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Political Science

Senior Theses

Every student who graduates from Carthage with a major in political science must complete a senior thesis project. Students work on their senior theses in POLS 400: Senior Seminar. Past theses have covered a broad range of topics:

2016-2017

  • Nicole Alfaro — “Analyzing the Adequacy of the Geneva Convention Concerning the Refugee Crisis”
  • Anthony Bellisario — “A Long Way Back to the Top: A Realist Approach to Russian Foreign Policy”
  • Rosemary Cisneros — “Working Across the Spectrum: Why Universalism Rationalizes Cultural Relativists Approaches to Ending Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting”
  • Wyatt Cooper — “Concealed-Carry On College Campuses: The Legal Right of Students and Faculty to Bear Arms”
  • Ashley Cross — “There are Prominent Businessmen but not Titan of Industry: Criticism of the Argument that we are in a Second Gilded Age”
  • Ryeshia Farmer — “U.S. Social Movements: Where Social and Political Arenas Overlap”
  • Benjamin Gesell — “Contemporary Federalism and the Laboratories of Democracy: How The States Have Become the Policy Innovators”
  • Michael Knaak — “Sanctions: Imprisoning the Nuclear Genie”
  • Kevin Kulling — “Mass Shootings: A Misguided Cause”
  • Maggie O’Toole — “Values of the West: Implications of Stakeholder Collaboration in Public Land Management”
  • Janina Spencer — “All Film Is Political: A Discussion of Political Nature and Its Relation to American Commercial Films”
  • Timothy Tennyson — “On Hobbes’s Treatment of Punishment In The Leviathan”
  • Odessa Torez — “When Fragile States Break: International Governmental Organizations’ Role in the Recognition of De Facto States”

2015-2016

  • Shannon Black — “Service-Learning in Higher Education: Putnam’s Encouragement and Fish’s Food for Thought”
  • Cody Merlin Brant — “How an Educated Society Effects the Descriptive Representation of Women – And Why That Matters”
  • Brien Drake — “Deinstitutionalization and Homelessness: A Policy Review”
  • Benjamin Fox — “Lockean Christianity: The Lockean Interpretation and Application of Christian Virtues in a Secular Society”
  • Nenad Komljenovic — “Video Games Affecting Violent Behavior: A Literature Review and Policy Design”
  • Maddie Kovarik — “Female Education and Gender Inequality in Afghanistan throughout the Decades”
  • Tom Meland — “Reexamining the Age of Consent: Sexual Freedom, Privacy, and the Attempt to Save the Children from Themselves”
  • Taylor Oanes — “The Steel Giant’s Emerald Heart: The Rise of Green Cities and the Federal Government’s Failure to Lead on Climate Change”
  • Reed Ortland — “Identification Please: A Look at Voter ID laws and Voting Opportunities”
  • Seth Petty — “The U.S. Supreme Court’s Role in Society: How Representative are they?”
  • Genevieve Siegler — “Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000: A Law Review of the Prisoner Provision”
  • Samuel Tomten — “Sovereignty or Bust: The American Indian Movement And The Continuing Fight for Self-Determination In American Indian Affairs”
  • Ryan Trower — “A Money Driven Dichotomous Union: The Relationship between Political Polarization and Economic Health”
  • Adam VanPay — “Leadership”

2014-2015

  • Christopher Bogusch — “Corrections in the United States: A Mental Health Case”
  • Roman Dzwinyk — “The Obligation of Western Powers to Prevent an Authoritarian Russia from Violating International Law and Threatening Domestic Progress”
  • Marissa Gray — “Addressing War Rape as a Crime Against Humanity: Feminist Perspectives and the Role of International Relations”
  • Reese Herth — “Narrowing of the Democratic Peace Theory: A Study of the Monadic and Dyadic Theories”
  • Samantha Meszaros — “The Welfare State as a Means for Gender Equality”
  • Kathryn Murphey — “Reforming Intercountry Adoption”
  • Matthew Praetorius — “The End of Endorsement”
  • Emily Prymula — “United States Sanctions: Foreign Policy Tool or Domestic Appeasement Tactic?”
  • Taylor Ridderbusch — “The Land Ethic and Wolves: The Ethics of Wolf Hunting”
  • Kendall Vega — “Competency to Stand Trial: Does the Process Protect Individuals with an Intellectual Disability?”

2013-2014

  • Brian Anderson — “Is Anybody Listening?: Responsiveness of Representatives in the House”
  • Eric Bernard — “Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965: A Call for Renewed Strength”
  • Kelsey Bowen — “Moving Towards Anti-Discriminatory Immigration Policy: A Comparative Study of the United States, Australia, and France”
  • Crosby Bradford — “The Role of the Justices and Popular Opinion in the United States Supreme Court”
  • Justin Cook — “Analysis of No Child Left Behind with a Proposal for the Ideal Education Legislation”
  • Matt Eilers — “The Necessity of United Nations Security Council Reform”
  • Kaylee Gleason — “The Impact of Colonial Legacy on the Status of African Women: A Comparative Analysis of British and French Colonial Institutions”
  • Diane Hahn — “Strengthening the Electorate by Improving the Role of Student Government in United States Colleges”
  • Marco Martinez — “Drone Warfare: Is the U.S. Drone Program in the Middle East Legal?”
  • Victoria Martinez — “Stripped Bare: An Examination of Pornography, Feminism and the Constitution”
  • Jason Olson — “Liquid-Fluoride Thorium Reactors and Public Policy”
  • Kelly Peterson — “Just War and the Importance of Wars of Choice and Wars of Necessity”
  • Jane Plier — “United States’ Failure in Effective Humanitarian Intervention: Implications for Syria”
  • Andrew Rosenberg — “The Wall of Separation: An American Reformation of Religion”
  • Alyssa Scott — “Reproductive Rights and Development: Effectively Using Male and Cultural Perspectives”
  • Chelsea Shields — “Strict Scrutiny and the Legitimacy of the Supreme Court”
  • Bobby Schoen — “The Federal Corporate Income tax and Its Influence on Corporate America”
  • Sarah Vanags — “#PublicSphere: An Analysis of Political and Advocacy Campaigning through Social Media”
  • Marlena Wdowiak — “Crime Shows Influence Upon Public Opinion: Misinterpretation of Law Conceptualization vs. Law in Practice”
  • Devon Wells — “What Heats Up Cools Off: A Study of U.S.-Russia Relations Past, Present and Future”

2012-2013

  • Andy Ademe — “Testing the Tiebout-Tullock Hypothesis: The Influence of Government Amenities on the Migration Propensity of Young Adults in the United States” 
  • Eric Ceci — “Good Christian Intentions and the Loss of American Democracy”
  • Cameron Clark — “Rising Health Care Costs and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”
  • Hunter Douglas — “A Case for Bureaucratic Control of Policy Implementation” 
  • Kelly Garcia — “PTSD: The Legacy of a Multiple Deployment Policy” 
  • Kate Haapala — “Sustainable Community Development: A Solution to Human, Indigenous and Environmental Rights Abuses in Ecuador” 
  • Tom Johnson — “An Advocacy Study for the Use of Surveillance by the Police” 
  • Rachael Kimmerling — “The Tragedy of Socratism: Striving for the Music-Practicing Socrates” 
  • Samantha Klaphake — “Approval Rating and Reelection Rates: The American Political Contradiction” 
  • Steve Kvasnicka — “Pork Barrel Politics in a Westminster Style Government Explained Through a Comparison Between Canada and Great Britain” 
  • Emily Landberg — “A Tale of Two Countries: War and Peace in the Middle East”
  • Maxx Lavin — “Federal and State Congressional Redistricting: The Motive Driving Partisan and Bipartisan Redistricting Committees”
  • Trevor Pennington — “Privacy Rights in Personal Information: A Defense of Privacy” 
  • Dan Pickerl — “Germany’s Role in the Euro Crisis” 
  • Barton Rosser — “China and the United States: Power Transition Theory and the Role of the Superpower in the 21st Century” 
  • Nathan Ruffolo — “Privacy in Preeminence” 
  • Megan Smith — “Retail Politics in the Primaries: Iowa, New Hampshire and Early Effects on the Presidential Nomination” 
  • Demetri Vincze — “Residential Segregation in the United States: Racial Zoning, City Planning, and Suburban Exclusion” 
  • Mike Zasadil — “Voter ID: The Imperfect Solution to a Nonexistent Problem”

2011-2012

  • Josh Baker — “Marriage Equality: Litigation versus Legislation as Durable Strategy”
  • Bo Blazavier — “Calling for Reform: How United States Correctional Policies Fail to Reduce Crime Effectively, Protect Potential Victims, and Set Offenders on Productive Paths”
  • Vincenzo Chimera — “A Machiavellian Peace”
  • Danielle Cleveland — “One Nation Divided: Ideological Polarization: Political Elite, United States Electorate and the Supreme Court”
  • Benjamin Coder — “Out-of-Area Operations and the North Atlantic Society of States: The Quest to Define Security and the Inescapable Demise of Broad-Alliance Operations”
  • Barry Doetch — “Effects of Citizens’ Polarization of the United States on Congressional Gridlock”
  • Joseph Finnemann — “Political Polarization in Interwar Germany: What Main Reason Created Radical Political Polarization? “
  • Ryan Geary — “The Right to Miranda Rights: The Constitutional Right and Its Mistaken Identity as a Procedural Ruling”
  • Matthew Holmes — “The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002: A Failure to Control Unregulated Money in Political Elections and a Substantial Burden on the First Amendment”
  • Graham Johnson — “Woodrow Wilson’ Idealism in Mexico: A Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian Dichotomy”
  • Cailin Kolk — “The Perfect Storm: Understanding the Current Crisis of Low Public Opinion in the United States”
  • Paul Kuszel — “The Necessity of Religious Institutions in a Democracy: Tocqueville’s Arguments on Religion”
  • Glen Nielsen — “The International Response to Failed States”
  • Zack (Slim) Simonini — “The Second Amendment Rights Revolution”
  • Phil Taylor — “Political Influences within the Federal Reserve System”
  • Elizabeth Wagner — “Oedipus Rex: A Play on the Perpetual Tragedy of the Political Man”

2010-2011

  • Paul Berauer — “Our Son of a Bitch: Jimmy Carter, Nicaragua, and American Foreign Policy”
  • Timothy Blazek — “Shakespeare’s Political Theory of Henry the IV: ‘Presume Not That I Am the Thing I Was’”
  • Matt Breuer — “Machiavelli’s II Principe and the Modernity of lo Stato”
  • Randi Coughlin — “United States Citizens Misconceptions of Islamic Traditions”
  • Ellen Klahn — “Eliminating Gender Inequalities in Education as a Development Initiative”
  • Alex Kosyla — “After Appomattox: The Supreme Court and its Effect on Segregation”
  • Zachary Peters — “The Effectiveness of Dedicated Drug Treatment Courts: The Likelihood of Expansion for these Revolutionary Policies”
  • Laura Ripple — “Guatemala: Transitioning After Conflict”
  • Maria Sarantakis — “A New Meaning to ‘Be Fruitful and Multiply’: How the United States is Replacing Adam & Eve with Adam & Steve”
  • Samantha Shackleford — “United States Foreign Assistance Towards Least Developed Countries: The Shift to Liberal Policy”
  • Thomas Stowe — “Limits of Plurality Voting: How Alternative Voting Systems can more Accurately Depict Voter Preference”
  • Jeanne Sullivan — “Abraham Lincoln’s Lyceum Address: An Argument for the Utilization of the People’s Passions to Perpetuate the American Democracy”

2009-2010

  • Brittany Dayton — “The Patriarchal Dilemma: An In-Depth Look into Constraints on Female Representation in the United States”
  • Thomas Gasparo — “Buzzkill: Sustainable Development and its Application to Colony Collapse Disorder”
  • Angela Harden — “Female Politicians in the Media: An Analysis of Gender Bias within the 2008 Presidential Election”
  • Carl Hoefler — “Habeas Corpus’ Effect at Guantanamo Bay”
  • Eric Jaburek — “Hugo Chavez: Empowering the People or Damaging Democracy?”
  • Andrea Jacobsen — “The Environmental Issues of Today: Going Green or Green Washing?”
  • Glenn Knuth — “Bush Doctrine and the Origins of the Iraq War”
  • Jan Rakes — “Are China’s Educational Inequalities Increasing? The Effects of Government Policy on China’s Education System”
  • Stephen Schrieber — “The American Regime: A Reexamination of Locke and International Relations”
  • Claire Zautke — “Greasing the Wheels: An Analysis of United States Energy Policy and the U.S. Policymaking System”

2008-2009    

  • Kyle J. Alberti — “Plato as a Parallel to the Presidency: How Attributes of the Executive Mirror the Philosopher-King in The Republic”
  • Jenna M. Cooper — “Within Powers of the President or Without Precedent? The Expansion of Executive Authority, Post-September 11th, 2001”
  • Tyler Creekmore — “Destruction of the Great Writ: The Attenuating Role Habeas Corpus Plays in the War on Terror”
  • Claire Gene Esker — “The Dynamics of a Stateless Nation: A Comparative Analysis of Tibetan Nationalism”
  • Jennifer Ewins — “Elk Grove v. Newdow: The Constitutionality of an Unbroken Exercise of History”
  • Hanna Gichard — “The Presidential Popularity Contest: An Assessment of the Dynamic Influences on Presidential Approval Ratings”
  • Russell Hansen — “The United States’ Slide toward Alexis de Tocqueville’s Vision of Democratic Despotism”
  • Kirsten M. Hedin — “State Intervention in Genocide: Self Interests Dictate Action”
  • Kyle King — “Congressional Earmarks and Distributive Policy”
  • Nicole A. Rakers — “Paradox in Paradise: Tourism and Dependency in Barbados”
  • Krystal Risen — “Cultural Preservation or Isolationism?: Negative effects of France’s Immigration Policies”
  • Brian Schmidt — “Nietzsche’s Cultural Medicine Contra the Social Contract”
  • Aaron J. Tinjum — “Limits, Decision-Making, and Sustainability: An Analysis of U.S. Energy Proposals through Environmental Perspectives”
  • Kyle Underwood — “So goes the people, So goes the Party, The Rise and Return of Libertarianism in America”

2007-2008    

  • Amanda L. Barker — “Making the Case for Public Arts Funding”
  • Kelly Bauer — “Freedom of Information: A Case Study of Political Motivations and Policy Designs in Argentina”
  • Gordon Bothun — “Pakistan: Lost in the Democratic Transition?”
  • William Crowley — “Neoconservatism and Its Influence on the War in Iraq”
  • Sean Highsmith — “Presidential Elections, the News Media, and Democracy”
  • Frank Johnsen — “The Evolution of the Law and Order Ideology And its Enforcement among Democrats and Republicans”
  • Kristyne Keppler — “Legal Guides of Policy Preferences? Evaluating How Supreme Court Justices Decide Cases”
  • Jordan Payne — “Political Attitudes or Deferment to Precedent? Obscenity and the Supreme Court”
  • Sarah Walker — “Immigrant Assimilation: A Comparison of the United States and France”

2006-2007    

  • Carrie S. Becker — “Money and Politics: An Age-Old Tradition”
  • Melissa Bendever — “The United States Government’s Reaction to Fidel Castro”
  • Kyle S. Blair — “Devolution of Power in the United Kingdom”
  • Emily Cahoon — “Sex Slavery in Southeast Asia: A Crisis Hindered by Inadequate Efforts”
  • Kathryn Hinterlong — “Welfare Reform: Promoting Marriage to Reduce Poverty”
  • Samantha Kraimer — “Free Press/ Fair Trial: How Fair Is It Actually?”
  • Kurt Kromm — “Confidential Sources, the Media, and Democratic Government”
  • Christopher Nikkinen — “National Crises and Presidential Influence”
  • Shannon Richmond — “The Media and its Effect on Political Socialization”
  • Christopher T. Scolire — “Congress, Professional Sports, and Steroids: Injecting the Government Into Private Organizations”
  • Scott Shapiro — “The Growing Group of Independent Moderate Voters and Its Implications”
  • Magdalene V. Spanuello — “The Effectiveness of Socialist Realism in Creating the Ideal Soviet State”

2005-2006    

  • Chip Bishop — “Sustainable Development and Costa Rica: Future Global Leadership from the Third World”
  • Elise Catalanotte — “Constitutional Rights to Privacy and the USA PATRIOT Act”
  • Casen Griffiths — “Free Markets and Education: Promises and Problems in Milwaukee’s Voucher Program”
  • Greta Johnson — “The Struggle to Reduce the Inequalities of Income Distribution in Chile”
  • Betheny Johnson — “An Independent Judiciary in a Democracy”
  • Alyson Kuttruff — “Reclaiming Humanitarian Assistance: A Civilian Rapid Reaction Mechanism for the European Union”
  • Elizabeth Mitchell — “Government Responsibility to Diminish Urban Poverty with a Focus on the Importance of Housing”
  • Chris O’Neill — “The USA PATRIOT Act: A Threat to Civil Liberties?”
  • Erin Parker — “Political Instability and Social Fragmentation are Found Correlated among States that Use Child Soldiers”
  • Brian Pawlowski — “Machiavellian Piety: Religion and Leadership in the Discourses”
  • Kimberly Poff — “The Justification for the International Criminal Court”
  • Amber Tiemann — “Nuclear Proliferation and United States Policy Towards North Korea”
  • Jason Zapf — “The United States and Regime Change: A Case Study of Guatemala”

2004-2005    

  • Lyndsay Boyd — United States Government and Non-Government Funding for HIV and AIDS in Kenya
  • William Del Marto — A Study of the USA Patriot Act: Empowering Law Enforcement vs. Protecting Civil Liberties
  • Matthew Dubowski — Roll Call Vote Margins and Party Conformity
  • Sean Duffy — Does the U.S. have the Responsibility to Intervene?
  • Angela Froberg — Prayer in Public Schools: Establishment v. Free Exercise
  • Karen Gottfredsen — Thomas Jefferson and Religious Freedom
  • Christine Hugon — An Exploration of Richard J. Daley and his Involvement Within the Chicago Political Machine
  • Aaron Krager — An Overview of Recycling Programs With a Focus on Recycling Possibilities For Carthage College
  • Rex Nauman — The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Case and President George W. Bush
  • Victoria Nguyen — Environmental Regulation: the Battle to Reduce Mercury
  • Kimberly Phillips — National Missile Defense: A Necessity or Wasted Effort?
  • Dime’ Russell — Women’s Rights and the Gender Gap
  • Jonathon Strauss — Cruising Out of Control? International Regulation and Monitoring of the Cruise Travel Industry in Regard to Environmental Pollution
  • Luke Zammit — Media as an Agent of Corporate Power

2003-2004    

  • Rocio Herrera — Censorship and Propaganda in the Soviet Union
  • Mary Miller — The Social Responsibility of 18-24 Year Olds: A Study of the Relationship of Community Service and Voting
  • Heather Menke — InnerChange Freedom Initiative Program
  • Alyson Paulson — Judicial Activism and Public Opinion

2002-2003    

  • Thomas Bez — The 1992 Presidential Election and the Effects of the Media
  • Peggy Buehler —Women and Politics Norway, The United States, and Japan
  • Damian Dambra — Why Are They Called Controlled Substances?
  • Jonathan FioRito — A Comparative Study: The Triple Transitions of Estonia and Lithuania
  • Timothy Grailer — Attributes of Chinese Religious Persecution and the Future of the Falun Gong: A Case Study of the White Lotus Teachings and Falun Gong
  • Andrew James Kressin — Pre-emptive Counter-terrorism: The United States, Just War and the Yemen Incident
  • Peter Lenos — Of National Security: An Examination of Organization and Political Factors Contributing to our Liability to Prevent Terrorist Attacks
  • Jeff Rasch — Is Hate Speech Free Speech?
  • Erica Williams — Democracy in India
  • Nick Williams — Quality of Life in Milwaukee Suburbs

2001-2002     

  • James I. Bernicky — The Lack of Gun Education Programs: Why have they taken so long to implement?
  • Eric Carlson — The Right to Bear Arms
  • Stephen Clubb — The Conflict Between Sovereignty and Integration
  • Paul Eiting — Democratization in Postconflict States: Impact of Consociational Elements in Kenya
  • Steven Fink — Welfare Reform Should Be Reformed
  • Jens Galla — Federal Funding for Higher Education As Policy Reaction in Times of Crisis
  • Thomas Justice Jr. — Small Arms and Conflict States, A Lethal Combination
  • Adam McBrady — United States’ Nuclear Security: Assessing the Changes that Have Been, and Should Be Made
  • Jenelle Montague — Children and Television Violence
  • Joshua Snell — Advocating Euthanasia
  • Theresa Smiley — Female Circumcision and the Application of Universalism and Cultural Relativism
  • Heather Taylor — Wisconsin Works: A Success

2000-2001    

  • David Ahlvers — Just War Theory
  • Ryan Joseph Banta — Russia’s Triple Transition
  • Jamie Eck — Corporal Punishment: An American Tradition?
  • James F. Garner — The International Political System: Bipolar Vs. Multi-polar
  • Brian O’Connell — Capitalism in Cuba: Socialism or Death?
  • Melissa Poppenger — The Death Penalty: Do Social Characteristics Play a Role?
  • Al Spiegel — Campaign Evolution

1999-2000    

  • Chris Gochis — Preventing the Reoccurrence of Intrastate Conflict
  • Phillip Oliver — Jury Selection: Myths and Methods
  • Phillip Oliver — The Perception of Mental Illness and How it Affects Mock Juror’s Acquittal Rate in Insanity Defense Cases
  • Michelle Rayburn — Gun Control
  • Kelly Sexton — The Politics of Public Policy: Effects of Socioeconomic Conditions on Welfare Public Policy

1998-1999    

  • Richard Charles Kriofsky — The GI Bill: From a Public Policy Perspective
  • James Prevost — Leadership and Hussein’s Maintenance of Power
  • Amy Van Rooy — Gun Control
  • Angela Serio — An Indepth Look Into a Civil War Crisis
  • David J. Turek — Do We Share More Than Hockey and Celine Dion: An Investigation of Binational Environmental Regimes between the United States and Canada

1997-1998    

  • Cara Bowman — Thomas Hobbes, Immanuel Kant, and Hedley Bull and International Relations Theory: What were their perspectives and how do they fit in today’s world?
  • Coreen Held — The Christian Coalition
  • Ryan Landry — Gangs in Prison
  • April Lamb — Gender Gap: Women and Men in Public Office
  • Diana M. Wells — Why Do People Vote The Way They Do?
  • Anne Wilson — Biomaterials and the Policy Process: A Comprehensive Study
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