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  • Pro-fluoridation Efforts in a Changing Environment: Pro-active and Reactive Tactics of State Oral Health Coalitions

    Jackman, Jennifer (2016-05-01)
    Community water fluordiation is an important public health measure that helps children build strong teeth that are susceptible to tooth decay. Despite science proving its safety and efficacy at target levels, fluoridation remains a target of misinformation and ignorance. State oral health coalitions play an important role in protecting, implementing and educating the public on fluoridation and its benefits. This paper discusses the various proactive and reactive tactics state oral health coalitions have utilized in support of the fluoridation of public water supplies, and the tactics of the fluoride opposition in attempt to manufacture ignorance.
  • The Effectiveness of Compulsory Voting: Evidence from Brazil, Belgium, and Beyond

    Ruget, Vanessa (2021-05-01)
    In a world where electoral reforms are frequently discussed, numerous countries have resorted to mandating citizen participation in elections. This electoral approach – commonly termed compulsory voting – has been adopted by democratic and authoritarian regimes alike. The majority of research on compulsory voting acknowledges that it successfully increases voter turnout. Other factors including the presence and severity of sanctions for abstention have been analyzed, but the existing literature fails to consider multiple components of compulsory voting. This research strives to bridge that gap through the use of preliminary data, a literature review of existing work, and case studies of Brazil and Belgium as it seeks to address the effectiveness of compulsory voting today. By considering various elements of past and present systems simultaneously, this research finds that compulsory voting is only as effective as a country’s political, social and economic configurations allow. If implemented correctly, compulsory voting is effective in increasing voter turnout and has the potential to create more representative election results.
  • Climate-Induced Migration from Central America

    Ruget, Vanessa (2021-05-01)
    This study examines the extent to which climate change is acknowledged as a major driver of migration from Central America, both by experts in the field and by people working for organizations assisting migrants. It relies on secondary sources (including recent reports by the International Organization for Migration), two case studies of Honduras and Guatemala, and primary evidence in the form of semi-structured interviews conducted with a variety of experts. Overall, my interviewees believe that climate change is increasingly a push factor for migration from Central America, especially as it combines (and worsens) other factors. My study confirms experts’ findings that the contemporary drivers of global migration are complex and intertwined.
  • Prudent Cosmopolitanism: Towards a Fundamentally Realistic Realization of a Better World

    Mulnix, Michael (2020-04-01)
    In political philosophy, the concept of justice has been historically confined to the domestic state. In the last 50 years theorists have been forced to confront or defend the idea that their comprehensive doctrines say nothing about what the duties and entitlements are for people across state boundaries even though moral worth is not different based on where persons are born. It is within this context that John Rawls formulates a comprehensive theory of egalitarian justice for the domestic state that is explicitly not meant to apply to those outside the state. Opposing this view, cosmopolitans contend that it is morally incoherent to say that justice is bound by the state, even if state boundaries are relevant to the actual pursuit of justice for all persons. In exploring the reasons that Rawls creates tiered, unequal account of what persons deserve for justice, I defend the cosmopolitan foundation that justice applies to all equal persons regardless of the relationships of political association. A two step account of justice is morally incoherent because it relies on equal persons morally deserving certain protections in the domestic state and ignores that principle for persons elsewhere. Yet granting that Rawls claims to not rely on any moral law at all, I explore the implication of putting forward a theory of justice devoid of moral considerations. Political realism is a prevailing conception of the global order that would seem to necessitate amoral global justice and the metaphysical foundation that this doctrine is based on is highly unsettled and problematic.
  • Close The Partner Loophole! A Toolkit For Feminist Action Against Gun Violence

    Jackman, Jennifer (2019-05-01)
    The Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban (DVOGB) is a federal policy that prohibits people convicted of domestic violence or under a restraining order from having access to firearms. However, the DVOGB only bans gun purchases made by spouses, former spouses, and cohabitating partners convicted of domestic abuse. It does not cover abuse between dating partners, creating a “dating partner loophole” in gun violence policy. This thesis combines this policy issue with existing canon on grassroots activism to create a political action toolkit, a series of digital and printable materials that aim to empower young people, feminist groups, and anti-domestic violence organizations to generate public and Congressional support for new legislation to close this loophole. I use an analysis of legislative action in each U.S. state to determine what current policy does or does not do to protect domestic violence victims from gun violence, as well as a comparison of current and former campaigns related to this issue to inform my organizational strategies in achieving federal policy change. The toolkit includes materials for raising awareness of this policy loophole among the general public, guides to contacting elected officials, and instructions on lobbying in political offices. The toolkit also aims to include and highlight the needs of those at higher risk of homicide by firearms, such as women of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Accompanying literature includes additional background research on the policy issue as well as campaign and policy analysis.
  • Analyzing The Success Of Social Movements: Social Movement Theories Applied To Occupy Wall Street And The Tea Party

    Mulcare, Dan (2016-08-01)
    Two significant social movements, Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party have entered onto the political scene within the last decade, both having significantly different impacts upon the political discourse and political establishment within the United States. The question remains, however, which elements of each movement is ascribed to its corresponding success or failure? Three social movement theories: Resource Mobilization Theory, Political Process Theory, and Collective Identity Theory, better help explain the results of these movements. While none of the individual theories fully explores all the necessary elements required to explain the results of these movements, and each aids the other in exploring both movements more fully, Resource Mobilization Theory best explains each movement’s progress, with a proper focus being placed upon the resources at the disposable of Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party. Each theory’s effectiveness in explaining both social movements will be measured, on a 3 scale basis, in regards to both group formation and political efficacy.
  • Donald J. Trump: A Voter Case Study

    Mulcare, Dan (2017-05-01)
    The purpose of this research is to determine whether the recent literature on the Trump phenomena explains the motivation behind college student Trump supporters. Ten college students were interviewed between October 2016 and January 2017. The information gleaned from these interviews show overlaps that further support the scholarly and journalistic conclusions of why people voted for Trump, but as these interviews were conducted after Trump had secured the nomination, it adds new information to help determine the driving force behind a subsection of Trump voters.
  • The Evolution of Structural Racism

    Levy, Richard (2016-01-01)
    With the election of our current president Barack Obama, many believe that racism had finally ended and equality amongst all has finally been achieved, unfortunately this is not the case. Although a lot has changed for people of color, such as an increase in opportunities for success, there is still a major disconnect between the playing field of Caucasians and people of color. The United States is run by a series of institutions that monitor its population, but it is these exact institutions that continue to cultivate inequality. Ta-Nehisi Coates describes racism as “the need to ascribe bone- deep features to people and then humiliate, reduce and destroy them” (Coates 2015, 7). Our political institutions such as political parties, courts, and branches of government have helped to promote racism since the ending of slavery. Although racism is not as blatantly overt as it used to be, it still hinders people of color from having equal opportunities for success.
  • Angler And Voter Perceptions Of Grey Seals On Nantucket

    Jackman, Jennifer (2016-12-01)
    Grey seals came close to extinction prior to enactment of the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Since the MMPA, seal populations have greatly recovered, especially around Cape Cod and Islands, which has caused controversy between fishing interests and the seals. This article offers insight into the beliefs of Nantucket voters and anglers about seals and their attitudes towards the MMPA. Surveys were mailed to Nantucket voters and administered to anglers on-site. While previous research suggested that anglers would be more anthropocentric and voters more ecocentric, differences were not statistically significant because of the high number of voters who were anglers. However, when voters were subdivided into “non-angler voter” and “angler voter,” and anglers into “non-resident angler” and resident angler,” “non-angler voters” and “non-resident anglers” were found to be more ecocentric while their counterparts were more anthropocentric. Overall acceptance of seals and support for the ecosystem and MMPA was high.