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Linfield College scenery

Political Science


Each year, political science students have the opportunity to participate in and lead research projects. The department is committed to providing ample opportunities for faculty/student collaboration. Read about some of our students' past research below, and click on the links to view their project posters.

Layers of Limbo: Governing Vulnerable and Displaced Populations in Thailand
Authors: Morgan Christiansen, Bridget Grant, Kole Kracaw, Leanne McCallum, William McHenry
Faculty sponsor: Dr. Patrick Cottrell
Project poster

In Thailand, the international community is confronted by one of the most protracted and complicated migration crises in the world. By examining this complex issue from the vantage point of a variety of stakeholders – the Royal Thai Government (RTG), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), and donor governments (e.g. the United States) – our project aims to illuminate the divergent, at times contradictory, incentives that undermine cooperative efforts to find 'durable solutions' to protect vulnerable populations over the longer term.

The Correlates of Wealth Disparity Between the Global North & the Global South
Author: Noelle Enguidanos
Faculty sponsor: Dr. Dawn Nowacki
Project poster

Why are countries of the global north wealthier than countries of the global south? The economic gap dividing the global north and the global south is increasing, creating unequal distributions of development, investment, technology/skills and wealth. The divide has remained controversial due to the ideological underpinnings of economic prescriptions for growth. This study seeks to explore the causes of the global economic divide in the hopes of discovering the primary source of the divergence.

Analyzing In-state Post-Secondary Tuition Policies for Undocumented Illegal Aliens in the United States
Author: Jonathon Thompson
Faculty sponsor: Dr. Dawn Nowacki
Project poster

Should states offer in-state tuition for undocumented illegal aliens who have graduated from public high schools in the US? I gathered data on a random sample of 400 colleges and universities across two states, one providing in-state tuition to undocumented students and one not providing it. Through a comparison of the data from states with different policies I tested the hypotheses that the provision of in-state tuition would result in differences in post-secondary institution attendance and graduation rates among undocumented students.

The Effect of Political Nationalism on Economic Freedom
Author: Melissa Greenaway
Faculty sponsor: Dr. Dawn Nowacki

Existing research has analyzed nationalistic sentiment without attempting to find empirical correlations, or focused on the individual level of analysis by comparing levels of nationalism with levels of consumer ethnocentrism in a society. The focus of this study was to extend this analysis to the state level, comparing the relative level of political nationalism in a country with the openness of its economy. Economic openness was defined as the level of free trade policies the country possessed, with each country given an indexed score. A multivariate regression was run using data coded from the Heritage Foundation and the International Social Survey Program, using 12 survey questions and scores for a total of 32 countries and over 350,000 points of data. Though the data pool was predominantly European, results indicated that even among countries with a high level of institutionalized democracy, higher levels of political nationalism led to lower levels of economic freedom. This correlation stayed significant even when variables such as GDP and exports were taken into account, creating a great base for further research into this subject.

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