Honors Projects

The Department considers the honors paper an important challenge and stimulation to its students. A committee of faculty works closely with students in assisting them to pursue manageable topics and to obtain necessary research materials. The student will be expected to defend the thesis orally in the spring.

Details of the honors program are provided at a meeting of interested seniors in early September. Students seeking to graduate with Honors in Government and Legal Studies must:

  1. Receive grades of A in at least half of their Government courses and have no more than one C in the major.
  2. Must prepare an honors paper, which is normally the product of two semesters of independent study work, and have that paper approved by the Department.


2016-2017 Honors Theses

The Pilgrim City: Love, Justice, and Eschatology in the Political Philosophy of St. Augustine

            By RYAN WARD

            Honors Committee: Professor Yarbrough ~ Supervisor, Professor Franco & Prof Reisert (Colby)

From Merkel’s Open Borders to Orbán’s High Fences: Refugee Crisis and Asylum Politics in the European Union

            By LUIS RICO

            Honors Committee: Professor Henry ~ Supervisor, Professor Franco & Professor Heurlin

The Southern Thailand Insurgency: Explaining Violence by Malay-Muslims Against the Thai-Buddhist State in 2004 and Beyond

            By WIRUNWAN VICTORIA PITAKTONG

            Honors Committee: Professor Henry ~ Supervisor, Professor Heurlin & Professor Potholm

Africa and the International Criminal Court: Behind the Backlash and Toward Future Solutions

            By MARISA O'TOOLE

            Honors Committee: Professor Springer ~ Supervisor, Professor Henry & Professor Potholm

The Message, Medium, and Messenger: A Study of Political Persuasion Through a Case Study of Planned Parenthood

            By JODI KRAUSHAR

            Honors Committee: Professor Franz ~ Supervisor, Professor Martin & Professor Selinger

Cooperation or Conflict? Understanding State Compliance with Compulsory Dispute Settlement Through the Law of the Sea

            By KATHERINE KAUFMAN

            Honors Committee: Professor Springer ~ Supervisor, Professor Gibbons & Professor Heurlin

International Accountability for Corporate Actors: An Effective Path Forward for the International Criminal Court?

            By ALLISEN HAGGARD

            Honors Committee: Professor Springer ~ Supervisor, Professor Gibbons & Professor Sorenson

Emerson, Nietzsche, and Politics

            By BENJAMIN BRISTOL

            Honors Committee: Professor Franco ~ Supervisor, Professor Selinger & Professor Yarbrough

2015-2016 Honors Theses

Identity in Exile: Understanding the Sectarian Dimension of Iraqi Forced Migration, 2003-2011

            BY MADELINE COLE

            Honors Committee: Professor Albaugh ~ Supervisor, Professor Elias & Professor Heurlin

Fact vs. Faction: Polarization in the Information Age

            BY NOAH FINBERG

            Honors Committee: Professor Franz ~ Supervisor, Professor Franco & Professor Selinger

The Rising Tide of Indigenous Mobilization: Identity and the Politics of Refusal in Mexico and Ecuador

            BY KELSEY FREEMAN

            Honors Committee: Professor Henry ~ Supervisor, Professor Albaugh & Professor Springer

People, Planet, and Power: Narrative and Framing in the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement

            BY ALLYSON GROSS

            Honors Committee: Professor Henry ~ Supervisor, Professor Heurlin & Professor Selinger

The Cosmopolitan Samaritan: Defending the Ethical Need for Humanitarian Intervention

            BY J. GIBSON HARTLEY

            Honors Committee: Professor Franco ~ Supervisor, Professor Springer & Professor Yarbrough

Going Viral: The Politics and Public Opinion of United States Measles Vaccination Policy

            BY WYNNE LEAHY

            Honors Committee: Professor Rudalevige ~ Supervisor, Professor Franz & Professor Potholm

Tweet Softly and Carry a Big (Selfie) Stick: The Rhetorical Presidency in the Internet Age

            BY DAVID LEVINE

            Honors Committee: Professor Rudalevige ~ Supervisor, Professor Franz & Professor Yarbrough

From Reasonableness to Authenticity: Rousseau’s Critique of Locke on Education

            BY LUCY CHUYING LUO

            Honors Committee: Professor Franco ~ Supervisor, Professor Laurence & Professor Yarbrough

Black Tigresses and Black Widows: Strategic Utilities of Female Suicide Bombers

            BY APEKSHYA PRASAI

            Honors Committee: Professor Elias ~ Supervisor, Professor Potholm & Professor Springer

2014-2015 Honors Theses

"A Providential Fact”: Tocqueville and the Promise of Democratic Greatness

            BY HANNAH ARRIGHI

            Honors Committee: Professor Yarbrough ~ Supervisor, Professor Franco & Professor Jaffe

The Hamiltonian Executive and the Rise of the Administrative State

            BY JERROD DOBKIN

            Honors Committee: Professor Yarbrough ~ Supervisor, Professor Franco & Professor Selinger

Albert Camus: An Ethical Politics in the Absurd World

            BY STEPHANIE LANE

            Honors Committee: Professor Franco ~ Supervisor, Professor Henry & Professor Jaffe

“Not on Our Watch”? The Influence of the “Responsibility to Protect” Principle on US Foreign Policy

            BY WILLIAM OSSOFF

            Honors Committee: Professor Albaugh ~ Supervisor, Professor Laurence & Professor Tiemessen

McCutcheon v. FEC & the Past, Present, and Future of American Campaign Finance

            BY DAVID STEURY

            Honors Committee: Professor Franz ~ Supervisor, Professor Rudalevige & Professor Selinger

The Politics of US International Food Aid Policy: Domestic Constraints and Opportunities for Reform

            BY JOHN SWORDS

            Honors Committee: Professor Springer ~ Supervisor, Professor Albaugh & Professor Elias

Hunter-gatherers: The Survival of the Foraging Practice in Modern States

            BY TRISTAN VAN KOTE

            Honors Committee: Professor Albaugh ~ Supervisor, Professor Henry & Professor Springer

Peace Be Dammed? Water Power and Water Politics in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin

            BY CAMILLE WASINGER

            Honors Committee: Professor Henry ~ Supervisor, Professor Elias & Professor Springer

2013-2014 Honors Theses

Non-State Threats in Cyberspace and Implications for U.S. Security Strategy

            By RODRIGO BIJOU

            Honors Committee: Professor Scarcelli ~ Supervisor, Professor Elias & Professor Laurence

Governmental Efficiency in an Age of Expanding Transparency

            By JOSHUA BURGER-CAPLAN

            Honors Committee: Professor Franz ~ Supervisor, Professor Martin & Professor Rudalevige

The American Lawgiver: On Founding the Liberal Democratic Republic

            By SAMUEL KARSON

            Honors Committee: Professor Yarbrough ~ Supervisor, Professor Brooks & Professor Morgan

The Agrarian Tradition in Political Philosophy

            By SHANNON GRIMES

            Honors Committee: Professor Yarbrough ~ Supervisor, Professor Albaugh & Professor Brooks

"The Banner Made All of the Difference": The Tea Party Movement and Its Place in the Republican Party

            By ZACHARY MORRISON

            Honors Committee: Professor Martin ~ Supervisor, Professor Franz & Professor Rudalevige

The Compelled Speech Doctrine: A Libertarian Defense Against Antidiscrimination Law?

            By MOLLY RIDLEY

            Honors Committee: Professor Morgan ~ Supervisor, Professor Heurlin & Professor Rudalevige

The Truth, Perhaps: Pierre Manent and the Nature of Our Political World

            By JORDAN GOLDBERG

            Honors Committee: Professor Franco ~ Supervisor, Professor Brooks & Professor Yarbrough

2012-2013 Honors Theses

Speech and Security: The Holder Case

            By ISABELLE ALBI

            Honors Committee: Professor Morgan ~ Supervisor, Professor Martin & Professor Yarborough

After the War: Explaining the Effectiveness of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Programs in Post-Conflict Societies

            By EMILY AUSUBEL

            Honors Committee: Professor Henry ~ Supervisor, Professor Albaugh & Professor Potholm

Delivering for the District? Members of Congress and their Campaign Promises, 2005-2013

            By ELIZABETH CARTER

            Honors Committee: Professor Rudalevige ~ Supervisor, Professor Martin & Professor Selinger

In the Shadow of Dayton: International Intervention in the Balkans from 1992-2005

            By UCHECHI ESONU

            Honors Committee: Professor Henry ~ Supervisor, Professor Heurlin & Professor Springer

Advancing Liberalism: The Influence of Rousseau's Philosophy on Tocqueville's New Political Science

            By EMILY KOENIG

            Honors Committee: Professor Franco ~ Supervisor, Professor Morgan & Professor Yarbrough

From Left to Right? White Evangelical Politicization, GOP Incorporation, and the Effect of Party Affiliation on Group Opinion Change

            By DEVON SHAPIRO

            Honors Committee: Professor Selinger ~ Supervisor, Professor Morgan & Professor Rudalevige

Turkey and the European Union: A Class of Misconceptions?

            By HANNAH YOUNG

            Honors Committee: Professor Henry ~ Supervisor, Professor Laurence & Professor Springer