The Polarities of Democracy Research and Social Change Agenda as of December 1, 2015
In conjunction with one or more of his three academic appointments, Dr. Benet is engaged in overseeing students’ doctoral studies and/or working with post doctoral and community social change initiatives that are using the Polarities of Democracy as their theoretical framework. The Polarities of Democracy research projects and social change initiatives completed or underway as of December 1, 2015, are presented below.
Completed & In-Process Students’ Doctoral Studies
- An exploration of those factors in the culture of the Urhobo speaking community in the Niger Delta area that might enhance the management of the Polarities of Democracy model’s elements in order to strengthen implementation of the amnesty program in Nigeria and prevent a return to violence.
- An examination of the usefulness of the Polarities of Democracy model to support social change efforts in Zimbabwe that might benefit the approximately one and a half million displaced black farm workers now living in squatter’s camps with no housing, health care, education, jobs, or adequate food.
- An exploration of those ways in which the Polarities of Democracy can be more effectively managed in order to mediate the impact of racism on the development of social capital in low-diversity, majority African American Neighborhoods.
- An exploration of the decentralization of local government rural development functions in Rivers State, Nigeria to determine if there are ways to more effectively manage the Polarities of Democracy in order to strengthen rural community development.
- A case study exploring if there were ways in which ineffective management of the Polarities of Democracy elements within the sociopolitical structure of Sierra Leone, as inherited from British rule at the time of independence in 1961, may have contributed to Sierra Leone’s eventual state failure.
- A case study exploring if there are ways in which more effective management of the Polarities of Democracy elements could have strengthened the impacts of the sub-set of Republican resistors who engaged in non-violent resistance during the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland.
- An exploration of those ways that more effective management of the Polarities of Democracy model can strengthen the ability of the Georgia Prison system to reduce recidivism rates.
- An examination of the oppositions’ successful defeat of the Common Core State Standards efforts in Pennsylvania to use intra-organizational collaboration as a feasible democratic approach to improving education.
- An exploration of those ways in which the Polarities of Democracy model can be used by business improvement districts (BIDs) to generate healthy, sustainable, and just communities.
- An exploration of the experiences of life-threatened foreign national’s during the long process of asylum-seeking in the United States.
- An exploration of the challenges faced by military dependent adolescents while experiencing an overseas assignment.
- An exploration of those ways in which the Polarities of Democracy can inform decentralization policy to enhance citizen participation in governance in Liberia.
- A case study of the consequences of the Nigerian Amnesty program on Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria.
- An exploration of those ways that the Polarities of Democracy can be more effectively managed in order to strengthen the ability of US Transportation Security Administration employees to balance public safety with the protection of civil liberties.
- A study of the perceptions of homeless shelter staff members on the barriers faced by chronic homeless persons who struggle to obtain and maintain long term housing.
- A study examining the ways in which Rotary International’s provision of public goods and services at the global level contribute to or detract from the ability to meet global governance objectives.
- A study of the relationship between treatment plans and support systems available to incarcerated mentally ill persons and their recidivism rates upon release.
- A case study examining the potential public policy implications of Community Schools in terms of strengthening democracy and community.
- An examination of the perceptions of public health-care experts in British Columbia as to the ways in which the involvement of municipal governments may contribute to or detract from the effective provision of long-term care for the growing elderly population.
- An examination of the attitudes and lived experiences of young adult Arab American Muslims regarding discrimination and profiling experienced in the District of Columbia Metropolitan area since the passage of the American Patriot Act.
- An examination of the adequacy of Jamaican counter-terrorism strategies aimed at de-radicalizing vulnerable individuals, marginalizing extremists, removing human capital and support for terrorist organizations, and improving dialogue and education regarding counter-terrorism at the grass-roots level.
- An exploration of the ways that the Polarities of Democracy model can contribute to fulfilling the civic education functions of public education. This is being carried out with the Rochester City School District where the Board of Education in July 2014 unanimously adopted a revision to its Civic Education Policy following a year-long study. The revision incorporates the Polarities of Democracy within the new policy.
- An exploration of the ways in which the Polarities of Democracy model may be used for community-based transformative educational efforts to address unmet needs of traditionally underserved populations, particularly people in poverty in urban and rural areas, through the development of healthy, sustainable, and just communities.
- An exploration of the ways in which the Polarities of Democracy model can be used to engage an international consortium of college and university students in transformative educational experiences that strengthen their post graduation commitment to pursuing social and environmental responsibility in their workplaces and their lives.