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

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The relevance and transferability of design codes for slum upgrading - the case of Kisumu, Kenya

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2013-08-16
Abstract: 

There is debate as to whether slum upgrading standards should be specific to each individual slum or common across all projects. To inform this debate, an exploratory, qualitative, comparative case study was undertaken, which involved transferring a slum upgrading design code designed for Accra, Ghana to analyze its potential applicability for Kisumu, Kenya. A slum upgrading design code is a made up of interrelated slum upgrading standards. The study determined that while design codes could be relevant across different slum settings, consideration of a variety of issues was needed before applying it to a specific context. With respect to the literature, the study’s findings support both the context- specific and common approaches to creating slum upgrading standards. Thus, slum upgrading programs should include context-specific standards in order to meet the specific needs of people living in slums and common standards to support the scaling-up and replication of successful slum upgrading projects.

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

Education and poverty in Kenya: a district level analysis

Date created: 
2013-08-13
Abstract: 

The main research question addressed in this paper is to assess whether theories in the education literature on enrollment, absenteeism and drop out in developing countries are consistent with district-level data in Kenya. One of the central issues that emerges is poverty, as it impacts both the supply and demand side of education, and is discussed as both a cause and consequence of lack of education. This project seeks to explore to what extent poverty is correlated with enrollment rates, attendance, dropouts, educational attainment, and literacy rates in district-level data in Kenya, also considering the impact of gender. In addition, this paper analyzes the reasons given for children not being enrolled in school by district. The findings in this paper suggest that: Kenya’s focus on access and Free Primary Education is well founded, promoting female education can be a means of alleviating poverty, and feeding programs and adult education may be successful ways to promote demand.

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.

Breaking bad: U.S.-Mexican counterdrug offensive, the Mérida initiative and beyond

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2013-08-16
Abstract: 

In the study of U.S.-Mexico security cooperation, there exists a fundamental challenge to counterdrug operations; the underlying socioeconomic foundation of narco-trafficking. I argue that the historical and current practice of merely relying on military and law enforcement aid is not sufficient when it comes to addressing this socioeconomic foundation of narco-trafficking and transnational crime organizations (TCOs). Using a rational policy model, the analysis evaluates the Mérida Initiative’s effectiveness at inhibiting drug trafficking operations and decreasing drug-related violence. After demonstrating the ineffectiveness of current counterdrugs policies, this project evaluates three options for future U.S.-Mexico security cooperation utilizing the same criteria used to evaluate the Mérida Initiative. The prerogative of this project is to demonstrate the need for a comprehensive plan that both addresses bilateral security needs as well as the underlying social foundation of narco-trafficking in order to be successful in the ongoing Mexican Narco-War.

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.

The Role of the Akali Dal in the Punjab Crisis - 1981-86

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2013-08-16
Abstract: 

In the study of federalism, scholars argue that federalization strengthens regional parties who subsequently promote ethnic conflict and secessionism. This paper seeks to reject the general applicability of this argument by examining a specific regional party in the Indian state of Punjab during the 1980s. The paper shows that parties must not be seen as homogeneous entities, but as heterogeneous groups in which different factions seek to take over leadership. Leadership had an important impact on the evolution of the Punjabi conflict. In the 1980s the party was dominated by moderate politicians who wanted to find a political solution to the conflict. However, over the years the moderates got weakened in the party, but widespread ethnic conflict and violence first occurred when the moderates were disempowered in the late 1980s. The paper shows that leadership and internal factional divisions of parties are important factors for analyzing ethnic conflict.

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

The Barbadian success story: a case study of economic development in Barbados

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2013-04-17
Abstract: 

Since independence, Barbados has enjoyed consistent levels of economic success beyond what is typical for a Small Island Developing State (SIDS). This case study investigates the causes of this success and identifies core principles which can be used as a model for SIDSs aiming to increase their economic growth. A combination of good governance; strong taxation treaties and government regulation; and a focus on niche luxury markets are found to have created the foundation of success in Barbados. These factors are shown to have led to the safe and stable environment on the island which has attracted investors and allowed economic activity to thrive. Following the analysis of the causes of economic success, the case study also evaluates the position of the Barbadian economy moving forward and highlights areas that require attention if growth is to continue.

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.

A delayed response: analysis of the international response to the famine in Somalia

Author: 
Date created: 
2013-04-17
Abstract: 

This paper examines the causes for the delay in the humanitarian response to the famine in Somalia in 2011. The international community failed to respond to early warnings with actions that could have halted the spread of food insecurity and malnutrition. Using the case study of Somalia, this paper analyzes a variety of factors that could have contributed to the delayed response. The results of the case study indicate that the key factors were: donor fatigue and a lack of political interest, mismanagement by the United Nations and humanitarian organizations, and a lack of media attention. Alternative explanations, such as a lack of access and security concerns, and counter-terrorism legislation, are unworkable as causes of the delay primarily because these conditions continued to exist when donors did ultimately respond to the famine. This paper recommends that donors and humanitarian organizations work to better understand the benefits of early action.

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

The invisible majority: understanding children and youth as social, economic and political actors in fragile post-conflict states

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

In fragile post-conflict states, the risks of conflict recurrence are high and international interventions are expensive and frequently unsuccessful. In this complex environment, children and youth are a poorly understood “invisible majority.” In order to better understand this group, this paper asks two questions: First, how do the current approaches to children and youth affected by armed conflict (CYAAC) and to state reconstruction affect how we understand children and youth in post-conflict reconstruction practice? Second, as local actors, how do children and youth affect the goals of post-conflict reconstruction? The paper argues that children and youth in fragile post-conflict states affect the durability of post-conflict state reconstruction, in part due to their demographic predominance. However, unless they are understood as actors with agency and power – rather than as humanitarian or security problems to be solved – they will not be engaged as “local actors” in state reconstruction practice.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
A
Department: 
School for International Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

The varying treatment of selected human rights issues via internet media in Sarawak, East Malaysia

Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

This study examines efforts by indigenous rights activists to exert pressure on the Malaysian government by way of new media technologies and transnational human rights networks. Comparative content analysis of newspaper and online coverage shows that, despite the many formal restrictions on political demonstration and dissent in physical public spaces, the internet provides Malaysians with an important arena for political dissent. Additionally, the study finds that new technologies have further facilitated collaboration between local activists and overseas rights networks as first examined by Keck and Sikkink (1998). The study traces how transnational activism resulted in political pressure on the Malaysian government via boycotts, letter writing campaigns and financial support resulting, in some cases, in the desired boomerang effect.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
T
Department: 
School for International Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

Foreign direct investment and its effect on wages and working conditions

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

The activities of multinationals abroad have inspired both praise and criticism: Praise for the potential benefits they impart and criticism for social concerns they arouse. Do multinationals largely exploit their workers abroad with regard to wages and working conditions or are these criticisms unfounded? This paper surveys the existing literature on this subject in order to evaluate the impact of foreign direct investment on host countries, most particularly in the area of wages and working conditions. The final analysis concurs with previous research and suggests that, on the whole, multinational enterprises have a positive effect on wages, albeit more in developing countries than in developed countries. The evidence regarding working conditions is not as clear. While there is some evidence to demonstrate that multinational companies provide better working conditions than their domestic counterparts, opposing evidence demonstrating poor conditions or comparable conditions to that of domestic firms is much stronger.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
D
Department: 
International Leadership Special Arrangements Cohort - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

Small-scale agriculture in a global market: A comparative case study of Bolivian farmers participating in agrifood supply chains

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

As globalisation draws products from around the world into streamlined value-chains, consumers are simultaneously less connected to the provenance of their food and upstream actors in that chain. Actors such as agrifood producers have little authority to influence the chain or make a viable living from it. Yet the alternatives for many producers in the developing world are often more constricting. This paper compares the barriers faced by small-scale producers in lowland Bolivia before and after they have diversified their livelihoods with an export crop, coffee. The results of the case study show that while some of the problems faced by farmers endure regardless of crop, there are some that are effectively answered by participation in a larger and more robust global market. The paper also examines some of the ways that elements such as farmer associations and technical advice can be critical for successfully increasing income and livelihood sustainability.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
S
Department: 
School for International Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)