East Carolina University. Tomorrow starts here.®
 
Welcome to ECU
Master of Arts in International Studies


ECU Main Home Handbook Faculty Resources

ECU Random Image


 


Research

1999

Amy L. Royster. THE NEED TO LOOK BEYOND HIRING PRACTICES TOWARD A NEW APPROACH FOR ADDRESSING DIVERSITY ISSUES IN JOURNALISM.(Under the direction of Dr. Seodial Deena)

This paper will address many of the shortcomings in American print journalism with regard to the fair and accurate coverage of minority ethnic groups. It addresses issues such as, blatent versus subtle misrepresentation, absent or irresponsible coverage, the role of minority journalists, and techniques for providing more enlightened coverage, as they are studied in popular diversity projects. These issues, dubbed "diversity issues" by the industry, and the crop of popular diversity projects that follow them, are examined in pursuit of better coverage of ethnic minorities. The paper includes a study of Belizean journalism specifically focused on how another culture, more multi-cultural in design than our own, may provide a different framework for understanding American "diversity issues" than what is currently popular. The very notion of how Americans view ethnicity, in addition to "diversity issues," is challenged in this work by the example of Belizean society. This study provides the context for understanding an alternative approach to realizing progress in the coverage of ethnic minorities in print journalism.

Samuel D. Simmons. AN OVERVIEW OF BARRIERS TO HEALTH CARE ACCESS FOR HISPANICS. (Under the direction of Dr. Mary Glascoff)

The purpose of this thesis is to provide an overview of barriers to health care access for Hispanics in the United States and more specifically, within North Carolina. These barriers have been gleaned through a review of the pertinent literature, and include language differences, cultural differences, and methods of payment. A case study analysis is used to exhibit how these barriers can affect different Hispanic subgroups tovarying degrees.

2000

Jay P. Keever. THE CONTROVERSIAL ROLE OF DIE NEUE WACHE CENTRAL WAR MEMORIAL IN GERMAN POLITICAL HISTORY. (Under the direction of Dr.Bodo Nischan)

 

The purpose of this thesis is to illustrate how a single architectural structure built in 1818in Berlin has symbolized the widely disparate political climates in Germany from theearly nineteenth century until the present. To accomplish this, an historical examinationof the various methods in which Die Neue Wache has been utilized by the numerous political entities that have ruled Germany throughout the past two centuries was conducted. This thesis will show that each governmental regime has used the building in a manner that distinctly and accurately represented the prevalent political ideology of the time. From its original use as a barracks to house the King's Guard to the current and controversial role as Germany's central war memorial, the history of Die Neue Wache provides a clear representation of German political history unlike that of any other architectural structure in Berlin.

 

Melissa M. Edwards. ECOTOURISM AND ITS POTENTIAL FOR CULTURAL ANDECONOMIC PRESERVATION IN A CONTEMPORARY NATIVE AMERICAN SOCIETY: THE MOPAN AND KEK'CHI MAYA OF SOUTHERN BELIZE. (Under the direction of Dr. Gay Wilentz)

 

The purpose of this thesis is to enhance the body of research on contemporary Mayan communities of Belize, Central America. I investigated the decision of the Mopan and Kek'chi Mayan to begin a community-based ecotourism (tourism that is respectful of the natural and cultural environment of the local community) project as a way to reverse the economic, cultural and environmental trends that have been affecting their society. The Maya of the Toledo district, the most remote and economically depressed district within the country, realized the potential of their natural and cultural resources and have attempted to use these resources to their advantage as a way to protect their local environs. During the fall of 1999 I lived in three Mayan villages that were taking part in the Toledo Ecotourism Association (TEA) to better represent the current modernity of Mayan people in villages of different population size, and ethnic identity. During this time I outlined objectives to study cultural changes that have occurred within the villages from the time of relatively low contact with other cultures to the present and to draw any appropriate parallels to the changes that have occurred due to ecotourism. I also recorded the amount of tourist and amount of tourist money that has flowed into the TEA villages since the project's 1990 inception. I returned in the spring of 2000 to conduct follow-up interviews and research on the success of the project and to determine the amount of effect that the TEA has had on the socio-economic cohesion of the Mayan communities.

 

Danat S. Dalenov. THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF OIL DEVELOPMENT IN THE CASPIAN SEA REGION. (Under the direction of Dr. Maurice D. Simon)

 

The purpose of this thesis is to provide an analysis of the political economy of oil development in the Caspian Sea Region. This analysis focused on the following issues: the role of the Caspian oil on the world market; potential pipeline routes for exportingCaspian oil; the major players in the Great Game: political and economic interests; possible strategies and the prospect for regional stability. The sources of information used for this thesis include documents and publications ofgovernmental and non-governmental organizations as well as books and journal articles. Statistical data and figures widely used in the thesis help to support the analysis of theissues under consideration.

Based on the analysis of the current events in the Caspian Sea region, there are three main conclusions that are drawn in this thesis. First, with high energy consumption, the Caspian Sea region will play a significant role as an additional supplier that prevents rising prices of oil. Second, the multiplicity routes for Caspian oil, offered by the US government will be chosen by the regional countries as the most viable strategy for overcoming political and logistic constraints for oil developments in the region. Therefore, the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline will be built in the near future. Finally, oil developments in the Caspain Basin will indeed have a positive effect on the regional stability. NATO countries will increase their effort to establish closer political and economic relations with Russia, which will set up a precondition for a new version of theGreat Game- a game which everybody wins.

 

Melanie C. Jolly. AN ANALYSIS OF THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTALACTION PLAN AND THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY FOR MALAWI.(Under the direction of Dr. Bob Edwards)

The purpose of this thesis is to determine the nature and extent of discrepancies between stated environmental policies and actual conservation practices with respect to deforestation and soil erosion in Malawi. The analysis was conducted by means of a four-month period of field work in Malawi. The environmental information was collected by visiting three districts, each in a geologically different region within the country, Nkhata Bay District in the north, Mangochi District in the west and Thyolo District in the south. The analysis is limited to soil erosion and deforestation. It is important to discuss deforestation and soil erosion together because soil erosion is adirect result of deforestation. The limitations of the data collected prevented the inclusion of other environmental issues.

It was discovered that Malawi has sound environmental policies for agroforestry, high-yield seed varieties, mixed and inter-cropping, public education campaigns, prevention of bushfires, multipurpose tree-planting, alternative stoves, community woodlots and environmental education in schools, but the implementation of the policies is hampered because of break downs in communication and coordination between Malawi's environmental divisions and a lack of support and resources (i.e., funding,information, transportation) for the Environmental District Officers at the village level.

 
2001

 

Ramil Huseynov. THE CONFLICT BETWEEN ARMENIA AND AZERBAIJAN: IS THERE ANY WAY OUT?

 

Pan Yiming. OBSTACLES TO CHINESE DEMOCRACY.

Man Wang. MIGRATION AND THE FLOATING POPULATION IN CHINA. (Underthe direction of Dr. Lester A. Zeager).

The Household Registration System (HRS) has been the key institutional mechanism in separating urban and rural areas and in controlling migration from one place to another. The reforms after 1978 have relaxed the control in a certain degree and a large floating population of rural-urban migrants has been transforming the urban labor force. This thesis explores some of the most important causes for the emergence of the floating population in China. I find that the uneven economic development caused by geographic location, rural-urban inequalities, and series of policy changes after the reform, play a vital role in China's current migration. With the HRS still playing an important role in structuring a person's life-chances, the current rural-urban migration tends to be temporary and the migrants are regarded as the underclass citizens in the destination areas. The positive and negative roles of the migration are analyzed. Throughout the reform era, China's government has struggled to find ways to increase labor productivity and incomes while maintaining social stability. To address the regional inequalities, the most important recommendations are to encourage the development of interior regions by allocating resources toward improving the transportation and communication systems linking the interior to the coast, and steering migrants towards the smaller towns and cities in the coastal region.

Annette J. Uhlenberg, THE SUCCESS OF MICROFINANCE IN WEST AFRICA: A REPORT ON CREDIT DELIVERY BY FEMMES DEVELOPPEMENT ENTREPRISES EN AFRIQUE.  (Under the direction of Dr. Holly Hapke)

Micro enterprise is the latest scheme in development planning and poverty alleviation efforts.  Small loans are extended to poor women to help them bootstrap their way out of poverty.  This paper reviews the Microfinance movement in general and in Africa in particular by focusing on the efforts of the Dakar, Senegal based MFI Femmes, Development, Enterprises en Afrique. Results of a survey of clients reveal that Microfinance does raise income levels but that institutional efforts to increase outreach,provide needed services and training and achieve self-sufficiency may be at odds. The relatively recent arrival of Microfinance in Africa combined with the lingering scars of colonialism, high rates of illiteracy, and inadequate infrastructure suggests that perhaps new ways of determining success in this context are necessary.

 

Carlos Ochoa. THE MAQUILADORAS: THE FACTS ABOUT THEIR PAST ANDTHE EXPECTATIONS FOR THEIR FUTURE. (Under the direction of Dr. Richard Kearney)

 

This study seeks to find the major economic and social effects of the maquiladoras, the validity of the presumption that the employer-employee relationship in the maquiladoras is exploitative, and the role of the maquiladoras on the local and regional development of Mexico in the post-NAFTA era. Two types of maquiladoras with different development trajectories are identified in the study: those involved with labor and low skill-intensive methods of production and those with more capital and skill-intensive production practices. It is argued that the most of the research on the maquiladoras does not consider this diverse nature of the sector. The non-differentiated approach in the research lacks a global context because it does not consider the actual labor shortage, the different development trajectories, and the relative economic conditions in the local labor market. The study concludes that maquila jobs provide attractive employment for theeconomically disadvantaged in Mexico. While the study finds that the maquiladora hashad a positive economic impact in Mexico, it also concludes that the maquiladoras have failed to link Mexican companies with the profitable maquila supplier market. With NAFTA and the increased access to the local market, more suppliers may be attracted to Mexico. This study suggests that in order for the maquiladoras to make a successful shift from labor-intensive to a more dynamic, industrially upgraded development strategy, however, Mexico must develop an upgraded educational system, engage highly qualified suppliers, and make a significant investment in the nation's infrastructure to meet the requirements of such advanced industrial production.

 

Jennifer Ann Vickers. RECONCEPTUALIZING DEVELOPMENT: THE JAMES BAY HYDROELECTRIC PROJECT IN LINDA HOGAN'S SOLAR STORMS AND SUGARCANE INDUSTRY IN PAULE MARSHALL'S THE CHOSEN PLACE, THE TIMELESS PEOPLE. (Under the direction of Dr. Gay Wilentz)

 

The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the relationship between development and the social situation of the Cree and Inuit peoples in northern Quebec and the local African-based population in Barbados and how this is represented in Linda Hogan's novel Solar Storms and Paule Marshall's novel The Chosen Place, The Timeless People. In doing this, I show how silenced histories are being retold and how development is being addressed through fiction. Hogan and Marshall's novels directly relate to important historical events and development projects. Hogan's novel addresses the James BayHydroelectric Project occurring in northern Quebec from 1975 to present day and Marshall's novel addresses the impacts of the sugar cane industry on the Caribbean islandof Barbados. Studying these novels, which could be considered resistance writing, alongwith interdisciplinary theoretical models like postcolonial, feminist, and ecological theory, provides insights into historical events often not addressed in mainstream scholarship. Using African-based and indigenous perspectives creates a space to address peoples who have been subjected to the colonization and the continuing exploitation oftheir lands and cultures. These novels do not focus only on the wrongs that have occurred to the oppressed by the oppressor, but rather the types of positive resistance and successes of the exploited against the neocolonizer, whether it is a multinational corporation or the age-old system of sugar cultivation. In this way, Hogan and Marshall break down the type of colonial discourse, which creates a dichotomy between oppressorand oppressed, colonizer and colonized. Both novels exemplify the ways in which art can express how local and/or indigenous groups and women are resisting against neocolonialism, cultural oppression, and environmental exploitation. Hogan and Marshall, as modern female writers, provide a new model and alternative way of understanding development. The theoretical model of creative writing not only works with non-Western ideologies, but also promotes cultural healing and creates a space fordialogue between different cultural groups and disciplines. Hogan and Marshall's novels provide a dynamic way of examining development through different lenses, which don't focus on one group or issue but show how all parts of society, including both human and non-human, are part of an interrelated whole.

 

2002

 

Melissa Hensley. US MILITARY AID AND DEMOCRATIZATION: THE EXAMPLE OF 'PLAN COLOMBIA'.

 

Stuart A. Jolly. BELGIUM: A HISTORY OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY. (Under the direction of Dr. Frederick Niswander)

 

The purpose and focus of this thesis is on the sources of Belgium's cultural conflict andhow, despite being smaller than South Carolina with three official languages, it has survived since 1830. I have attempted to answer this question: What actually keeps Belgium united despite the country's two very diverse language and cultural regions and long history of internal conflict, which at times has threatened its very existence? The bottom line is that Belgium will survive and prosper despite her differences. Although there will always be voices in both regions calling for autonomy, those voiceswill remain in the minority. The Belgium of today is not the Belgium of the 1950's,1960's, or 1970's. Today there are more freedoms and economic changes throughout Europe, which in the end, make separation less feasible or attainable. Some of these include a common currency, a common economic alliance (EU), no barricaded borders to speak of, and many more civil liberties all of which tend to make separation less desirable. In the end, Belgium will survive intact although changed.

 

Susan L. Stark Keusenkothen. THE ABUSE OF WIVES IN INDIA: STATE AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL  INTERVENTION EFFECTIVENESS. (Under the directionof Dr. Holly Mathews).

The purpose of this thesis is to explore the physical and psychological abuse of wives in India and to compare domestic violence intervention services provided by the government and by non-governmental organizations. The opposition between state-sponsored agencies and autonomous women's groups is analyzed, and interventions that are considered to be effective are discussed. An extensive literature review serves as the method for gathering and analyzing information. Research suggests that caste and education levels contribute to the variations in degrees of violence some women experience, and factors such as dowry, kinship, marriage and household structure, and religion may have a direct impact on the intervention services that are accessible and appropriate. Collaborations between the state and non-governmental sector do exist and may be used as models to create additional, sustainable programs for women experiencing marital abuse. Due to isolation and a paucity of services, rural areas may benefit from local solutions created by each individual community. Economic development collectives and community women's groups have helped to establish the support needed by rural battered women and those that have been successful may be replicated in other communities. The most severe obstacle to providing appropriate intervention is the state's justification of wife abuse as a necessary form of discipline that promotes family unity. Until India's leaders recognize the beating of wives as a human rights violation and support efforts to provide women with safe, viable alternatives,women will continue to face physical and psychological abuse in their affinal homes.

 

2003

 

Jim K. Tomtania, RETHINKING INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM: AN ANALYSIS OF THE GLOBALIZATION OF TERRORISM. (Under the direction of Dr. Daniel Masters)

The distinction between domestic and international terrorism is becoming more and more irrelevant. Terrorism, now more than ever, transcends national boundaries and requires the same attention as other global problems such as environmental degradation or international monetary crisis. This study examines the relationship between re-conceptualizing international terrorism and its resolution as a global problem as well the character of terrorist groups as non-governmental organizations (NGOs). As NGOs terrorist organizations are exploiting global conditions to further their cause. Thereforeto address international terrorism we must rely upon a global response.

 

2004

 

Katherine H. Welch, THE EFFECTS OF TERRORISM AND EXTERNAL COUNTER-TERRORISM ON THE NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY OF THE HOST NATION. (Under the direction of Dr. Dan Masters, Dr. Peter Johnstone and Dr. John Tucker) 

 

The purpose of this thesis is to ascertain the effects of terrorism and external counter-terrorism on the national sovereignty of the host nation. International terrorism has received a vast amount of attention in recent years. The United States has made terrorism its focus in international relations and has deployed monetary and military aid to countries around the world to fight this war against terror. However, the effects of such counter-terror operations in foreign countries go somewhat unnoticed. The Philippines is one such country that has received all versions of the United States' counter-terror policies/activities and is struggling to fight both its domestic insurgency problem while establishing its national identity, all while incorporating the needs and efforts of the United States on its soil. The effects of the externally based counter-terror operations in the Philippines have created unforeseen challenges for this sovereign nation both in the political and security context. An analysis of the situation in the Philippines will shed light on the effects of external counter-terrorism both in the short and long-term.

 

 

Rumiko   Yamamoto,    MICOROFTNANCE    AS    A   TOOL   FOR   WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION: A CASE STUDY OF BRAC AND    A    NEW    CHALLENGE    OF    MICROFINANCE    INTERNATIONAL  CORPORATION. (Under the direction of Dr. Holly Hapke)

 

Microfinance is the one of the dominant strategies utilized by development practitioners to alleviate poverty and strengthen women's empowerment. This paper explores the elements that allow microfinance to effectively reach the poorest of the poor and promote women's empowerment. I will approach this from two aspects thatmicrofinance institutions (MFIs) need to deal with. Firstly I will analyze how microfinance works for women's empowerment and poverty alleviation, through the case study of BRAC. I demonstrate that microfinance provides women more access to assets, which are impetus for their empowerment. Secondly I will explore how MFIs improve poverty outreach for a true capital democratization and maintain organizational sustainability at the same time. I analyze this through two movements in microfinance industries: NGOs' modality transformation to regulated financial institutions (RFIs); The private sector's new business model of linking microfinance with a vast remittance flow. These approaches bring the conclusion that microfinance has a potentiality to achieve a true capital democratization. As a result, broadening recognition of the basic microfinance mechanism for women's empowerment and poverty alleviation not only among those directly concerned with microfinance but also among others leads to effective microfinance delivery.


 

2005

 

Brandi A. Dudley THE EFFECTS OF THE BOLOGNA PROCESS ON NATIONALHIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEMS: A CASE STUDY OF THE GERMAN MODEL.(Under the direction of Dr. John Williams)

The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the four institutional levels of higher education policy implementation in the realization of the European Higher Education Area. In 1999, 29 countries in Europe came together to sign the Bologna Declaration, which calls for the convergence of national higher education systems to promote the mobility of European citizens. This action is redefining policy and decision-making processes, which ultimately leads to the question "Who is steering change"? The thesis takes an a theoretical approach to determine who controls policy definition at the European, national, Lander, and university level. The German higher education system serves as a model for describing the fulfillment of the Bologna Process objectives across Europe. Through the analysis, it becomes evident that policy at the European level acts as a support mechanism to ensure the success of the Bologna Process, and national diversity is respected in higher education. Policy continues to originate from traditional venues, which is demonstrated in the case of Germany, and the fact that the Lander continue to be the responsible actors inhigher education policy development. By analyzing the German higher education system,one is exposed to the range of policy development that can occur when independent parties are steering reform.

 

Marie-Hortense Chiche. ETHNICITY AND POLITICS IN AFRICA: A CASE STUDY OF GHANA. (Under the direction of Dr. John Williams) 

 

This thesis explores the argument that both politics and ethnicity are the main components in maintaining peace and stability in a new democracy; in this particular case in Ghana. It looks at how the question of ethnicity has been dealt with by the government, the political system, and the society and how the Ghanaian success can be explained. This study analyzes different challenges that Ghana has encountered with the establishment of a relatively new governmental system in a country with almost 100 different ethnic groups. It shows that political institutions and government are mainly responsible for promoting stability and conflicts, and that the consensus democracy model appears to be successful in the Ghanaian context.

 

Sun Chengxiu, INFLUENCE OF CHINESE CULTURE ON CHINA-U.S. BUSINESS NEGOTIATION. (Under the direction of Dr. Christine Avenarius)

 

To enter into the Chinese market and to do business with Chinese people has fascinated American business people since the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and the United States in January 1979. Nevertheless, doing business with Chinese people is not easy. The purpose of this study is to explore how Chinese culture influences business negotiations between China and the United States and to provide constructive guidelines for American companies who plan to engage in business activities with Chinese counterparts. To better serve this purpose, this study is guided by the following three specific research questions. First, what are the main Chinese cultural factors that influence China-U.S. business negotiations? Second, what are the main negotiation tactics that Chinese people employ in business negotiations with their American partners? Third, what preparations can American companies make for business negotiations with their Chinese partners? Based on the analysis of negotiation experiences by the American Motors Company (the Beijing Jeep case) and Deli Corporation in China, this thesis concludes that certain elements of Chinese culture have a very strong influence on China-U.S. negotiations.

 

2006

 

Marina Viscun: THE EFFECT OF NATIONAL IDENTITY, GLOBALIZATION AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ON POLITICS OF MOLDOVA  Presentation at the Fifteenth Annual ECU Graduate Student Research Day,

March 6, 2006

The Republic of Moldova is an independent country and one of the former Soviet Republics. It is a culturally rich country, but it is completely dependent on its neighbors for energy resources, foodstuffs and industrial base. Since its independence, it has struggled to become a reliable player on the international political and economic arena. The country faces many problems ranging from national identity to party ideology, and is currently on a political crossroad debating its allegiance to the communist party and Russia and the possibility of becoming a part of the European Union. My interest is focused on how national identity affects the political developments in the country, how in the age of globalization Moldova is able to cope with the difficulties faced by developing nations, and what is the role that the neighboring countries of Ukraine, Russia, Romania, and the European Union play in Moldova's future. There are many controversies that complicate the research. The Transnistrian conflict is one of them, as the Russian Army still unlawfully, based on the international law of sovereignty, remains present on the territory of Moldova. Romania's acceptance to NATO and its future accession to the European Union is another obstacle to better Russian/Moldovan relations. The shift in the presidential party system in Ukraine provides some hope to the Moldovan situation, as together with Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova has more chances to separate itself indefinitely from the powerful reach of Russian politics.

 

 

Vivien Tawfiq Yousef Sansour: VOICES OF WOMEN UNDER OCCUPATION IN BETHLEHEM, PALESTINEJEEL EL INTIFADA: GENERATION OF THE INTIFADA. (Under the direction of Dr. Holly Mathews.) May, 2006

 

The war of 1967 placed the people of Palestine under an Israeli military occupation that remains active today. As a response, the Palestinian population has been constantly building and rebuilding several versatile movements to resist the occupation. The Intifada (uprising) of 1987 was the chief mobilization of people across Palestinian society to resist the occupation. This uprising was a struggle against an occupation that deprived Palestinians of their basic human rights. In addition, the uprising placed Palestinian society under new conditions, which moved it towards examining and at times possibly changing its traditional structures. The deconstruction of traditional ideology involved the economic, political, and social spheres, as well as challenging the status quo of gender roles .The purpose of this study is to address the scarcity of information about the lives of women living under occupation in Palestine. This study provides documentation of the perceptions of women of Jeel El Intifada (the generation of the uprising) and their lives from an insider emic perspective using the words of the women studied themselves. This documentation is based upon four critical components of women's lives.    Ethnographic methods of data collection were used in this study with a focus on the theoretical framework that displaced people and people who come from cultures that have undergone serious political or social traumas suffer from dis-ease.

 

Shigeo Yamaguchi: CULTURAL DIVERSITY AWARENESS OF PRACTICING TEACHERS. (Under the direction of Dr. Carolyn Ledford)  April 2006

Teachers must instruct students in a culturally responsive way in order not to distort students' perspectives on each unique cultural heritage while introducing their students to new academic knowledge. Teachers' multicultural awareness is especially important. If teachers do not have cultural sensitivity, students from other countries will suffer when adjusting to new environments.The purpose of this study was to examine the degree of teachers' awareness concerning cultural diversity. This study explores two main questions: (1) what is the degree of teachers' cultural sensitivity, and (2) are teachers' more culturally sensitive in some areas than in others. This two-part study was conducted to investigate the cultural sensitivity of teachers in five areas: general cultural awareness; diverse family; cross-cultural communication; assessment; and diverse classroom management. Part one was a survey conducted with teachers taking a graduate course at East Carolina University. Part two was an in-depth interview of three elementary school teachers in Greenville, North Carolina. This study showed clear evidence that teachers who participated in both quantitative survey and qualitative interview were willing to accept cultural diversity in their classes.

Marina Viscun. MOLDOVA: INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, OR REGIONAL DEPENDENCY? THE PROSPECTS OF MOLDOVA AS A NATION-STATE IN THE INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL SYSTEM. (Under the direction of Dr. Richard E. Ericson)  June 2006.

The purpose of this thesis is to construct and discuss the cultural, economic, and political situation of the Republic of Moldova after the fall of the Soviet Union. This thesis utilized a multilayered approach to explore the potential of the Republic of Moldova for becoming an equal partner in international political, economic and cultural arenas. The study found that the government of Moldova needs to address many issues, not only on the political front to overcome its difficulties as a political entity in the international arena, but also to consider the cultural and economic issues that plague the country, potentially keeping it from developing at a faster pace and with better outcomes.The main problems addressed in this thesis were Moldova's struggle to create a unified national identity that would facilitate and speed up its development, Moldova's economic issues relating to the liberalization process that is engulfing the world, and its political affairs and cooperation with the neighboring states and international organizations. The discussion of these areas provided a deeper understanding of internal and external difficulties that Moldova faces striving toward a better future and a position of stronger incorporation in the international arena.

 

Carrie Lee Carman, Women at War: A Testimony from El Salvador, ECU Research & Creativity Achievement Week, April 2008.  More information at http://www.ecu.edu/gradschool/Research-Week-2008.cfm.

During the political instability of the 1960s in Latin America, a new narrative genre emerged, the testimonio (testimony), a mediated autobiography whose objective was to offer the viewpoint of oppressed groups in society. Latin American testimony increasingly became a political tool that allowed indigenous groups to represent themselves. El Salvador was afflicted by a civil war for more than a decade (1980-1992), but political oppression of the indigenous peoples began in the 1930s and gave rise to the consistent, forceful removal of these subalterns from their lands. Governmental corruption, death squads, and indiscriminate mass killings of the marginalized became routine. Este es mi testimonio… (This is my Testimony…,1994), by Salvadoran human rights activist María Teresa Tula, is a testimony that describes the oppression suffered by the people in El Salvador during the Civil War, as well as the author’s personal and political development. Like other Salvadoran testimonios, the reader is educated about machismo, torture, detention, political imprisonment, activism, and life as a revolutionary guerrilla. Tula narrates not only her personal story, but also how she fought on behalf of human rights victims and the family members of the disappeared and murdered. My paper demonstrates how Tula’s personal transformation allowed her to work with emerging women's rights groups. Furthermore, I argue that Tula's personal transformation runs parallel to similar processes experienced by increasingly influential women's rights groups, such as CO-MADRES. CO-MADRES could not have existed without the initiative of individuals like Tula choosing to change the status quo; in turn, Tula’s transformation would not have been possible without the “safe haven” that is CO-MADRES. María Teresa Tula’s interlocutor made it possible for her to open the world’s eyes to the violence and poverty in El Salvador and to make known her own extraordinary transformation: from a working-class housewife to an international activist defending human rights, especially those of women. Through the narration of her extensive involvement and work with CO-MADRES, Tula’s testimonio offers us the opportunity to see the mirror-like transformation of both Tula herself, as well as that of CO-MADRES. 

Nathan C. Lean, Orchestrating Harmony: Using Music as a Medium for Cultural Exchange,ECU Research & Creativity Achievement Week, April 2008.  More information at http://www.ecu.edu/gradschool/Research-Week-2008.cfm.

 

Legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker observed,  “They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But man, there’s no boundary line to art.”  In an increasingly interconnected world, breaking through geographical and cultural boundaries to establish dialogue with and promote awareness of the cultural other is imperative to the advancement of international relations.  While cultural and linguistic barriers may prevent peoples from seeing eye to eye, the skillful use of art, and especially music, can promote mutual understanding by promoting dialogue and providing a vocabulary for cross-cultural communication.  This presentation will examine the use of music as a medium for cultural exchange and demonstrate how transnational collaboration can lead to harmony outside of the musical context. During the summer of 2006, I established a partnership with the United States Embassy of Morocco to arrange weekly piano concerts, workshops, master classes, and lessons for music students in underprivileged areas of the country. Traveling to many towns and villages, I interacted with students of all ages, offering instruction and sharing perspectives built around a common goal of creating music. Multiple collaborative concerts with local musicians and traditional Moroccan bands were also organized. Sharing music and discussing musical influences with peers in Morocco created a natural dialogue that allowed for the exchange of information and service learning that extended beyond the musical context. The musical dialogue that resulted provided a foundation for cross-cultural communication and highlighted common interests and goals of Moroccan and American cultures. The musical expression also spawned an appreciation for the participants’ respective values and traditions and transcended obstacles that encumber more traditional forms of cultural exchange.   

2009

Sarah H. Tyson, The Image of the “Modern Matriarch”in Aves sin nido, ECU Research & Creativity Achievement Week, April 2009

In the controversial bestseller Aves sin nido [Birds without a Nest] (1889), Peruvian writer Clorinda Matto de Turner explores the position of marginal subjects such as women and Amerindians in rural and urban contexts. Published in post-independence Peru, during the era of national construction, the novel portrays the changing social structure of the time. Various literary critics have focused on the impact of Matto de Turner as a women writer, on Aves sin nido as a prototype of the indigenista genre, on the social and political relationships of power in the text, and on the use of sentimentality as a narrative strategy. However, an area which remains under-examined is the social stature of the woman as reflected through the protagonist, Lucía. My analysis discusses the image of the “modern matriarch” in the context of Peruvian national construction and demonstrates that in Aves sin nido feminine authority is exerted in a more subtle and effective manner. I posit that Lucía breaks the traditional feminine model in that she is no longer limited as a submissive figure confined to the sphere of the home. As a legitimate contributing member to society, Lucía exerts initiative not only in the home but also in the broader community. This change does not represent an intention to replace the position of the male as much as it depicts a new collaboration with him.

Rachel L. Parker.  Is A Future Possible For Hamas? Conflict Resolution’s Contribution to the Future of Terrorism (Under the direction of Dr. Jeannie Grussendorf) Defended September 2008; degree awarded May 2009

This thesis will address the question that resulted from the Palestinian 2006 elections of how a people could elect a known terrorist organization to represent them.  In so doing, this thesis seeks to highlight key historical moments which led to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; a conflict that gave rise to the creation of the terrorist organization, Hamas.  In order to understand the political developments within Palestine, the conflict must first be explored so as to determine and appreciate the experiences that shape Palestinian society.  Accordingly, it is not the intention of this thesis to exonerate those who use violence and terrorism, but to show that there is a reason that people are resisting even if it is by violent methods.  By examining the reasons and issues behind the violence, and a population’s acceptance and support, it is hoped that a general understanding can be drawn so as to support the resolution and prevention of further conflicts.

Following the exploration of the conflict in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 will examine the origins of Hamas, and how it has since developed a support base strong enough to elect it to a majority within the P.A. in 2006.  Hamas contains two branches, one militant and the other based on social services from which it has developed its political platform.  By providing valuable social services Hamas has become an integral part of Palestinian society, and has proven to be flexible in meeting the demands of said society and their changing needs.

Chapter 3 continues to examine the flexibility that Hamas has shown in meeting the changing needs of a society living within a conflict.  Building on this, the chapter then explores other organizations within the peace and conflict resolution field that is rapidly growing.  The importance of this is to show how conflict resolution is changing perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Accordingly, it is argued that Hamas can and will shift its ideologies in order to meet these challenges, something it has already shown itself to do by its participation within the 2006 elections.

However, it is not feasible to expect immediate changes from Hamas, especially when it is demanded from those outside of its culture and surroundings.  The concluding chapter argues that Hamas will change according to the needs of its constituents, but cannot be threatened into doing so by the U.S. and E.U. nations without risking the loss of its supportive community base.  Instead, through a judicious use of growing counter-terrorist strategies in partnership with conflict resolution alternative pathways, such as the opening of political opportunities, must be sought in order to conclude Hamas’ militant branch.  The opportunities for conflict resolution abound within this thesis, and it is hoped that it will be understood to be effective as well in similar situations with organizations seeking to redress past issues and having the support of communities.