2010 Honors Theses


Katherine Brooks Stefanie Hausheer Katherine Krueger


The State of Liberal Democratic Parties and their Leaders in Contemporary Russia: A Case Study of the Union of Right Forces
Director: Dr. Ellen Carnaghan
This thesis examined the state of liberal democratic opposition parties in the contemporary Russian electoral system focusing on the Union of Right Forces. Katherine showed how, even in circumstances where political structures constrain the abilities of opposition parties, the relative success of those parties can be explained in part by the actions of party leaders. This research shed light on the underestimated power of party leaders to affect electoral achievements.

Analyzing Changing Roles and Rights for Women in Morocco, Oman, and Saudi Arabia
Director: Dr. Jean-Robert Leguey-Feilleux
Stefanie showed that women have been offered more roles and rights in the past twenty years in Morocco, Oman, and Saudi Arabia and offered some explanations as to why this positive social change is occurring. The presence of a pro-reform leaders, economic and social development, Islamic justifications, a rapid influx of expatriates, and pressure from NGOs and the international community were all found to influence social change for women in the three countries studied; however, not all of these factors operated in each country.

Regionalism, Populism, and the Rise of Europe's New Right: A Case Study of Italy's Lega Nord
Director: Dr. Ellen Carnaghan
This research aimed to explain the inflammatory populist techniques used by Italy's Lega Nord (Northern League) political party. By observing changes and contradictions in Lega Nord policy, this research finds considerable ideological and policy inconsistencies within the party. It analyzes the context of these inconsistencies and shows that the Lega Nord's extreme rhetoric is primarily a tactic based on securing its own power and influence, as opposed to a real commitment to any purported ideology. This research will prove useful for future investigation of the unstable political climate of today's Italy and the nature of other contemporary far-right, regionalist, or populist movements.

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