Schar School of Policy and Government

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This collection contains ETD documents from the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 202
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    Commanding Military Adaptation: Explaining Operational-Tactical Change in Combined Arms Warfare
    (2022) Fay, Matthew H.; Hunzeker, Michael A
    Militaries are frequently required to adapt if they are to fight effectively. Many militaries fail to meet this requirement. This dissertation proposes a theory to explain this variation in military adaptation. Command Climate Theory posits that open command climates—consisting of a shared knowledge base, integrated feedback mechanisms, and high levels of trust among a military’s senior commanders—positively influence the likelihood that a military will adapt. The theory stems from the puzzling divergence in battlefield conduction between the U.S. and British armies in the Normandy Campaign of the Second World War. Despite similarities in the two Allied armies’ objectives, size, and local resource base—as well as their identical enemy and the comparable terrain in which they fought—the U.S. Army adapted combined arms tactics and operational methods during the campaign, while the British Army pursued a maladapted, firepower-centric approach. The case studies provide a controlled comparison for theory development. Conceptualizing adaptation as an evolutionary response to the environmental demands of a military campaign, this dissertation builds a typology to facilitate the controlled comparison. As such, it assesses changes in a military’s force employment in terms of its fit with the environment. Evidence from the Normandy cases suggests that variation in each army’s command climate explains why the U.S. Army made changes to its force employment that were adaptive when faced with an environmental mismatch, while the British Army maladaptive changes as the campaign progressed.
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    Linking Trust in Government with Federal Disaster Relief Aid: A Case Study of Hurricane-Prone Gulf Coast Residents
    (2022) Dunlap, Katrina Hubbard; Schintler, Laurie A
    Political trust has declined drastically over decades; however, it is critical to disaster management efforts by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its partners. Previous studies examined the impact of the public’s critique of government performance as a precursor of political trust. Using Easton’s adaptation of systems theory to the political system and a quantitative research design, this dissertation assesses whether an increase in federal disaster relief aid, as a proxy for government performance, will improve the public’s trust. This dissertation leverages a constructed dataset which merged survey data on attitudes and beliefs of Gulf Coast residents concerning disaster preparedness and response and FEMA’s program data. The findings could be used to craft policies concerning the allocation of emergency response funds to target specific communities where trust wanes.
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    The Enemy of My Enemy: Rebel Group Strategies at the Onset of Civil Conflicts
    (2022) Kayser, Courtney; Butt, Ahsan
    This dissertation seeks to explain the why some rebel groups target the state while others target fellow armed groups. Much of the literature focuses on features of the state to explain intrastate violence, but I propose to turn the spotlight onto groups themselves, specifically their organizational control structure and relative material capabilities. At the onset of a civil conflict, groups can 1) target the state, 2) target other groups, 3) engage in mixed targeting, or 4) engage in reactive/no targeting. I argue that organizational structure informs which groups are likely to view as their primary threat, while relative capabilities provide groups with agency in combat: those with high/symmetric capabilities have focus, while those with low capabilities are more opportunistic. Through an examination of five civil conflicts in post-Soviet and post-Communist countries and statistical modeling with a novel dataset, I demonstrate that these two variables in conjunction with one another map onto the varied configurations of group targeting.
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    Belief or Belonging? Untangling Evangelical Religiosity and Its Impact on Affective Polarization
    (2022) Bledsoe, Scott; Mayer, Jeremy
    While previous research has shown that evangelicals are seemingly more polarized than other religious groups and secular Republicans, less is known about why this might be the case, and what impact, if any, distinct aspects of religiosity play in driving these high levels of affective polarization. This dissertation examines the relationship between evangelical religiosity and affective polarization by disaggregating religiosity into discrete categories of belief and belonging to better understand how each influences polarized political behavior, as well as how they interact with one another. Through the use of a novel survey and a systematic historical analysis, this dissertation finds that deep religious belonging tends to produce high levels of bonding social capital, something that often produces mistrust and animosity toward the outgroup. Additionally, bridging social capital, or one’s connection to their civic community, does not appear to have much of an influence on affective polarization, particularly in the face of deep levels of belonging to one’s own religious community. While claims of causality are muted, this dissertation finds important patterns within American evangelical religious belonging, its relationship to the production and maintenance of bonding social capital, and the subsequent influence on affective polarization.
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    Absorptive Capacity and Economic Growth: How Does Absorptive Capacity Affect Economic Growth in Low- And Middle-Income Countries?
    (2022) Khan, Muhammad Salar; Hart, David M.; Olds, James L.
    This dissertation analyzes the economic growth dynamics of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) eligible for the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) support. LMICs are prime candidates for development and innovation, but unfortunately, a lack of a suitable framework and poor data environments dent their value and representation. I cater to those issues by building and testing a framework of growth conditions (capacities in this dissertation) using secondary data from 82 LMICs and primary data from fieldwork in Pakistan. Specifically, I address the impact of national-level capacities on economic growth over time while controlling for confounders (including incoming skills). Capacities comprise technology and innovation, business environment and finance, human capital, infrastructure, public policy, and social policy, including welfare and inclusion. Inspired by management science and innovation system literature, the first chapter asserts the need for absorptive capacity approaches in measuring innovation and development processes in LMICs. The second chapter builds a new complete panel dataset with no missing values for 82 LMICs and establishes the reliability and suitability of the dataset in operationalizing the capacities in LMICs. The third chapter builds a framework of capacities in LMICs and tests the framework using machine learning and econometric approaches to examine how capacities affect economic growth in LMICs longitudinally. The fourth chapter classifies LMICs into five clusters to explore trends for policy implications: leading, walking, limping, crawling, and sleeping economies. Economic growth and capacities are higher in leading economies, followed by walking, limping, crawling, and sleeping. The findings highlight the criticality of infrastructure, finance, skilled human capital, and public policy capacities to enhance economic growth. Incoming flows and skills from abroad are also found to be relevant for economic growth in LMICs. Lastly, the fifth chapter conducts research through interviews and secondary content analyses in Pakistan and Bangladesh to ascertain qualitative findings. Analyses confirm the positive effects of some capacities on economic growth as well as the role of confounders in mitigating those effects. Overall, by ranking empirically important capacities for economic growth, I offer suggestions to cash-strapped governments and international organizations such as the World Bank, the UN, and the USAID to make effective investments to achieve sustainable development goals and boost prosperity.
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    Essays on Tax Behavior, Public Goods Provisions, and Income Poverty
    (2022) Siddique, Abu Bakkar; Koizumi, Naoru NK
    This dissertation consists of three essays on civic tax behavior, public goods provisions, and poverty. First essay identifies indirect effects of corruption on individual tax morale which imply that corruption breaks the fiscal contract between government and taxpayers. Second essay examines the effects of ethnic institutions particularly ethnic fractionalization, economic heterogeneity among ethnic groups, and rising threats to White prototypicality on public goods supply in the USA. Third essay studies the puzzles of stagnating poverty amidst high growth and declining unemployment in the USA can be explained significantly by polarized job markets that occurred in job quality and job distribution.
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    Bang for the Buck: Understanding Disparities in Conventional Strategic Signaling Capacity Acquisition Among Arms-Importing States
    (2022) Roberts, Lee Habib; Hunzeker, Michael A.
    This dissertation investigates variations in capability-based strategic signaling capacity acquisition between states who primarily import major conventional weaponry rather than indigenously producing it. The dissertation examines three potential drivers of conventional procurement efficiency derived from extant secondary literature: (1) technologically focused responses to threats posed by competitor states; (2) policy goals of vendor states; and (3) responsible government practices. The dissertation analyzes the procurement spending, inventory change, competitor arsenals and signals, vendor state goals, and government practices for four case states over the analytic window 2000-2020: (1) India; (2) Pakistan; (3) Australia; and (4) Taiwan. I use multivariate statistical analysis to identify associations for each of each of the surveyed theoretical causal accounts with variations in case state procurement efficiency, finding: (1) support for threat-focused procurement as positively associated with procurement efficiency at the 99% confidence level; (2) support for equipment origin from vendors with complex arms sales goals as positively associated with procurement efficiency at the 99% confidence level; and (3) no support for responsible government practices as positively associated with procurement efficiency. The dissertation then qualitatively analyzes each case through narrative probe process tracing, devoting a chapter to each. Finally, the dissertation illustrates four primary implications of the research: (1) high-quality estimation of undisclosed procurement spending levels by states that primarily import their major conventional weaponry; (2) educated projection of independent success/failure odds of a state’s procurement-driven signaling strategy over a given window of time against a given competitor state; (3) a clear case for re-examining the consensus on transparent and responsible procurement practice definitions; and (4) systemic depiction of vendor attractiveness and comparative advantage among the most prolific arms-exporting states for prospective importers.
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    Personalization of Immunosuppressive Medication for Kidney Transplant Recipients
    (2022) Nayebpour, Mohammad Mehdi; Koizumi, Naoru
    This thesis presents three independent essays for the fulfillment of doctoral dissertation in Public Policy. The common theme in these essays is the practice of personalized medicine for kidney transplant recipients. The field of kidney transplantation is one of the costliest fields in the healthcare system and it is paid by the Federal government. Increasing the quality of transplant outcomes has been a major focus for CMS, particularly for underserved populations such as African Americans who already face the worse transplant outcomes. Studies show that implementing personalized medicine practices increases the quality of care, reduces graft rejection and increases graft survival rates. Such results directly translate into reducing the cost of kidney care. In this manuscript I developed a personalized medicine model based on gut microbiome information and gene markers to optimize the administration of an immunosuppressive drug called Tacrolimus. This model shows to be superior than existing models in predicting optimum required dose. In the next step I investigated the role of gut microbiome in kidney transplant outcomes and used the change in the relative abundance of bacterial genera as a tool for predicting graft rejection and graft failure. Finally, the existing policies of insurance coverage for personalized medicine for kidney disease were surveyed. I present an argument that expanding Medicare coverage to personalized medicine for kidney transplant is essential. This 3-essay dissertation presents a package for extending our knowledge of personalized medicine in kidney disease and it offers possible tools for implementing such practices.
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    Operationalizing Sea Power: The Evolution of Navy Doctrine, 1946-2016
    (2022) Petrucelli, Joseph; Rhodes, Edward
    This thesis studies the evolution of US Navy doctrine throughout the post-World War II period, a period of relative superiority by the US Navy. Examining doctrinal change through these historical cases improves the understanding of how doctrinal change is implemented in large bureaucracies and what mechanisms are the key drivers of change. While the specific doctrinal choices are highly contingent on the personalities and strategic context of each case, the historical record does show that learning organizational capacity, a cultural “fit,” and enduring leadership attention were key elements in making a doctrine sticky. Bureaucratic politics and civilian intervention play a role, but appear unable to make a lasting doctrinal change, as organizations revert to their preferred path as soon as pressure is lifted. Understanding how these mechanisms impact doctrinal change is valuable to a military organization in shaping its response to the ever-changing geo-strategic situation.
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    Insurance as a Private Sector Regulator and Promoter of Security and Safety: Case Studies in Governing Emerging Technological Risk From Commercial Nuclear Power to Health Care Sector Cybersecurity
    (2022) Gudgel, John E; Koblentz, Gregory
    Insurance has been described as “a technology of governance beyond the state” (Ericson et al. p. 33). This dissertation will explore how both public and private insurance mechanisms can govern emerging technological risks by regulating and incentivizing private-sector security and safety behavior. Specifically, this study will seek to explain how insurance - an economic device for equitably transferring the risk of a loss, from one entity to another - can drive risk management and protection improvements at firms who acquire coverage. To answer this question, this study will use case studies to examine the role that insurance has played in managing and enhancing safety and security in three emerging technological risk regimes including commercial nuclear power, environmental pollution, and healthcare sector cybersecurity. It utilizes a mixed-methods multiple comparative case study approach to explore the key research question: “How can insurance promote better safety in emerging technological regimes?” Both qualitative and quantitative evidence is presented including a new comprehensive database - the Healthcare Cyber Attacks Database (HCAD) - documenting over 5600 breaches against healthcare entities and sub-entities over the period 2005 to 2021. The key finding derived from this evidence supports the main hypothesis that “Insurance can improve the safety posture of firms engaged in emerging technologies.”
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    Nationalism, Violence, and Legitimacy: Response to Mob Violence and the Enforcement of the Law
    (2022) Bernbaum, Adam; McGrath, Robert
    Why do states tolerate mob violence? This dissertation theorizes that the interaction among variety of nationalism, returns to violence, and salience of legitimacy influence response to mob violence. Through case studies of mobs in four eras of American history, I find that mob violence is most likely to be tolerated when returns to violence are high, salience of legitimacy is low, and there is an ethnonationalist local government. When salience of legitimacy is high, a contested response between local and supralocal authorities is more likely. These findings demonstrate the importance of the under-enforcement of the law to American ethnonationalists.
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    Multi-state Markov Models for the Analysis of EMRs Diffusion in Healthcare
    (2022) Li, Meng-Hao; Li, Meng-Hao; Schintler, Laurie
    Prior studies on diffusion of innovations typically research the same units of analysis, top-down diffusion, bottom-up diffusion, spatial proximity or network analysis, paying little or no attention to the effect of bottom-up networks on the multilevel diffusion process. The adoption decision is formed at the organizational level, but the factors that formulate the decision possibly result from either inter- or intra-organizational networks, or mixed effects of inter- and intra-organizational networks. It remains unclear how individuals and organizations respectively are exposed to adoption information in their networks and collectively form an adoption decision at the organizational level. Using data (2009-2015) from the hospital’s adoption of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), individual healthcare provider referral networks, and hospital system networks, this study applies multi-state Markov models to examine how the mixed effect of intra- and inter-hospital networks influences the process of bottom-up EMRs diffusion. The findings suggest that hospital system networks, individual provider networks within and between hospitals, and proximity of hospital locations play different roles in the transitions between EMRs states (i.e., non-adopters, basic adopters, intermediate adopters, and comprehensive adopters). The results enrich our understanding of how individuals (bottom) in an organization interact with internal and external environments to influence the organization’s decisions (up) collectively. This study further offers four network-based policy intervention strategies for facilitating the adoption of advanced EMRs and suggests devising an EMRs incentive scheme based on hospital EMRs states.
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    Modeling of Mass Casualty Management During a Radiological or Nuclear Event
    (2022) Sproull, Mary T; Sproull, Mary T; Koblentz, Gregory D
    Since the events of 9/11, a concerted interagency effort has been undertaken to create comprehensive emergency planning and preparedness strategies for management of a radiological or nuclear event in the U.S. These planning guides include protective action guidelines, medical countermeasure recommendations, and systems for diagnosing and triaging radiation injury. Yet, key areas such as perception of risk from radiation exposure by first responders have not been addressed. In this study, we identify the need to model and develop new strategies for medical management of large scale population exposures to radiation, review recent findings on the willingness to work (WTW) of first responders and other personnel involved in mass casualty medical management during a radiological or nuclear event, and examine the phenomena of radiation dread and its role in emergency response using an agent-based modeling (ABM) approach. Using ABM, we developed a series of models examining factors affecting first responders’ WTW during a radiological or nuclear event in the context of entering areas where radioactive contamination is present or in triage of individuals potentially contaminated with radioactive materials. In these models, the presence of radiation subject matter experts (SME) in the field was found to increase WTW. Degree of communication was found to be a dynamic variable with either positive or negative effects on WTW dependent on the initial WTW demographics of the test population. Our findings illustrate that radiation dread is a significant confounder for emergency response to radiological or nuclear events and that increasing the presence of radiation SME in the field and communication amongst first responders when such radiation SME are present, will help mitigate the effect of radiation dread and improve first responder WTW during future radiological or nuclear events.
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    Talking Like a Populist? Exploring Populism in Six Western Democracies
    (2021) Stuvland, Aaron Matthew; Stuvland, Aaron Matthew; Lopez-Santana, Mariely
    This dissertation focuses on when and why political parties ‘talk like populists’—or use populist ideas, concepts, and frames to appeal to voters. By analyzing the campaign speeches and party manifestos of all parties contesting elections since 2002 in Austria, France, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, I find that parties’ use of populism is substantively linked to outsider or challenger status and does not appear to be a useful rhetoric for governing. Overall, I find that mainstream parties have not increased their populism in the last two decades while populist parties have decreased their reliance on populism in response to electoral success.
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    Certainly Biased: Truth and Confidence in the Digiatal Age
    (2021) Andrew Armstrong
    National politics has come to resemble the far side of Alice’s looking glass; contemporary debate has been turned on its head, marked by undertones of epistemological anxiety. From fake news to alternative facts, the very concept of what is “true” has become contentious. Set against this backdrop of dysfunction, this project explores how digital technology is complicating, rather than improving, the quality of democratic debate. The crux of the argument is that social and technological trends interact to form an information environment increasingly conducive to the creation and dissemination of unjustified conviction, half-truths, and outright lies.
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    The Network Architecture of Rural Development Interventions: Exploring the Relational Dynamics of Aid-Impact in the Fragile and Conflict-Affected States of Pakistan and Afghanistan
    (2021) Elsa Khwaja
    This dissertation analyzes development assistance from a relational lens to reveal power dynamics of externally-initiated interventions within Pakistan and Afghanistan. Integrating a conceptual and methodological framework of social capital theory, social network analysis (SNA), and qualitative narrative comparisons, the research explores stakeholder relationships among prominent rural development programs. The study incorporates a two-step, mixed methods data collection and data analysis design, applying qualitative fieldwork (178 field interviews between 2017-2019) and data collection (archival research from relevant stakeholders and institutions), alongside the SNA and qualitative comparisons. The primary programs were implemented in Pakistan’s Sindh Province and the Former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), now the “newly merged tribal districts” of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), alongside a secondary comparison with Afghanistan. Comparisons of interventions, in a multiple case study research design, critically evaluate the conditions in which development policy networks successfully operate in fragile and crisis-affected areas. Diversity, fragility, and social capital alongside network properties of power, influence, centralization, and cohesion are examined as critical conditions toward sustainable success in programs. The research assesses whether inherent structural properties translated from global development networks create opportunities or challenges toward sustainable locally-owned development processes and outcomes. This dissertation has seven chapters. The first chapter introduces the objectives to the study and presents the puzzle in the context of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It then provides an overview of the results, contributions, and dissertation structure. Chapter two provides more detailed context on the two countries, as well as Afghanistan’s relevance to Pakistan in the aid and development policy context. It follows with a discussion on four areas of literature which justify the network evaluation in the development and aid-effectiveness debate, specifically in fragile and conflict-affected spaces. In chapter three, it explains the theoretical foundations, research questions and corresponding hypotheses. Chapter four details the mixed methods design, referencing the iterative process during fieldwork, the case study comparisons, content analysis and the SNA. Chapter five provides a comprehensive account of the qualitative fieldwork, with key insights from the field that explore challenges, successes, and outcomes. Chapter six compares network evaluations, resulting network metrics, indicators, and visualizations, of the four flagship World Bank programs, and presents a qualitative comparison to Pakistan’s Rural Support Programmes Network. Lastly, in chapter seven, the dissertation summarizes the hypotheses, and discusses the implications for international sustainable development, foreign policy, and policy recommendations for “network interventions” and potential modifications to future programs. The chapter concludes with opportunities for future research in Pakistan and Afghanistan and other Fragile and Conflict Affected States (FCAS), explaining the broader significance to the international development policy community and the prospective steps to advance the research.
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    The Campaigns Characteristics Make: Television Advertising and Changes in Presidential Campaign Perceptions
    (2021) Austin Hofeman
    Though other methods are growing in prominence, television advertising continues to be a significant portion of presidential campaign spending. The effects of these commercials, however, remain unclear. This dissertation suggests that a substantial component of their effect comes from their ability to shape perceptions of personal characteristics of the candidates running for president. Combining national advertising data with national polling data, this dissertation finds that the effects of candidate appeals via television vary in shaping how voters view the candidates on a personal level. Effects appear to be stronger on initial airing, and no consistent effects for repeated mentions are found. Negative advertising appears to be dangerous, as its effects are often harmful for the candidates running the ads. While no large-scale and consistent support is found for sustained advertising effects, the findings support a theory of running tally information processing and suggest that for some candidates personal appeals can be effective in shaping perceptions.
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    Party Time? A Temporal and Partisan Mixed Methods Exploration of Changes in American Lawmaking
    (2021) Michelle Buehlmann
    In this dissertation, I argue that a nuanced examination of a random selection of public laws based on how power is used to enact the laws may enable scholars to identify durable shifts in governing authority in Congress, consistent with American political development research. Specifically, by examining 557 laws enacted between 1951 and 2011, I find support for the argument that America has moved away from Congress-centered decision making to a more plebiscitary government. In addition, my findings suggest changes in the norms of partisan lawmaking and an enduring commitment on behalf of the Democratic party to expert lawmaking.
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    Impact of Humanitarian Aid on Facilitating Corruption: A Look at Nations in Central America and the Caribbean
    (2021) Simisola Fasehun
    Humanitarian assistance can be a lifeline in places where governments are either unwilling or unable to provide basic support for their citizens. As the number of global disasters continues to rise, so too does the need for humanitarian assistance. However, corruption may negatively impact the effectiveness of such aid. Corruption can hinder nation states’ ability to provide public services, humanitarian assistance, and emergency preparedness for their citizens. Researchers have investigated the benefits of development projects and humanitarian aid in low and lower-middle income countries, but little has been written on the role of humanitarian aid in facilitating corruption. Considering the increase in global instability and natural disasters, it is important to ask, “Does humanitarian aid increase corruption”? This dissertation will engage theories of corruption and obligation in humanitarian aid to evaluate how humanitarian aid contributes to corruption perception in countries with endemic and systematic corruption. This dissertation explores the impact of humanitarian aid on corruption perception in countries that receive aid from organizations in high-income countries. The focus is on assessing the success of transparency in aid programs and examining how and whether such aid contributes to corruption in countries with endemic and systematic corruption. Specifically, it will review nine countries in Central America and the Caribbean with high levels of corruption: Haiti, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Panama, Jamaica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Venezuela. The study period was from 2000 to 2018.The study used a mixed methods research approach to gather and analyze data. Specifically, a qualitative research approach in the form of semi-structured interviews of humanitarian aid practitioners and document reviews was used to gather qualitative data. In addition, the study utilized quantitative statistical methods to examine trends in corruption and its correlation with levels of humanitarian aid. Perhaps surprising, the quantitative analysis found that surges in humanitarian aid are NOT significantly correlated with increases in corruption. Rather, despite large fluctuations in humanitarian aid, measured levels of corruption are determined mainly by a country’s level of development and governing institutions; humanitarian aid, measured both in dollars and as percent of a country’s GDP, has no further effect, either by itself, with lags, or interacting with institutions. The qualitative analysis and case study found that donor organizations work hard to keep corruption from undercutting their humanitarian aid efforts. The data shows that while corrupt countries may remain corrupt, their measured corruption perception does not grow worse when large infusions of humanitarian aid are being provided.
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    War Planning and Effective Military Organizations
    (2021) Jim Cahill
    Military organizations devote substantial attention to pre-war planning. This is not surprising given the uncertainties associated with preparing for the next war, as well as the enduring influence of President Eisenhower’s dictum on the importance of planning. But just because planning is occurring does not mean that it is producing anything useful. Does pre-war planning really make a difference in terms of wartime military effectiveness? In this dissertation, I find that it does, but not always in positive ways. I argue that military planning organizations that adopt five pre-war planning practices are most likely to produce war planning outcomes that contribute to higher levels of military effectiveness: specificity, resource-sensitivity, moderate civilian oversight, external collaboration, and strategic education. I put the argument to an empirical test by examining the implications of German, French, and British war planning from 1905-1914, to these states’ experiences during the July-August 1914 crisis and initial operational phase of the First World War.