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

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An analysis of the failure of U.S. counter-narcotics policy in the Afghanistan conflict from 2001 to 2009

Date created: 
2010-08-21
Abstract: 

From 2001 to 2009, Afghanistan was the epicentre of drugs and violence in Central Asia. The vicious cycle of drugs, violence, and political instability highlights the disconnect that existed between United States (US) security and counter-drug operations in the country. This project explores how and why two American policies for intervention in Afghanistan – counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism/counter-insurgency – have been operationalized and implemented by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the US military respectively, in a disjointed and inefficient manner since 2001. It is argued that perceptions of the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the US created a “War on Terror” frame that shaped American intervention in Afghanistan, causing DEA counter-drug operations to be subordinated to the security and statebuilding goals of the adopted frame. The failure of the US Government to recognize this critical disconnect in CN and CTCI policy in Afghanistan has allowed both terrorism and opium poppies to thrive.

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

Dry land training: water shortages and the people who fight over them examining conflict in Yemen

Date created: 
2010-08-21
Abstract: 

In recognition of the world’s growing concern over environmental resource scarcity, this project examines whether water shortages in Yemen exacerbate conflict between the Houthi rebels in Sa’ada and the Yemeni government—and if so, how? Yemen fulfils a significant number of conditions that environmental security analysts claim should make it vulnerable to ‘water wars’. Yet it is evident that those engaged in conflict in Sa'ada display an apparent lack of concern over dwindling water supplies. This single case analysis calls into question some key assumptions of the environmental security discourse. Namely, the notion that resource shortages, coupled with several intervening factors, make conflict more likely. While this project cannot disprove the probabilistic theories of environmental security analysts, it does suggest that if water scarcity is not a driver of conflict in water-scarce and conflict-prone Yemen, then the 'water wars' thesis should be viewed with considerable caution.

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

Prospect theory and the failure of American coercive diplomacy on North Korea

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-08-21
Abstract: 

This project examines how prospect theory explains North Korea’s actions during the 2002-3 nuclear crisis and the resulting failure of American coercive diplomacy. It seeks to examine how prospect theory can be employed to understand the success/failure of coercive diplomacy strategies. Prospect theory is combined with P.V. Jakobsen’s coercive diplomacy framework to analyze the US coercive diplomacy policy and North Korea’s response. This research concludes that North Korea’s bias toward the pre-crisis status quo and desire to salvage perceived losses propelled it to engage in provocative actions, which represented the failure of American coercive diplomacy. This project deduces that, first, in order to coerce the adversary away from its preferred status quo, the inducements must be larger than the punishments. And, second, coercive diplomacy must be framed in such a way that it is not viewed as an overall loss by the coerced state.

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.

Forgotten evaluations: educational policy in Tanzania from 1961-1999

Date created: 
2010-08-20
Abstract: 

This thesis argues that changes in development ideology, and not evaluations, were the primary influence behind changes in education policy in Tanzania from 1961-1999. It reviews the policymaking process in Tanzania and the affect of development ideologies on policy choices. It further examines the formation of different dominant development ideologies in different development situations, and their influence on education policy. It shows that evaluations were not included in the policymaking process in Tanzania. Instead, differing dominant development ideologies affected by the economic, political and social situation, were responsible for education policy choices. This thesis explores how these development ideologies formed in Tanzania, why they were dominant, and how they were unaffected by evaluations. It concludes by looking at what this ideological led policy in Tanzania has meant for the country, and what it could mean for other developing nations.

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

The politics of agriculture: understanding Malawi's transition from estate based export crops to smallholder food crops

Date created: 
2010-08-20
Abstract: 

This paper seeks to reveal the motivations for the Malawian government’s decision to firstly, change its agricultural policies away from the estate bias to a clear smallholder bias and secondly, to undergo a fertilizer subsidy introduction and removal cycle throughout the period of Structural Adjustment. This paper will argue economic crisis forced President Banda to turn to the World Bank and accept the macroeconomic conditions imposed. Upon the advent of democratic transition, the Muluzi administration focused on building political support among the smallholders through the popular fertilizer input subsidy programme. Although the World Bank sought the removal of the programme, the government continued to reintroduce it, as it was politically beneficial. Additionally, unanticipated negative outcomes met each removal attempt, such as economic crisis or drought, reversing the removal. Consequently, the fertilizer subsidy programme has become a mainstay of Malawi’s agricultural policies.

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

The human security agenda and its impact on foreign aid donation to Sudan

Date created: 
2010-08-20
Abstract: 

Fifty-four years since independence, eleven years of peace, two civil wars, one complex humanitarian emergency, and no hope. This is the scenario in Sudan. Since 2003, the Darfur region is under attack by government-sponsored militias, leaving the local population feeling insecure. Can different perceptions of what it means to be secure impact the international community’s response to the long-standing crises in the country? This research addresses the broadening of the international security agenda with the concept of human security. It tests the argument that the adoption of the human security agenda positively impacts donors’ decisions in regards to their donations of foreign aid to Sudan. The Darfurian humanitarian crisis is shown to be a moment in which the formal human security discourse – most effectively adopted by middle powers – was merged into a concrete measurable action: donation of aid, which directly assists the local population affected by hostilities at several levels.

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

Restricted access: aboriginal women and health care in Canada

Date created: 
2010-08-23
Abstract: 

“Restricted Access: Aboriginal Women and Health Care in Canada” addresses the barriers faced by indigenous women when accessing health care services in Canada. Using the distinction of practical (or needs-based) and strategic (or equity-based) barriers, it highlights the impact of physical isolation, cultural differences, and socio-economic disparities when using health services. However, the emphasis is placed on strategic challenges and more specifically on the impact of marginalization from the mainstream health system, using three different themes in the experience of marginalization: differences in conceptualization of health, the construction of aboriginal women as the “other” and racism. Following the discussion on marginalization, the research addresses some solutions, evaluating their potential to improve indigenous women’s access to Canadian health services.

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

Enhancing Thailand’s international competitiveness through women’s enrolment in technical fields in tertiary education

Date created: 
2010-08-16
Abstract: 

Women’s low enrolment in technical fields in tertiary education is a worldwide phenomenon that is an area of concern for women’s equality. While this concern is substantial, a much greater concern for women’s low enrolment in technical fields is how their absence can affect a developing country. This paper will explore the role of women in technical fields in development. This paper hypothesizes that women represent a distinctive body of labour in technical fields as a result of their unique ideas and contributions. Their absence in these fields can have negative consequences on societies and countries in that, if women pursued more technology-based educations, they could greatly influence the creative and productive capacity of a country in relation to international competitiveness. By examining the country of Thailand and its current development struggles, this paper identifies the value of women in technical fields and on developing countries.

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

Recruitment and DDR: The case of Liberia

Date created: 
2010-08-12
Abstract: 

This paper argues that if Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration (DDR) programmes have evolved from conflict resolution mechanisms to conflict prevention mechanisms, then there must be a greater focus on the nature of the recruitment relationship between the faction and the individual. Based on the theoretical and empirical work of Pugel, Humphreys, and Weinstein, the project uses the case of Liberia and its ex-combatants to support the theory that factions with different social and economic endowments will recruit individuals seeking out those endowments. It concludes that in the case of Liberia and other DDR programmes, there has been an overemphasis on short-term employment solutions for ex-combatants, that DDR should provide more methods to include those ex-combatants who wish to participate in the rebuilding and reconciliation process, and that continued emphasis on the context of the individual is essential.

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

The use of cultural heritage in economic and human development: a comparison of built heritage projects in Morocco and British Columbia

Date created: 
2011-08-24
Abstract: 

Recent decades have found those in the development field seeking alternatives to resource-extraction based approaches to development. The use of Cultural Heritage, and specifically built heritage projects, has become one such approach that offers more sustainable and culturally-sensitive alternatives. A few Cultural Heritage projects have been ongoing for decades now, and offer insights into how these sorts of initiatives can be approached, and what can be learned from them and applied to similar situations in other parts of the world. The old medina of Fez in Morocco is one such well-established project that offers an example of some of the potential, as well as some of the pitfalls, of this endeavour. This project seeks to evaluate these lessons in the light of a few newer Cultural Heritage projects that have been established by First Nations groups in British Columbia, and by comparing them to the medina of Fez. The potential of this approach to development is evaluated in the light of the successes and challenges that these projects face.

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.