Hire a University of Houston Ph.D.
Paula Cecilia Pineda PhD (2016 expected)
Dissertation Title: Deconstructed Decentralization and Ethnic Conflict: The Impact of Political, Fiscal, and Administrative Decentralization
Dissertation Committee: Ryan Kennedy (chair), Tanya Bagashka, Patrick Shea, Kristin Bakke
This dissertation addresses the divided, inchoate understanding of the role that decentralization can play in ethnic conflict. First, I highlight inconsistencies in the conceptualization of decentralization, which is traditionally bounded to the concept of federalism. To this end, I present the Deconstructed Decentralization Model (DDM), which features political, fiscal, and administrative spheres of decentralization.
My empirical models demonstrate that different types of decentralization are associated with different impacts on ethnic conflict. For example, I find that the local level in the administration sphere functions as a vessel for higher representation and reduces ethnic conflict levels. Importantly, this impact is consistent across low, mid, and high levels of democracy within states. The dissertation also includes a case study of these dynamics in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and concludes with direct policy implications for the increasingly salient ethnic conflict reality.
Bruce A. Hunt, Jr., PhD (2016 expected)
Dissertation Title: "Desiring Immortality and Resisting the Regime in Political Liberalism"
Dissertation Committee: Jeffrey Church (chair), Jeremy Bailey, Scott Basinger, Laurence Cooper
I argue that political theorists have largely overlooked the crucial relationship between the desire for immortality and civic virtue in the political writings of Plato, John Locke, Alexis De Tocqueville, and John Dewey. I identify and analyze these thinkers’ distinct views on this relationship using qualitative and quantitative methods.