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

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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.)

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.)