International Studies

Honors Papers

The Student Honors Papers collection represent exemplary work in International Studies at Illinois Wesleyan University. The Ames Library is proud to archive these and other honors projects in Digital Commons @ IWU, the university's online archive of student, faculty and staff scholarship and creative activity.

Sexual Violence against Males in Armed Conflict: How State Masculinity Helps to Explain its Occurrence

by Jia Muyi Yang

Sexual violence against male victims during armed conflict still remains largely under-researched. The small amount of research that does exist attributes the occurrence of such violence to the perpetrator’s desire to assert their own masculine power. However, claiming that sexual violence against males is perpetrated only to assert personal masculinity fails to explain the attempt of individual perpetrators to use sexual violence to feminize enemy communities during armed conflict. Instead, this essay argues that it is the state that embodies normative masculinity. The State as an ideational entity demands the defense and expansion of its normative masculinity during armed conflict. This embodiment of ideal masculinity is envisioned and also aspired to by the individuals. Consequently, individuals within that state become subordinate agents tasked with implementing the state’s demand through violent means like sexual violence against other males. Failing to recognize that the occurrence of sexual violence lies in the logic of state’s masculinity leads to insufficient understanding of both the occurrence of sexual violence against males, as well as the reluctance of both national and international community to properly address this atrocity.

BRICS Built with STIPs

by Evan Mok-Lamme

In 2014 Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), ratified the "Cape Town Declaration," which recognized the "paramount importance of science, technology and innovation (STI) for human development." This declaration not only represents the growing importance of STI policy just in the BRICS states, but highlights the emergence of STI as a precondition of modem economic growth. This paper examines the significance of state STI policy as an increasingly important facet of strategic economic and state development in today's globalizing world. Additionally, this paper offers a comparative analysis of STI strategies in three BRICS countries. The research supports two major conclusions. First, in today's globalizing world, the capacity of the state, and implementation of effective STI policies, both play fundamental roles in enabling economic growth in developing countries. Second, a comparative analysis ofBRICS STI policies provides empirical examples ofhow specific strategies can effectively, or ineffectively, contribute to economic growth and overall state development. In this comparative analysis, it is clear that despite each country's commitment and intent to build STI capacity, historical and political context are influential in determining the successful implementation of effective STI policy in any given country.

Aesopian Language of Soviet Era Children’s Literature: Translation, Adaptation, and Animation of a Western Classic

by Boryana Borisova

Analyzing spoken, written, visual, or tangible material can offer sophisticated insight into the complexity of social life, understood through analysis of language in its widest sense; it offers ways of investigating meaning, whether in conversation or in culture. The idea of retelling foreign texts may be alien to some cultures, and understanding why, how, and when a particular work was created is essential for understanding the Russian one. In highly censored Russian culture, skepticism is a prerequisite for reading a text in the Soviet era, as it frequently served as an Aesopian hint or an allegory on contemporary issues. “Aesopian language” as a term was first coined by Russian satirist Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin in his Letters to Auntie (1881-1882), in order to designate a “figurative language of slavery”, an “ability to speak between the lines… at a time when literature was in a state of bondage”. The practice of this elusive discourse is investigated in Lev Loseff’s fundamental study, in which he defines Aesopian language as “a special literary system, one whose structure allows interaction between the author and reader at the same time that it conceals inadmissible content from the censor”.1Russian texts written during this time have a tendency to unlock secret meanings, social critique, and political challenges, thus Soviet cultural production can be understood as an act of resistance.

Between History and Fiction: Visualizing Contemporary Polish Cultural Identity

by Dominique Castle

In this study, Polish cultural identity as derived from shared cultural memories is explored. The persistence of a strong Polish cultural identity even throughout a turbulent history is examined during the Soviet era through the analysis of three films, Andrzej Wajda's Ashes and Diamonds, Agnieszka Holland's To Kill a Priest, and Andrzej Wajda's Katyn. Because viewing films can result in the adoption of prosthetic memory which contribute to support of cultural memory, and because the creation of film itself can be considered scriptotherapy, each film is a lens to better understand how reaction to traumas of World War II and adherence to belief in Catholicism have influenced cultural memory and, by extension, Polish cultural identity throughout the period of study.

Narratives of Fear and Shame: Jewish Childhood in Soviet and Post-Soviet Life Writing

by Rosa Kleinman

No copy of this thesis is available.

Carving the Perfect Citizen: The Adventures of Italian Pinocchio in the Soviet Union and the United States

by Rachel Branson

Approaches to what exactly a fairy tale should accomplish and how it accomplishes it are varied. Nevertheless, however diverse the conclusions of different fairy-tale genre studies may be, they all come to a similar result: a fairy tale is a representation of cultural perspective and understanding that acts as an important socialization tool, whether it teaches its audience how to understand and mitigate basic fears and human functions or reinforces an existing moral and social structure. Maria Tatar, a contemporary folktale and fairy tale scholar, writes that the "staying power" of fairy tales "suggests that they must be addressing issues that have a significant social function" (xi). Tatar also goes on to write that "fairy tales ... develop maps for coping with personal anxieties, family conflicts, social frictions, and the myriad frustrations of everyday life" (xi). In other words, fairy tales at once confront prominent sociocultural issues while simultaneously performing a didactic function for how to contend with the reality of these issues.

Challenges in Migration Policy in Post-Soviet Russia

by Lina Meilus

The goal of this paper is to analyze Russian migration policy in order to understand why migration policy in post-soviet Russia has become inconsistent and ineffective. The problems of Russian migration are significant because they affect the estimated ten million labor migrants currently working in the Russian Federation who suffer from human rights abuses. Migration policy is also significant because the Russian Federation is the main receiver of labor exported from Central Asian states and without a consistent migration policy Russia risks endangering the social and political stability of Central Asia. By combining an analysis of migration policy with research on the nature of the Russian state and a comparative migration analysis, it becomes clear that Russia is still in a state of transition from the Soviet Union. The problems of a transitioning state, such as a lack of state capacity, institutionalization of informal practices and a lack of trust in state institutions, combine with an overarching lack of national identity to prevent effective policy from being realized.

Biological Prospectors, Pirates, Pioneers, and Punks in the Andes Mountains: An examination of scientific practice in the Andean Community of Nations

by Sarah Takushi

This paper compares and contrasts two models for conducting science: that of the patent-driven intellectual property rights regime, and that of the popular-interest driven civilian science regime. To frame this comparison in less abstract terms, the paper presents maca (Lepidium meyenii) as a case study of the struggles of different interest groups to patent scientific innovation or keep it in the public domain. I find that for reasons of finance, human resources, and infrastructure, Peru and the other member-states of the Andean Community of Nations are pulled towards a patent-driven intellectual property rights regime. However for reasons of avoiding regional competition, maintaining national sovereignty, and fostering national pride these nations might seek to further develop civilian science programs. Ultimately I conclude that neither model, as practiced in the Global North, is appropriate for the Andean Community of Nations. Rather a hybrid of these two scientific regimes is required to address the specific issues of scientific innovation in a biologically megadiverse developing nation.

Russia’s International Adoption Policies: Realities of the Soviet Happy Childhood Myth

by Hannah L. Freeman

Russia’s International Adoption Policies: Realities of the Soviet Happy Childhood Myth, focuses on dispelling the Soviet myth of happy childhood through revealing the numerous groups of children who were systematically left out of this upbringing. The paper focuses in particular on the plight of orphans in the USSR and continues to follow their childhood experience through investigating the intercountry adoption policies between the U.S. and Russia. My research aims to dispel the laws and regulations that are currently in place within the Russian orphanages and adoption system through real life experience including personal interviews that were conducted with American parents of Russian adoptees. Ultimately, the study aims to prove that Russia’s adoption laws are roadblocks to the safe, humane, and legal adoption of Russian children by foreigners and that the “myth” of happy childhood that existed throughout the time of the Soviet Union continues for those children who remain as orphans in Russia today.

A Comparison of Theory and Lived Experience: Immigration to Bloomington-Normal

by Jennifer Ceisel

This project compares theories of international migration and theories of integration into the U.S. to the lived experience of actual immigrants in Bloomington-Normal, as ascertained by McLean County census data, supplementary reports by community agencies, and personal interviews of immigrants. While interview participants were recruited on a referral basis and are not representative of the entire immigrant population, their personal stories help to humanize the data. Following national urban-to-rural settlement patterns, immigrants who participated in this study chose Bloomington-Normal over urban migration hubs like Chicago. However, Bloomington-Normal stands out from other downstate Illinois communities because of the profile of employment opportunities, most notably the State Farm Corporate Headquarters in town. Participants cited economic opportunities, family reunification, and political persecution as primary motivations for leaving their countries of origin. They were drawn to Bloomington-Normal because of pre-existing networks and chose to remain because of employment opportunities, the presence of universities, a friendly community, and convenience factors. In general, the immigrant family experience—as assessed by economic well-being, educational opportunities, and level of comfort in the community—can be split into two immigrant experiences as divided on a continuum of education and skill level. The experiences of Bloomington-Normal immigrants are premised on education/skill level, facility with language, legal status, and pre-existing immigrant networks and associations, though none of these is an absolute predictor of successful integration.