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

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Islam and state-building in Afghanistan: whither legitimacy?

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No, item is not peer reviewed.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

The current internationally-led state-building mission in Afghanistan faces continued challenges, such as government corruption, a worsening security environment and a dismal human rights situation. These factors have led certain Western scholars, such as Bernard Lewis, to argue that Islam and democracy are functionally incompatible. This paper argues that Islam and democracy are indeed compatible and that the political and social issues threatening Afghanistan’s nascent democracy have little to do with Islam and more to do with decades of warfare and international interference, and the lack of a consolidated vision among Muslims for reconciling Islam and democracy. Afghans need to develop both a theoretical and practical approach to establishing Islamic democracy, and the international community must do its part to secure rule of law, build institutional capacity, and bolster human rights. In doing so, the decades-long crisis of legitimacy in Afghan politics may be resolved.

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

International mobility trends of highly skilled workers: an analysis of the transnational migration of highly skilled immigrants for both receiving and sending countries and their role on innovation in a knowledge-based economy

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No, item is not peer reviewed.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

In a knowledge-based economy, innovation has become a key driver of economic growth. The return migration of highly skilled workers to traditional sending countries such as Taiwan, China, and India has increased the international mobility of highly skilled workers in the Science and Technology sector. As a result, this will change transnational migration patterns of highly skilled workers in the future and will affect recruitment strategies of traditional receiving countries such as Canada. This research project will analyze highly skilled workers’ role in innovation and analyze international migration trends of highly skilled workers. It argues that highly skilled workers have become more valuable in the innovation process as their international mobility has increased in a knowledge-based economy and receiving countries that rely on highly skilled immigrants need to recognize that permanent migration may not be in today’s minds of migrants. Rather, onward and circular migration policies need to be framed.

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

Does 'Early Recovery' improve aid?: A literature review on relief-to-development transition

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

Early Recovery represents the suffusion of development principles into the humanitarian relief setting, purportedly improving the overall delivery of aid. But though it is described as a new adaptation of aidwork and solution to the challenge of contemporary emergencies, Early Recovery is ‘too late’: complex emergencies have evolved faster than the debates that produced their solution in Early Recovery. In addition, several challenges to aid are especially relevant in regard to Early Recovery - such as the lack of feedback loops and the erosion of human security. As well, the specific challenges of ‘timing’, ‘funding’ and ‘understanding’ plague Early Recovery, and given that these challenges will ultimately require their own individual adaptations, further debates will likely delay desperately needed solutions to complex emergencies. This paper reviews prevalent challenges to Early Recovery and proposes a means to potentially shorten the length of time it takes aid adaptations to emerge.

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

Darfur: the new ground zero? Armed violence and environmental change, making the connections.

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

This research project seeks to explain the causes of the conflict in Darfur. Resource scarcity and environmental degradation have played a role, but political factors cannot be ignored. There is a need for a more comprehensive approach in dealing with the root causes of the conflict. There are flaws in both the “strictly” Malthusian approach, and the “strictly” political approach. Instead, we need to look at both the environmental and political causes of conflict in order to have suitable policies for the area. In the future climate change might play a more significant role in conflict and development.

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

Playing for peace? The relationship of sport to peacebuilding in divided societies

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

As the use of sport in pursuit of development objectives becomes increasingly common, there is a pressing need to determine if and how sport can be productively used to promote peace in divided societies. While sport is commonly presented as an inherently positive phenomenon, a deeper examination of its role in divided societies reveals a conflicted picture of its value. While it can help to build bridges between antagonistic groups, sport can also exacerbate conflict and reinforce division. This paper recognizes the contradictory nature of sport, and examines its social impact in divided societies. It argues that spectator sport has an extremely limited peacebuilding potential and a significant capacity to reinforce division and perpetuate violence. Participatory sport, however, offers more hope as a tool for peace, and there is reason to believe that if appropriately implemented it may make a modest contribution to broader peacebuilding efforts.

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

Reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda: the transitional justice paradox

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

This paper addresses the issue of transitional justice using Rwanda as a case study. It attempts to describe how exactly countries such as Rwanda go about trying to reconcile past atrocities while attempting to create a more democratic future. In that regard, it analyzes the instruments of transitional justice that the country has used including the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, national courts, and Gacaca. More specifically, the paper argues that the current Rwandan government, under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, is hindering the effectiveness of these mechanisms of transitional justice. This is because the government is pro-Tutsi and highly authoritarian. Consequently, Kagame’s undemocratic policies jeopardize successful efforts in trying to reconcile the nation, as many Hutus feel threatened and suppressed by his regime. Finally, until Kagame is willing to truly move Rwanda towards more liberal democracy, the country’s ambitious endeavor in transitional justice will not be successful.

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

Hot soil: resource scarcity, human security and armed conflict in Karamoja, Uganda

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

Does climate change contribute to armed conflict? The causal relationship between environmental resource scarcity and the outbreak of violent conflict is complex. By analysing the link between resource scarcity and violent conflict in Karamoja (Uganda), we seek to provide a multi-focal perspective on the ongoing crisis in the region. This research argues that increased vulnerability of pastoral livelihoods to risk factors and triggers is a function of the cumulative effect of poor governance, population pressure, erratic rainfall, economic marginalization and a breakdown of traditional authority. The resulting environmental degradation is a risk factor that has increased human insecurity in Karamoja. The proliferation of small arms from neighbouring countries is an additional trigger. The interaction between contextual risk factors and triggers, which is missing from many quantitative studies that deal exclusively with structural/contextual factors, is essential to understanding armed conflicts.

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

Supporting international assignments for intercultural effectiveness: a course redesign

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

Increased global mobility has resulted in a proliferation of international work, study abroad and volunteer opportunities. Yet these types of opportunities canbe challenging, and the support people receive can greatly influence their ability to navigate effectively across cultures. This project examines the concept of intercultural effectiveness for the purpose of redesigning a course on supporting international assignments offered by the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Intercultural Communication. With a stronger link to research across sectors and with a focus on intercultural effectiveness, the redesigned course promotes a comprehensive integrated approach to supporting individuals and groups throughout the international assignment cycle. Conceptual frameworks and models are introduced to assist course participants in analyzing contextual, organizational as well as individual factors contributing to success and intercultural effectiveness in international assignments, and in planning and developing competency-based support programming.

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

The role of dollar diplomacy in China-Taiwan diplomatic competition in the Caribbean and Central America

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

China and Taiwan have a significant impact on the nations of the Caribbean and Central America. This study shows that both governments have used dollar diplomacy to rent recognition from economically fragile nations in the region, thus treating sovereignty as a resource to be fought over in their competition for diplomatic ties. To develop this argument, the paper analyzes regional Sino-Taiwanese diplomatic rivalry by first clarifying what the term dollar diplomacy means, setting it in its historical and contemporary foreign policy contexts, and then analyzing motivations, techniques and results of dollar diplomacy in thirteen countries in the region. Dollar diplomacy is the most extreme and competitive form of the economic-based foreign policies of Beijing and Taipei. The paper concludes with an explanation for the current Taiwan-China diplomatic truce in 2009, but shows that pressures still exist for re-intensified rivalry and for dollar diplomacy to resume.

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

Mining for solutions, extracting discord: corporate social responsibility and canadian mining companies in Latin America

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

While the mining industry generates many benefits to society, the industry has in some cases had a detrimental impact on affected communities. This paradox, manifested in the unequal distribution of costs and benefits amongst stakeholders, has prompted widespread scrutiny of the mining industry. Critique of the industry has questioned whether mining provides an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable model of development. Mining companies are increasingly adopting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to address the industry paradox, and to thereby ameliorate the industry’s reputation, productive prospects, and societal impact. This paper examines how, and to what effect CSR has been implemented by Canadian mining companies operating in Latin America. A case study of Glamis Gold/ Goldcorp’s operations in Guatemala illuminates industry and CSR trends, observable elsewhere in Latin America. Despite the redeeming qualities of many CSR initiatives, CSR alone is not the panacea for solving the industry paradox and achieving sustainable development.

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