Political Science, 2009
  • Political Science, 2009



    A Cross-National Outcomes Analysis of Healthcare Systems
    Coleman Drake
    Mentor: Alex Heckman

    As the United States takes steps towards a more socialized health care system, it is unclear whether a more socialized system will produce significantly better health outcomes. Several studies have been published on the matter, but most of them are qualitative case studies or small sample quantitative studies that do not provide generalizable insights about the impact of the healthcare system on health outcomes. This study uses a theory developed by Navarro, Elola, and Daponte (1989) as the basis for analyzing the relationship between national health systems and health outcomes in developed Western nations. Navarro et al.’s theory states that healthcare outcomes are influenced by lifestyles, biology, environment, and the healthcare system. By examining only developed Western nations this study isolates the impact of the healthcare systems in western democracies where lifestyles, biology, and environment are similar. Another advantage of the study is its relatively large sample size and use of recent data on health outcomes. Public health expenditures and the type of healthcare system are used as measures of the type of health system, while two measures of mortality are used as measures of health outcomes. This study sheds light on the impact of national healthcare policies on the health of citizens, which should be an important consideration as the U.S. debates how to improve its healthcare system and the health of its citizens.



    The Effects of Climate Change: Chad
    Mercy Kimawu Nange Luzolo, Katherine A. McChesney, Nathaniel R. Overmire, Ryan M. Griffin
    Mentors: Alan Stam, Suzanne M. Marilley

    Astrid Heidberg, President of the Red Cross Society, said in 1999 that climate change was no longer a “doomsday prophecy,” but a reality, one lived by some countries today, that have been more affected by global warming than others. This is the case with Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world, and inland country located in Central Africa. Chad’s main source of water comes from the Lake Chad, a lake whose boundaries are shared by five other countries and which used to be the largest body of fresh water in the Sahel region. Lake Chad is now a mere shadow of its former self (Onyekakeyah, 2008) The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate the existence and effects of global warming, first by presenting how Lake Chad has been affected by climate change over the last 40 years. The second part deals with the effects of this phenomenon on the people of five different nationalities living around the lake. We provide steps taken on the local, national, regional and international levels, to bring solutions to this problem.



    An Analysis of Political Cartoons in Kenya
    Sharron Ogutu
    Mentor: Andrew J. Carlson

    To what extent did ethnic stereotypes figure in political cartoons in Kenya in 2008? This study uses political cartoons as a window into ethnic feeling in Kenya, in order to understand whether ethnicity was a factor in the post election violence that plagued Kenya from December 2007 through January 2008. Out of 34 cartoons reviewed during the summer of 2008, only one was found which depicted ethnicity, 15 focused on corruption, and 11 on incompetence by government officials. The conclusion is that ethnicity was less important in the campaign violence than has generally been supposed. Indeed, it seems that Kenyans cared more about a government that works for them. The revised hypothesis is that concern with corruption and incompetence led to pent up anger which, unfortunately, hurts specific ethnic groups more than others. I also discuss the limitations of political cartoons as indicators of ethnic feeling.