Theses and Dissertations - Department of Political Science

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    Challenging the President: Presidential-Senate Confrontations on Foreign Policy
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Yun, Huicheol; Borrelli, Stephen; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This dissertation is composed of three articles that analyze which determinants influence three aspects of the confrontational relationship between the president and the Senate in the foreign policy/treaty legislation area. The first and second essays focus on the situation that the President takes an “opposed” position on foreign policy legislation and his victories when he takes that position. The third essay focuses on the number of Senators voting against treaty ratification and proposing amendments to the treaties. If the Senate is voting on a bill or amendment that the president opposes, it seems to suggest a direct challenge by the Senate to the President. My finding is the president’s political capital influences the confrontational relationship between the Presidents and Senate in the foreign policy realm. I posit that several variables such as scandal, federal deficit, general approval rating, foreign policy approval rating, and president’s party’s control of the Senate, which reflect the President’s political capital level, influence the occurrence and outcomes of conflict. In the first essay, I find empirical evidence that political capital influences the president’s taking an “opposed” position on foreign policy legislation. A case study of George W. Bush’s taking an “opposed” position on Iraq Mission legislation (S. J. Res. 9) in 2007 is used to illustrate my findings and apply them to an actual historical case. In the second essay, I find significant evidence that political scandal, foreign policy approval rating, and policy types influence the president’s victories on foreign policy legislation where he takes a “opposed” position. A case study of Bill Clinton’s loss on the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanction Act in 1998 (H.R. 2709), where he took an “opposed” position, illustrates how scandal and foreign policy approval rating influence the president’s victories on foreign policy legislation. In the final essay, I examine which determinants influence the number of Senators voting against treaty ratification and proposing amendments to treaties. The number of U.S. troops deployed overseas influences the number of Senators voting against treaty ratification. However, treaty type and the presence of unified government impact Senators’ opposition in unexpected ways. A case study of Jimmy Carter’s Panama Canal treaty in 1978 is used to show how these variables affect Senators’ votes. I also posit political scandal and the number of US troops deployed overseas as variables that impact treaty amendment; I found that treaty types, scandal, the number of U.S. troops deployed overseas influence treaty amendments. The implication of these findings is that in terms of foreign policy, we may like to think the president and Senators usually cooperate to make a foreign policy law or ratify a treaty in light of the entire national interest. In practice and reality, however, presidents and Senators confront and cooperate with each other based on the president’s political capital. The findings of this dissertation will help scholars, Senators, and other foreign policy experts to understand and predict U.S. foreign policy decision-making in the future.
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    Politics in Covington County, Alabama from 1890 to 1900
    (1941) Love, Gladys; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
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    The Veil of Prosecutorial Discretion: a Study of Alabama Prosecutors and Felony Plea Bargains
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Griffin Hill, Tinsley; Smith, Joseph; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This thesis studied the existence of sentencing disparities in Class A, B, and C felony pleabargains across the State of Alabama. The different avenues of prosecutorial discretion were examined, including charge and sentence bargaining, trial discretion, and sentencing recommendations. A qualitative method was conducted through a series of elite interviews with current and former Alabama prosecutors. These interviews contextualized data by providing perspectives on internal accountability systems, office wide discretionary policies, and the possibility for racial and gender bias within the criminal justice system. The quantitative analysis of this project considered eight Alabama counties of varying sizes and demographics. Class A, B, and C felony plea bargains from those counties were collected across a three year period. The sentences were then normalized across crime types. The data was measured for the effects of racial and gender bias, controlling for exacerbating and mitigating sentencing factors, habitual offender status, and the race and gender of prosecutor. The findings indicate gender and race influence sentencing and support the position that bias is a factor in criminal sentencing. Further testing is warranted to determine how disparate treatment in charge reductions can affect plea bargains. Additionally, as many of the coefficients regarding race were in the opposite direction of the proposed hypotheses, more study is necessary to determine how bias has an effect on felony sentencing.
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    Making the case for space: employing political communication to set domestic and international policy
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Robison Hasani, Kathryn; Frazier, Derrick V.; Borrelli, Stephen A.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The landscape of space policy, much like the realm with which it concerns itself, is vast and largely unexplored. As political scientists, we have left this policy area mainly to those scholars, agencies, and companies working within the industry. While we occasionally consider it as part of other works on domestic and international science and technology policies or national defense issues, no comprehensive work to date has sought to understand how we communicate politically about space, from the micro to the macro level, and the importance of space exploration and technologies to the political realm. This dissertation begins this task through three articles designed to investigate political communication about space and to understand why it is important to study these questions. The first article focuses on American public opinion of space, the second deals with how space policy is set in the United States between the Executive and Legislative branches, while the third analyzes the role of the United States in governing space as a global commons, and theorizes how new paradigms in international relations in space will form. The breadth of these articles allows my dissertation to explore, at every level, how citizens, policymakers, and other stakeholders communicate politically about space, and how these communications translate into policy preferences, positions, and outcomes.
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    The preservation of repression: counterinsurgency strategic conflict policy formation and substitution
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Douresseaux, Jasmine Leigh; DeRouen, Karl R.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Insurgency is an organized movement, or group, which aims to overthrow the state or government through violence and subversion. Counterinsurgency is the attempt by a legitimate or state power to defeat and contain an insurgency. Counterinsurgencies create strategic policy to achieve goals. The policy is comprised of tactics, actions taken to achieve a desired goal. These tactics can be violent and coercive, like repression, or constructive, like efforts to rebuild infrastructure. Previous research suggests that repression does not lead to counterinsurgency victory. Despite this, counterinsurgent forces employ some tactic of repression in all phases of all insurgencies occurring after the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights banned their use in 1976. In fact, this study finds that, on average, repressive tactics are more prevalent than constructive tactics. Why are repressive tactics so prevalent? To answer this overarching question, this inquiry seeks to determine how counterinsurgency decision makers select tactics, structure strategic policy, and improve the odds of success. A theory of strategic conflict policy formation and substitution explains counterinsurgency strategic planning, decision making, and policy execution. The theory proposes two types of policy substitution occur: programmed policy substitution and adaptation policy substitution. Programmed policy substitution asserts an innovative trigger-branch strategic policy structure that substitutes tactics according to the conditions within each conflict. Adaptive policy substitution explains policy shifts that occur after counterinsurgency failures. The project utilizes a mixed methodology approach, applying case study pattern matching, logistic regression, and Cox proportional hazard modeling methods to test hypotheses derived from the theory. The results suggest that counterinsurgencies use repressive tactics to first achieve condition changing goals and then to preserve those new conditions. Repression is triggered by similar conditions to those that cause insurgency onset. The findings support the long-held belief that constructive tactics are associated with counterinsurgency victory. Finally, the study suggests that decision makers with comparable experience in similar conflicts in the area are better at designing strategic policy because they are better at determining threats, predicting conditions, and planning more complex strategies.
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    International security and the space domain: applying traditional theories of international relations to the astropolitical environment
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020-12) Rotter, Allen Eric; DeRouen, Karl R.; Frazier, Derrick V.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Traditional theories of International Relations have long been used to describe the politics of space. The space security debate itself reflects the inter-paradigm debate of the 1970s and 1980s in which neorealist and neoliberal institutionalist scholars argued over the constitutive character of the anarchic international system. This disagreement is projected onto the space environment and thus contending theoretical assumptions are used to justify opposing propositions concerning the securitization of the domain. Neorealists assume that militarization is an effective method of securitization while neoliberals assume that subscription to international institutions is a more effective method. The extant literature on space security appeals to or extends from military doctrine and political psychology to make prospective space behaviors intelligible. In this dissertation, I apply the theoretical assumptions that undergird traditional schools of thought to the space security environment and operationalize them in a manner conducive to quantitative statistical analysis. I propose that the security status of space can be operationalized by the frequency of non-military payloads placed in orbit every year. This represents the perceived precarity of the domain among civilian and commercial industrial leaders. I operationalize the neorealist explanatory variable as the frequency of military payloads placed in orbit every year and the neoliberal explanatory variable as the annual number of ratified international space treaties. These observations are regressed against the dependent variable and alternative explanatory variables in order to discover which of them accurately accounts for space security. This project utilizes an original, longitudinal database consisting of 195 political actors observed over 63 years from 1957 to 2019. Two estimator models are used to empirically analyze the respective effects of military activity and international space treaty subscription on the security status of space: feasible generalized least squares (FGLS) and generalized least squares (GLS) with Huber-White sandwich estimators. The results strongly support the neorealist position that military activity has a positive influence on security. The results to do not support the neoliberal institutionalist position that subscription to space treaty organizations has a positive influence on security.
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    A dyadic examination of the territorial peace
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2019) Rickert, Joseph Adrian; DeRouen, Karl R.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The territorial peace theory poses the most prominent challenge to the democratic peace theory. Although territorial peace theory has generated robust results in quantitative studies, the domestic processes involved in regime formation and change pre- and post-resolution of territorial threats still warrant consideration. This leaves open avenues of research that might augment the theory’s applicability to certain regime types rather than being understood as a universally applied systemic theory. This study examines two democratic and non-democratic dyads that do not entirely conform to territorial peace theory to help explain regime type formation. These case studies also investigate domestic processes of regime response to external territorial threat, and the impact of this threat on regime type.
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    The daily creation of the nation-self and the problem of the border
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2019) Hughston, Terry Lynn; McKnight, Utz; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This dissertation is an attempt to give a more accurate answer to the perennial question of “What is a nation?” by offering a novel theory of the nation-as-self. The theoretical foundation of this theory is largely built upon the works of Ludwig Feuerbach, Carl Schmitt, and Friedrich Nietzsche by arguing that the nation is created through a regular (if not daily) process by which a rational self-reflective agent generates a conception of nation as an alienated version of the politics of that self. Nation essentially possesses the political and personal characteristics of the self yet stands, abstractly, in distinction to the self. The individual then uses the nation-self to examine other claims of nation by other selves as a way of determining whether they are similar enough to the self to warrant a tenuous and temporary designation as a conational or be designated as exception. After establishing this theory of the nation-self, I will examine the potential of civic compassion as a method by which we can relax the view of nations as essentially bordered and imagine a paradigm of boundless political identities without states of exception and exclusion.
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    The social construction of inmates: why some states force inmates to pay for healthcare, and what that means for inmate mortality
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2019) Nicholson, Michael Conner; Fording, Richard C.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Prisoners are one of the most vulnerable populations in a society. Part of this vulnerability stems from the complete lack of their participation in the formation of the public policies that control their lives. As a result, the policies that target inmates are often influenced by negative societal perceptions, and therefore extremely punitive. However, as inmates have been found to possess a constitutional right to healthcare services, punitive policies that prevent barriers to their medical access must be carefully assessed. One of these policies that may potentially prevent inmate access to care is a copay policy requiring inmates to pay a fee in order to request medical care. While the adoption of these policies is often presented as a financial necessity by states, no evidence is found to support this claim. Instead, the results indicate that the primary factors influencing a state’s decision to adopt an inmate copay policy are the ideological make-up of a state’s government, and the racial make-up of a state’s inmate population. Specifically, states with conservative governments are more likely to adopt a copay policy, and states with a high proportion of Black inmates are more likely to adopt a copay policy. Furthermore, the results also indicate that when these policies impose debt on indigent inmates, they are resulting in increased inmate mortality rates and decreases in state corrections expenditures. Therefore, while the states are correct in their assertions that these policies save money, these savings come at the cost of inmate lives. This result is alarming, especially in light of the finding that the adoption of these policies is the result of ideological and racial factors.
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    Litigants and law: the determinants of litigation outcomes
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2019) Krell, Matthew Reid; Smith, Joseph L.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    I investigate the determinants of settlement and plaintiff payouts in federal civil trial litigation. Using a process theory framework, I analyze the impacts of multiple litigation phases on the outcomes of cases and on one another. While most work on litigation offers uncertain inference due to the possibility of using a selected sample, I include both settled and adjudged cases in my sample. This allows me to more closely approximate a random sample, making inferences to the population of disputes more defensible. I find that there’s very little evidence that judicial ideology plays a substantial role in trial-court outcomes, and some evidence of strategic behavior among trial judges. The primary determinants of both whether a case settles, and the outcome to the plaintiff, is the relevant facts and law. The major theoretical contribution of this dissertation is the integration of dialogue among the litigants and the court. Empirically, it innovates on its use of payouts instead of a simple win/loss metric, using events other than the final outcome to measure determinants, and using multiple ideological measures. My findings suggest that our analyses of trial courts should be predicated on the uniqueness of that institutional setting rather than importing models from collegial courts.
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    Learning the trade: states, leaders, and the construction of international relations
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2018) Millard, Matthew Christopher; Gibler, Douglas M.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    I argue that conflict can best be understood as a learned practice that constrains states interacting peacefully or conflictually with other states in the international system. Vasquez (1993/2009) proposes that conflict is a learned behavior that emerges from a prior pattern of interactions. And if Senese and Vasquez (2008) are correct that we can understand behaviors such as alliances, arms races, rivalries, territorial disputes, and a non-democratic polity as increasing the probability of conflict, I maintain that we can understand the steps to war as learned behaviors. In other words, I maintain that alliances, arms races, and disputes in the presence of rivalries are learned behaviors. To provide evidence for this claim, I build a matrix of all available alliance texts from 1891-1995 and demonstrate why some states make strategic choices to copy prior alliance texts. Next, I argue that the arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States can be understood as a learning event, as each move by a side during an arms race reveals intentions, motivations, and values. Finally, I argue that evidence of diffusively learned conflict behavior can be found by examining states in rivalries and their interactions with non-rivalrous dyads. I find evidence to support my claim that the behaviors associated with the steps to war argument are learned behaviors.
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    Assessing the level and changes in bipartisanship in Federal higher education: a historical analysis of higher education appropriations, 1980-2017
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2018) Adair, John Lucas; Katsinas, Stephen G.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Despite the continuous shifts in and long-term trend toward more partisanship in our national government, there is a need for consistent and accurate research to better prepare and inform policy leaders of trends in federal higher education appropriations. There is some literature regarding federal funding for higher education that assesses the changes in appropriations, but there is little, if any that reveals the impact of divided government and the use of reconciliation as budget tools. This study analyzed federal allocations to nine different higher education programs. The nine programs are: (1) Pell Grants, (2) Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), (3) Work-Study, (4) Perkins Loans, (5) Direct Student Loan Program, (6) Family Education Loans, (7) Aid for Institutional Development, (8) TRIO programs, and (9) Scholarships and Fellowships. A comparison of appropriations over 37 years from the inception of the United States Department of Education in the final year of President Jimmy Carter’s administration, through the second administration of President Barack Obama was conducted. This period encompassed the tenures of 6 presidents, 19 Congresses, and 11 federal Secretaries of Education from 1980 to 2017. The importance and need for this analysis is underscored by the recent finding that, for the first time in 2010, the federal government surpassed all state funding as the main source of revenue to fund public higher education. This funding shift speaks to a growing federal role in higher education, and occurs even as most commentators document growing political polarization in the United States. In the three articles that follow, the level of partisanship of federal higher education appropriations is analyzed across the executive and legislative branches of government. The first article assesses how U.S. presidents treat federal investments in higher education. It specifically compares presidential budget requests to actual enacted appropriations. What presidents propose the greatest and the least in higher education appropriations? Do election years matter for higher education budget proposals? The second article analyzes the impact of party control on annual higher education appropriations among the presidency, U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Senate. Does higher education are better under one party or the other? In the 37 years under study, there have been 12 years of a divided Congress, 13 years of a Democratic Congress, and 13 years of a Republican Congress. Article three assesses the impact of budget reconciliation on higher education appropriations. This is important because Congress has passed all 12 appropriations bills only four times since 1977. Together, these articles provide a clear analysis of the level and changes in bipartisanship of federal higher education over the 1980-2017 period.
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    Twelve sisters: the U.S. Federal courts, regional independence, and the rule of law(s)
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2018) Shauku, Adamu Kofi; Smith, Joseph L.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The U.S. federal judiciary is the organ of national government responsible for the authoritative resolution of disputes arising under federal law. For reasons related to its historical institutional development, the system is itself a source of conflict through the issuance of non-uniform holdings by the twelve circuit courts of appeals. Due to the regional independence of these ‘sister circuits’ and the limited supervisory capacity of the U.S. Supreme Court, a substantial proportion of circuit conflicts—or circuit splits—appear to linger indefinitely. This phenomenon makes possible the cultivation of distinct bodies of national law in the twelve regions over which the appellate courts preside. Debate centers on whether regional independence and the propensity for conflict constitutes an intolerable flaw or a beneficial feature of the U.S. federal courts. Though this debate is motivated in part by competing normative commitments, it largely turns on competing assumptions about the number of conflicts, their persistence, and the consequent costs and benefits to the legal system. In this study, I examine 151 active circuit splits across four legal subject areas—search and seizure, employment discrimination, securities, and labor law—to evaluate the quantity, duration, and legal significance of intercircuit conflicts, and test whether they are resolved in a manner that suggests judicial learning. Overall, I find little evidence that conflict serves a learning function. This study sheds empirical light on the operation of the U.S. federal court system.
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    Automated content analysis and the development and utilization of legal doctrine in the Federal courts
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2018) Porter, Chase; Smith, Joseph L.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The citation and interpretation of precedent and the development and utilization of legal doctrine are distinct concepts. Whereas previous literature has focused on the use of precedent, this study makes a theoretical argument for the importance of distinguishing between precedent and doctrine and applies automated content analysis tools to the measurement of legal doctrine in court opinions. These tools are used to study doctrinal utilization by the Supreme Court and the circuit courts in the United States judicial system. From a theoretical perspective, this study leverages a qualitative case study of the development and application of the Lemon test in Establishment Clause jurisprudence to illustrate the importance of carefully distinguishing between the concepts of precedent and doctrine. The case study exposes potential weaknesses in dependence upon Shepard’s Citations as a tool for understanding the development of legal doctrine. The concept of doctrinal vitality is proposed as a way to measure the impact of legal doctrine across time. Given the difficulties that are inherent in measuring a qualitative concept (language) quantitatively, a careful examination of various automated text analysis methodologies was conducted. The programming language Python was used to analyze the doctrinal composition of court opinions through unsupervised topic modeling and supervised sentence counting. Utilization of doctrinal language was modeled as a function of variables that impact judicial behavior on the Supreme Court and circuit courts, including doctrine age, judicial ideology, doctrinal vitality, opinion characteristics, and hierarchical effects. While the substantive findings are mixed, this dissertation considers important theoretical implications regarding the development and utilization of legal doctrine and explores the potential benefits and challenges related to the use of automated text analysis in the study of legal doctrine.
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    The direct primary election system in Alabama
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1931) Burgin, Maggie; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Chapter one of this thesis deals with the early primary regulations in Alabama, and is therefore mostly historical. Early methods of making nominations are discussed, and the desire on the part of the voters for a primary election is shown. The first steps toward majority rule are presented by citing acts and laws passed by the legislature and by the State Committee. The autocratic power of the State Democratic Executive Committee is shown, and the chapter closes with a discussion of the set of 1911 and further regulations by the committee and Subcommittee.
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    Moral perfectionism, infinite responsibility, and the ethical in critical race theory
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2018) Fletcher, Andrew C.; McKnight, Utz Lars; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This dissertation is an investigation into the value of moral perfectionist thought broadly construed as a means of further developing antiracist strategy and theory, especially with regard to facilitating self-originary, antiracist political action by White subjects. To that end, I draw connections between the theoretical contributions of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Stanley Cavell, Michel Foucault, and Emmanuel Levinas regarding ethics and the ethical, and I argue that all four thinkers fall under the broad classification of moral perfectionist thought, albeit with distinct core assumptions and approaches. This dissertation submits moral perfectionist strategies for motivating White subjects to see the ethical harm inflicted upon them by practices of race, despite social, economic, and political inequalities from which they otherwise profit. Race per se represents an ethical harm to White subjects insofar as it denies people of color the status of “other” for whom Whites would otherwise care and accept responsibility; race also limits Whites’ ability to do self-work and obtain their unattained, but attainable, next selves since it restricts who can count as the friend with whom they would otherwise converse (in the Emersonian perfectionist sense) and be constructively challenged. I position above moral perfectionist theorists into conversation with a variety of thinkers from the tradition of critical race theory to flesh out the importance and potential of the new model of ethical subjectivity that I propose.
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    Social construction and policy design in state financial aid policy
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2018) Hester, Jacob Andrew; Patton, Dana J.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This dissertation uses Schneider and Ingram’s Social Construction and Policy Design Theory (SCT) to help understand movements in funding for higher education at the state-level over the past 25 years. SCT argues that social constructions - the symbols, images, and stereotypes used to label social groups as desirable or undesirable - and power - the voting prowess, wealth, and ability to mobilize for action - converge to predict the distribution of benefits and burdens for policy targets. In my first article, I conduct a descriptive analysis of the changes in spending on state-level grant aid for higher education, using SCT to guide expectations on how funding will be distributed. My second article uses SCT to construct and test hypotheses on state-level decisions regarding need and merit- based financial aid, showing that states with more negative social constructions of low-income and minority students allocate fewer dollars to need-based aid. Finally, my third article uses SCT to explain the adoption of state-level merit-aid financial aid policies over the last two decades. Overall, my dissertation is one of the first studies to use SCT for studying state higher education policy, and provides a confirmatory test of SCT within a new policy domain.
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    The politics of social intimacy: regulating gendered and racial violence
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2018) Smith, Lindsey; McKnight, Utz Lars; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This project explores the constructions of gender, intimacy, and race and the ways these issues are informed by history and the law. The idea of consent, while originally described in texts as a legal concept between citizens, transformed into a way to navigate intimate relationships in the private sphere. This muddied the ways women and men were understood to form relationships and the limits of those relationships. In the same ways that gender was arbitrated through legal language, race is often ensnared in the same processes and institutions. Tolerance has been offered as one approach, but instead of mitigating this violence, it has more firmly entrenched it into the democratic process. Hannah Arendt’s description of the social frames an understanding of intimacy and narratives. Arendt’s work critically creates a space for the category of the social, something found around but outside of the public and private. Instead of working to make the private seen as a sphere for political action, I will focus on the potential of the social as a method of political action. While Arendt has obvious racial bias, I will use her own response to anti-semitism to develop a different approach to Black politics that allow for identity-based responses. Lauren Berlant’s Intimate Publics addresses the potential for coalition building in the social. Using the sorority system as a way of teasing out notions of femininity, discipline, sexual violence, and intimacy, I will describe the ways that a woman subject is produced and how this then works to shape our notions of race. Women’s identities, particularly white women, are constructed through an association with race and sexuality, by unpacking this development, its possible to see how this is socially and institutionally enforced. Part of this enforcement will focus on the narratives of sexual violence. Rape is an issue that not only confronts legal questions, but also the nature of a woman’s ability to participate in democracy. Tying this together will be the importance of political theory. This serves to define the contemporary issues, solutions that have been offered and new potential approaches to intimate violence.
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    Criminal disenfranchisement policies across democracies: the impact of democracy, punishment and race
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2017) Chowdhury, Ishita Tasmia; DeRouen, Karl R.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Democracies generally agree that suffrage important; however, many democracies continue to disenfranchise prisoners. Currently, 80 electoral democracies impose some restrictions on the voting rights of prisoners. Some countries impose restrictions beyond the prison sentence. This study explores the factors that impact the variation in disenfranchisement policies across 111 electoral democracies. More specifically, this study examines the impact of democracy, punishment and racial and ethnic fractionalization on the variation of prisoner disenfranchisement policies. The findings demonstrate that the participatory aspects of democracy such as third wave democratization, and democratic participation have a negative effect on the profanity and degree of disenfranchisement across electoral democracies.
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    Predation in state and nation: towards a theory of minority participation
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2017) Davis, Brandon Davis; Fording, Richard C.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    U.S. criminal justice policies have created the uniquely American style of carceral punishment. Since 1973, America has seen a sustained and substantial rise in its incarceration population and the manifestation of mass incarceration. Currently, the U.S. imprisons 2.23 million people, which amounts to 23% of the world’s total incarcerated population. Support for more punitive policies came from Whites and Black residents, politicians, and community. I maintain that the carceral predation has a political spillover effect of reducing Black political power by adversely affecting the political socialization process and development of efficacy. I hypothesize that carceral contact directly affects the political behavior of those personally contacted and those with network contact, and this effect is greater for African Americans than for Whites. I posit that carceral contact negatively impacts political trust, and that individuals can rationally assign the distrust to a specific level of governance. This effect should also be larger for Blacks. Thirdly, I theorize that carceral contact negatively affects not only the social and cultural aspects of political efficacy, but also the psychological components of political efficacy. I hypothesize that carceral contact and predacious political environments have an adverse impact on the development of self-esteem, happiness, and calmness. In the following chapters I will attempt to aid in the development of a theory of minority participation through the theoretical development of the concept of predation, presenting a new Black voting calculus, and empirically testing how carceral contact affects participation via political socialization and efficacy.