowitz | 2005 I argue that, despite his best effort, Richard Posner fails to justify the principle of wealth maximization, which serves as the centerpiece to his normative law & economic theory. Briefly stated, the principle of wealth-maximization directs the courts to maximize wealth by mimicking the market when it fails and allocating goods and rights to the parties that value them most. Wealth is defined as the sum total of all goods and services weighted by their values, and value is measured by looking at how much a person or party is willing to pay for the good in question. Replicating the market in this fashion involves coercive transfers, the creation of uncompensated losers, and the making of legal decisions based upon nothing more than the financial situation of a party. This principle, opposed to both ethical theories of various sorts and our commonsense moral intuitions, continues to have a profound impact on the way legal dilemmas are solved today. Evaluating the principle of wealth-maximization is therefore of the utmost importance, for the law increasingly effects us all.
Posner claims that wealth-maximization should serve as the normative first principle of the courts, i.e. that courts should rule with the primary intent of maximizing wealth, and gives three justifications for such a principle. First, Posner argues that wealth is the social good, and that maximization is therefore a moral imperative. This argument fails, for wealth is an instrumental good and it cannot be said with any degree of certainty that when compared to all other normative principles, solely focusing on maximizing wealth will lead to the most or best mix of intrinsic goods. Moreover, Posner rejects the most obvious instrumentalist defense of wealth-maximization, utilitarianism. He argues that wealth-maximization maintains the positive aspects of utilitarianism, avoids the latter’s flaws, and reconciles autonomy and equality concerns. However, upon review, none of these claims seem true.
Second, Posner claims that wealth-maximization operates on the basis of consent, and therefore the libertarian emphasis on autonomy justifies the principle. This argument fails for numerous technical reasons; all of which stem from a basic contradiction between the libertarian and wealth-maximization rationales. Libertarians want to preserve autonomy above all else, and emphasize the importance of consensual market transfers—the type of exchange that relies solely on willing behavior—accordingly.
Quite oppositely, the wealth-maximization principle is designed to coercively force transactions, in the event of market failure, in order to maximize wealth. Therefore, wealth-maximization and autonomy concerns inevitably conflict, and the libertarian justification for wealth-maximization not only fails, but is inherently contradictory.
Third, Posner appeals to an argument from hypothetical consent, claiming that the principle of wealth-maximization is justified because individuals, if given the chance, would consent to its recommended distributions and decisions. This argument founders because of what seems like confusion on Posner’s part. While the fact that a person consented to a rule is a reason in itself for enforcing the rule, a similar reason is not created just because a person would have consented. Therefore, Posner’s attempted justification of wealth-maximization with counterfactual consent relies upon some alternate source of external value that would somehow motivate individuals to maximize wealth. Posner never explains what such a concept would be, but reasonable possibilities such as fairness, utility, wealth, and self-interest, fail to provide the needed justification.
As I show, the principle of wealth-maximization is a normative principle that has the potential to affect the lives of many, but is without any source of justification for doing so. For this reason, wealth-maximization, at least of the Posnerian variety, must be the subject of continual analysis and skepticism.
Sing a New Song: Religion’s Potential to Change American Politics
Patrick Lane | 2005 The study of religion and politics has become more complex over the past fifteen years, as scholars have “rediscovered” religion’s influence on political behavior in a more nuanced and detailed way than ever before. In the first chapter of this thesis I review the literature on religion and political behavior, which, despite varying methods and models, agrees that religious commitment and orthodoxy are indeed important to political variables such as ideology, party identification and vote choice. Studies show that religion’s import over the past generation has become increasingly conservative and pro-Republican. The “religiosity divide” has emerged as one of the most important cleavages between the Republican and Democratic Parties.
But “religious” has not always automatically connoted “conservative” in American politics. Radical Quaker and evangelical abolitionists, Progressive religious thinkers and activists like Walter Rauschenbusch and Dorothy Day, and civil rights preachers such as Martin Luther King, Jr., are enough to prove this point. The origins of the contemporary religiosity divide lie in the cultural liberalism of the 1960s and especially in the Christian Right movement, which was built in reaction to this liberalism. For more than two decades the Christian Right has dominated the public role of religion in the United States. In Chapter 2 I explore the origins and development of this movement and the “religiosity divide” that it brought about.
In Chapter 3 I assess the role of religion in the 2004 election, which offered a snapshot of where both major parties stood last year with regard to religious communities. President George W. Bush had long been recognized by the Christian Right as one of their own, and Christian Right leaders and activists were chomping at the bits to reelect him. Meanwhile, early Democratic frontrunner Howard Dean was openly secular, until a botched attempt to “find religion” that backfired and helped end his candidacy. Sen. John Kerry, emerging as the Democratic nominee, was initially quiet about his Catholic faith. The Democrats made late but substantial efforts at religious outreach and religious rhetoric, but in the face of Christian Right dominance these efforts were too little, too late to win over the targeted demographics of “centrist” Catholics and evangelicals.
Progressive religious leaders and activists were “reawakened” in 2004, and since then they have begun to direct their time and energy toward movement-building for the long run. In Chapter 4, I present some explanations for the religious left’s relative obscurity during the past thirty years, and then report on what this community is currently doing to reassert itself in American public life in a new and more vital way. The potential is there for a new progressive faith movement to rival the strength of the Christian Right, and the prospects are exciting, but it will be a multi-year, uphill battle against obstacles both external and internal. The potential assets of this nascent movement include already-existing congregation-based community organizations that together count millions of members, and especially the teachings of religion itself. In my epilogue, I address the concerns that arise from a further mixing of religion and politics.
Assessing Blame: Analyzing the Failure of Camp David II and the Israeli-Palestinian Permanent Status Negotiations, 1999-2001
Aaron Miles Kurman | 2005 In this thesis, I examine the history of the permanent status negotiations that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak conducted with Palestinian President Yasir Arafat between September 1999 and January 2001 in light of the debate that has arisen as to why these two ill-fated leaders, with the mediation of U.S. President Bill Clinton, failed to conclude a permanent status peace agreement. I assess why the negotiations, which climaxed at an American-sponsored summit at Camp David in July of 2000, failed and how that failure was connected to the initial outbreak and escalation of the second intifada in the fall of 2000.
Even while still at Camp David, Ehud Barak was beginning to devise a strategy for explaining the summit’s failure by blaming Arafat for rejecting a generous Israeli offer. Barak’s narrative of the failure of the Camp David summit became the foundation of the orthodox explanation of why the permanent status negotiations failed – because Arafat was unable or unwilling to make the strategic decisions necessary to end the conflict. A year after the Camp David summit, Robert Malley, who had served on the National Security Council and as Clinton’s Special Assistant for Arab-Israeli Affairs during the permanent status negotiations, and Hussein Agha, a scholar who had advised Palestinian negotiators during the Oslo peace process, sought to debunk the orthodox explanation by offering a revisionist interpretation of Arafat’s behavior at Camp David and by spreading the responsibility for the failure of the Camp David summit – and the permanent status negotiations – among all three sides. In my first chapter, I analyze the orthodox-revisionist debate between Dennis Ross, who served as the U.S. Envoy to the Middle East under Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and Agha and Malley. Their debate centers around the question of blame: Ross thinks that Arafat demonstrated his inability to end the conflict and thus blames Arafat for the failure of the negotiations; Agha and Malley think that Arafat’s behavior can only be understood within its historical context and that the failure of the negotiations was due not to one man’s intrinsic character but to the cumulative actions and decisions of each of the three parties to the negotiation.
In my second chapter, I analyze other revisionist arguments that assign the blame for the failure of the Camp David summit and the permanent status negotiations to Israel and/or the United States. Like Agha and Malley, the revisionist commentators I examine disagree with Ross’s claim that Arafat was the reason the permanent status negotiations failed. Unlike Agha and Malley, they play the historical blame game by asserting that Israeli and/or American policies, actions, and decisions were most responsible for the failure of the permanent status negotiations.
In my third chapter, I return to the debate between Dennis Ross and Hussein Agha and Robert Malley in order to study the last two months of the permanent status negotiations between Barak and Arafat. Ross and Agha and Malley agree that by January 2001, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators could envision the terms of a fair and final permanent status agreement. They disagree on what these terms were, at what point in time the negotiators could envision them, and on why the two sides ultimately could not reach agreement.
I conclude by arguing that the blame game played by Israeli and Palestinian leaders during the permanent status negotiations and throughout the peace process ultimately paralyzed the permanent status negotiations and made it much more difficult for Barak and Arafat to make the final compromises that were necessary to complete a permanent status agreement. By blaming each other for the failures of the peace process, Israeli and Palestinian leaders often did not take responsibility for their own actions or consider how their actions hurt the other side and undermined the other side’s faith in the possibility of achieving its core political needs through negotiations. In the end, the blame game became a self-fulfilling prophecy: Barak and Arafat discredited each other as peace partners in the eyes of their publics and were unable to make peace. I finish by offering several suggestions for how Israeli and Palestinian leaders, with the mediation of the United States, might be able to avoid the blame game in future permanent status negotiations and give themselves a better chance of succeeding.
The Ways to Peace, or the Way to Peaces: the Competing Ideologies of the Israelis Peace Camp
Reema Hijazi | 2005 This thesis is an attempt to give meaning to the notion of peace by way of considering how that notion shapes movements for coexistence within Israeli society. I contend that there are two facets of the Israeli peace camp, the liberal left and the critical left, which formally fell away from each other in 2000. They did so because they were not united in the notion of peace they sought. The two groups wanted an end to conflict, but defined that end in different ways, expected different results from that end, and approached it using different methods. While variation in a movement cannot be avoided, and indeed benefits the movement by broadening its resources, the variations within the Israeli peace movement converged around two poles, one seeking peace in separation, the other in cooperation. Traveling in different directions toward their own notions of peace, these two groups lost their unity of purpose and so undertook different paths to different peaces.
To accomplish this end, I trace the shape of the two competing ideologies of the Israeli peace camp that caused the groups to diverge. These ideologies cannot be reduced to conceptions of nationalism, though they include nationalisms. The ideologies are the people’s views of their place in the world, and what that place means for how they interact with others. In order to place these ideologies in the context of Jewish Israeli efforts toward peace, I employ the Hebrew word for peace, shalom. I term the ideology of the liberal left separation shalom, and that of the critical left cooperative shalom.
The two conceptions of shalom structure the way these two groups operate: how they engage in processes for peace, cooperate (or do not cooperate) with Palestinians, define Zionism, and identify themselves in relation to that Zionism. The first part of this study is dedicated to exploring how the liberal Israeli left circumscribes its conception of shalom, and method for attaining shalom, within a Jewish Israeli framework. They intimately connect their shalom with the idea of nationalism as a bounded group of people who share something in common, in this case, Jewish identity that comes from a shared Jewish history. The second section describes the new methods of the critical left, which demonstrate that they conceptualize shalom within a framework of cooperation and inclusiveness. This group’s nationalism conceptualizes a community based on the people living within its physical boundaries. These people may have differing interests that correlate to their own collective ethnic groupings, but the shared sense of place overrules such divisions and demands equal sharing of that place.
This study of new directions in a more inclusive peace camp is ultimately a commentary on ideological marginalization. I conclude not by determining which conceptualization and approach to peace is more effective or genuine, but how the different conceptualizations of peace grew from the critical left’s displacement within Israeli society. These activists participate in cooperative peace due to the marginal ideological position from which they begin, and their participation in that peace serves to further marginalize them.
Reforming the Indian Trust: An Analysis of the United States’ Indian Land Policies from the General Allotment Act to the Present
Phillip Martn Gover | 2005 I argue that the normative policy assumptions underlying the allotment policy have led to the government’s present and historic failure to manage the Indian money and lands it holds in trust for tribes and individual Indians. I begin by defining the government’s trust responsibility as the fiduciary responsibility to properly manage the lands and monies of individual Indians and tribes the government currently holds in trust as a result of the failed allotment policy.
My research shows that from the formation of allotment policy, culminating the General Allotment Act in 1887, the attitudes of the reformers that shaped the policy were best characterized as misguided and ignorant benevolence on one hand allied with insatiable greed for Indian land on the other. This research leads me to conclude that allotment policy was doomed from the beginning. I go on to show that in the end, the greed for Indian land won over the misguided benevolence of the reformers as westerners took over Indian policy. By 1910 the original allotment law was completely unrecognizable as a mechanism for promoting Indian self-sufficiency and instead became an efficient engine of Indian land pulverization. The actual results of allotment were nothing like what the benevolent reformers dreamed. While the original goal of allotment policy was to create productive yeoman-farmer citizens out of Indians, its ultimate effect created landless paupers largely dependent on the federal government. The result of this failed policy was the permanent trusteeship of government over Indians.
From here I demonstrate that as a direct result of the legacies of allotment policy, the government’s efforts to manage the fiduciary trust of its Indian beneficiaries were also doomed to failure. Complicating fulfillment of the responsibility was a combination of long-term mismanagement by the BIA and Congressional neglect do anything to fix major problems despite early opportunities to do so. By the time belated Congressional attempts at reform were mandated decades later, the system was hopelessly broken. In a last-resort effort to force the government to account for its failures and reconcile the trust system, a class action lawsuit sought relief from the federal courts. I contend that despite the best efforts of the judge to alert the Interior and the Bureau to their serious long-term breach of trust, judicial reform efforts met a brick wall of institutional resistance and inability to comply because of historic mismanagement. Today, while Congress searches for settlement of the case, the trust responsibility goes unfulfilled.
I conclude that the failures of allotment policy have so tainted the institution of the BIA and the Interior that in order to fulfill its fiduciary trust responsibilities, Congress must take immediate steps to drastically reorganize the Bureau by creating a separate Department of Indian Affairs to manage the Indian trust. I argue this based on two main findings in my research: first that long-term institutional failure on all levels in the Interior and in the Bureau prevents either from being able to institute reform and second that part of the reason the system is so broken is that it was based on the flawed normative policy assumptions embodied in allotment. Reform, I resolve, begins by pulling up the roots of allotment policy that taint the institution. The abolishment of the BIA and the establishment of a new Indian bureaucracy founded on concepts of self-determination and dedicated to fulfilling the trust responsibility is the only way to truly reform the Indian trust.
The Bleeding Hyperpuissance: America, the Neoconservatives, and a Democratic Iraq
Gregory Mosteller Garrett, Jr. | 2005 Although it has become cliché to refer to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, as a watershed for America, few events in the history of the United States have engendered such a profound shift in the thinking and desires of an American president as those which transpired on that fateful day. Foreign policy, hitherto insignificant for a president initially fixated on tax cuts and education reform, became of paramount importance, not by choice but out of necessity. Throughout the metamorphosis that ensued, the neoconservatives, a group of individuals sprinkled throughout President George W. Bush’s administration and around him in various Washington, D.C. think tanks, rose to prominence within the President’s war cabinet and gained national publicity for both their influence on the president and their bellicose rhetoric toward “hostile regimes.”
Despite what the press tends to portray, neoconservatism is far from a coherent “movement” of intellectuals, and the end of the Cold War has only exacerbated the differences between various neocons, many of whom have split along largely generational lines over the proper justification for American intervention. However, from the earliest neocons, such as Irving Kristol, Daniel Bell, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, up to the younger individuals who have gained notoriety of late, including Bill Kristol, Robert Kagan, and Richard Perle, two persistent themes bind all of the neoconservatives together. First, they tend to view America’s foreign policy dilemmas as Manichean struggles between good and evil, in which the neocons and America, as the defenders of virtue, are locked in an existential battle against a diametrically opposed, ideological enemy. Second, although they pay lip service to the efficacy of soft power, their rhetoric betrays a myopic emphasis on the utility of force as a transformative agent of change. Underlying their thinking is the conviction that ideas really matter and have substantial consequences in the world.
Drawing upon these two themes, the younger generation of neocons has taken up the mantle of “exporting democracy,” oftentimes as an end in and of itself. However, as I show, their overly simplistic, binary worldview and their predilection for force doom their venture to failure. Confident in the ability of American military might to effect change, the neocons carelessly advocate unilateral interventions overseas to perpetuate their messianic mission, irrespective of what the international community thinks. As I argue, this leads to a lack of legitimacy for their actions, which, in turn, erodes America’s moral authority in the global community, thereby leaving the United States to fend for itself in the arduous and immensely complicated task of nation-building. Without the crucial support of the United Nations and America’s traditional allies in the liberal democratic community, most notably in Europe, the United States suffers from a lack of the requisite institutional support and knowledge that have been critical to past nation-building projects. Additionally, America is left alone to shoulder the tremendous economic and human costs that are part and parcel of exporting democracy.
Now entering its third year, Operation Iraqi Freedom, a largely unilateral invasion that the Bush administration undertook over the vehement opposition of both its traditional allies and the international as a whole, provides an ideal crucible in which to test the neocons’ prescription for spreading democracy overseas and defeating what they have labeled the existential threat of our age, Islamist extremism. As the disastrous imbroglio in which America currently finds itself attests, the neocons’ proposition is fundamentally untenable, because American might cannot substitute for the material support and legitimacy that come with the imprimatur of the UN and our allies in Europe.
Reaping What We Sow: An Analysis of the Effect of Federal Regulation on the Plant Biotechnology Industry in the United States
Laura Lucille Fairneny | 2005 From the time the first genetically modified foods were commercialized in the mid-1990s to the present, American companies and farmers have dominated the plant biotechnology industry. The United States is home to the world’s leading biotechnology company, a St. Louis based firm called Monsanto, and grows approximately two-thirds of the world’s genetically modified crops. Furthermore, while a storm of controversy has developed across the globe regarding the effect of genetically modified foods on human health and the environment, American consumers seem relatively complacent about the whole issue compared to the rest of the world, and as a result, the acres of genetically modified foods cultivated from 1996 to 2003 in the United States increased 27-fold.
I contend that much of these trends can be attributed to the lax regulatory framework that the federal government adopted in 1986 under President Reagan. Obsessed with leading the world in biotechnology, the Reagan administration published the “Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Products of Biotechnology.” According to this document, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were to regulate the products of biotechnology but were not to treat the process of genetic modification any differently than traditional breeding methods. This philosophy and regulatory structure still exists today.
However, while lenient regulation succeeded in getting the biotechnology industry on its feet in the 20th century, I argue that it will not sustain the industry into the future. On the contrary, effective regulation is necessary for the continued success of genetically modified foods in the United States. Three case studies are considered to prove this point.
First, I examine the persistent problem of moderately low consumer approval of genetically modified foods, which limits the ability of the biotechnology industry to grow and diversify. However, by requiring all products that may contain genetically modified foods to bear FDA-approved safety labels, the FDA may be able to succeed where the biotechnology industry has not.
Second, I look at the problem of gene escape from genetically modified organisms to their wild relatives. While the biotechnology industry has developed a solution to this problem called the terminator gene, the industry’s previous attempt to use this technology was seen as a threat to the poor farmers of the developing world. The resultant international backlash compelled the biotechnology industry to abandon the terminator gene. However, if APHIS were to require that this technology be used in American commercial crops of genetically modified plants, then Americans could reap the benefits of this technology without placing the blame on the biotechnology industry.
Finally, I examine the possibility of insect resistance to Bt toxin, which threatens to eliminate the continued use of this environmentally-friendly pesticide. Though the EPA already sets requirements to slow the development of resistance, it does not enforce them. This lack of enforcement puts the sustainable use of Bt toxin into jeopardy.
A Covenant of Peace: Pragmatism, Utopia, and an Alternative Moral History of Brit Shalom
Samuel Hayim Brody | 2005 Brit Shalom (the name literally means “Covenant of Peace”) was a marginal group of socialist religious Zionists active in Palestine from 1925-1933. It took Jewish-Arab relations as its primary focus, considering the achievement of an agreement with the Palestinian Arabs to be a moral and political necessity for the realization of Zionism. It usually receives passing or dismissive mentions in histories of Zionism. I argue that despite the historical fact of its marginality, as evidenced by its lack of numbers and failure to enact its program, the group deserves to play a larger role in present-day memories and histories of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I begin by taking issue with the term “bi-nationalists” as a designation for the members of Brit Shalom and its various successor groups, such as the League for Jewish-Arab Rapprochement and the Ichud (Unity). The term refers to a formula for a solution to which many members of these groups subscribed; however, its use obscures the background and uniqueness of their thought. In order to provide context for my argument, I begin by examining the Zionism of Martin Buber (1878-1965), a philosopher who significantly influenced many of the core members of Brit Shalom, and who was a member himself although he did not move to Palestine until 1938. I present Buber’s thought as having emerged from the intellectual cross-currents of Central Europe in the early twentieth century, and discuss his career as a mainstream Zionist politician before his early retreat to the margins. Finally, I discuss “the line of demarcation,” Buber’s characteristic political notion. Buber rejected Realpolitik as offensive to God and the ethical command, but he also rejected the idealist refusal to participate in politics at all. He argued for a middle way in which each person adheres to the command to better society by entering into politics and engaging it to the limits of justice in any particular situation. He then sought to apply this notion to nationalism and Zionism.
Having established the contours and context of Buber’s Zionism, I go on to ask whether there was any hope for this set of European ideas to be able to impact the reality in Palestine. Brit Shalom is faulted by critics for having failed to acquire Arab interlocutors; I therefore devote significant space to examining the intellectual and political context for Palestinian Arab politics during the British Mandate period. I argue that it is possible to separate what Sidney Tarrow and others have called the “frames of contention” used by social movements from the grievances on behalf of which they advocate, by looking at the way that the frames change as they interact with changing social settings. Here, this means examining the contingent evolution of the Arab nationalist frames from the late Ottoman through the British periods, and detaching these frames from the material issues of Zionist immigration, land purchases, economic segregation, and the struggle for sovereignty. In the following chapter, following a somewhat parallel structure, I describe the evolution of three distinct Zionist frames and the changing settings in Palestine that affected their level of influence and success. Then, I describe the attitudes of these three streams of Zionism on those issues which were previously identified as primary material grievances for the Palestinians, and compare their stances. The end result is that Brit Shalom, despite its unique and alien combination of intellectual influences, reached a position that was the closest of all the Zionists to being able to answer Palestinian complaints. I argue that we should therefore be less quick to attribute the failure of Brit Shalom to naïveté or an unbridgeable gap between Zionist and Arab positions.
In the final part of my discussion, I characterize the present as the scene of a continuing competition between the two prophecies of Vladimir Jabotinsky and Martin Buber on the future of Zionism. I present a selection of alarmist discourse from Israel today from a number of sources as evidence that some of the most basic issues surrounding the existence and structure of the State of Israel are still often treated as open to question. I argue that this uncertainty about the state of Zionism is a vindication of Buber’s prophecy. I then ask how we might make use of the memory of Brit Shalom today, and present three binary oppositions which Brit Shalom either transcended or united in their thought. My conclusion is that the tense and open state of discourse on Zionism today calls for mining the past and re-introducing previously forgotten elements. Such remembering can help point to the path of peace through life in a climate that often seems to offer no hope.
The Necessity of the Bear: An Examination of Russia’s Role in the Anti-Terrorist Coalition
Patrick Douglas Bradshaw | 2005 September 11, 2001 marked a turning point in relations between Russia and the United States. Despite past friction between the two countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first world leader to call President George W. Bush, offering support to the United States after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC. In this thesis, I analyze Russia’s role in the anti-terrorist coalition in terms of what Russia hopes to gain from participation, the assets it has to offer to the coalition, and a promising vehicle of cooperation in the form of NATO, all in the context of the US-Russian relationship.
In the first chapter, I examine what Russia hopes to accomplish in joining the coalition by looking at Russia’s own experience with terrorism in the Caucasus. I focus on Chechnya as the most illustrative challenge to Russian security. Viewing the conflict from a historical perspective, I identify Russian interests in the region, explaining why Russia continues its anti-terrorist operations. Before 9/11, President Putin was largely unsuccessful in his attempts to link the conflict in Chechnya to international terrorism, receiving a great deal of criticism from the West over Russian methods of anti-terrorist operations in the region. After pledging Russian support for the US following 9/11, however, much of this criticism from high-level US officials ceased.
Identifying the Taliban regime as harboring the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, the US focused its attention on Afghanistan as the first stage in its anti-terrorist response. In the second chapter, I look at what Russia has to offer the coalition, using its significant influence in central Asia as an asset to the United States. In addition to negotiating the use of airspace and military bases in the central Asian countries, Russia offers its experience from a ten-year war in Afghanistan by engaging in intelligence sharing and other support to the US.
In the third chapter, I argue that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization offers a promising vehicle of cooperation for the United States and Russia. In the period since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, NATO evolved from a regional security organization into a force willing to work out of its traditional area to address new areas of instability affecting its members, including the threat of terrorism. Despite Russian concerns over the threat of NATO expansion, Russia-NATO collaboration, especially in the area of anti-terrorism, has increased dramatically. I also examine limits to cooperation, in light of the US trend to work unilaterally or bilaterally in attempting to accomplish its objectives.
I evaluate Russian-US cooperation on anti-terrorism in terms of what has been achieved and what further needs to be accomplished. I identify two areas of potential improvement, arguing that both sides must strive to avoid civilian casualties in their anti-terrorist operations and that a long-term development strategy, pursued in tandem to anti-terrorist operations, will address the roots of the problem. The killing of non-combatants only exacerbates the situation, and anti-terrorist operations focused on identifying and eliminating terrorists only provide a short-term solution. Finally, I argue that successful collaboration between the United States and Russia in the realm of anti-terrorism will encourage future cooperation.
Out of Silence: Poetry and the Politics of Recognition
Lucy M. Alford | 2005 This paper highlights a need for human recognition in responses to the political crises that have shaped contemporary international history. Tracing this theme from the political work of Kant through the contemporary debates on human rights, I explore different ways scholars have sought to interpret and integrate this project in terms of political justice, and some of the challenges and arguments they have faced along the way. In the work of Immanuel Kant, a conception of political ethics emerges that places individual wellbeing and human interaction at the heart of civil and state priorities. Recent writers continue to draw from Kantian notions of universal dignity and self-determination. Rights advocates such as Martha Nussbaum, Henry Shue, and Jonathan Glover have sought to address the challenges of creating a politics that combats the pervasive divisions, massive neglect and dehumanizing atrocities – the failures of human recognition – that have marred our recent past.
The power of the human voice emerges as a central force in the project of recognition. With its heightened attention to the singular lives at stake in political dilemmas, human rights theory works toward a vision of representative and participatory politics inclusive of the diverse voices of any people. Voices and the stories they contain have played primary roles throughout movements for liberation and civil equality throughout history. The practices of contemporary NGO’s such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch concentrate and direct the transformative potential of public testimony.
Chapters Two, Three and Four discuss the work of a series of poets, each writing from a context of violent political conflict. Responding to the conditions of Poland during and in the wake of World War II, Czeslaw Milosz gives voice to the moral outrage and confusion of the Holocaust. Seamus Heaney sheds light on his native Northern Ireland’s deeply divided society, and calls attention to the layered history complicating Ireland’s internal Troubles. A third case explores the situation of apartheid in South Africa’s recent past through the work of Ingrid de Kok. Like Heaney, de Kok rejects the violent dualism that tore her nation apart. Korean poet and immigrant Theresa Hak Kyung Cha speaks of political homelessness, and the layers of painful history ingrained in the stories of her family and her nation. Cha and de Kok both point to the unique position of women in political transitions and in questions of human rights.
Each of these writers confronts silence and the limitations of language. Each articulates the moral uncertainty imbedded in the position of witness, and in the role of the poet. Yet in the line of Kant, each recognizes the experiences that distinguish and the ties that bind individual human lives, and the moral dilemmas that pervade human relations. Their work encourages an approach to current political contexts that recognizes the wounds of the past while pressing toward a transformed future.
A Critical Review of the Development Critiques
Ali Aghazadeh Naini | 2005 The virtual failure of development over the past half-century has given rise to a number of incisive critiques. While economists have maintained that they simply need better models and data to discover the keys to development, Marxian critiques have castigated such mainstream approaches, accusing them of simply concealing the underlying power relations that are the real cause of poverty. Three recent critiques of development transcend the limits of this stagnant debate, offering fresh perspectives that specify how development can be improved. The first critique focuses on the discourse of development; the second investigates the epistemological basis of development projects; and the third questions the methodology economists utilize to understand economic development. Though these critiques address different aspects of development, they agree on the importance of local knowledge and participation for the success of development. In this thesis, I present and criticize the more recent critiques. I synthesize the main criticisms and outline an argument for basing development projects around local knowledge and experience.
The first critique, which I draw from James Ferguson’s Anti-Politics Machine, centers on the discourse of development. Ferguson investigates the conceptualization and implementation of one rural development project in Lesotho. He argues that the development agencies works within a discourse that reconstitutes Lesotho as a stagnant, untouched agricultural economy, despite its vibrant market-oriented history. Development agencies also tend to exclude local conditions and practices from informing development projects. Their re-constitution of Lesotho creates an image of the country that is conducive to the technocratic, apolitical development interventions they specialize in. Given the ignorance of local practices, themselves rooted in a historical political struggle, the agencies draw up a project utterly inappropriate for rural Lesotho, and the scheme fails.
I draw the second critique, which focuses on the epistemological basis of ujamaa villagization in Tanzania, from James Scott’s Seeing Like a State. Scott argues that an unwavering faith to high-modernist ideology underpins large-scale interventions like ujamaa. Followers of this ideology, like Tanzania’s leader during ujamaa, uncritically adopt techniques associated with modern technical progress without regard for local conditions. For example, during ujamaa the government mandated large-scale monocropping despite the fact that small-scale polycropping suited the region better. High modernist ideology also privileges epistemic knowledge over all other forms of knowing. Scott makes a powerful argument linking the dedication to episteme, abstracted knowledge that is universal, to the denigration of mētis, experiential knowledge that is localized. In his view, people who run development projects must acknowledge and incorporate local, contextualized knowledge in order to create successful projects.
The final critique looks at methodology. In it, I summarize Milton Friedman’s justification for formalism in economic methodology and review literature demonstrating that theories of economic growth have not performed well. I then present the work of three economists who argue that this poor track record stems from economists’ commitment to uncovering economic “laws.” This commitment assumes that laws exist in the social world and that people can discover them. The economists I draw from question the appropriateness of these assumptions. Their arguments suggest that scholars should start studying economic processes on a local level to gain a better understanding of economic development.
Each critique I summarize sheds light on a different facet of development. However, they all locate a central problem in the strive for universal models, imposed top-down, which do not take into account context and belittle local experience and knowledge. In the final chapter, I synthesize these critiques, showing how they converge on the idea that local knowledge is crucial for development. I then evaluate the World Bank’s responses to these critiques, highlighting the lack of change in the Bank’s operating methods. My argument goes beyond suggesting that development agencies simply need to hire more consultants. While such a move would undoubtedly help, it is not enough. For development to be meaningful and effective, the entire process of conceptualization and implementation must be reoriented to align with local goals and incorporate local knowledge. Instead of assuming they know best, developers must draw on the resources of the people they are trying to help.
“Mediated” Communication: Mass Media and the civil rights movement in Danville, Virginia in 1963
Mary Catherine Wellons | 2004 This paper seeks to isolate a specific civil rights movement in Danville, Virginia in 1963, study the locale and its people, and then examine closely the way in which various forms of mass media impacted the entire community. Did mass media impact or change the attitudes and opinions of the community in Danville? I ultimately conclude that mass media critically aided the process toward dismantling segregation in Danville by facilitating a “mediated” communication across racial boundaries. Despite the difficulty in showing a causal relationship between mass media’s effects and social change, I conduct a careful study of the news media and the public’s response to it.
The first challenge to Danville’s segregated society came in 1960 when a group of youth conducted sit-ins at the local library, which was located inside the Sutherlin House – the “Last Capitol of the Confederacy.” Not until 1963 did the Danville Christian Progressive Association (DCPA), comprised of local civil rights leaders, take the protests inside the Municipal Building and into the streets. I argue that because the black community in Danville had no official political power, demonstrating in the city’s public spaces was the most effective way to create a political platform for the movement. National, state, and local media sources expanded that public discourse and forced Danville citizens to take a stance on civil rights.
The events leading to June 10, 1963 – “Blood Monday” – when close to fifty protestors were hospitalized because of police brutality, made headlines in news sources across the country. Mass media had sparked conversations among Danville citizens, inspired its liberal white citizens to join the movement, and ultimately achieved what the city council and the courts could not – an integrated form of communication. I argue that without “mediated” communication the Danville movement would not have endured as long as it did.
Ultimately, the legal maneuverings that resulted from the more than 700 arrests in the summer of 1963 squelched the movement. The demonstrators could not afford to continue to challenge the legal system. The Danville community, however, was forced to change -socially and politically – as a result of the 1963 racial demonstrations and this paper will show that mass media played a significant role in making that happen.
U.S. Foreign Aid After the Cold War: Accounting for its Ineffectiveness
Luke Wagner | 2004 The foreign aid system has been sharply criticized in recent years, and U.S. foreign aid is implicated in those assessments. Aid officials and institutions maintain that they have brought about great improvements in developing nations, but the high levels of people living in extreme poverty indicates that aid has been largely ineffective in securing development. This study considers one component of the international aid system: U.S. bilateral aid administered through the United States Agency for International Development (AID). The study is concerned with humanitarian and development assistance and not economic or military aid. I argue that AID has been ineffective as a means of promoting development in poorer nations because it has been overburdened by the pursuit of too many objectives. There are three primary justifications for aid: national security, economic interests, and humanitarian principles. However, there are not enough resources to pursue all three, and only the humanitarian approach is genuinely concerned with development.
I begin by assessing the most salient criticisms of the international aid system and provide justification for continuing to advocate for foreign aid rather than call for its elimination. The potential aid can have in offsetting the negative impact of markets and the challenges associated with development are too great to abandon it. However, in order to unleash this potential reforms of the system are necessary. In particular, aid must be driven by humanitarian objectives rather than donor interests and there must be greater accountability in all aspects of the aid process.
I frame my discussion of U.S. bilateral aid in terms of the foreign policy motivations that ultimately dictated its programs. After the Cold War, the Clinton Administration announced the policy of democratic enlargement, which called for U.S. involvement abroad to assist emerging democracies-but only when American interests could be secured. At the same time, Congressional disaffection with the U.S. aid program led to severe reductions in its funding throughout the 1990s. Moreover, there were increased demands on the programs that were employed and AID became overburdened by Congressional earmarks and special requests. These actions were intended to better orient AID to securing American interests, further undermining development efforts.
Finally, this study looks at the changes in U.S. foreign aid that have been initiated by President Bush. The establishment of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) marks the first major change to U.S. aid since the Foreign Assistance Act in 1961, which established AID. The MCA’s potential in addressing the failures of past aid programs is great, but so, too, is the possibility that aid will continue to be overburdened as national security as been reborn as the primary justification for U.S. foreign aid.
Implementing Goals of Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development: The World Trade Organization and China
Kristin Carroll Tracz | 2004 Given the stated goals of the international governmental system, I argue that an international system of peace and prosperity for the global population depends on a cooperative effort between inter-national governmental institutions and individual nations. Examining the World Trade Organization (WTO), I evaluate the discrepancy between the stated goals of facilitating poverty alleviation and sustain-able development by promoting free trade; and reality of the narrow definition of economic development advanced by the WTO. By expanding the current conception of economic development to account for social implications of free trade and marketization, the WTO will be better able to lead its Members towards realizing the greater goals of a global higher standard of living.
In exploring the admission process by which a country joins the WTO through the accession of the People’s Republic of China (2001), I evaluate the internal structures set in place to ensure compliance with WTO agreements in an international and domestic context. I argue that the rule based system guiding WTO Members requires Members to implement policies of compliance with the total international governmental system, including the United Nations. Such a comprehensive, multilateral system of government is the only means to achieving the goals established by the international community to alleviate global poverty and raise the standard of living for all the world’s poor.
I examine the limits of bilateral negotiations as a means of achieving such global goals by assessing Sino-American bilateral relations under the Bush and Clinton administrations. The substantial shifts in policies resulting from domestic political pressures and leadership changes explain the inability of bilateral negotiations to secure consistent, rule-based policies on global issues such as rights and development. Such a framework, vulnerable to the changing demands of each country’s domestic political landscape, is not the proper avenue to negotiate the definition and enforcement of the social implications of economic development.
Having established the superiority of multilateral institutions over bilateral negotiations in matters of global development, I examine the connection between trade and poverty. While trade growth often leads to a long term reduction in overall poverty, implementation of trade measures almost guarantee the incurrence of significant short term adjustment costs. Some costs, particularly as they affect the existing poor, ought to be ameliorated by a cooperative effort between international institutions and domestic policies. Issues such as the rampant spread of HIV and rise in the sex industry illustrate economic issues that incur significant social impli-cations. The UN Millennium Development Goals, supported by the larger international community of nations, establish a framework for achieving tangible results in the international campaign against poverty and extending the benefits of global development to all nations.
The recent protests erupting throughout the world and the general discontent among Member nations with the ability of the WTO to include non-economic costs of development illustrate the need of the WTO to expand its conception of development. For the WTO to remain a relevant part of the global governmental system, free trade and marketization must be demonstrably working towards the greater goods of poverty alleviation, sustainable development, and a better quality of life for all people.
In Pursuit of Happiness: Chasing after the American Dream
Luke Smiley | 2004 The idea of the “American Dream” is so fundamental to the history and current culture of the United States, that it is inextricably woven into the fabric of the American psyche. The history of the United States is filled not with noblemen fulfilling their natural duty, but with self-made men, succeeding due to nothing more than their abilities, and more importantly, their work ethic. Ben Franklin, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Carnegie, Babe Ruth, Bill Gates and Bill Clinton all serve as historical and living proof that “in America, anything is possible.” Their success, and the culture of unlimited potential that they represent, inspires generation after generation of Americans to seek out a life that is in some way better than what they started out with. We as Americans generally accept this version of the American Dream without questioning how our culture and the Dream have changed over the centuries. We accept that the American Dream is a good influence that drives us to be more successful and happier than we would be otherwise. And yet, what exactly is the American Dream in today’s society, and how does it affect our culture?
I argue that the ideals of the American Dream date back to the enlightenment theory popular in the Colonies during the revolution, and the early stages of the United States. In particular, the idea of the “indefinite perfectibility of man”, and the belief that Americans could create better lives for themselves, and a better future for the country. I then analyze The Great Gatsby, to show how these inspirational ideals can also set a trap in that they inspire people to have unrealistic dreams, and insatiable hopes.
Having looked at ways in which the American Dream can lead people to depression, I then seek to explain how and why this tends to happen. First I look at the idea of success in America: both how hard it is to be successful in the eyes of the greater community, and how even those who do achieve success, and are the envy of the masses, are all too often distinctly unhappy.
This leads to the question of what is happiness, and how does one attain it. I explore this question by focusing on the theories of Sigmund Freud and Abraham Maslow, which help to explain why Americans are often no “happier” than people with far less political and economic freedom. I also argue the American thought and the ideals implicit in the American Dream actually prevent us from being “happy” by teaching us never to be content with what we have. Here I look at the way in which a constant drive for something better stands at odds with the general concept of happiness, which must involve some aspect passive contentment.
I then argue that these problematic characteristics of American Culture have been amplified over the course of the last century, particularly due to the breakdown of community ties, and the shift towards a more individualistic society. Finally, I focus on the concepts of materialism and entitlement as two factors that have played a large role in the transformation of the American Dream from an inspiration into a burden.
Towards Greener Pastures: Government Payments, Social Welfare, and the Rise and Fall of Market Distortions in United States Farm Policy
Guru Basava Raj | 2004 Beginning in the early 1920’s, the US government identified what it dubbed the ‘farm problem,’ characterized by steady consolidation in the farm sector and marked reductions in farm profits. Over the course of the next decade, the federal government developed an agricultural policy that sought to provide increased financial support to farmers and greater price stability in farm commodity markets. Though it was initially hoped that these policies could be temporarily enacted during the depression period of the 1930s to solve the farm problem, such resolution never occurred and government interventions in agricultural markets have existed in one form or another ever since. In its various efforts to boost farm incomes the federal government has experimented with price stabilization, target pricing, acreage set asides, deficiency payments, and marketing loans, to name a few.
Yet these policies, over the course of the seven decades during which they have been enacted, have failed to inject any type of fiscal solvency or stability into farm commodity markets. This thesis details why government interventions have been both inefficient and unsuccessful in their attempts to aid the farm sector. Using the language of free-market analysis, I critique the way in which American agricultural policy has affected both producers and consumers in the markets for agricultural goods. The magnitude of these effects is calculated using producer and consumer surplus, which, when summed, yield an aggregate measure of social welfare.
I find that in numerous instances, government interventions have actually aggravated the farm problem by inducing overproduction, artificially inflating prices and inefficiently distributing welfare enhancing payments to farmers. Though the most inefficient government policy interventions were done away with when direct farm subsidies were decoupled from commodity production in 1996, marketing loan and loan deficiency payments maintained in the 2002 farm bill still cause net social welfare reductions.
The record expansion of global agricultural markets that purchased US goods in the mid 1990s further amplified the effects of inefficiencies in US commodity policies to a world scale. By training a lens on US agricultural export policies, looking particularly at the coupling of commodity credit loans to US export purchases and crop dumping provisions in food aid programs, I point out trade distorting practices that reduce aggregate global welfare and inhibit the development of sustainable export markets that show potential for absorbing continuing increases in American crop output.
In spite of inefficiencies and overall social welfare reductions, specific agricultural policies remain in practice today thanks to the influence of an active farm lobby that seeks economic rents afforded it through government programs. In its structure of subsidies, price support systems, and land conservation programs, American farm policy as dictated by the 2002 Farm Bill benefits a numerically small special interest that commands marked political clout at the expense of the welfare of the American taxpayer, the American consumer, and, ultimately, the American farming sector as a whole.
Discrimination, Disadvantage, and the Disturbances: The Bradford Riots and the State of British Multiculturalism
Bilal Qureshi | 2004 In the wake of 2001’s violent race riots across northern England, it is evident that addressing the issue of multiculturalism and assimilation is a critical burden for contemporary British society. As the destruction caused by the riots clearly demonstrated, there is an increasing tide of resentment and distrust brewing within the new British-born generations of minority immigrant communities. Consequently, many Britons strongly feel that it is the government’s shortsighted and inconsistent polices toward minority communities that are accountable for the lack of integration and understanding among ethnic communities in Britain. My thesis aims to explore this relationship between policy and practice in the field of multiculturalism and ethnic relations in contemporary Britain.
Through a detailed historical analysis of how the British Parliament and the Home Office have addressed the issue of racism and immigration over the last fifty years, I identify an ideological definition of multiculturalism as provided by British policymakers. How have the political attitudes toward immigrants from former British colonies and protectorates evolved during this time? While early administrations viewed the influx of immigrants from Africa and Asia with hostility and suspicion, contemporary politicians in both the Labor and Conservative parties regularly commemorate the contributions of minority Britons and the resulting development of a new ‘multicultural’ Britain. However, judging by the sustained pattern of racial discrimination and violence against black and ethnic Britons, this political rhetoric falls short of reflecting social realities in contemporary Britain.
As a result, while the first portion of my thesis evaluates the shifting political paradigms in the field of multiculturalism and ethnic relations, subsequent chapters offer a detailed account of the social experiences of one ethnic community – Muslim immigrants in Britain. I have chosen the Muslim community since it has been the focus of much of the debate over discrimination and integration. In addition, the 1989 riots over Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and 2001’s race riots in predominantly Muslim towns in northern England serve as two pressing examples of the ethnic rifts across Britain. By drawing on personal interviews and sociological studies, I assess whether attempts to integrate minority communities have succeeded or failed. Through this analysis, I seek to determine the extent to which British policymakers are attuned to the experiences and resulting grievances of traditionally segregated and economically marginalized communities.
By comparing the theoretical and political discussion over multiculturalism with the social and economic experiences of one community at the center of this multicultural project, I hope to present a clearer picture of Britain as a multicultural society. Is it really possible to evolve from a traditionally homogenous society into a thriving and open multicultural environment? What does it mean to be British today, and can Muslims or other ethnic minorities ever really become ‘British?’ Are the government policies that are designed to uplift and incorporate British minorities into mainstream society succeeding in their aims or offering a temporary and surgical solution to a much deeper social issue? My thesis concluded by discussing the potential future of Britain as a multicultural society given the existing ethnic conflicts.
A Space for Freedom: The Church and the Left during the Solidarity Movement
Nina Anil Patel | 2004 The events during the summer of 1980 at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland present a paradoxical picture. Thousands of workers were striking for the right to form independent unions and the right to strike in a workers’ state. What is more, their daily activities of negotiating with the government and talking to the international media were scheduled around evening mass services delivered right in the middle of the shipyard. To Western observes and students examining the Solidarity movement, the involvement of the Church in what should have been a purely secular revolution is puzzling if not wholly out of place.
However the interaction between these two independent organizations during the brief legal existence of Solidarity as an independent trades union offers several insights into the nature of freedom and possible models for democratic transition. In this thesis, I examine the way in which the Church, despite the Bolshevik dictatorship’s aim of complete domination of public life, maintained an independent space for freedom in the form of church buildings. By safeguarding its right to teach the Gospel and recite the liturgy, the Church helped to preserve a public form of association that was impenetrable to Soviet terror and propaganda.
I also examine the way in which the secular Left was able to secure the participation of millions of Poles in strikes across the country by finding a common vocabulary with the Church’s teachings on human dignity and hope. Through this mass mobilization, the Solidarity leaders were able to force the communists into negotiations which allowed young Polish workers to have direct participation in the shape of their public life. What I conclude from the example of Solidarity in Poland is that, freedom if it is to have a permanent place in democratic societies, must maintain physical spaces for meetings and interaction and always demand participation in the public political sphere of human affairs. The secular Left is not necessarily the best protector of such spaces given the erosion of public town hall meetings and civic organizations. What it needs is an ally in the project of freedom and public life. The Church, in the case of the Polish example, has proven that it can be such an ally.
Student Racial Climate: An Analysis and Assessment
Priya Parker | 2004 Most universities in America today value diversity. I define diversity as a situation in which individuals with different social, physical, cultural and intellectual characteristics live together within a community. Schools demonstrate this value through “structural” diversity such as mission statements, minority enrollment rates, ethnic centers, and minority-support programs. While these types of structural diversity are necessary, they are not enough to create a positive student racial climate. Those who want to improve race relations on college campuses must begin focusing on the problem area that is least addressed: student racial climate. I argue that despite the commitment of administrations, most schools experience a negative student racial climate. I define student racial climate as the mutually reinforcing relationship between the perceptions, attitudes and expectations of these groups and individuals and the actual patterns of interaction and behavior between both groups and individuals. I argue that one of the biggest impediments to creating a welcoming student racial climate is the prevalence of racial incidents and issues on every campus, and even importantly the responses they engender.
I describe the student racial climate at ten “peer” universities nation-wide, including five public and five private schools: Duke University, Emory University, Northwestern University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Connecticut, the University of Maryland, the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Virginia, and Vanderbilt University. Through a survey of student newspapers between 2000 and 2004, I capture both the reported racial incidents that occurred on each campus, as well as the range of student and administrative responses. I include everything from racial assaults, slurs, and vandalism to black face incidents, racially-insensitive parties, affirmative action debates, self segregation and inflammatory opinion articles. I demonstrate at each campus both the incidents and the types of responses, and illustrate how the responses are perpetuating the problem. I argue that these responses are inadequate because they tend to be: (1) exclusively minority, (2) viewed as not corresponding to the actual incident, (3) decentralized and fragmented, (4) short term efforts that offer only temporary solutions, and (5) missing the point of changing student racial climate.
Before schools can apply effective interventions, administrators and students need to engage in conversations together to create a common vision for their community. I argue that an ideal student racial climate would be one in which students respect each other, are safe, feel equal, and do not feel restricted to racial and ethnic identities and group formations. Universities should provide safe spaces in which students are strongly encouraged to interact with, learn from, and engage one another. Keeping this vision in mind, goals of an intervention should be to improve student racial climate. Lastly, I create a framework in which I lay out six factors for an effective intervention to improve negative student racial climate. These factors include: (1) student-run and administration-supported, (2) a diverse set of student leaders, (3) a centralized approach, (4) target all students, (5) employ face-to-face interaction, and (6) long term. I argue that universities can and should be models to the rest of the country for improving race relations among groups and individuals.
Economics for the New Millennium: Production, Consumption, and Ecological Sustainability
Laura Elizabeth Parcells | 2004 I argue that the discipline of economics is fundamentally unecological and unsustainable. Because the production model upon which traditional economic theory depends does not recognize itself as a subsystem of the global ecosystem, it is unable to attend to the demands of the environment in an adequate fashion. Rather, traditional economics addresses the environment in terms of abstract exchange value and attempts to assign such values to ecological damage. Because economics does not view natural resources as scare in the long-run, externality calculations intended to internalize environmental costs cannot ever truly represent the damage inflicted by ecologically detrimental manufacturing and business practices. Scientifically, the limited nature of natural resources threatens to undermine future human survival should production based theory not be modified. Despite this, instead of working to move towards eco-friendly practices, the twentieth century has shown massive consumption increases and the implementation of government policies that favor the stimulation of economic growth over ensuring environmental sustainability.
Through an illustration of the mal-effects of large-scale monocrop agriculture and the pesticide industry that supports it, I demonstrate that the shortcomings of the production model are beginning to manifest themselves in the destruction of many of the world’s ecosystems. Because conventional economic theory considers only economic efficiency in shaping its practices, it often externalizes the costs of production onto the environment and human populations of regions in which production takes place. The primary focus of the production model on profit often allows for the use of revenue-enhancing techniques like mass-pesticide use that pose threats to environmental and human health. The damage of these techniques accumulates over time and holds the potential to undermine long-run human survival.
In light of these facts, I argue that the discipline of economics needs to embrace a new model that recognizes the environment as the system upon which the economy rests. This model views production itself as consumption, and discrepancies between supply and demand are reconciled through the adjustment of demand instead of supply. Instead of viewing production strictly in terms of value added the consumption model views production as a using up of limited natural resources. This new model seeks to move away from highly commoditized methods of human need satisfaction towards a more integrated economy, and aspires to manufacture goods in an energy efficient fashion that does not undercut the demands of the global environment. Furthermore, the consumption model desires to implement tax and government policies that favor an at least partial shift back towards more localized production in order to help ensure corporate responsibility, foster community, and undercut current trends of wealth consolidation.
Viewed through the lens of a case study on the growth of organic farming, I attempt to document the feasibility of ecologically sustainable production. I argue that due to the pressing nature of ecological concerns, it is necessary to direct more research and development towards eco-friendly engineering and manufacturing practices. It is my contention that the profit motive can remain in tact under a consumption-based capitalist model, and that the decline in corporate profit that would occur under such a model would be reflective of the actual costs of production that have heretofore been externalized under traditional economic practice and theory.
Normative Values and the Conceptualization of the Just American Welfare State
Ian Marcus Amelkin | 2004 While proponents of American welfare expansion have normally justified American anti-poverty programs as necessary to meet the most basic needs of citizens in the nation-state, opponents of American welfare couch their arguments against social services squarely in a values perspective; critics argue that the American welfare state is an illegitimate entity that defies the American ideals of Work, Independence, and Individual Responsibility. In this thesis, I offer a response to this conservative critique of the welfare state using the same approach as those who attack it; I offer a conceptualization of a just American welfare state based entirely on the values espoused by the collective conscience of American citizens.
Emile Durkheim defines the collective conscience as, “The totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society [which] forms a determinate system with a life of its own.” With this definition as my starting point, I compile and discuss six American value dimensions adapted from Robin Williams, Jr.’s 1969 value list that form the core of the American collective conscience. I explain how the Work, Mobility, Status, Independence, Individualism, and Moralism value dimensions interact with each other within the confines of the American welfare state, and I explain the deep tensions between and within each value dimension.
Then before offering a conceptualization of the American welfare state based upon these values, I explain how each was affected by the conservative elite’s assault on the American welfare state during the 1980s and early 1990s. I explain how the New Right’s opposition to welfare used a final value dimension, Ascription, to spread racial stereotypes and false characteristics regarding welfare recipients into the collective conscience in order to undermine the main assistance program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). Ascription is defined as qualitative categories given to citizens on the basis of arbitrary or false qualities and not performance. Recipients were painted by opponents of the AFDC program as shiftless, dishonest, and immoral. The assault on welfare recipients culminated in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, changing the American welfare state from a means-tested to a work-requirements welfare model.
I argue that the core American values regarding poverty-reduction and the welfare state remained constant over this period even with this large change in policy; I contend the policy shift resulted from a change in the way Americans viewed the worthiness of those enrolled in anti-poverty programs and not the values behind the programs themselves.
I offer a conceptualization of the welfare state using these constant core values as the basis for the model. The conceptualization that manifests is based around ensuring work ethic, personal responsibility, and independence for all able-bodied adult citizens, while expanding social services for children and the elderly.
This thesis allows those favorable to an expansive American welfare state to respond meaningfully using a values perspective long reserved for only the opponents of federal anti-poverty programs. The conceptualization of welfare offers a pragmatic and possible model for welfare state reform in the United States in true cohesion with the values of the American collective conscience.
Understanding the American Hand Out: Examining Access to Healthcare in America
Vicky Ayano Jones | 2004 My project looks at the translation of discourse into action within both the private and public sectors involved with healthcare access in America. My argument is that providing access to healthcare in America needs to be a more comprehensive process, unlike the piecemeal solutions used presently by both the government and healthcare industry. “Handouts” of healthcare, as they are constructed today, are products of American cultural ideology and have created a specific culture of health, health-seeking behavior, and healthcare provision strategies in America. Policymakers and industry leaders must become conscious of the complex process of healthcare in order to plan comprehensively and efficiently. My research proves that comprehensively understanding access to healthcare in America is one of the most important steps that the American society must take to 1) reform the current healthcare policy and 2) make valuable changes in health accessibility and health-seeking behavior in America.
With a basis in anthropology, this paper seeks to use medical, historical, economic and political research to examine what healthcare access means in America. It explores the idea that healthcare giving and receiving takes place within a context, a socio-cultural framework. It also tries to elucidate the reasons how and why humans are mind-full bodies-more than biological vessels that host disease and ailments, and why this fact is important to consider when examining issues of healthcare access in America.
I discuss the origin of government healthcare institutions and private American healthcare institutions looking at not only infrastructure building but also evolution of cultural ideology. I also discuss the hegemony of managed care in America to show how the market economy has played an important role in the construction of the modern healthcare system and how the commodification of health and healthcare took place in America. Insurance, although very important, is only one determinant of access, however. This paper explores a collection of barriers that hinder healthcare access, from the structural to the cultural but does so in a manner that goes beyond statistics. Part of my analysis of the cultural meaning of access in America is a critical look at healthcare quality and access disparity. This is because access gains significance through indicators of quality and equitable distribution of healthcare.
Ultimately, I conclude that the question should not be one of America’s ability to provide “healthcare for all.” My research indicates that the question should be one of the prioritization of quality healthcare provision in both the private and public sectors. The point of this project is not to point a definitive finger but to show a more comprehensive picture of who wields the power within the process of healthcare provision and why. This picture is composed of the connections among cultural interpretations of methodology, ideology, and motivation within the American moral universe as it relates to the healthcare and well-being of the individual.
Private Lives, Public Voices: Women’s Citizenship in a Post Socialist Czech Republic
Sarah Hinger | 2004 This thesis argues that neither socialism nor liberal democracy has been able to provide for the full equality of Czech women as citizens due to their incomplete address of gender issues beyond the scope of official policy. Firstly, I argue against the concept of transition in analyzing social change, as it cannot account for the complexity of actual existing society and particularly for women, as subjugated members of society, gives a false sense of the relationship between the state and citizens. I argue that looking beyond official ideology and policy at the non-formal spaces of society gives a better picture of a political system’s effects on society and of the varied possibilities for agency not directly connected to the state.
On this basis I show that while socialism treated gender inequality with mixed results, because issues of gender were not prioritized and the sphere of private community and families was largely ignored, many of the gendered outcomes of socialism were integral yet unintended. Women faced a taxing double burden of formal employment and housework, with both ideologically tied to their identities as citizens. Like all socialist citizens, women lacked a sphere of recognized public space within which to express their autonomy. However, I argue that women did develop many important social networks and acted meaningfully outside the dictates of the state within their informal relationships.
I then briefly outline Czech women’s activism within socialist society as both openly against the state in dissident movements, and less visibly, within their families and communities throughout the socialist period. Across these areas, women’s activism took on a non-political character focused on support services and the maintenance of normative values within the community. I argue that after 1989, changes in the social structure have relegated women to the private sphere and enforced their identities as nurturers. Women have continued to assert their autonomy through actions that again concentrate in the semipublic space of nonprofit and charity organizations and through their practices within the home.
Women’s citizenship is a complex mediation of both socialist and liberal democratic values of citizenship, as well as the philosophical values of antipolitics developed around the 1989 revolutions. I argue that women’s distrust of politics stems from their unique experience of the failure of political systems to truly create universal citizenship and that this distrust can only be dissuaded when their own agency is taken seriously by both outside feminists and their own government. I argue that the eradication of gender inequality will require both the willingness of women to utilize politics and a commitment by the government to solving gender issues, as they exist in their pervasive social form. The first step in this process will be for the government to develop policies that strengthen social institutions at a local level and thus allow for the autonomous voices of all people to affect society. In short, the inclusion of the socialist value of entitlement to basic economic and other provisions can aid liberal democratic society in reaching its proclaimed goal of universal citizenship.
The New Generation of Activists: An Analysis of Autobiographical Activist Texts
Brian Hanlon | 2004 I argue that three themes are present in five autobiographical activist texts that I analyzed. The themes are action-resultant-from-beliefs, identity, and community/connectedness. All five articles come from the same compilation of activist texts, Global Uprising: Confronting the Tyrannies of the 21st Century: Stories from a New Generation of Activists. The editors of Global Uprising seek to motivate readers to action based upon their beliefs. The theme of action-resultant-from-beliefs is present in each article. Whether or not the author intended to goad readers to action based upon their beliefs is unknown and irrelevant. The point is that every article has the effect of doing so. Each author makes known their beliefs, beliefs likely to be shared with the target readership, and then details the actions they took because of those beliefs. Some employ journey metaphors to conceptually aid the reader down revolutionary road. Others point out various ways of being an activist, so as not to scare potential activists, who may not wish to risk as much as the authors.
I borrow Charles Taylor’s description of identity, which is “a person’s understanding of who they are.” Identity formation in a globalized world is complicated and problematic. Traditional forces of home, family, state, etc… compete with advertising, popular culture, and foreign cultures, to shape an individual’s identity. As a counterculture, activists often assert alternative activist-based identities, or attempt to rearticulate existing identities, such as a broad human identity.
Issues of globalization complicate community association as well. The increasing suburbanization of America and loss of public space for some corresponds to the destruction of the community. A term with numerous meanings and interpretations, the term “community” holds differing meanings for the activists analyzed. Emphasizing the connection between issues, and acknowledging the existence of shades of gray is characteristic of much liberal thought. These activists frequently argue for establishing connections between people, and between people and nature. The public/public relationship is stressed, whereas the public/corporate relationship is often denigrated.
The appendix features a chapter detailing the histories of the Bretton Woods conference, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and World Trade Organization (WTO). While not directly relating to my primary inquiry, the activists here discussed often critique, and may physically demonstrate against these institutions. Understanding the evolutions and rationales behind these organizations is important for activists in particular, and anyone interested in globalization in general.
Childcare Subsidies for Low-income Families: Considering Children’s Needs
Katie Daly Hamm | 2004 I argue that in the wake of 1996 welfare reform, the developmental needs of low-income children became secondary to the federal government’s goal of shrinking the welfare rolls. In the 1980s, the American public perceived welfare recipients as lazy and irresponsible while policy-makers claimed that government assistance undermined work ethic and perpetuated out-of-wedlock childbearing. Subsequent legislative efforts therefore focused on work requirements for poor mothers, resulting in the Family Support Act of 1988 and later, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Act (PRWORA) in 1996.
PRWORA effectively ended 60 years of government entitlements and transformed federal cash-assistance into a program focused almost exclusively on maternal employment. The law limited cash-assistance to five years, and punitive measures threatened to reduce benefits for mothers who failed to comply with work requirements. PRWORA also provided work supports for poor mothers, including childcare subsidies. I examine the legislative process that resulted in a drastic overhaul of the 60-year-old entitlement system and suggest that Republican’s landslide victory in the 1994 congressional midterm elections and the upcoming presidential election compelled President Clinton to support the popular welfare reform legislation, despite his initial hesitation.
Despite the fact that two-thirds of people in families receiving welfare in 1996 were children, there is little mention of children’s needs in the legislation. Clinton maintained that childcare provisions would protect children from the time limits and sanctions imposed by PRWORA. However, eight years later, just one-third of eligible mothers receive childcare assistance and some mothers report childcare subsidies are minimal considering the high cost of childcare. To assess the success of PRWORA in supporting the developmental needs of low-income children, I examine the implementation childcare subsidies programs in three states (Virginia, Nevada, and New Jersey). Mothers in these three states report difficulty accessing subsidies, including problems negotiating multiple bureaucracies and reporting standards, and long waiting lists. Preliminary evidence suggests that in some instances, children endure substandard, and even dangerous, care settings. All three states determine eligibility based on the mother’s employment status, suggesting that childcare subsidies serve as a work support program. I conclude that childcare subsidy programs in these three states are inconsistent with Clinton’s initial goal of serving poor children through childcare subsidies.
Though federal and state governments failed to provide low-income children with access to quality care, mothers must balance meeting government job provisions with finding adequate childcare. I examine components of childcare quality as defined by early education experts and suggest that while mothers hold some of the same ideals about childcare, financial and time constraints often force them to seek unregulated childcare. Mothers prioritize trust in the caregiver and affordability, but generally lack the resources to purchase high-quality care that provides intellectual and social stimulation.
I suggest that inherent characteristics of the childcare market are not conducive to providing quality childcare to low-income children and that this warrants greater involvement by the federal government. The U.S. has much to gain from an enhanced role of the federal government in providing quality childcare for low-income children.
Does Being a State Mean Never Having to Say Sorry? The Case for Truth Commissions as Institutions of Collective Responsibility
Elizabeth Gould | 2004 Truth commissions are a way for a society to respond to past human rights abuses. Unlike other institutions which bring accountability for human rights violations, truth commissions explore aspects of collective responsibility. Many states are using truth commissions, but there are differences in the models that different countries use. The purpose of this thesis is to set forth what truth commissions are and then to explain how they fit into collective responsibility.
When a state undertakes systematic abuses of human rights, a collective responsibility exists. Individual responsibility fails to accurately account for what happened, because it ignores the larger context in which the abuses occur. The model of a truth commission emerged in Latin America as a response to state-sponsored tortures and disappearances. When a state undertakes policies of torture, collective responsibility exists and to fail to address it would be to abrogate justice. A collective response is also important, because it encourages the reemergence of civil society, which state-sponsored abuse had shrunk.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa may be the most prominent truth commission, yet it is in many ways different from the traditional truth commission model. Primarily, it focused on reconciliation as well as the other goals which truth commissions attempt to achieve. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission tried to create reconciliation by involving perpetrators of human rights abuses in the truth commission process by offering them amnesty for crimes in exchange for their testimony. Unlike in Latin America where the project was to help civil society emerge, in South Africa the Truth and Reconciliation Commission had to respond to a civil society which was quite active in its support for apartheid.
Truth commissions are a recent development and before their creation most states failed to respond to past human rights abuses. In the United States, the Civil Rights Movement brought the end of segregation, but it did not respond to the legacy of such segregation policies. Comparing South Africa and the United States shows the difference between a society which chose to respond to its past and one that chose to leave it alone. This comparison serves to reaffirm the argument that states and societies must address their collective responsibility.
Truth commissions represent a way of tying responsibility to human rights to the collective, which is necessary for the cases when the abuses can be understood as part of a larger program of terror. Understanding collective responsibility is essential for states which are emerging from authoritarian rule and moving towards liberalization, because it offers an opportunity to create a definitive break from the past.
Good Citizens, Good Indians: Native American Identity in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Catherine Dunn | 2004 When they came to the land of Powhatan’s chiefdom, they planted a colony and named it after their king. They called it Jamestown – a tiny wasteland of an island where British seafarers built a triangle-shaped fort and a church and a town almost four centuries ago. Today the cherished site of “America’s birthplace” is a National Historic Park tended with federal dollars and an $8 entrance fee. Congress has also authorized millions of dollars to honor the 400th anniversary of North America’s first permanent English settlement. Planners herald Jamestown 2007 as an international commemoration.
The descendants of the people who were already here, however, still wait for the federal government to recognize them. Without the recognition they seek, six Virginia tribes get no grants for education, housing, or health care yet. Ancestors’ remains linger in museum custody. The tribes want the United States to acknowledge their heritage: profits from powwows, craft shows, bake sales and yard sales go toward their lobbyist’s tab – $108,000 in 2002. The King William County Upper Mattaponis made about $200 at a yard sale last summer.
The delay has tribal leaders questioning whether they will participate in Jamestown 2007. Some see it as a chance to proclaim themselves to a world audience. Others view involvement without recognition as inappropriate and hypocritical. The conundrum is one Virginia Indians have encountered before: how to stand behind a government that consigns your identity to the shadows.
This paper seeks to trace the crossroads of Virginia Indian identity and state membership at moments of political and social confrontation in the past 80 years, dating to the passage of the 1924 Racial Integrity Act. I examine 1920s politics leading up to the stricter revision of the Racial Integrity Act in 1930, battles over Indians’ World War II draft classification, the 1982-1983 state recognition process, and the current movement for federal recognition. The tensions surrounding these episodes have often required Indians to demonstrate their compatibility as citizens of a state that has wronged them in order to assert the identity they have been denied.
I discuss seven of Virginia’s eight state-recognized tribes, with primary attention to five “citizen” Indian tribes: the Chickahominy Tribe of Charles City County, the Chickahominy Indian Tribe, Eastern Division of New Kent County, the Rappahannock Tribe, Inc. of King & Queen, Caroline, and Essex Counties, the Monacan Indian Nation of Amherst County, and the Upper Mattaponi of King William County. I will also consider the role of the state’s two reservation-based tribes: the Pamunkey Tribe and the Mattaponi Tribe, both of whom reside in King William County.
The Last Word on Reading First: Implementing Federal Policy in Local Schools
Sean Kevin Driscoll | 2004 The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) has elicited every reaction from happiness to outrage among American parents, educators, and voters. The law attempts to reform public schools by creating strict standards in subject area testing and teacher competency. In order to receive education funding from the federal government, schools must now show annual yearly progress (AYP) towards achievement goals, determined by each state. Additionally, schools must show AYP by every major subgroup of students (broken down by ethnicity, gender, disability, and socioeconomic status) or else become labeled “in need of improvement.” Schools that do not improve after several years face a range of progressively harsher punishments under this law, ranging all the way up to the closing of the school.
While these provisions of the legislation have received the most media attention-and controversy-there is another major part of the law which has largely escaped the spotlight: Reading First. This program provides funding to improve reading instruction for at risk students in kindergarten through third grade. By focusing on early intervention, it hopes to catch at risk students before they fall behind in the critical area of literacy. The federal government, under NCLBA has allocated nearly one billion dollars annually for this program. Money is allotted to states based on the number of families living below the poverty line. From this point on, states distribute funds to individual schools. Unfortunately, because there is not enough money to fund all eligible schools (determined by consistently low reading scores), Reading First uses a competitive grant process to distribute funding.
Because of its smaller size and intricate regulations, Reading First is the perfect laboratory for examining the larger No Child Left Behind Act. In turn, I have chosen three elementary schools at which to study Reading First at work on the ground. Each school had a different outcome in the process: one received a grant, another applied but was denied, and the third did not apply for funding. By talking with principals, reading specialists, and teachers at these schools, in addition to school district administrators, I obtained a picture of the Reading First application process at each of these three schools. My findings offer an inside look at the implementation of federal policy in local schools.
These three schools suggest several important problems with NCLBA: first, excessive curriculum centralization at the cost of local initiative; second, an unclear role for school districts, which may overextend their authority; third, a lack of understanding for the time and personnel constraints faced by schools; and fourth, unequal apportionment of Reading First funds. These case studies also reveal a distinct ideological tilt in the legislation towards a business-like model for school performance.
By listening to the experiences of local schools and addressing these problems, national education policymakers can correct problems in this legislation, gain the support of teachers and parents, and strive towards the goal of leaving no child behind.
Choosing Silence? Sexual Assault Policies and Adjudication on College Campuses
Cerissa Cafasso | 2004 I begin with an analysis of influential feminist thinkers. In exploring Catharine MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin, Camille Paglia, bell hooks, and Martha Nussbaum, I deduce a cohesive feminist theory with which to assess university policies addressing sexual assault and sexual assault adjudication. The three main components of this new philosophy are: developing policy around the needs of survivors; supporting survivors without overemphasizing or forcing vengeance through adjudication; and focusing on education as a means of empowering students to change the acceptability of sexual violence in our culture.
With this in mind, I assess the University of Virginia and eleven other schools – Duke, UNC – Chapel Hill, Michigan, Texas, Berkeley, UCLA, Brown, Cornell, University of Southern California, Harvard and Virginia Tech. The evaluation is based on four areas: education and prevention; crisis response; investigation and adjudication; and adjustment and counseling.
At the end of my analysis, I recommend to UVA ways in which it can better support survivors and the community. The University could improve its educational efforts by offering first year students a resource handbook including available services and a general philosophy on the supporting survivors in sexual assault; leadership training through the Leadership 2000 series and as a mandatory part of the Contracted Independent Organizations’ appropriations process; and through a pro-active effort on the part of the administration to support organizations working to raise awareness about sexual assault. To improve its crisis response, UVA could develop an advocate network to escort survivors to the hospital after an assault, but, more immediately, more attention could be given to educating students on all of the resources available to survivors. In regards to adjudication, the Dean of Students could improve the Sexual Assault Board (SAB) process by doing long-term follow-up with all parties involved in hearings; and to create a position of “educator” to inform students of the role of the SAB and the deans in the adjudicating of sexual assault. Finally, in terms of counseling and adjustment services, the University could offer group counseling for survivors and friends of survivors; and support organizations seeking to educate students on how to respond to survivors who disclose they have been assaulted.
I conclude with a response to the construction of the website, “uvavictimsofrape.com.” The site seeks to classify sexual assault as an Honor offense, thus having every student expelled from the University who is found guilty of sexual assault. My assessment finds this change would require a stricter standard of evidence given the absolute severity of the punishment, moving the standard to “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This change would be to the detriment of survivors as they would be less likely to report cases for two reasons. Students will be less likely to bring forward cases if they know they will be responsible for another student being dismissed from the University, as a great deal of self-blame is associated with sexual assault. Additionally, survivors will find less closure with the stricter standard of evidence as fewer cases will produce a guilty verdict.
Regional Crisis, Global Solutions: Charity, Justice, and Law. The Impact of Rights Discourse, Theories of Global Justice, and Intellectual Property and Pharmaceutical Patent Restrictions on the AIDS Epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa
Nathan Carl Nagle Damweber | 2004 Today, over 45 million people live with the AIDS virus, 70% of which reside in developing sub-Saharan African nations. In many of these countries, including Uganda and Rwanda, AIDS rates have reached staggering percentages, adult infection rates reaching as high as 40% of entire populations, while average life expectancies have plummeted as low as 39 years. Although the overwhelming death rates, alone, suffice to bring the scourge to the fore of international discussion, the virus perpetuates political instability, economic volatility, and internal violence in the region. In an age of increasing interdependence and a globalizing international arena, HIV/AIDS, which has no respect for national borders, presents a global problem in need of a global solution.
I argue, first, that a decent basic minimum of healthcare and provisions for basic public health measures, like right to physical security and minimal economic subsistence, deserve the title of, and recognition as, basic human rights. As reasonably justified demands on an increasingly globalized society, these rights essentially stem from a notion of common humanity and common human dignity, derogation from which is impermissible. Provisions for reasonably adequate healthcare, a notion of universal interest, are necessary preconditions for the enjoyment of all other rights.
Next, I argue that theories of global justice, advocating for equality of opportunity and equitable redistribution of resources in the international realm, present potent arguments in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Charles Beitz’s application of a global difference principle and Thomas Pogge’s focus on negative rights and reparations for previous and ongoing harms point out the bases of perpetuation of poverty in the developing world, and provide valuable ammo for proponents of justice over charity.
I further maintain that the developed world, namely the United States, through establishment of Intellectual Property Rights and maintenance of pharmaceutical company patent laws, has facilitated and perpetuated a wealth gap between industrialized and underdeveloped nations. Stemming from theories of global justice, I argue that the developed world has an obligation, not only to assist the sub-Saharan region in the eradication of the epidemic, but also to reconfigure economic relationships with the developing world. Lack of respect for territorial boundaries from AIDS requires corresponding correlative duties, economic aid inextricably tied to the building and maintenance of just social institutions, from nations with advanced, developed societies, most of which contain a robust pharmaceutical industry.
Finally, I argue that international negotiation and consensus on human rights and global ethical norms has become increasingly organized into a network of binding international law through the formulation of treaty networks, the principle of jus cogens, and customary law. The developed world, not only morally obligated to assist in the elimination of the disease and building of healthcare institutions in underdeveloped world, also has a legal duty to facilitate the universalization of certain ethical norms pertaining to health and the AIDS crisis.
Out of the Desert: Abrahamic Religions and Peacemaking in Northern Ireland and Israel-Palestine
David Timothy Buckley | 2004 Although the means for conflict resolution employed by modern secular diplomacy are of great service to the cause of peace, the inability of such efforts to bring lasting peace to some conflicting communities with Abrahamic traditions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, indicates that energy and ideas from religious communities may be necessary, and could certainly be useful, to both secular and religious individuals who work for peace. While the recent history of religion and politics in areas of conflict is a mix of violence and productive peacemaking, the persistent strength of religious devotions and the past successes of Abrahamic peacemakers indicate that religious communities can provide great aid to diplomats seeking yet another partner for peace. When integrated into traditional secular diplomatic strategies of economic development, international mediation, and security guarantees, religious involvement can do much to make agreements on paper become successfully implemented peace.
The first element of this account of Abrahamic interaction with diplomacy is a theology of peacemaking. Each of the Abrahamic traditions possesses a wealth of scriptural, theological, and ritual practices that are of use to peacemakers. This argument focuses on three Abrahamic themes of particular value to peacemakers: ethical concern for the Other, repentance and forgiveness, and hospitality. The development of this theology is important for two reasons. First, the same interests and ideas that inspire secular diplomats do not motivate religious actors. To reach out to an Abrahamic community requires at least some knowledge of what that community values. Second, by placing Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theologies of peace next to one another, members of those faiths might begin to see both the similarities and the differences between their traditions. This chapter is in no way an attempt to claim that each of the Abrahamic faiths says basically the same thing about peacemaking. Rather, it claims that certain peacemaking values exist in each tradition in unique ways that must be understood if one is to engage members of that faith in the diplomatic process.
The second part of this analysis shifts to the concrete interactions of religious individuals with the process of high diplomacy. By high diplomacy I mean official diplomatic processes involving states, leadership of conflicting parties, and large church hierarchies or organizations. The recent record of Abrahamic actors working with the high diplomatic process in both Northern Ireland and Israel-Palestine is mixed. In some instances, courageous religious leaders have combined with open-minded secular diplomats to do substantial service to the cause of peace. However, there have also been times when religious leaders have not lived up to their duties to work for lasting peace, and when secular diplomats have ignored religious individuals who have the potential to contribute to the high diplomatic quest for peace. Both secular diplomats and Abrahamic leaders must learn from these mistakes of the past for religion and high diplomacy to have more productive interactions in the future.
The third chapter stays in the realm of politics, but moves to examination of grassroots peacebuilding. These grassroots religious organizations work to bring about peace through ministering to the needs of average members of a conflict-torn society rather than by working on high-level governmental projects. While the successes of such grassroots ministry are often impressive and inspiring, these groups are hampered by a lack of professionalism to match their idealistic energy and by an inability to effectively interact with higher-level religious, political, and community leaders. That being said, grassroots peacemaking efforts in both Northern Ireland and Israel-Palestine have made substantial contributions to peace in the past, and can continue to do so with even more pronounced effect in the future.
After this analysis, it is my contention that calling upon the name of the God of Abraham to save contemporary societies from the wastelands created by ethnic conflict no longer seems so irrational and naïve. Indeed, when so many supposedly rational proposals have failed to bring lasting peace to these societies, the need to call on something beyond the rational understanding of diplomats is almost intuitive, at least to those not blinded by secular prejudices. By continuing to develop new and innovative strategies for acting on these values in situations of conflict and strife, Abrahamic actors can continue to contribute to the complex process of leading broken societies into lush new lands of peace and prosperity.