Crude Measures: Analyzing the Success and Failure of Economic Sanctions

By Dillon Schweers

Faculty Mentor: Professor Jason Davidson

The Trump Administration implemented a series of intense economic sanctions against the Venezuelan government in 2019 and 2020 in an effort to oust autocratic President Nicolas Maduro. After two years of the U.S. targeting the Venezuelan oil industry with these measures, Maduro remains entrenched in power. Alternatively, similar measures against Iran were ultimately successful in compelling the Islamic Republic to participate in negotiations that led to the Iran Nuclear Deal of 2015. The student researcher endeavors to answer why sanctions were successful in Iran, but not Venezuela. By analyzing each case from three perspectives (i.e., target-centric approach, third party-centric approach, and sender-centric approach), the student synthesizes an explanation for the outcomes of both sanctions episodes. Based on the findings from the two case studies, the student offers five policy implications that might inform future U.S. administrations in implementing maximum pressure economic sanctions.

Catechism and Constitution: The Role of Faith in Recusal on the Supreme Court

By Hanna Carey

Faculty Mentor: Professor Emile Lester

This project explores the role of Catholicism on the decisions of Supreme Court Justices in capital, high-profile cases, and what role religion plays on recusal of Justices from the Court. The research covers Catholic doctrines and teachings on capital punishment (among other life-or-death issue areas) and the different interpretations thereof. It also explores the influx of Catholic and Christian members of the Supreme Court and how the want to universalize and evangelize can put pressure on high-profile members of the Church in their secular jobs. It includes works from Catholic Church leaders and prominent decisions on capital cases decided by a heavily Catholic bench. In a culmination of looking at different ideas of morality and responsibility of a trials judge versus an appellate court, along with modern and traditional interpretations of Scripture, it concludes that religion is still not a preexisting condition or vested conflict of interest. While the No Religious Test Clause indicates that it is unconstitutional for a judge to be disqualified solely on their faith, it is unfair for the parties in a trial to be subject to a significantly altered Supreme Court bench because of personal interpretations of religion. If one’s religion will keep a Justice from carrying out their position on the Court in certain issue areas simply because of the subject matter, then the Justice cannot carry out their duties to the highest court in the land.

Where there is land, there is wealth

by Olivia Mason-Lucas

Faculty mentor: Professor Melissa Martínez

This presentation serves to capture the relationship between two variables, an increase in extractive industries and unrest over land reform, with the dependent variable, indigenous land (in)security. Two groups in South America: the Guaraní and the Yanomami, serve as case studies for this intersection.

This is America: Examining the International Press’ Coverage of American Foreign Policy Officials

by Nina Burges

Faculty mentor: Professor Surupa Gupta

There is universal recognition that the foreign policy making talent in the United States is woefully unrepresentative of America’s vibrant minority populations, and more is required to attract minorities to pursue public service careers representing the United States abroad and accurately reflect its diversity. However, little attention is paid towards the international response to America’s diversity as it relates to when people of color represent the United States as diplomats, foreign service officers and White House foreign policy officials, as well as in less official capacities as scholars and humanitarian workers. These concerns assume new relevance against the backdrop of the United States’ outsized cultural reach and the international popularity of American films that show “true American culture” and a global introspection about race in America. This presentation will examine the English Language foreign press coverage in 6 countries of the appointment of General Colin Powell, Dr. Condoleezza Rice and Dr. Susan Rice to senior WH and cabinet-level Foreign Policy positions of Secretary of State and National Security Advisor respectively from 2000 to 2013 during the Bush and Obama Administrations. Ultimately, the presentation will analyze and demonstrate the influence of gender and race in the coverage of these individuals to demonstrate the importance of diversity to offering a full understanding of the American experience.