Honors Theses 2009
Susan Ryan and Melanie Dominski (left to right).
The Flexibility and Success of Tailoring Coercive Diplomacy Strategies to Construct for Motivational Asymmetries
Director: Dr. Timothy Lomperis
Susan's thesis explores the strategy of coercive diplomacy. Coercive diplomacy, as defined by Alexander George, is a "strategy for employing force as an instrument for diplomacy." The literature surrounding the topic of coercive diplomacy identifies an asymmetry of motivation as a strong independent variable influencing the success of coercive diplomacy. Using a comparative case method, Susan's paper demonstrates that strategies tailored to create an asymmetry of motivation are more likely to produce success.
Chechnya's Path to Violent Conflict
Director: Dr. Ellen Carnaghan
In order to determine the factors that produced the Chechen conflict with Russia, Melanie's thesis compares Chechnya with its neighboring republic, Ingushetia. Both republics can be considered failed states in the early 1990s. Melanie examines five indicators of state failure in both republics and finds that Chechnya experienced a greater level of state failure in all five areas. Her research suggests that the two violent wars between Russia and Chechnya were not the result of innate ethnic hatred or centuries of tension and mistreatment, but instead are explained by extremist leadership that developed out of the structural collapse of the Chechen state in the early 1990s.