International Studies - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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A return to the resource curse or a path to development? Oil in Uganda

Date created: 
2011-04-18
Abstract: 

Within the next five years, Uganda will become one of Africa’s largest oil producers, and will rank amongst the world’s top 50. Given the negative relationship between oil and development witnessed across the African continent, one could assume oil will hinder, rather than help, Uganda. This project explores the relationship between resource endowment and underdevelopment, often known as the resource curse, and puts this paradoxical relationship into the Ugandan context. There is little telling how oil will influence the state, yet it is evident that if Uganda wishes to become successful than it must learn from the mistakes of others, and address the fundamental causes of the resource curse. Although many have already written Uganda off as the next resource failure, this project takes a more neutral approach and suggests that Uganda is in fact not necessarily doomed.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Andrew Mack
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

Hamas and the limits of Palestinian state-building in Gaza

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-04-14
Abstract: 

This paper argues that Hamas is not an effective state-builder. This assessment is based on an examination of the organization’s state-building activities vis-à-vis the following four dimensions of state-building: a) nation-building, b) security provision, c) institutional development, and d) economic development. This project determines which areas of state-building Hamas is engaging in effectively and which ones it is not in terms of these four dimensions. The project concludes that while Hamas is engaging in effective nation-building, it is not engaging in an equally effective manner in the other three dimensions.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jeffrey T. Checkel
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

Conditional cash transfers, labour markets, and poverty reduction: a pilot study of Brazil's Bolsa Família

Date created: 
2011-04-13
Abstract: 

As one of the most recent trends in poverty reduction policy, conditional cash transfers (CCTs) provide cash to poor households upon fulfillment of certain conditions, often education or health-related. By increasing CCT beneficiaries’ level of human capital, CCTs aim to increase their skills and resources to lift them out of poverty. Yet, the success of translating increased human capital into long-term poverty reduction is contingent upon changing labour market trajectories. The purpose of this study is to understand CCTs' prospects for long-term poverty reduction, taking Brazil and its Bolsa Família program as a case study, through the opportunities for beneficiaries to improve their labour market outcomes. The results suggest that there are substantial obstacles to beneficiaries’ ability to successfully translate their increased human capital, acquired through the Bolsa Família program, into better labour market trajectories, and therefore long-term capacity for improved income generation and poverty reduction.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Eric Hershberg
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

An analysis of the feasibility of peace in Uganda

Date created: 
2010-12-15
Abstract: 

Post-war societies have a 40 percent chance of conflict onset directly following the war. This paper utilizes a post-war case study, Uganda, to analyse the future feasibility of war recurrence. An empirical model is applied to obtain a quantitative measure of the risk of war onset. The model is followed up with a qualitative study of alternative variables. Limitations of the quantitative and qualitative techniques applied were reduced through the combined analysis. The joint analysis allowed a comprehensive understanding of the root causes and sustainability of the civil war, and highlighted variables in post-war Uganda that would impact the feasibility of war. The feasibility hypothesis of this paper was confirmed: the risk of war onset in present day Uganda is high. War recurrence is not inevitable; however, policy and development programmes must be tailored to increase the feasibility of peace in Uganda.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Paul Warwick
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

From New Delhi to Dakar: the quest for food self-sufficiency and its implications for smallholder farmers

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-08-20
Abstract: 

This paper explores the potential for Green Revolution-type agricultural intensification to occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as possible socio-economic, environmental and human health consequences which could result from such growth. An historical comparative analysis is developed using evidence from India, preceding and during its agricultural Green Revolution, and applied to the case of Senegal, a country in West Africa that, in many ways, typifies the historical and contemporary agricultural experience in Sub-Saharan Africa. The analysis reveals that, despite divergent conditions, Senegal and, by extension, Sub-Saharan Africa, could be poised to realize agricultural growth similar to that in India; but this may also be accompanied by similar consequences for smallholder farmers and the environment.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Morten Jerven
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

Understanding women’s empowerment and maternal mortality in the Ugandan context: effects of mitigative intervention strategies

Date created: 
2010-08-23
Abstract: 

In an international context of increasing attention to maternal health and unacceptable rates of maternal death, disease and disability in many regions of the world, more resources will become available to address the issue. In the case of maternal mortality in Uganda,framing of the issue has implications for the effectiveness of attempted interventions. While women’s subordinate status in Ugandan society has been recognized as an important contributing factor in high maternal death rates, it is largely considered to be an intractable artefact of social and cultural beliefs and practices. Interventions informed by this framework can at best hope to mitigate the effects of an unfortunate reality. The root issue of women’s lack of empowerment is therefore not often addressed within large scale maternal health interventions, contributing to a continued need for mitigation, and potentially increasing women’s social disempowerment to reinforce the cycle of poor maternal health.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Alvaro Pereira
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

Pipe dream or progress? Implementing the human right to water in South Africa and Kenya

Date created: 
2010-08-20
Abstract: 

Water is essential for all life. It is one of the most abundant resources on the planet, and yet one billion people worldwide lack a safe, clean supply of water. Development initiatives, like the Millennium Development Goals, aim to improve access to water with a rights-based approach. In 2002, the United Nations issued General Comment No. 15, which declared water a basic human right. This paper examines the effect that the human right to water has in improving access to water resources. The paper uses the cases of South Africa and Kenya, two countries that have attempted to implement a human right to water. The human right to water is secondary to improving water access, and not the ultimate cause for improvements. Financial and economic capabilities are much more instrumental. The right may influence improvements, but only when including such variables as proper accountability mechanisms, institutions, and governance structures.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Paul Warwick
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

Violence against women and international development

Date created: 
2010-08-21
Abstract: 

Violence against women is increasingly recognized not just as social, but also as health, legal, economic and development issue. This paper examines the links between violence against women and international development contributing to the growing momentum in the field. Studies from around the world demonstrate that the prevalence of different forms of gender-based violence is higher in developing countries. High human and socio-economic costs of gender-based violence stall growth and development by undermining human capital, reducing productivity and diverting scarce resources from productive spending. Violence against women also undermines other development efforts aimed at strengthening gender equality, eradicating poverty, ensuring access to education and improving health. Addressing this problem is a major challenge, as it requires multi-level cooperation between various stakeholders, as well as tackling social beliefs and attitudes at the grassroots level. This paper also reviews the response from various sectors and some of the promising initiatives.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Alvaro Pereira
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

Public participation under authoritarianism: a case study of water management in Jordan

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-08-23
Abstract: 

In order to address the country’s increasing water stress, Jordan’s most recent national water strategy urges citizens to take an active role in promoting water awareness as a means to lower water demand. This is framed by the state as a positive development toward incorporating public participation into its water management. At the same time, power sharing among different stakeholders is a primary component of effective public participation initiatives. Thus, to what extent can an authoritarian regime encourage and develop genuine methods of public participation in its policy development and administration? This paper will argue (1) in the context of authoritarian regimes, real participation requires political reform, and that such a transformation is unlikely given the propensity of authoritarian regimes to centralize power, and (2) the international community has facilitated existing state-societal relations by altogether neglecting this relationship while making significant contributions to the state.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Tamir Moustafa
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

When ethnicity trumps gender: A comparative analysis of how transitional justice processes addressed violence against women in Bosnia-Herzegovina and South Africa

Date created: 
2010-08-21
Abstract: 

Recognizing the significant challenges facing women’s empowerment, this project examines how transitional justice processes have addressed women’s experiences in conflict and post-conflict recovery in Bosnia-Herzegovina and South Africa. This project argues that both the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) failed to meet their mandates in prioritizing reconciliation for women because the ethnic divisions inherent in both conflicts were enshrined in the legal pursuits of both transitional justice processes. An ethnic framework prioritizes ethnic divisions over the unique and sensitive nature of gendered violence; excluding important challenges facing women such as victimization, patriarchy, stigma and discrimination. This comparative case study does not offer a panacea for ensuring full reintegration and reconciliation for female survivors of sexual violence, but aims to identify common challenges that may face future transitional justice processes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Nicole Jackson
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.