Political Science

By Chowdhury, .. .. Jyoti | Michigan Academician, Winter 2009 | Go to article overview

Political Science


Chowdhury, .. .. Jyoti, Michigan Academician


A Theoretical Examination of Human Rights Treaties. Jyoti Chowdhury, Department of Political Science, Wayne State University

Human Rights treaties among nations have always been considered contentious. Despite being considered ineffectual and at times irrelevant when it contradicts state interest, states have overwhelmingly signed on to various treaties and declarations of human rights. This paper attempts to review current scholarly work pertaining to this phenomenon and its impact on states. This paper will also provide a balanced critique of the existing literature. As a secondary objective, these critiques shall be used to answer the utility of such treaties and declarations.

In this paper, we will examine the Hathaway approach (part of the new haven school of international law), the neo-realist approach, and the transnational actor approach (the constructivist approach). One may ask I address only these three approaches. I chose to focus on these three positions since the Hathaway Approach provides a much needed empirical understanding of the human rights treaty ratification and its impact; the neo-realist approach provides the ever evolving approach to the question at hand, and the transnational actor approach provides a dissection of the role of non-state actor in an increasingly global world and focuses on a more post-modern decentralized approach to international relations and international law.

Through the Logic of Skocpol: Corruption and Democratic Transition. Patty Zakaria, Wayne State University, Department of Political Science

Corruption occurs in every political system worldwide; however acts of corruption are more prevalent in developing countries. The need for power, prestige, and financial benefits in many developing countries leads individuals on the path of corruption. Acts of corruption have a real economic, social, and political cost for a country. This study will focus on corruption and democratic transition in developing countries by applying Skocpol's logic for analyzing social revolutionary transformation to my corruption-democracy model. I propose that the dominant group in a developing country experiencing political corruption will initiate for transition if they are dissatisfied with the system. Dissatisfaction occurs when the dominant group does not benefit politically and economically from corruption. In the corruption-democracy model dissatisfaction alone does not lead to democracy rather a 'trigger' need's to occur to push the dissatisfied dominant group into action. On the other hand, when the dominant group is satisfied with the system they will not push for democratic transition, but support the status quo. In seeking to examine the democracy-corruption model I will utilize a panel study of developing countries experiencing political corruption between 1970--2007.

Anti Nazi Resistance in Hungary: The University Youth in 1994--1945. Barnabas Racz, Eastern Michigan University, Department of Political Science

Hungary's anti--Nazi resistance in World War II was almost non-existent until after the German occupation in 1944. Building on previous smaller attempts an anti-fascist organization crystallized in the second half of 1944 in the universities, including a couple of core semi-military units. The conspiratorial activities, their successes/failures are analyzed in this study from the psychological-political-cultural and legal viewpoints. In the aftermath of the war under the new communist dominated system, the university resistance was not officially recognized for political reasons until later in the post-1956 reform era.

Is Islam the Answer? The Reformed Image of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Their Rise to Political Power. Kristin LaLonde, University of Michigan-Flint, Department of Political Science

The group known as the "Muslim Brotherhood" is a longstanding institution in the country of Egypt, both religiously and politically.

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