Repository logo

Theses and Dissertations

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 98
  • ItemOpen Access
    The original Green Revolution: the Catholic Worker farms and environmental morality
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2009) Stock, Paul Vincent, author; Carolan, Michael, advisor
    The following dissertation examines the history of the Catholic Worker farms. The Catholic Worker have printed a newspaper, run houses of hospitality and farms in the hope of treating people with dignity and working toward a common good. Founders Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin encouraged a Green Revolution predicated upon education, care for those in need and an agrarian tradition. Drawing on Jacques Ellul's work on the effects of a technological society, I offer the Catholic Worker farms as one way to mitigate those same effects. The Catholic Worker farms provide one illustration of an environmental morality that is counter to the ethics and theoretical morality common to the discourse of environmentalism.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reregulating the flows of the Arkansas River: comparing forms of common pool resource organizations
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2008) Lepper, Troy, author; Freeman, David M., advisor
    What sociological attributes characterize the form of an enduring social organization that empowers individually rational self-interested actors to provide themselves with a common property resource and collective good? In order to address this research question, the analyst compared three common property resource and collective goods organizations for water management located in the Arkansas River basin of Colorado to an integrated ideal type model combining the work of David Freeman and Elinor Ostrom. It was the objective of this research to employ empirical observations while giving consideration to existing common property resource theories in an effort to formulate new theory. The three organizations being studied in this research were: (1) The Arkansas River Water Bank Pilot Program, (2) The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, (3) The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Management Association. A brief overview of the findings were as follows: (1) The Arkansas River Water Bank Pilot Program failed to show the characteristics that the analyst's integrated ideal type model would suggest were important to the creation of a long-enduring organization. The pilot program also failed to generate local interest. (2) The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District had some attributes of the integrated ideal type model, and is believed to have been partially successful for this reason. This organization will require further observation in the future to see just how successful it will be. (3) The Lower Arkansas Water Management Association had virtually all the characteristics of the integrated ideal type model. It was the only organization studied that should be considered a success story, success being defined by member support for the organization and the capacity of that organization to re-regulate flows on the Arkansas River. Implications for policy and theory are also addressed in this dissertation. The conceptual "ideal type" models do identify variables and relationships that can be associated with success and failure of social organizational experiences in the Arkansas Valley. The empirical observations of the three valley organizations do support aspects of the conceptual models found in the literature. Additionally, new theoretical propositions will be advanced.
  • ItemOpen Access
    International trade of electric vehicle batteries and lithium: a network approach to trade structure and structural inequality
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) DeBruin, Jacob, author; Roberts, Tony, advisor; Luna, Jessie, committee member; Stevis, Dimitris, committee member
    As international efforts toward clean energy transition and climate mitigation have been made, the international trade of emission-reducing technologies and their necessary materials has grown. Few technologies have seen as much growth as electric vehicles and their lithium-ion batteries; and few materials have seen as much growth as lithium. Research on international battery and lithium trade is extensive but has yet to examine the formation of the trade structure and its structural inequality. This study uses bilateral trade data from the UN COMTRADE database and country attribute data from the World Bank database to (1) measure the overall structure of and structural inequality in international electric vehicle battery and lithium trade networks; and (2) analyze determinants of the trade networks' formation. Results indicate that the international trade of electric vehicle batteries and of lithium are characterized by a core-periphery pattern—by which certain countries occupy the center of trade, and by which certain countries occupy the margins—and therefore, that there is an inequality in the distribution of trade relationships among countries participating in battery and lithium trade. The results also indicate that differences in countries' GDP and country's structural position in the networks largely determine the likelihood of trade-relationship formation. Inferentially, the results provide some evidence for (ecologically) unequal exchange in the trade of commodities that ostensibly support clean energy transition and sustainable economic development, like electric vehicle batteries and lithium.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Manure management decision-making of cattle-feed growers in northeastern Colorado
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Stroheim, Erich, author; Carolan, Michael S., advisor; Lacy, Michael G., advisor; Hogan, Michael J., committee member; Hoag, Dana L. K., committee member
    Rural water supplies, including household wells and small-town water systems, located near livestock production and irrigated agriculture operations are often at risk for high nitrate-levels resulting from concentrated feedlot manure disposal as administered by livestock-feed farmers. Efficient manure management is one approach to minimizing nutrient pollution of rural groundwater and surface waters, and crop-farmers near the feedlots are de facto manure managers. This study observes how farmers value manure and whether they frame manure as a waste disposal issue, as an important fertilizer resource, or both. This distinction places manure management in the overlap between environmental sociology and natural resource sociology. The study identifies factors related to how farmers choose fields on which to apply manure, the monetary value of cattle manure as perceived from a farmer's perspective, and how densely farmers choose to apply manure. Using response data from a mail-survey of farmers operating near feedlots, I found that a farmer's manure source, perceptions about manure application, and practical knowledge, along with some personal and farm-operation characteristics, are related to how farmers perceive manure's value, and to how efficiently they apply it. Having one's own livestock and viewing manure as an inexpensive fertilizer are factors that appear to increase manure's perceived value. Factors that reduce manure's perceived value include years of experience in farming, cover-crop nutrient crediting, size of an operation, and concern for the hazard of water pollution. Recognizing the nutrient value of applied manure to reduce the quantity of commercial fertilizer being applied could substantially increase a farm's profitability while protecting water resources from over-application of nutrients. Yet while farmers typically reduced the nitrogen application on a manured field, that reduction was usually small relative to the nutrients added. This concurs with the results of numerous other studies concluding that many farmers are deliberately over-fertilizing to seek the best possible yield and applying extra nitrogen to plan for the most favorable climatic conditions possible. While farmers might be expected to distribute manure more sparingly over a larger field, the opposite turned out to be true. This finding is consistent with the plausible hypothesis that larger fields are especially appealing as places to dispose of large amounts of manure. In addition to exploring some of the practical aspects of a farmer's role as a manure manager, I have found it relevant to consider some of the structural background elements that make it inevitable for most farmers to over-apply nitrogen as a means of maximizing yield when growing cattle-feed crops. Farmers' economic success depends in large part on complying with the recommendations of agricultural conglomerate companies that supply their inputs. Note that nitrogen is typically over-applied to corn crops even in areas where no manure is used or available. Being expected to over-apply nitrogen, farmers are unlikely to hold back on applying manure, and are likely to see only benefits in adding organic matter to the land they are cropping. The primary research presented here provides some dimensions in which to work with farmers, aiming toward curbing the over-application of crop nutrients.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Demand management' and injustice in rural agricultural irrigation in western Colorado: an anatomy of ambivalence
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) MacIlroy, Kelsea E., author; Hempel, Lynn, advisor; Carolan, Michael, committee member; Malin, Stephanie, committee member; Kampf, Stephanie, committee member
    The Colorado River is overdrawn. Decisions made a century ago created an institutional framework allowing overuse while climate change has exacerbated it with increasing temperatures and reduced natural flows. 'Demand management', a key component of the 2019 Upper Basin Drought Contingency Plans, would utilize water conserved from consumptive use to create a 500,000 acre-foot storage pool, only used to protect the Upper Basin of the Colorado River in the event they were unable to meet water delivery obligation to the Lower Basin. Rural irrigators on Colorado's West Slope would be the prime contributors to such a program, but largely responded with ambivalence. Increasingly, collaborative water governance is cited as the best way to create change in water distribution. However, if rural irrigators respond with ambivalence, why would they participate voluntarily in such a program? Using a grounded theory approach, interviews and focus groups with 45 participants, and participant observation, I explore why rural irrigators were ambivalent towards a program that would, ostensibly, protect them in times of water shortage. Drawing from the concept of sociological ambivalence and the literatures of water justice, hydrosocial analysis, and rurality, I describe the symbolic and material landscape that shapes perceptions of 'demand management'. I argue irrigators were ambivalent because they understood the need for water conservation, but they also perceived injustice in terms of distribution, recognition, and representation. Since rural irrigators are the linchpin in any water conservation program that would address overuse in the Colorado River Basin, their perceptions of injustice must be addressed. Findings provide key insight into water governance as it relates to crafting effective water policy.
  • ItemOpen Access
    An assessment of previously unresolved homicide cases in Colorado to investigate patterned outcomes leading to resolution
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Reese, Amber, author; Unnithan, Prabha, advisor; Nowacki, Jeffrey, committee member; Hughes, Shannon, committee member
    The purpose of this research is to consider whether specific characteristics of an unresolved homicide impact whether it is likely to be solved and what the implications of the findings mean for the future. First, a review of the literature proposes that urbanization and other factors have resulted in the dramatic decline of homicide cold case clearance rates and examines the factors associated with case clearance, including case-specific as well as departmental responses. To assess relationships across previously unresolved homicide cases, data were collected and coded from a list of solved Colorado cold case homicides from 1970 to 2017. An initial qualitative analysis of the data (N=111) was completed, and exploratory correlative tests were implemented to investigate patterned outcomes moving from the cause of death towards factors that assist in cold case homicide resolution. The analysis suggests, among others, that access to resources, specifically a Cold Case Unit, leads to greater likelihood of case resolution in certain causes of death, not including death by firearm. There is support for findings from prior literature on the topic which argue that level of funding is crucial to cold case investigation. Given the implications of this important topic, more research is needed to better understand the relationship between cold case homicides, factors involved in the solvability of various cause of death, and for the use of specialized Cold Case Units.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Resilience for all/resiliencia para todos: achieving justice for Latinx communities following the 2013 Colorado floods
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Truslove, Micaela, author; Malin, Stephanie A., advisor; Luna, Jessie K., committee member; Browne, Katherine E., committee member
    Environmental justice arose out of people's and communities' needs to address concrete problems of inequitable environmental exposures and contamination. However, resilience scholarship has largely failed to engage with the environmental justice (EJ) literature, and resilience remains a highly contested term that fails to adequately address issues of vulnerability and power. A holistic view of EJ—community-based and focused on distributive, procedural, and recognition elements of outcomes and practices—helps assess justice aspects of resilience-building, especially when used in conjunction with a community capabilities focus. I build on these points by arguing that an EJ framework provides an ideal lens through which to explore social justice in community engagement around resilience-building to climate-related events. This study uses data from a critical discourse analysis, semi-structured interviews, and a multi-dimensional environmental justice (EJ) framework coupled with Matin et al.'s (2018) concept of "equitable resilience" to explore how Latinx cultural brokers and resilience practitioners in Boulder County, Colorado are making disaster preparedness and community resilience-building efforts more just and equitable following a devastating flood event. Most importantly, I find that cultural brokers' participatory and inclusive form of community-building work—and the community that emerges from such work—is resilience. I also find that, although Boulder County resilience-building efforts are moving toward more just and equitable practices, cultural brokers and resilience practitioners face systemic and institutionalized barriers to fully realizing distributive, procedural, and recognition justice and increasing community capabilities. Lastly, I show that cultural brokers use small but powerful acts of counterstorytelling, or testimonios, in predominantly white spaces to expose and unsettle entrenched power structures. An EJ framework used in conjunction with the concept of equitable resilience can help resilience and disaster practitioners assess and improve their resilience and disaster preparedness programming and efforts. This study also contributes to the disaster and community resilience scholarship by providing a new way to evaluate community resilience-building efforts using a critical EJ-capabilities lens. This approach addresses issues of distributive, recognition, and procedural (in)justice as well as attending to underlying power imbalances and inequality that can limit community capabilities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Determinants of deforestation in Vietnam, 2008 – 2015
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Tran, Thai Binh, author; Roberts, Anthony, advisor; Mao, Kuoray, committee member; Pena, Anita, committee member
    New methods including satellite data, geographic information systems (GIS), and remote sensing processing have discovered human expansion over forest areas referred as forest degradation. This study acknowledges these findings but insists on using official data to address some drawbacks of previous studies. These drawbacks include (1) the focusing on limited areas, Central Highlands areas, instead of a national scale, (2) exclusion of resources trade from the analysis, (3) lacking consideration of the spatial and longitudinal autocorrelation, which is overlooked in panel analysis; and (4) the inconsistency of the relation between poverty and deforestation. This research investigated the effects of land-use change from agricultural expansion and timber extraction, resources trade, and community poverty on province-level forest coverage in Vietnam from 2008 to 2015 using panel and spatial autoregressive modelling. After accounting for resources trade, effect of agricultural expansion as well as forest extraction disappear. In addition, panel analysis suggests no covariate along poverty rate affects forest coverage while the spatial analysis suggests literacy rate and agricultural land are also have significant effects.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Why organizations matter: certification experiences of coffee producer groups in Guatemala
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2010) Heller, Andrew, author; Murray, Douglas, advisor; Stevis, Dimitris, committee member; Browne, Katherine, committee member; Raynolds, Laura, committee member
    Coffee producers are just emerging from a long decade of low prices and oversupply. In response to these problems, many producers organized into groups and sought certifications based on social or environmental standards. This dissertation presents three case studies of producer groups in Guatemala and their experiences with certification in the coffee sector. Using a combination of ethnographic research methods, it argues that both certification systems and producer groups need to adapt so that producers can benefit from the potential gains of certification. Organizations are the focus of the analysis, emphasizing the capabilities necessary for producers to be able to access the benefits of certification. Certification within the coffee sector is a field of research that has implications for development studies, economic sociology, agrofood studies, and globalization. This dissertation concludes that the voices of the producers themselves are a forgotten key to providing organizations, whether of the producers themselves or the organizations that regulate certification, with the tools necessary to meet their goals. This study provides valuable information about the attitudes and interests of small producers in the context of organization and certification.
  • ItemOpen Access
    How universities participate in agricultural extension: a comparative study of two Chinese agricultural universities
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Shan, Yan, author; Taylor, Peter Leigh, advisor; Swanson, Louis, committee member; Carolan, Michael, committee member; Cabot, Perry, committee member; Opsal, Tara, committee member
    University-based agriculture extension is a system set up to help local farmers access the newest agricultural technology and techniques developed by universities, which is comparatively different from the traditional government-led approach. US is currently the only country in the world which has based this service within the university, yet many other developing countries have started to incorporate universities into their agricultural extension system in order to improve the effectiveness of the agricultural extension services. However, little literature pays attention to how the universities adopt this practice and how this adoption influences the organizational capacity of universities. This study tries to fill this gap by exploring how two Chinese agricultural universities adopted two different ways to build platforms for conducting agricultural extension, how these newly built platforms impact agricultural extension activities, and what the future for these new platforms looks like in terms of institutionalization. This dissertation draws on relevant literature of organization theory and rural sociology to frame the innovation process happening in these two agricultural universities. The research questions which this dissertation tries to answer are: 1) How did the university incorporate this new function into their daily practices; 2) What kind of organizational changes did they experience? Is there a better way to do this? 3) How might this new practice in the university influence the previously existing agricultural extension system? To explore these questions, I conducted a comparative case study that included: 1) semi-structured in-depth interviews with key informants; 2) direct field notes from the local sites of universities; 3) secondary documents including collaboration contracts, university handouts, news reports, official websites etc. There are several major findings from this dissertation research. First, the two universities both made within-organizational change and outside-organizational change. They had similar within-organizational change which is clearly required by the national policy to build a new institute for extension within the university. But the New Institute faced different issues of legitimacy in the two universities. With regard to outside organizational change, the two universities built different kinds of platform to conduct agricultural extension activities, one established physical land with all kinds of facilities and the other one is project oriented. Different platforms bring the two universities both unique advantages and distinct challenges. Second, with these organizational changes, the new practice of agriculture extension transformed their previous singular, sporadic individual activities of agriculture extension by upscaling the extension team and funding for the activities. Third, though via different platforms, the two universities face similar challenges of institutionalizing university-based extension. With the platform with physical land comes with the issue of development differentiation and the platform based on projects lacking a stable safeguard mechanism. Fourth, the decision of how to build platforms is not a standalone issue but is related to the history, current economic and political conditions of each of the universities. This dissertation contributes to theory by illuminating the process of how university organizations change or innovate to fulfill the new role of university-based agricultural extension. Based on the findings from this study, I argue that universities need support from local governments or local agribusiness to fulfill this new role of agricultural extension, otherwise the advantages of university in agriculture extension cannot be realized. There is no certain path universities need to follow to complete this task and it depends on the local situation and the social contexts of each university. Lastly, this dissertation contributes to methodology with its comparative in-depth case study of institutional innovation in Chinese universities. What's more, this study also proposes some practical suggestions for universities to consider when creating their own agricultural extension platforms and partnerships with local governments and local agribusiness to promote agricultural extension. This study also shows the need for further study related to the future development of these newly built university-based agricultural extension and the organizational capacity of universities to become involved in agricultural extension across different locations and social contexts.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Multicultural education & perceptions of racial inequity among White Americans: a cohort analysis
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Sims, Shelby, author; Roberts, Tony, advisor; Hastings, Orestes P., committee member; Sbicca, Joshua, committee member; Schmidt, Jenne, committee member
    Growing concern over racial injustice in the United States has warranted an investigation into the perceptions of racial inequality among White Americans. The phasal introduction of multicultural education (ME) in the United States has continually increased the exposure of newer cohorts of White Americans to diverse cultures and perspectives of social reality experienced by racial minorities. However, prior studies have neglected to empirically evaluate whether ME improved perceptions of racial inequity among White Americans. Using the General Social Survey (1972-2018), the present study uncovers patterns of changes in perceptions of racial inequity among White Americans. Specifically, I utilize an inter-cohort approach to illuminate patterns of association between ME cohort, educational attainment, and regionality. I conduct a thorough evaluation of the age-period-cohort dilemma in relation to racial attitudes and determine a year fixed-effects model the most empirically consistent model with the data. The multivariate analysis confirms that perceptions of racial inequity have in fact progressed with the implementation of ME. In addition, the results confirmed that more progressive racial perceptions are associated with increased educational attainment and less progressive racial perceptions are associated with Southern adolescence. Neither of these effects is contingent on ME exposure and both operate independently of educational content. The implications of these findings and subsequent recommendations for continued research on ME and White racial perceptions to continue striving for racial equity through public education.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Serene tea: understanding contemporary conservative environmentalism in the United States using a mixed methods approach
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Thunell, Elijah, author; Hempel, Lynn, advisor; Duffy, Robert, committee member; Hastings, Pat, committee member; Luna, Jessie, committee member
    Climate change will require action that transcends political divides, yet environmental politics in the US appear as polarized as ever. This thesis investigates conservative environmentalism using a mixed methods approach. Quantitatively, I find that liberals are increasingly uniform in their pro-environmental attitudes post the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan, while conservatives have substantial amounts of intra-ideology dispersion on environmental spending. I interview self-identified conservative environmentalists and progressive environmentalists to explore this dispersion. Conservative environmentalists unite in their staunch belief of market-driven solutions to ecological degradation but diverged between a market-based ecological modernization framework or a more libertarian free market environmentalism. The conservative interviewees shared focus on increasing market access and outcomes of conservation contrast with progressive interviewee's market skepticism and support for intersectional processes aimed at socially equitable, system-altering solutions that jointly address combined "wicked" ecological and social problems. Practically, two contrasting solutions to ecological degradation were salient: conservative interviewees sought to relegitimize the current social system; progressive interviewees seek to restructure the current social system.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A qualitative case study of community corrections case managers' experiences with TGNC clients
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Ellis, Taylor, author; Opsal, Tara, advisor; Nowacki, Jeffrey, committee member; Jacobi, Tobi, committee member
    This thesis seeks to understand how community corrections case managers work with transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) clients within the context of a facility that relies on the gender binary in its physical structure and institutional practices. Using case study and feminist methodologies, as well as semi-structured interview techniques, I interviewed 11 case managers from this facility. Participants identified as having worked with a TGNC client in the past (either directly through case management or indirectly in a managerial or security position), having worked with women in some capacity, or having received gender-responsive training. The results from this thesis present several important findings. Such findings include that because of sex-segregated housing requirements, case managers must rely on programming opportunities for their TGNC clients to receive gender-affirming care, which creates uncertainty as these opportunities vary across clientele. Additionally, while case managers disagree on the fairness of housing TGNC clients with cisgender men, they fear that housing TGNC clients with women would be dangerous; simultaneously, case managers grapple with the fear that their TGNC clients might be sexually assaulted while living on the men's side. Underlying these first two findings, case managers report a pervasive lack of institutional training to help them navigate working with this specialized population, causing them to rely on alternative knowledge sources, such as their own identities, other case managers, and clients themselves. This thesis concludes with recommendations to the facility pertaining to training and institutional practices that could be modified to better serve their TGNC clients.
  • ItemOpen Access
    No como veneno: strengthening local organic markets in the Peruvian Andes
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2010) Loomis, Jennifer C., author; Murray, Douglas, advisor; Raynolds, Laura, committee member; Thilmany, Dawn, committee member
    Economic and social development in Peru can partially be achieved through the promotion of local organic Farmers’ Markets. Local markets provide unique spaces in which producers and consumers interact and foster relationships developing a stable supply of high quality organic produce. However, market opportunities are limited by an underdeveloped consumer base. The goal of this study is to identify the patterns and values among current organic consumers in order to develop further actions that would increase demand for and supply of organic agricultural products. I have found that organizational obstacles, limited organic supply of organic goods, and lack of marketing all contribute to the underdeveloped consumer base which thereby limits market opportunities for small-scale organic farmers. By providing a case study of a Farmer’s Market in Peru, we can understand the values and beliefs present among current organic consumers, identify opportunities for expanding the market, and in turn, organic agricultural production.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Citizens, experts and the environmental impact statement: procedural structures and participatory boundaries
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2010) Davidson, Casey, author; Carolan, Michael, advisor; Taylor, Pete, committee member; Feige, Mark, committee member
    This thesis is a qualitative case-study of environmental management and decision-making as practiced by the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in accordance with the environmental impact statement (EIS) process. Because there has been little empirical study of the EIS process despite criticisms that it has generally failed to both meaningfully engage citizens in governance and produce environmental outcomes consistent with the substantive aims of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), this study provides an in-depth and longitudinal analysis of the ways in which EIS procedures impacted the collaborative planning and development of RMNP's elk and vegetation management EIS. To explore how EIS procedures affect environmental planning and management, I use RMNP's archival records to reconstruct the life-cycle of the planning process and the events, processes, actors and considerations that played a role in shaping the trajectory and outcomes of planning. Furthermore, archival data is supplemented with semi-structured interviews to document how the management issue with elk and vegetation was constructed and shaped by the managerial imperatives of the park, the efforts and concerns of interagency collaborators and citizens, and by EIS protocol as it was interpreted by the interagency team and influential upon planning considerations, decisions and outcomes. The findings of this study contribute to an understanding of the EIS as a decision-making procedure and also provide some empirical support for scholarly criticisms of the EIS. However, these findings also suggest that the procedure's affects on environmental governance are more complex than currently theorized and difficult to disentangle from the constraints that divergent interagency orientations, interests and policies, and divisive and impassioned views among citizens pose for environmental governance. Therefore, this study is as much as case-study of interagency collaboration and citizen participation in the context of environmental management in the contemporary U.S. as it is a case-study of the EIS process. For this reason, my discussion of how conflicts and constraints emerged during planning, were addressed by interagency actors, and subsequently impacted public participation and managerial outcomes provides insights useful for scholars of environmental management or governance as well as practitioners who encounter these scenarios both within and outside of the EIS.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Exploring the cybercrime capacity and capability of local law enforcement agencies in the United States
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Moloney, Christopher Jerome, author; Unnithan, N. Prabha, advisor; Lacy, Michael G., committee member; Mao, Kuo Ray, committee member; MacDonald, Bradley, committee member
    The relentless pace of technological innovation has changed how people communicate, interact, and conduct business, creating new pathways and opportunities for people to commit crimes or engage in harmful behavior via the internet or digitally networked devices. Cybercrime is rapidly scaling up, leading many to predict that it will become the next significant global crisis (Krebs, 2021; Viswanathan & Volz, 2021; Zakaria, 2021). In the United States, local law enforcement agencies and their personnel stand at the frontlines of the cybercrime problem (Police Executive Research Forum, 2014). This dissertation project was inspired by several calls to action to explore and evaluate how law enforcement agencies are responding to the cybercrime problem (Holt & Bossler, 2014; Ngo & Jaishankar, 2017). The research conducted in this project aligns with and extends a small body of exploratory and evaluative research focusing on local law enforcement agencies and cybercrime (for example Harkin et al., 2018; Monaghan, 2020; Nowacki & Willits, 2016). By utilizing a mixed methods research design consisting of a survey and series of qualitative interviews this project helped address the research question: What is the current cybercrime capacity and capability of local law enforcement agencies in the United States? Findings from this project advance our knowledge about the cybercrime capacity and capability of local law enforcement agencies and contribute to strengthening law enforcement practice, policy, and future research. In total, 925 county and municipal agencies participated in this research project through a survey instrument called the Cybercrime Capacity and Capability Questionnaire (CCCQ©), with 855 agencies providing data usable for analysis. Additionally, 23 individuals representing 23 distinct agencies, who previously participated in the CCCQ, also participated in a series of semi-structured qualitative interviews. Multiple findings and recommendations were derived as a result of the participation by these agencies and individuals in this project. Several findings from this project aligned with or validated findings and recommendations from other recent studies (for example Harkin et al., 2018). Among the key findings from this project are that the cybercrime capacity and capability of local law enforcement agencies is deficient, despite trends at the local law enforcement agency level to allocate more resources to the cybercrime problem. This deficiency is noted both by response patterns on the CCCQ© and through comments supplied during the qualitative interviews. Lack of financial and personnel resources, especially technologically skilled and competent personnel, limited and/or outdated technological infrastructure, and problems leveraging partnerships and obtaining cooperation from private sector organizations are just a few of the challenges hampering the development of a more robust local law enforcement cybercrime capacity and capability. Results and insights from this research also illuminate the dynamic process of developing cybercrime capacity and capability. Result from this project indicate that caution should be exercised before assuming that cybercrime capacity and capability are solely a function of agency size. While this project substantiates other research that shows larger agencies are more likely to have cybercrime units, and also tend to have more resources, personnel, and equipment for cybercrime investigations, they do not necessarily have greater cybercrime capacity or capability. Cybercrime case volume appears to impact cybercrime capacity and capability such that large local law enforcement agencies, despite specialized cybercrime units and more resources allocated to cybercrime, may not be better off in managing cybercrime incidents or responding to cybercrime related issues than midsize and smaller local agencies. Personnel at larger agencies, despite having dedicated cybercrime units, more resources, and better equipment, may be at higher risk of burnout and other issues as a result. In short, extremely high cybercrime case volumes may undermine the capacity and capability of even the most robustly developed specialized cybercrime units, as well as the best equipped and resourced agencies. Given the pace at which the cybercrime problem is growing, this is a troubling finding. This project also highlights that cybercrime capacity and capability cannot be understood without accounting for the critical differences that external forces and contextual factors produce on local law enforcement agencies that, in turn, impact how those agencies function and adapt to new issues and challenges. For example, qualitative data from this project help us to understand the connections between the defund the police movement and the COVID-19 pandemic, both of which appear to be undermining the capacity and capability of local law enforcement agencies, and thus negatively impacting their cybercrime capacity and capability. As a result, cybercrime administrators and personnel at local law enforcement agencies in the U.S. may be experiencing similar challenges to their peers abroad (see Harkin et al. 2018). A number of directions for future research, improvement of the CCCQ©, and recommendations for improving police practice and policy such as developing uniform, and operationalizable cybercrime best practices and strengthening private sector compliance with law enforcement agency requests for data are also provided.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Victimhood and actorhood: constructions of agency in anti-trafficking advocacy
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Casey, Emma Elizabeth, author; Hempel, Lynn, advisor; Opsal, Tara, committee member; Roberts, Anthony, committee member; Zahran, Sammy, committee member
    This study seeks to advance understanding of how anti-trafficking organization websites construct victims' agency, and to engage in critical analyses of these constructions. Using content analysis of 264 websites for organizations which advocate for adult victims of human trafficking in the United States, I inductively identify themes in the ways victimhood and agency are portrayed. The use of 'survivor stories', definitions, images, and relational comparisons with other actors were several of the most common ways in which organizations represented victimhood, and I find that the majority of organizations construct victims' agency as insufficient and misused for self-advocacy. To interpret my findings, I turn to neo-institutional theory to understand how victims' agency is constructed, and patterned in the same way, across the majority of anti-trafficking organizations.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Rise of social network based seafood industrial cluster and rural community transformation in Zhoushan Islands of China
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Xu, Yue, author; Raynolds, Laura T., advisor; Mao, KuoRay, committee member; Kwiatkowski, Lynn, committee member
    This thesis reviews the historical, political, and cultural foundations for establishing seafood industrial clusters at Zhoushan Islands, explaining the organizational level management, operation, and regulatory strategies utilized by seafood factory owners to achieve their success. This thesis explores the general labor pattern, the surveillance and hierarchies in seafood factories at Zhoushan Islands, inequalities and social stratification in the nearby local rural community, and the invisible consequences of state-led industrialization and rural transformation policies in the Zhoushan industrial cluster. A theme running through this discussion is how factory owners utilize available political, social, and economic capital from the elite social networks to build their pathway to succeed in operating seafood business, countering barriers, and handling potential risks.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A women's support group: addressing gaps in community services
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Linenberger, Katie, author; Cross, Jeni, advisor; Opsal, Tara, committee member; Gerst, Katherine, committee member
    Support groups and self-help groups have been studied in the field of psychology to understand the individual effects of these groups but minimally studied in sociology on how support groups create a community and their potential to produce or reproduce norms, values, and ideas. Through analyzing a local women's support group, this research contributes to the sociological understandings of support groups and the community services they provide while also aiding in self-exploration. More importantly, this research adds to limited research on women's only support groups by analyzing the power of having a place dedicated for women to share with one another. The sociological understandings of groups and values was applied to understand how this support group might be shaping the values and norms of its group members. This research demonstrates how support groups build community through providing the space to socialize, be vulnerable with others, and participate in the storytelling process. Further, this support group produced supportive social ties in many of the group members' lives.
  • ItemOpen Access
    One country, two perspectives: social control through news media framing during the 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Potter, Chelsey, author; Mao, KuoRay, advisor; Nowacki, Jeffrey, committee member; Long, Ziyu, committee member
    In 2014, Chinese citizens living in mainland China and Hong Kong received different narratives and interpretations of the Umbrella Movement's events based on the administrative regions they lived in and the news sources they had access to. State-controlled and market-based media outlets purposively manipulated frames of both ongoing and historical events of civil unrest in Hong Kong and China to shape citizens' perceptions of political events and the formation of particular identities and political behaviors. It is critical to understand the news frames employed by the media outlets with different political orientations in mainland China and Hong Kong to create an analytical framework that may contribute to the study of social control in post-colonial and authoritarian political settings, which may be applied to future civil unrest events across the world, such as the 2019 Hong Kong and the 2021 U.S. Capitol unrests. Using NVivo, a qualitative content analysis of 499 articles was conducted to identify common frames employed by ideologically different news media outlets in Hong Kong and China. The findings of this study revealed three unique narrative frames expressed to the public regarding the same event. This broadly resulted in Pro-Establishment, Pro-Status-Quo, and Pro-Universal Suffrage perspectives. The Pro-Establishment perspective is non-sympathetic to Hong Kong's sovereignty or dissent and movements against the Chinese Communist Party. The Pro-Universal Suffrage perspective is sympathetic to protesters, supports the movement against mainland China's authority over suffrage, and reports cases of unjust persecution of activists. The Pro-Status-Quo perspective is concerned with the economic and social stability of Hong Kong during the movement, wanting to maintain the homeostasis of economic growth. The selective framing of protest movements represents the state's attempt to impose social control through criminal selectivity, which fits the protest paradigm and moral entrepreneur perspectives in cultural criminology and frame analysis. A framework to analyze media coverage of social unrest in different political and social contexts is included in the appendix.