Political Science, 2011
  • Political Science, 2011



    Social Revolution in the Islamic World
    Justin Benedict
    Faculty Mentor: Suzanne Marilley

    The recent rise of revolutions in the Middle East shocked the world and caused great concern for both human life and the global economy. What caused this increase in unrest in the Islamic world? This study compares the recent successful revolutions in both Tunisia and Egypt with the failed revolution in Iran in 2009. This research project identifies factors for all these uprisings and their consequences. The works of Skocpol, Moore and others were reviewed to provide a framework to analyze social revolutions. An examination of a host of factors including, but not limited to, demographics, social factors, historical preconditions and precipitants was performed in an attempt to answer the question raised by the unrest.



    The Iranian Underground Railroad: Sexual Orientation and International Refugee Law
    Heidi Bretz
    Faculty Mentor: Andrew Carlson

    Homosexuality is criminalized in Iran, with punishments ranging from flogging to execution. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender (LGBT) individuals in Iran are subjected to harassment by religious and governmental authorities, including the Iranian morality police and Basij paramilitaries. Gay and lesbian individuals fleeing Iran seek refugee status under the “members of a particular social group” (MPSG) clause of the 1951 United Nations Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. However, despite the international nature of the 1951 Convention, member states serving as Third Countries in which the refugees are permanently settled subscribe to differing interpretations of the 1951 Convention, resulting in conflicting applications of international law to those seeking refugee status for their sexual orientation. I explore the plight of Iranian refugees fleeing their country of origin in response to persecution for their sexual orientation. I investigate the history of the international treatment of refugees, the conditions faced by LGBT individuals in Iran, the differing interpretations of the MPSG clause of the 1951 Convention and the effects it has on LGBT refugees, and the specific challenges faced by LGBT Iranian refugees. I also examine the factors that make Canada the safest Third Country for gay Iranian refugees.



    Healthcare Reform and College Students: A Study of What Factors Predict Knowledge and Opinion of Healthcare Issues in College Students
    Alyssa Chenault
    Faculty Mentor: Suzanne Marilley

    Price et al. (2006) conducted a detailed study on public opinions regarding healthcare reform. In a nationally representative survey, these scholars collected data on general attentiveness to news and public affairs, specific interests in healthcare issues, and motivations to follow healthcare issues in the general population. My study gathered information about general government knowledge, political participation, and media consumption of college students to discover what factors predicted knowledge and opinion on healthcare related issues. College student participants completed an online survey. Results were analyzed to determine correlations between the variables. I expected my results would support the findings of Price et al. (2006) that government knowledge, political participation and media consumption would only weakly predict healthcare knowledge and opinion. This study provided a snapshot of the knowledge and opinions of college students surrounding health care reform in relationship to their general government knowledge, political participation, and media consumption.



    The Long-Term Effects of Tax Incentives in Job Creation
    Jed Cooper
    Faculty Mentors: Saurav Roychoudhury, Suzanne Marilley

    The Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit has become a popular economic development incentive used by the State of Ohio since 1993. In 2002 Gabe and Kraybill analyzed the impact of the projects receiving an Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit from 1993-1995. Gabe and Kraybill found that that the tax credit had no impact on long term employment growth; however, their data focused solely on projects approved in 1993-1995. Using data obtained from the Ohio Department of Development this study sought to analyze the impact of the Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit from 1993 to 2009. Specifically, this study primarily uses regression analysis to look at the long term effects of tax credits on job creation using initial estimated value of the tax credit, economic change, time horizon, and original job commitment. In addition the study looks at root causes for overstatement and total impact at a project site. Preliminary results show that the Ohio Job Creation Tax has minimal impact on long term job creation.



    Recreation Centers as a Crime Prevention Tool
    Brittanee Filio
    Faculty Mentor: Suzanne Marilley

    The purpose of my study was to determine whether crime increased in the areas surrounding 3 out of the 10 recreation centers that were closed in Columbus, Ohio, during 2009. Riis, Jacobs, and Addams looked at how crime affects the quality of life in urban areas. More recently, Mahoney, Stattin and Magnusson and McLaughlin and Heath have investigated how effectively recreation centers can deter juvenile crime. My study analyzed data from September, October, and November in the years 2008, 2009, and 2010. The study assessed whether a correlation exists between increased crime and the closing of recreation centers. It was hypothesized that when the recreation centers were closed, more crimes occurred. The findings should enable policy makers to see more clearly whether tax dollars are being effectively spent on the centers.



    Capital University Climate Survey of Attitudes
    Justin Poole
    Faculty Mentors: Andrea M. Karkowski, Suzanne Marilley

    From Gordon Allport’s path breaking research on the nature of prejudice to the present, scholars have made important discoveries on how homophobia, racism, and sexism emerge and pervade society. For example, Roper and Halloran (2007) found that male student athletes, as compared to other students, hold more negative attitudes towards gay men and lesbians. Bowen and Bourgeois (2001) reported that significant homophobia and heterosexism occurs on campuses. The purpose of this study was to assess the frequency of offensive and hate-based homophobic language on Capital's campus. By answering the survey adopted and amended from Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) Local School Climate Survey, we determined whether students are accepting or tolerant of homosexual students. We also investigated whether there is a relationship between hearing offensive and hate-based homophobic language and student athletic status. To acquire information we administered online surveys to all Capital’s students. The students’ responses were analyzed to discover the type of climate present at Capital. Results can inform educational programming about prejudice.



    Student Uses of Social Networking
    Alexandra Ronan
    Faculty Mentors: Suzanne Marilley, Stephanie Gray Wilson

    Recent surges in young adult users of the Internet and social networking sites have made social networking sites a target for mobilization (Zhang et al., 2010). Park et al. (2009) note that social networking sites are used by informational, entertainment, socializing, and self-seeking users. Individuals who use the Internet, specifically social networking websites, in an information-oriented manner also learn political information. Therefore, an online survey was administered to Capital University Undergraduate Students with an expected result that students who are most exposed to social networking are more likely to be informational users, have more discretionary time, and participate most in the political process. Results were analyzed to find a correlation between exposure to social networking and political engagement. This survey adds to previous literature by gauging political participation that results from social networking sites depending on the users’ gratification as a product of time.


    Movie Trailers and Movies: Can They Inspire Actions?
    Laura Shields
    Faculty Mentor: Suzanne Marilley

    Since the early 19th century, feminist reformers and scholars have recognized that images of women portrayed in art and media, as well as film, teach girls and young women to think of themselves as sex objects and as inferior to males in intellect and ability. Such images also teach males to think of women as sex objects who are inferior to them. My study investigated whether the trailer for the upcoming documentary Miss Representation, can prompt viewers to change their attitudes and to take corrective action. In a two stage survey, I asked Capital University students a set of questions on their ideas about women’s roles. Students first viewed a trailer for the film and then completed a survey in class. The students completed an online follow up survey several weeks later. Results are presented and implications discussed.



    Factors Predicting Voting and Non-voting Among College Students
    Yesenia Soto, Jackeline Castro, Jacob Chapman
    Faculty Mentor: Suzanne Marilley

    The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that predict voting and non-voting among college students (ages 18-25). Political scientists Andrew Kohut, William Flanigan, and Nancy Zingale, stated that “non-voters tend to be less interested, involved, and informed than voters.” In this study we investigated whether these factors explain voting and non-voting by Capital students in the November 2010 Elections. Using an adapted version of the survey questions developed by the PEW Center, we asked respondents to select factors (time, interest level, political knowledge, etc.) that explain decisions on voting. Findings serve to expand knowledge on the factors that contribute to low youth voter turnout in even year, non-presidential elections.