Senior Project Abstracts – 2018

How Islamic Extremist Groups Use Religion in Recruitment Propaganda

Tyler Allen, 2018

The use of religion by Islamic movements is evident, but it is not always clear how these groups use the religious text. This paper will look at how religion is used by contemporary Islamic movements by investigating how ISIS and al-Qaeda have used the three religious terms, “Caliphate,” “Ummah” and “People of the Book.” These three terms have been used and continue to be used by Islamic movements throughout history recruit new members to their organizations. By looking at the ways that these two groups use the terms, we see similarities in the frequency and usage, but see differences in usage based on the goals of a specific group. Primary sources like Dabiq reveal how ISIS uses and manipulates these terms to create an interpretation that not only condones their actions, but also promotes those same actions as what the religion wants people to believe. A similar analysis of primary sources from al-Qaeda and secondary analysis, leads to a comparison of these two groups and their use of the religion.

Major track: Middle East and North Africa

Additional major: Religious Studies

Project Advisor: Shanna Kirschner

Language Advisor: Reem Hilal (Arabic)


Movement for Development: An Analysis of Recent Migration Trends and Socio-Political Change in Morocco

Antoinette Donofrio, 2018

Since 1990, sub-Saharan migrants taking routes through North Africa into Europe have gained controversial international attention. However, countries in the Maghreb region, specifically Morocco, have also experienced an influx of both regular and irregular sub-Saharan migrants choosing to stay and make Morocco a new destination. Through the lense of migration and state development, I attempt to analyze how immigrating sub-Saharan populations have invoked change in Moroccan society via three political reformations. These changes include a growth of Moroccan civil society, prioritization of the legislative branch of government, and an overall democratization of Moroccan politics. I illustrate how these changes arise by investigating the endogenous variable of migration and its impact on state development and comparing this to the demographics of previous Moroccan migration trends. I also analyze how cultural aspects of sub-Saharan migrants have challenged Moroccan socio-political norms and created reactionary migration policies. Fundamentally, I address how factors of international relations such as security and social development politicize migration and how immigrant groups have the opportunity to play a significant role in state development using Morocco as an example.   

Major track: Middle East and North Africa

Project Advisor: Brian Miller (History)

Language Advisor: Reem Hilal (Arabic)


The Victims of the Industry: How is Legalized Prostitution Affecting Sex Trafficking within the European Union?

Amanda LaRocca, 2018

Within the European Union, the trafficking of human beings became a policy issue starting in 1997 due to the increasing number of victims being found within the member states of the European Union. Research has shown that a probable relationship exists between trafficking for sexual exploitation and domestic prostitution policies. This senior comprehensive project seeks to understand the connection between human sex trafficking and prostitution by analyzing prostitution policy of destination countries of sex trafficking along with the root causes in sending countries which increase the supply of sex trafficking victims. It looks at four countries in the European Union. Bulgaria and Romania are used to understand the impact of the 2007 EU Enlargement which integrated two sending countries to the European Union. As for the destination countries, The Netherlands and France provide an interesting comparative case study for how prostitution policy affects sex trafficking because they have taken different approaches to prostitution policy. The Netherlands chose to legalize prostitution while France was an abolitionist state until 2016 when it adopted the Swedish model of criminalizing the buyers of sex. The results show that criminalizing the buyers of sex reduces the appeal of a prostitution market to a trafficker, while the legalized market of prostitution faces many challenges which tend to allow victims of trafficking to be hidden within the market.

Major track: Europe

Project Advisor: Laura Reeck 

Language Advisor: Laura Reeck (French)


Opportunities for Social Mobility Among Second-Generation Immigrants in France

Chenrong Li, 2018

The aim of this study is to analyze whether the current social environment in France
offers opportunities for social mobility among second-generation immigrants. I ask to what
extent successful social mobility through education is possible and to what extend social
mobility is hindered by discrimination. I have divided the study into four angles: educational
attainment among second-generation immigrants; a focus on secondary schooling and the choice of academic tracks; the impact on living in the banlieue and the social discrimination in the labor market.

Major track: Europe

Project Advisor:  Barry Shapiro (History)

Language Advisor: Laura Reeck (French)


The Linguistic Effect: The Inequalities of the Arabic and Hebrew Language in Education Policies of Israel

Dakotah Manson, 2018

This project analyzes polices created by the Ministry of Education in Israel and the effect they have on Arabic and Hebrew, the two official languages of the country.  I will begin by analyzing the education policies, starting with the creation of the State in 1948 through the appearance of the Arabic language in the 1990’s.  The implementation of these policies, or lack thereof, will be focused on by identifying the use of Arabic and Hebrew within the classroom at a micro-level.  Research conclusions developed on the micro-level will then be applied to the effect education language policies have on the perception of language in society on a macro-level.  Particularly, the views attached to those who speak the Arabic or Hebrew language as their native tongue in regards to identity, culture, and history.  This project will continue through the application of accommodation theory, dialect, and diglossic communities.  I conclude by identifying the asymmetries of those who speak Arabic rs. those who speak Hebrew and how this relates to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. 

Major track: Middle East and North Africa

Additional major: English

Project Advisor: Shanna Kirschner (Political Science)

Language Advisor: Reem Hilal (Arabic)


Is Germany Becoming More “Normal?” Identity, Historical Memory, and European Integration in the Federal Republic

Eric Pingel, 2018

This project qualitatively examines German identity and the existence of a supranational European identity in Germany.  It explores the idea that Germany was a nation with subdued nationalism and that did not pursue its national interest, but has “normalized” to become more like other Western nations, i.e., more nationalistic and willing to assert itself.  It examines historical memory of Nazi Germany, how identity has changed in Germany, and how European integration has been affected by Germany’s changing identity.  Its arguments are made using public opinion polling, empirical literature, historical examination, and qualitative discussion.  It concludes that European identity has been increasing in Germany, that supranational identity has remained and will remain subordinate to national identity and that Euro skepticism is, in part, connected to national vs. European identity, but is largely the result of the political mobilization of anti-integration and anti-immigration voices.  It also finds that nationalism and patriotism have become more acceptable in Germany, but that Germany has asserted its national interest throughout its existence.

Major track: Europe

Project Advisor:  Brian Miller (History)

Language Advisor: Peter Ensberg (German)


Denaturalization in France: A Case Study in the Age of Terror

Angeline Sporrer, 2018

On November 13, 2015, the deadliest terrorist attack on French soil to date claimed the lives of 130 people and reduced the country to a state of disbelief. Subsequently, the French government sought to adopt a Constitutional law called Protection of the Nation that would extend their right to denaturalize any dual-national born French who committed an act that threatened the life of the Nation. In light of this series of events, I seek to explore whether the proposed legislation of 2015 concerning denaturalization is a direct result of the Age of Global Terror that began after the September 11, 2001 attacks. In doing so, I first explore whether a pattern exists between terror and denaturalization in French history. I then examine the Parliamentary debates relating to the proposed law. Lastly, I analyze whether Protection of the Nation is a logical future to a pattern of terror and denaturalization or whether it is an alternative future where there is very little or no established pattern of terror that threatens French ideology or security. This analysis finds that the proposed law is a logical future and consequently that it is likely to appear again in future French legislation.

Major track: Europe

Additional major: French

Project Advisor: Laura Reeck 

Language Advisor: Laura Reeck (French)