Political Science Senior Integrated Projects

Permanent URI for this collection

This collection includes Senior Integrated Projects (SIPs, formerly known as Senior Individualized Projects) completed in the Political Science Department. Abstracts are generally available to the public, but PDF files are available only to current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff. If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email us at dspace@kzoo.edu to request access to this material.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 801
  • Item
    Antisemitism, Left-Populism, and the Evolution of Anti-Zionism in the Democratic Socialists of America
    (2024-03-01) Purdy, Mason; Elman, R. Amy, 1961-
    This study has ultimately sought to answer the question of why the DSA went from an explicitly Zionist organization founded in part by the proud Jewish Socialist Irving Howe to an aggressively anti-Zionist organization riddled with antisemitism. In studying the organization’s history and its major anti-Zionist features, this study concludes that this change occurred because the DSA’s ideology changed. If the contemporary DSA had arrived at its anti-Zionism while being ideologically the same as it was founded as, this would be a fundamentally different project. However, the contemporary DSA was ideologically transformed by a wave of young populists who were then mentored and ideologically formed by cadres of radical left sectarians (Leninists, Maoists, and Trotskyists for example) that entered the organization to exploit its rapid growth. Taking the populist logic of its many young new members and combining it with the illiberal and radical views of the sectarians, the contemporary DSA’s ideology is not its original democratic and pluralistic socialism but an ideology of radical left-populism that is strongly committed to anti-Zionism. This study ultimately argues that the contemporary DSA has an antisemitism problem because this left-populist ideology is itself an antisemitic worldview.
  • Item
    An Exploration of the Common Good in America’s Founding
    (2024-03-01) Fouque, Andre; Einspahr, Jennifer E., 1974-
    The questions this paper seeks to answer are as follows: First, in what ways in the common good found in the American tradition? And second, how does Vermeule’s vision of the common good either flow with or run against the role the framers believed it played in government? To fully explore this question, we begin with a historical analysis of government and the role of the common good. While ancient Greek philosophers have proposed valuable insight on the subject, this paper begins with John Locke in the 17th century. His insight on the origins of government and its purpose yields great insight on the concept of the common good vis-à-vis government. Next, a leap is taken to 18th century American thinkers Samuel Adams, John Adams, among others, each with different convictions concerning government’s purpose and the common good. Any analysis of American democracy necessitates the inclusion of Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers and the Preamble so they will be duly examined. Before turning to Common Good Constitutionalism, we examine religion and the role that the framers believed it played in instilling virtue and happiness among a people. Turning to Common Good Constitutionalism we explore what entails the common good and what doesn’t. We explore the ways it interacts with the role of government as a whole. To conclude, we mélange the ideas of the early American thinkers with Vermeule’s common good to understand whether Vermeule’s new theory of jurisprudence has credentials in America’s founding.
  • Item
    Managing Crisis : Germany’s Responses to Russian Invasions of Ukraine
    (2023-03-01) Carlson, John; Elman, R. Amy, 1961-
    I never expected that this would be the topic of my SIP. Even in the days before the invasion began, I was confident that Putin would not invade Ukraine. I believed his build-up of troops at the Ukrainian border was a bluff or posturing for another goal. I believed that the enormous consequences - both political and economic - would dissuade Putin from attempting an invasion. I, like many others who misjudged Putin’s inner intentions, was incorrect. Three days after the 2022 invasion, I heard Chancellor Scholz’s Zeitenwende (turning point) speech and the excitement he generated. Analysts seemed to agree that this was a major moment for Germany. Some called it a new era for Germany - one where Germany would defend liberal democratic values with force (David-Wilp and Kleine-Brockhoff 2022). I decided that I wanted my Senior Individualized Project (SIP) to compare Scholz’s actions during the invasion to Chancellor Merkel’s during the 2014 Ukrainian Crisis. As time went on and Scholz’s actions failed to live up to the promises contained within his Zeitenwende speech, my SIP shifted to comparing the two leaders and why one succeeded while the other couldn’t. Naturally, this is being written amid the 2022 invasion which has implicit obstacles for the type of sources available. Among these, I have no access to the backroom deals which might prove to be how the invasion ends and how it is remembered. If nothing else, this SIP shall serve as a snapshot in time: a context of how Scholz’s actions were perceived in the moment. Lastly, when analyzing politics, it is easy to lose focus of the human impact of these events. My heart goes out to the victims of the war: the Russians suffering under Putin’s regime and the Ukrainian people protecting their country and their democracy in the face of the Russian invasion.
  • Item
    Kalamazoo College Student Voter Turnout and How to Increase Student Political Engagement
    (2022-03-01) Dexter, Kaitlyn; Berry, Justin A.
    This research project investigates the best way for Kalamazoo College to increase its student voter turnout rate. Kalamazoo College students voted at their highest levels in the 2018 Midterm and 2020 Presidential Elections since the National Study for Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) began tracking student turnout rates in 2012. Since young people tend to vote at lower rates than older people, it is important for colleges and universities to motivate students to vote to increase their engagement and representation in US political systems. This study aims to find out how the best ways to promote voting among K students. To test the hypothesis that K Votes has increased student turnout among K Students, NSLVE data was analyzed, and K was compared to similar institutions and geographical locations. Voter mobilization literature was reviewed, and 18 K students were interviewed about what they think are the best ways for students to develop their political identities and vote. The results indicate that voter mobilization efforts by K Votes have had a positive impact on the student turnout rate, since K Votes targets first years through First Year Forums and voter registration drives. Importantly, K Votes must improve outreach efforts to Asian, Black, and Hispanic students and inform all students on how to vote while they are on study abroad.
  • Item
    The International Trade Union Confederation: An International Anomaly or Normality
    (2022) Fritch, Gavin H.; Elman, R. Amy, 1961-
    This paper simultaneously serves as a primer for new scholarship on the ITUC, while also analyzing what type of organization it by utilizing Union of International Association (UIA) system of classification. ITUC is found to be a general semi-autonomous occupation, and geographically fragmented NGO. A brief history of international trade unionism from the 20th century to now is also provided, alongside a summary of the different bodies of the ITUC and their mechanisms. Keywords: International Trade Unionism, ITUC, International Trade Union Confederation, NGOs, Meta-Organizations
All materials in the Kalamazoo College Digital Archive are subject to Title 17 of the U.S. Code. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise stated, authors retain the copyright for all content posted to the Kalamazoo College Digital Archive.