Senior Project Abstracts – 2008

Fair Trade: A New Type of Globalization in the European Union
Amber Blon, 2008

The growth of the Fair Trade movement is a phenomenon of our time as its new approach to global trade strives to correct free-market imperfections by lessening the gap between predominantly rich countries in the Northern hemisphere, and poorer, underdeveloped countries primarily in the Southern hemisphere. More than anywhere else in the world, consumer and retailer interest in buying Fair Trade products increase exponentially every year in several European countries. Therefore, given the unique relationship with twenty-seven diverse European countries, this project seeks to identify what the European Union’s (EU) place, as a formal government structure, is in procuring the growth of the Fair Trade movement.
In pursuit of a solution to this central question, four major concepts are identified from which conclusions are drawn. First, the Fair Trade movement is studied in the European context. Then, the driving forces progressing the movement, and the reaction from the European Union on Fair Trade is recognized as a result of these motivating forces. Next, the challenges to the growth of the Fair Trade movement are recognized so that the future of the movement are aimed at corrected these flaws. Finally, the future of Fair Trade in the EU is speculated on based off of successful strategies for Fair Trade in the United Kingdom, and on the need to address the arising challenges to the movement. Additionally, in this last section, recommendations are made for the EU to implement to facilitate the growth of the movement.
At the end of this project, it is clear that the movement would not be where it is today in Europe without the financial and legislative gestures that the EU has made in the past. However, the EU has not done much to endorse Fair Trade since 2006, and their support is necessary if the movement is expected to grow properly in the future. Collectively, it is hoped that the recommendations provided by this project will be adopted by the EU so that Fair Trade can continue to grow in a strategic manner that assists this new type of globalization.

Double Major: Western European Studies / Political Science
Project Advisor: Dr. Mike Maniates; Language Advisor: Dr. Phillip Wolfe

The Worst Side-Effect: Sex Trafficking in sub-Saharan Africa
Elizabeth Bontrager, 2008

My senior project is entitled, The Worst Side-Effect, the intent of the project is to analyze the changes that have occurred in the politics, economics, and society of Africa to cause an increase in the number of women and children trafficked from sub-Saharan Africa to South Africa for the purpose of sexual exploitation. My research focuses on how globalization has greatly injured the development of Africa, which has caused the commodification of women for sex. I prove this by, first providing the reader with an overview of sex trafficking on an African scale. Second, I will analyze the politics that surround sex trafficking, legislation, policies for reform, and the role of non-governmental organizations. Third, trafficking is an economic endeavor; this chapter analyzes supply and demand functions as well as aspects of globalization that promote poverty and sex trafficking. Fourth, understanding the effects sex trafficking has had on society makes shows just how detrimental sex trafficking is on a larger scale. The project concludes by providing a glimpse into the future, the future of a trafficked victim and hypotheses for the future of sex trafficking.

Major Track: African/Middle Eastern Studies
Project Advisor: Dr. Sharon Wesoky; Language Advisor: Dr. Courtney Dodge

The Construction of a Multicultural State: An Examination of Bolivia’s Multicultural Reforms
Melissa Geer, 2008

The indigenous of Bolivia constitute 63% of the country’s population.  Although they make up the majority, over the past five centuries they have been treated as the minority.  Since the colonial era they have been marginalized by religious domination, economic exploitation, assimilation policies and neoliberal economic reforms.  During the second half of the 20thcentury the indigenous groups of Bolivia have been clamoring for the right to self-determination, to collective territory, and for equal citizenship rights.  Their movements surged against changing citizenship regimes that threatened their cultural autonomy.  The two most prevalent indigenous movements occurred in the highlands with the formation of the CSUTCB in 1979, and in the lowlands with the formation of the CIDOB in 1982.  In addition to these movements, the cocaleros of the Chapare have been fighting against U.S-backed policies of coca eradication, and CONAMAQ has been organizing in order to preserve the pre-Columbian structure of the ayllu.  In the mid-1990s, after a decade of organizing and calling for recognition and territory, constitutional changes were promulgated.  These changes recognize the Bolivian state as “multiethnic” and “pluricultural.”  In addition, a series of reforms were instituted that concede linguistic diversity, indigenous participation in local politics, and communal rights to territory.  Although these changes were implemented after the acclaimed indigenous Marcha por el Territorio y la Dignidad, they were not a direct response.  The government was not handing over indigenous rights on a silver platter.  Rather, the administration of Sánchez de Lozada realized the benefits that the construction of a multicultural state would bring to his administration and to Bolivia.  Therefore, this senior composition will analyze the underlying motives of multiculturalism in Bolivia.

Major Track: Latin American Studies
Advisor: Dr. Shannan Mattiace; Language Advisor: Dr. Barbara Riess

La Guardia Civil Española: An Examination of the Role of the Spanish Civil Guard in Historical and Present Spain
Kirsten Greene, 2008

The Spanish Civil Guard, established in 1844, was created as a multi-functional tool. As a result of social and political circumstances of the mid-1800s in Spain, the Civil Guard served to protect the interests of the upper classes as well as the government of the period. However, as Spain began to industrialize and the rights of the lower classes became more important, the Civil Guard was asked to take on the responsibilities of controlling workers rebellions. In the 1930’s, when the Spanish monarchy had been exiled, the Second Republic had established itself and then crumbled, and General Francisco Franco won the Spanish Civil War, the Civil Guard adapted to the new dictatorship and was given new responsibilities. Unfortunately, under the dictatorship, the reputation of the Civil Guard became increasingly worse as they were more intensely known to be violent and merciless. This colored public perception of the Civil Guard. Today, literary works from both high and low culture show how the public perceived the Civil Guard in the past and how that perception is changing now into a more humane view. However, in order to create a better relationship with the Spanish public, the Civil Guard must take steps such changing itself into a civil servant body and respecting and protecting the rights of Spanish citizens.

Double Major: Latin American Studies / Spanish
Project Advisor: Dr. Kale Haywood; Language Advisor: Dr. Teresa Herrera

A Dichotomy of Words and Actions: A Comprehensive Analysis of Anti-Americanism in Contemporary Chile and Venezuela
Matthew Lackey, 2008

In recent years, several leftist presidents have come to power through democratic elections. The United States has traditionally opposed the left, especially those regimes in the western hemisphere; the current left has developed an outspoken anti-American stance in response to the United States’ criticism. Within the region, the left represents a range of countries, some of which comply with a liberal social policy while maintaining more conservative policies, while a more radical camp follows a more traditional leftist ideology. The Republic of Chile is a good example of the moderate left: it has retained it commitment to the neoliberal economic model, but it has also enacted social programs to alleviate poverty. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on the other hand, has nationalized sectors of the economy and has heavily subsidized food and education programs for its people. Ironically, Venezuela, a country that is very dependent on the United States, has demonstrated a great degree of anti-Americanism. Chile, meanwhile, has quietly but effectively lowered the importance of the U.S. in its economy. This paper uses a multi-faceted investigation of each country’s political and economic histories as well as selections of presidential discourse to analyze the importance of anti-Americanism in each country’s international relations.

Double Major: Latin American Studies / Spanish
Project Advisor: Dr. Shannan Mattiace; Language Advisor: Dr. Wilfredo Hernández

An Examination of the Student Movement’s Impact on the Greens in West Germany
Ashley Macari, 2008

The purpose of this project is to examine the student movement’s impact on the Greens in West Germany. This is done by looking at three aspects in both the student movement and the Greens, and examining the ways in which the aspects of the student movement influenced the Greens beliefs, party structure, and tactics. The students protested against capitalism. They called for an end to authoritarian institutions and an expansion of democracy. Eventually they began to use violence as a political tool. The Greens, who emerged 12 years later, adopted political principles dedicated to opposing capitalism, decentralizing the democratic system and making it accessible to people at the local level, and to supporting nonviolent means. The rise of the Greens signifies a break from the political attitudes of the past and a commitment to the political attitudes first expressed by the students. The Greens’ commitment to aspects similar to the student movement is one indication of the student movement’s influence. Also, the Greens learned several lessons from the shortcomings of the student movement including the need to focus the protest, depart from orthodox Marxism, avoid hierarchical structures, unify the movement, and oppose violence. The Greens incorporated the political lessons that they learned from the students into their own political ideology, which influenced their beliefs, party structure, and tactics. The application of these lessons enabled the Greens to create a successful and effective party.

Double Major: Western European Studies / German
Project Advisor: Dr. Shannan Mattiace; Language Advisor: Dr. Jochen Richter

Die Integration der türkischen Minderheit in der deutschen Gesellschaft: Eine Betrachtung zwei BeispielsSamantha Moik, 2008

This project examines the integration processes of the Turkish minority in Germany. Many Turks came to West Germany as guest workers in the late 1960s and early 1970s. When these Turkish guest workers chose to remain in Germany and bring their families to them instead of returning to Turkey after the Anwerbestopp in 1973, the Turkish minority was formed. Today the minority faces discrimination and social disadvantages. The two most prominent methods of Turkish integration are assimilation and isolation. Many Turks have chosen the path of assimilation: they have adopted the German culture and often obtain German citizenship. Only a relatively small number of Germany’s 2.4 million Turks have isolated themselves from the society, rejecting German culture and embracing Islam, often joining Islamic organizations as a way to find acceptance. The German government is currently trying to better integrate the Turkish minority. In 2000 a new citizenship law was passed, easing the requirements and the process necessary to obtain German citizenship. Despite these advances, the government still has a great deal to do and the German people must accept that Turks, with their different culture and religion, can become good Germans and good Europeans. At the same time, the Turks must also make an effort to embrace the German culture and way of life.

Double Major: German / Western European Studies
Project / Language Advisor: Dr. Jochen Richter

Toussaint Louverture
Katherine Pudlewski, 2008

Toussaint Louverture was a fundamental leader of the Haitian Revolution. Through him it is possible to gain a better understanding of the Revolution in Saint Domingue as well as the events that led to the establishment of Haiti. As a revolutionary leader, Toussaint’s upbringing, education and social status played a significant role in the development of his character and leadership capabilities. This paper begins by exploring his background and investigating the influence of his education and social status prior to and during the Revolution. Next, it discusses his rise to power as well as the relationships he developed with the colonial forces in Saint Domingue. As France was at war with England and Spain, Toussaint took advantage of their presence in the colony. Additionally, it provides an analysis of his political and economic policies. In an attempt to maintain the freedom of the slaves, Toussaint Louverture sought to develop economic policies that would improve the economy and, therefore, provide financial support for his military. Finally, this paper will address what contributed to his downfall as well as the state of Saint Domingue following his exile.

Double Major: Western European Studies / French
Project Advisor: Dr. Barry Shapiro; Language Advisor: Dr. Courtenay Dodge

Our “Responsibility to Protect”: How R2P is reshaping the dimensions of humanitarian intervention and this initiative’s future in the international human rights community.
Sarah Young, 2008

Issues regarding humanitarian intervention are always difficult because both action and inaction are usually controversial.  However, the atrocities of past decades and the mishandlings of the humanitarian crises of the 1990s have shown us that there is much work to be done in the international human rights community to protect human beings in danger.  The Responsibility to Protect, an initiative created by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, is a reaction to the mistakes of the past and the growing need for consensus surrounding international responses to genocide and other large-scale human rights abuses.  This project is an investigation of the motivations behind the emergence of the Responsibility to Protect and its chances for success in the future as an international norm that can combat genocide and save human lives.  The research done will show how R2P is challenging long held notions of national sovereignty, specifically in relationship to the protection of international human rights.  Although it will be very difficult to codify the ideals that R2P sets forth, there are other actions that can be taken to create a system of accountability and peer pressure that will help make the responsibility to protect an international norm that is abided by.  Predictions are made about the manner in which R2P can be most successful and what changes must occur for the initiative to continue taking steps toward becoming a document to which countries are held accountable.  Although it has many obstacles to overcome in the years ahead, R2P has made much progress in terms of becoming an international norm and will continue to challenge the manner in which nations conduct themselves in times of human rights crises.

Major Track: Western European Studies
Project Advisor: Dr. Mike Maniates; Language Advisor: Dr. Teresa Herrera