Browsing Theses and Dissertations by Subject "United States"
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Cartelization and the State of Political Parties: A Comparative Study of Party Organization in the United States, Germany and PolandThis dissertation studies political party organization in the United States, Germany and Poland during national election campaigns and regular party operations. According to conventional wisdom, changes in party organization, such as professionalized campaigns and communications technology, have detrimental effects on political parties. Katz and Mair argue (1995) that political parties have become agents of the state and fail to provide linkage between the state and the electorate due to these changes in party organization. As cartel parties, political parties are then financially dependent on the state and do not need the support of the electorate. Katz and Mair further suggest that developing a closer relationship with the state has weakened political parties, especially the party on the ground. This dissertation tests whether Katz and Mair's cartel theory applies to political parties in the United States, Germany and Poland examining the parties' organizations during and in between election campaigns and finds that the political parties do not confirm the cartel theory. American and German political parties do not primarily rely on government financing and possess too strong of an electoral linkage to their voters to be considered cartel parties. Political parties in Poland better fit with the cartel theory due to strong financial ties with the state and insufficient linkage with their electorate, both inside and outside of election campaigns. This dissertation argues that the cartel thesis should not be considered a theory since it cannot explain observations regarding political parties and their organizations in the United States, Germany and Poland. Instead, the cartel thesis should be considered a heuristic tool to characterize political parties, continuing the tradition of prior descriptive party models such as those of the mass and the catch-all parties.
Interpreting Rightness at a U.S. Islamic School: A ____ Adventure TaleThis study took place at Tafsir Islamic School (TIS), a mid-sized K-12 Islamic school in a metropolitan area in the Midwestern United States, and seeks to answer two questions: (1) by what means are specific versions of orthodoxy and orthopraxy constructed, maintained, and challenged in the Tafsir community?, and (2) how could the general interpretive climate corresponding to these processes be described in theoretical terms? Qualitative ethnographic field work was conducted at TIS over an 18 month span involving extensive participant-observation and semi-structured, one-on-one interviews with 20 adult participants–including teachers, administrators, and community members–a flexible and collaborative research design strategy, and an iterative, grounded theory approach to data analysis. The findings suggest that orthodoxy and orthopraxy are constructed and contested through a complex network of corroborating and competing factors, including (a) executive decisions, (b) rogue pedagogy, (c) theological dialogue, (d) peer discipline, (e) community reinforcement, (f) sanctioned associations, and (g) vigilante policing. The distribution of interpretive power within the school community results in a de facto system of checks and balances, as disputes within and between sects (e.g., Sufis, Salafis, conventional Sunnis) prevent any one group from gaining unchallenged prominence. Colliding hermeneutical processes result in a normative balance that fluctuates over time with changing community members and socio-historic circumstances. This balance, referred to as a dynamic interpretive equilibrium, characterizes the general ideological climate of the school. In examining the diversity of interpretive orientations at an Islamic school, this study demonstrates the active role Muslims play in shaping the character of their faith. It likewise undermines popular one-dimensional depictions of Muslim schools, portraying Islamic education as a living, active and contested phenomenon.
The Other Dreamers: International Students, Temporary Workers, and the Limits of Legality in the United StatesOver one million international students enter the United States each year. By definition, international students are nonimmigrants, ineligible to settle permanently in the United States. Yet, more than 45% of graduating international students extend their legal status with a temporary work permit that paves a path to legal permanent residence and ultimately naturalization. This dissertation examines how people unauthorized to immigrate learn about, navigate, and take advantage of scant opportunities for legal permanent residence. This long-term, multi-sited ethnographic research follows international students as they traverse a complex legal rite of passage that transforms aliens into citizens. People with nonimmigrant status move and are moved through rites of separation, liminality, and incorporation, which are highly interwoven with and contingent upon other unfolding ritual processes. Identification of imbricated rites of passage, and the rituals therein, then works to demystify migrant incorporation as a discrete, linear process. Examination of the holistic nonimmigrant to immigrant rite of passage also serves as an intervention against indiscriminate theorizations of sustained or permanent liminality, which perpetuate violence by confusing marginalizing social contexts for the inherent qualities of individuals. Utilizing an interpretive policy analysis approach, the dissertation moves beyond tracing the nonimmigrant figure to map the everyday people—including higher education staff, employers, and romantic partners—who become de facto immigration enforcement agents, constructing policies and procedures that transform students’ legal and social identities according to a diverse range of legal, cultural, political, and moral commitments.Interrogation of this underexamined guest labor and naturalization program reveals compounding contradictions between international students’ economic, political, and physical belonging, which produce devastating material, biological and psychological consequences. Despite their legal status, people with nonimmigrant status face family separation, restricted mobility, delegitimated labor, and deportation, yet are left out of proposed and implemented policies focused on legalization, Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status, as well as local inflections of sanctuary. The dissertation identifies ableism, the legal production of dependence, and exclusion from adjustment of status as untheorized strategies which work in coordination with illegality to subordinate individuals and labor. This research pushes beyond the lawful/unlawful, deserving/undeserving, and citizen/noncitizen binaries, advancing anthropological understandings of governance, governmentality, and the processes of making and unmaking immigrants.
'‘The Right Kind of Africans’ US International Education, Western Liberalism, and the Cold War in Africa.The United States’ policy to win the Cold War in Africa was to ensure that African states adopted the norms of Western liberalism in the long-term. American officials defined Western liberalism as democracy and free market liberalism. U.S. policy considered capitalism the foundation of Western liberalism. For this reason, U.S. administrations allied with, supported, and cooperated with African governments that participated in global capitalism. U.S. international education programs were vital to U.S. efforts to win the Cold War in Africa in the long-term. The fundamental purpose of the programs was to exert American influence over future African civilian, military, economic, and social leaders. U.S. education programs focused on students from Ethiopia and South Africa to solicit their support for American political and social models as the only legitimate form of governance. Officials hoped the success of Ethiopia and South Africa to evolve under U.S. tutelage would make these countries positive models of Western liberalism to Africa. American international education programs for these countries, however, fueled the rise of Pan-Africanist mobilizations among participating students. These students adapted and utilized the political and social models they learned from international education to successfully organize against U.S. policy and the Ethiopian and South African governments. Student-led insurrections forced the regimes into negotiations at the end of the Cold War. However, successor regimes to the authoritarian governments in Ethiopia and South Africa committed to the norms of Western liberalism.