Buffalo State College
Below are abstracts collected from Dr. Patrick McGovern
's senior capstone course in political science:
AMAL BANDOW; “Sexual Exploitation by Peacekeepers and Gender Equality”
Resent research into the United Nations and other international organizations has revealed a myriad of sexual abuse allegations against their peacekeepers. These international organizations have been accused of fostering predatory environments during peacekeeping missions. These incidents undermine the legitimacy of all peacekeeping operations and I.Os. The literature has considered factors for this phenomenon such as perceived impunity and toxic masculinity. This paper considers the conditions of countries hosting peacekeeping missions, specifically gender equality levels. The author contends that gender equality levels of a hosting country will significantly impact sexual exploitation by peacekeepers; a more equal society provides better legal, political, and social support for women, thereby deterring abuse. This study uses cross-sectional time series analysis and logistic regression models. The first hypothesis tested is as the percentage of women in parliament increases, sexual exploitation by peacekeepers decreases. The second hypothesis tested is as the percentage of women in the paid labor force increases, sexual exploitation by peacekeepers decreases. Lastly, as school enrollment of girls in primary girls increases, sexual violence by peacekeepers decreases. The results indicated that there was no significant relationship between gender equality and peacekeeping sexual violence. However, research suggests a significant relationship between economic development of hosting nations and sexual violence by peacekeepers; thus, suggesting the need for further research.
JENNIFER BRIONES; “The Curse of Wealth: Unearthing the Relationship Between Natural Resources & Sexual Violence”
It is a common misconception that sexual violence occurs whenever civil conflict occurs. Yet, there are several causal mechanisms that tend to be associated with the atrocities committed throughout war. Natural resources, such as oil, natural gas, coal, and timber, may be underlying mechanisms as to why civilians get brutalized for living in areas deemed resource “wealthy.” This research examines the relationship between natural resources and sexual violence during conflict, as this is a vastly understudied field, lacking literature that explores the possible connections between natural resources and sexual violence. This paper argues that there is less sexual violence in countries experiencing civil conflict that have a bounty of natural resources, as there is more incentive on the part of combatants to rely on civilians for access to these resources. This 'disincentivizes' brutality toward civilians. To unearth a potential relationship between these variables, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, and Burundi are discussed, as they hold vast natural resources and have faced civil conflict involving sexual violence. Quantitative analysis is employed in a multi-method approach using the Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (SVAC) dataset and World Bank data, covering the decades between 1989-2009. Though statistically significant, the results do not support the papers stated hypothesis, suggesting the need for further research; research that, for example, might utilize geographic referencing to pinpoint natural resources within a conflict country and their proximity to areas of the greatest political violence.
EUGENE BROWN; “Market Liberalization in the Airline Industry: Positive Effects of Foreign Competition”
This research project utilizes publicly available statistics from the United States Department of Transportation and United States Bureau of Transportation Statistics to determine the effect of foreign competition on domestic carriers which operate international routes for the commercial passenger air carrier services market. There have been recent debates on the issue of market liberalization using “open skies” agreements and the impact of market oversaturation by foreign air carriers, such as Gulf based air carriers. The passenger air carrier service market, historically, has been one of the most heavily regulated industries in the United States. The data was statistically analyzed by use of a zero-inflated negative binomial regression model with multiple factors such as the frequency of flights, number of destinations, and number of carriers in a market. Each market was defined by an airport and analyzed over a five-year period. This analysis seeks to understand the positive relationship of foreign air carriers competing against domestic air carriers through these multiple factors. The analysis also utilizes financial data to couple the economic effects of increased supply within the marketplace as an interactive variable. Foreign competition is theorized to decrease prices through increased supply of flights and destinations by foreign air carriers, which thereby increase passenger traffic on domestic air carriers that fly international routes. As the number of foreign air carriers increases in a market, the number of total passenger enplanements on domestic air carriers should increase. Foreign air carriers are determined to have a positive effect on the total number of passenger enplanements on domestic air carriers. This research demonstrates the positive impact of “open skies” agreements on domestic markets and argues for their continued supports implementation.
LINDSEY CHAPPLE; “Children's Rights: Can Women Make a Difference?”
The study of women in politics has become a growing topic of interest in political science research. Current studies on women in politics have focused on corruption, women’s rights, education, and marginalization. There is, however, a gap in the literature focusing on women and children’s rights. Using regression and logit models with 110 states from 2000 to 2015, this study explores the impact of female heads of state and women in legislatures on enhancing children’s rights. Children’s rights, in this case, will focus on three main areas: education, employment, and marriage. Female politicians are often focused on women and family policies and are more likely to enact legislation and enforce policies that protect children from abuse. This study tests the correlation of female heads of state compared to male heads of state in reducing the abuse of children rights. The study also tests the correlation of the percentage of women in legislatures in reducing the abuse of children’s rights. Finally, this study assesses the interaction between female head of state and regime types, along with percentage of women in parliament and regime type on children’s rights abuses. Results suggest that the presence of women in legislatures has the greatest impact among these variables in protecting children’s rights.
RYAN M. KIRKPATRICK; “Chechen Female Suicide Bombers: Their Ideology, Motivations, and Indoctrination”
This article explores the history of the modern female suicide bomber in Chechnya, as well as the ideologies and motivations that drive these women to kill. It poses the question as to what propels the women of Chechnya to engage in suicide terrorism and what has been the catalyst in the decreasing number of Chechen female suicide in recent years. The article also argues that due to the indiscriminate warfare of the First and Second Chechen Wars, as well as mitigating factors such as poverty and sexual violence, Chechen women have been driven to suicide terrorism as a matter of personal revenge and monetary gain rather than one purely based on religious extremism. Although the resistance of the Chechen people against the Russian Federation has been co-opted by fundamentalist Islamic militant groups in the early two-thousands, much of the motivation in guiding these women to commit such acts eschews jihad. Instead, the resistance of these women is typically done in favor of avenging the loss of a loved one or ensuring one’s family may benefit monetarily from a martyrdom operation. The article additionally examines the statistical damage done by these Chechen women when compared to their male suicide attacker counterparts; on average, Chechen women have killed fourteen people per suicide attack whereas attacks perpetrated by Chechen men result in an average of eight fatalities per attack. Worldwide trends concerning suicide bombings demonstrate that although men have conducted approximately ninety-two percent of global suicide bombings from 2000 to 2016, those committed by women have resulted on average more fatalities per attack.