Bruce Wilson

Bruce Wilson
University of Central Florida | UCF · Department of Political Science

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85
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Publications

Publications (85)
Article
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Families in Flint, Michigan, protesting lead in their water, indigenous groups in the Amazon asserting control over their rivers, slum dwellers in India worried about disconnection or demanding cities bring potable water to their neighborhoods, an entire city in South Africa worried about the day when they will run out of water altogether—all these...
Article
Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) are commonly established to increase electoral legitimacy by designing, implementing and/or enforcing rules surrounding nominations, polling, voting, and tabulation. Globally however, EMB design, governance, and efficacy vary considerably. Utilizing four EMB data sources, this article asks (1) to what extent do EM...
Article
Democracies are commonly thought to provide greater levels of public goods than autocracies. Given that many public goods are provided locally, higher levels of local democracy are further thought to result in better rates of provision in both autocratic and democratic systems. However, several studies have cast doubt on democratic superiority in p...
Article
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The present research concerns the extent to which explanations for desirable or undesirable academic outcomes (grades) as well as cultural orientation could account for self-efficacy beliefs of female undergraduate students from two societies with dissimilar cultural traditions. The United States of America (U.S.) was selected for its individualist...
Article
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After years of advocacy and international negotiation, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted to officially recognize a stand-alone human right to water and sanitation on 28 July 2010. Since, academic scholarship has continued to grow in an effort to understand the implications of the codification of this human right. Yet, with this growt...
Article
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Existing research has identified gender as a driving variable of student success in higher education: women attend college at a higher rate and are also more successful than their male peers. We build on the extant literature by asking whether specific cognitive variables (i.e., self-efficacy and causal attribution habits) distinguish male and fema...
Conference Paper
In the present research, we examined the extent to which explanations of desirable or undesirable outcomes (grades) can account for the self-efficacy of female college students from two societies with dissimilar cultural traditions: The United States of America, which is characterized by a dominant individualistic culture, and the Kingdom of Saudi...
Article
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Under what conditions can a human rights-based approach be successfully utilized? We argue that the efficacy of a human rights discourse is, in large part, determined by the nature of the arena in which rights are claimed. Utilizing process tracing involving content analysis and interviews in primary languages, we examine the decades-long struggle...
Article
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Ten years after the United Nation’s recognition of the human right to water and sanitation (HRtWS), little is understood about how these right impacts access to sanitation. There is limited identification of the mechanisms responsible for improvements in sanitation, including the international and constitutional recognition of rights to sanitation...
Article
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In the present field experiment, we examined the effects of a self-assessment exercise conducted in the middle of the semester on metacognitive awareness (i.e., the accuracy of self-assessment and its subjective confidence) and final test performance of college students of Middle Eastern descent. Effects were measured in the classroom against a bus...
Article
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Why do students vary in their performance on exams? It may be that their test preparation is insufficient because they overestimate their anticipated grade. Our study investigates four issues related to performance on a final examination. First, we analyze whether students' ability to accurately predict their grade and their subjective confidence i...
Article
The face of higher education is changing. One major trend is the fact that students are taking an increasing proportion of their courses online. That is, a growing number of students at not-for-profit private and public colleges and universities are taking some of their course work online and completing other parts in face-to-face courses. What imp...
Article
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States are urged frequently by the UN, policymakers, and activists to recognise the human right to water domestically. However, does such legal incorporation, often in national constitutions, affect water policy and the realisation of the right? While several qualitative studies report positive impacts, initial quantitative assessments have questio...
Article
Four-year institutions of higher education in the United States are experiencing two major trends: 1. a growing number of transfer students and 2. students taking an increasing proportion of their courses online. Here, we look closely at the extent to which these two trends impact student success. Using the University of Central Florida as our case...
Article
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Costa Rica and Colombia, two of the earliest Latin American countries to protect many LGBT rights, attempted to amplify those rights and litigate same-sex marriage (SSM) in mid-2000s; however, these attempts sparked a major anti-LGBT backlash by religious and conservative organizations. Yet a decade later, Colombia legalized SSM while Costa Rica st...
Article
Once on the fringes of higher education, online learning is now mainstream. Today, there are fewer entirely online or entirely face-to-face students; increasingly, college students are taking courses in a variety of instructional formats. How might this new reality of diverse modalities affect student success? Does a greater or lesser proportion of...
Article
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In response to the incremental creation of an expansive constitutional right to health in Costa Rica, the country’s rights-friendly constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court (known as the Sala IV) unleashed a flood of litigation for medications, treatments, and other health care issues. This development was met by widespread criticism from within...
Article
Full-text available
In response to the incremental creation of an expansive constitutional right to health in Costa Rica, the country's rights-friendly constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court (known as the Sala IV) unleashed a flood of litigation for medications, treatments, and other health care issues. This development was met by widespread criticism from within...
Chapter
Introduction After many years of judicial inactivity, a new Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court was created in Costa Rica in 1989, the Sala Constitucional, commonly called the Sala Cuarta or Sala IV. In the subsequent twenty years the Sala IV decided over 230,000 cases addressing virtually every article of the country’s constitution includi...
Article
Higher education has been transformed by technology over the past two decades, and teaching and learning online has become considerably more prominent. We examine the extent to which journals in the discipline mirror the rising use of technology in the classroom in the frequency of articles they publish on teaching and learning with technology, wit...
Article
Online Teaching and Assessment - Volume 49 Issue 1 - Kerstin Hamann, Philip H. Pollock, Gary E. Smith, Bruce M. Wilson
Article
Although Costa Rica has no explicit constitutional right to health, its constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) has become increasingly central to the resolution of many health care decisions. Some argue that courts' decisions about individuals' access to very expensive medications could upset the country's medical priorities and harm...
Article
Studies on active learning in college classrooms evince that student-student interaction in discussion settings is beneficial to learning as it promotes cognitive engagement, student satisfaction, and positive learning outcomes including higher-order learning and critical thinking skills. While these findings apply primarily to the face-to-face cla...
Article
This paper traces teaching qualifications required in APSA job listings in attempt to provide guidance to graduate students seeking academic employment.
Article
A large literature establishes the benefits of discussions for stimulating student engagement and critical thinking skills. However, we know considerably less about the differential effects of various discussion environments on student learning. In this study, we assess student perceptions concerning the benefits of discussions in an upper-level po...
Article
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On 7 February 2010, almost 2 million Costa Ricans (69% of the registered electorate) voted in the country’s general election, the fifteenth consecutive general election to be held since the end of the short but bloody civil war of 1948. Laura Chinchilla was elected as Costa Rica’s first woman president but her Partido Liberación Nacional (National...
Article
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The literature on teaching and learning heralds the benefits of discussion for student learner outcomes, especially its ability to improve students' critical thinking skills. Yet, few studies compare the effects of different types of face-to-face discussions on learners. Using student surveys, we analyze the benefits of small-group and large-class...
Article
It is more important to elect a magistrate to the constitutional court than a president of the republic. He [the magistrate] has more political power and the will to use it. – Jorge Vargas Cullell, political scientist, Estado de la Nación, Costa Rica Since a 1989 constitutional reform, Costa Rica's judicial branch has undergone a major transformati...
Article
Javier A. Couso, Alexandra Huneeus, and Rachel Sieder, eds., Cultures of Legality: Judicialization and Political Activism in Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Tables, figures, bibliography, index, 287 pp.; hardcover $85. - Volume 53 Issue 3 - Bruce M. Wilson
Article
A large literature has established the benefits of discussions for stimulating student engagement and critical thinking skills. However, we know considerably less about the effect of the discussion environment on student learning. In this study, we assess student perceptions concerning the benefits of discussions in an upper-level political theory...
Book
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Introduction: Power and Accountability in Latin America and Africa Courts' Accountability Functions: A Framework for Inquiry The Accountability Functions of Latin American Courts Explaining the Rise of Accountability Functions of Costa Rica's Constitutional Court Comparing Courts' Accountability Functions in Africa Does Legal Tradition Matter? The...
Chapter
Many countries across the globe have in the past two decades undertaken substantial judicial and legal reforms to strengthen the democratic character of their governments. Yet, the ability and willingness of courts to restrain elected officials vary greatly. This book describes these experiences, analyzes the reasons for existing variations, and he...
Chapter
The last two decades have witnessed a transformation of superior court behavior in many less developed countries. These courts have metamorphosized from being moribund, rubber-stamping institutions with little importance in political matters to more forceful, assertive institutions that constrain the behavior of popular branches of government and t...
Chapter
Similar to the African cases discussed in the previous chapter, Mozambique’s judiciary suffers from a lack of staff, funds, and other resources. Not unlike Uganda, Mozambique has emerged from a context of prolonged civil war preceded by colonial rule, and for a long time, formal court structures simply were not functional. Similar to its neighbors...
Chapter
This chapter compares the accountability functions of courts in Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. These five countries share important characteristics that suggest a similar role for the courts; yet, the accountability functions of the higher courts differ significantly, both across countries and over time. How can this variation...
Chapter
The previous chapter contrasted the rise of Colombia’s “hyperactive” Constitutional Court with the mixed record of the Argentine Supreme Court and the unquestionable reluctance of Chile’s highest court to routinely exercise its accountability function. Of these three countries, Colombia’s Constitutional Court was clearly the most extreme case of ju...
Chapter
This book has addressed the puzzle of why, over the last two decades, some superior courts in less developed, democratic countries have increasingly exercised an accountability function, while others have remained relatively deferential to the popular branches of government. Our examination of the high courts in ten countries on two continents has...
Chapter
This chapter examines the accountability function of superior courts in three Latin American countries—Argentina, Chile, and Colombia—in the last two decades.1 This comparison appears promising because the respective courts have assumed very dissimilar roles in countries that share a common colonial and independence history, similar legal tradition...
Article
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Political science, as a discipline, is a relative newcomer to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). We examine authorship patterns of SoTL articles in PS: Political Science & Politics, the Journal of Political Science Education, and International Stud-ies Perspectives from 1998–2008. Our findings indicate more collaborative SoTL articles...
Article
This article analyzes the conditions that allowed for expansive rights revolutions in Costa Rica and Colombia. My research suggests that many of the preconditions for rights revolutions in other regions of the world are also central to understanding Latin American cases. Of particular relevance is judicial system design including the high courts’ o...
Article
Full-text available
This article analyzes the conditions that allowed for expansive rights revolutions in Costa Rica and Colombia. My research suggests that many of the preconditions for rights revolutions in other regions of the world are also central to understanding Latin American cases. Of particular relevance is judicial system design including the high courts’ o...
Article
Sánchez C.Fernando F., Partidos políticos, elecciones y lealtades partidarias en Costa Rica: Erosión y cambio (Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad Salamanca, 2007), pp. 355, € 20.00, pb. - Volume 41 Issue 2 - BRUCE M. WILSON
Article
Studies of classroom behavior and learning outcomes have demonstrated that student discussion leads to better learner outcomes. Do these effects, which are based on studies of face-to-face interaction, transfer to the virtual classroom? Existing studies of online postings in asynchronous discussion forums have primarily studied the effects on the a...
Article
Many college instructors use the Internet primarily as an information resource as part of their class instruction. However, the Internet is a teaching tool with the capacity to enhance students' critical thinking skills and active learning. We argue that the Internet provides instructors with many opportunities to increase active student participat...
Article
Research highlights ► Costa Rican Presidential and Legislative elections. ► Partido Liberación Nacional. ► Movimiento Libertario. ► Acción Ciudadana. ► Laura Chinchilla.
Article
Discussion is one form of active learning, which has been linked to better learner outcomes. Little is known about the relationship between active learning through discussion and learner outcome in the online environment. Here, we construct an index of active learning online that includes the number of postings a student has read, the number of dir...
Article
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In 1989, a newly created Constitutional Court (Sala IV) immediately became a highly active court, ending over 160 years of Costa Rican judicial inactivity. The magistrates’ actions breathed new life into the Constitution, ended judicial deference to elected officials, and consequently transformed Costa Rican political life. Simultaneously, the Sala...
Article
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A Photo Essay of Costa Rica's General Election, February 2006. It captures details of campaign and civic celebration lived on streets around the country, as an evidence of high level of split ticket voting that characterize these electoral process.
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Eva Paus, Foreign Investment, Development, and Globalization: Can Costa Rica Become Ireland? New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Tables, figures, 272 pp.; hardcover $69.95. - Volume 49 Issue 4 - Bruce M. Wilson
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Universidad de Salamanca, La justicia vista por los jueces: diagnóstico del funciónamiento de los sistemas judiciales centroamericanos (Salamanca: Fundación General de la Universidad de Salamanca, 2004), pp. 155, pb. - - Volume 38 Issue 2 - BRUCE M. WILSON
Article
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How does institutional change in established democracies affect the distribution of political power in society? The new constitutional court in Costa Rica allows the authors to analyze the effects of judicial reform on the capacity of politically marginalized groups to safeguard their constitutional rights. Particular attention is paid to homosexua...
Article
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A partir de la década de 1980, e intensificándose en la década de 1990, las instituciones financieras internacionales (IFIs), las organizaciones no gubernamentales (ONGs) y las agencias de desarrollo destinaron gran cantidad de recursos a programas de reforma judicial y de Administración de justicia en prácticamente todos los países de América Lati...
Article
Advocates of computer-mediated instruction have pointed to the potential of online teaching for facilitating students’ active learning behavior. Small-group online discussion can have a role in meaningful student interaction. Yet, what is less known are the conditions under which students actually engage in interaction in online discussion groups r...
Chapter
Immediately after its creation in 1989, the new constitutional court (Sala Constitucional, or Sala IV) became a major actor in Costa Rican politics and one of the most influential and activist courts in Latin America. The constitutional amendment that created the court sparked a judicial revolution that shook the country’s judicial system out of a...
Article
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‘Judicial independence is a means to a strong judicial institution, which is a means to personal liberty and prosperity.’ United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer. Starting in the 1980s, and accelerating through the 1990s, international financial institutions (IFIs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and development agencies funnel...
Article
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Prepared for the XXIV International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). March 27-29, 2003, Dallas, TX. ABSTRACT: Las instituciones financieras internacionales han financiado la mayor parte de la reforma judicial en América Latina, con el objetivo de limitar los poderes económicos de los Estados y estimular el desarrollo de l...
Article
The analysis and discussion in this article are based on the preliminary results from a study of a redesigned American National Government course funded by a $200,000 grant from the Pew Program in Course Redesign. One of the central goals of this grant is to evaluate the effectiveness of the partial replacement of face-to-face classroom time with w...
Article
Carmelo Mesa-Lago, with Alberto Arenas de Mesa, Ivan Brenes, Veronica Montecinos, and Mark Samara. Market, Socialist, and Mixed Economies: Comparative Policy and Performance—Chile, Cuba, and Costa Rica. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. Tables, 737 pp.; hardcover $77. - Volume 44 Issue 1 - Bruce Wilson
Article
In many countries in Latin America and also western Europe, leftist parties have succeeded in winning repeated re-election even though they have implemented neoliberal economic policies when in government. According to the existing literature, these parties should suffer electoral punishment since they are diverging from their traditional policy co...
Article
How do leftist parties in government abandon their traditional economic development programs, adopt neoliberal policies, and still win reelection? This article examines the case of the leftist National Liberation Party (PLN) in Costa Rica to explain this unexpected outcome. The author argues that the explanation lies on two separate but related lev...
Article
Why are leftist parties in government abandoning their state-led, redistributive economic development models in favor of market-determined neoliberal ones? Conventional explanations emphasize conditionality of international financial institutiosn. This argument, though, fails to account for differences in economic policy choices across countries or...
Article
Why and how do social democratic governments in less developed countries implement neoliberal reforms during severe economic crises? Existing theories emphasize the role of international lending institutions and their power to impose loan conditionality. This argument, though, fails to explain differences in policy choices between countries or with...
Article
Full-text available
An established pedagogical literature suggests that student-student interaction in discussion settings promotes cognitive engagement, student satisfaction, and positive learning outcomes - and may enhance critical thinking skills. Furthermore, a growing body of research indicates that these positive processes and outcomes can be effectively recreat...
Article
Full-text available
Paper prepared for delivery at the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, Charlotte, N.C., February 9-11. This is work in progress and comments and suggestions are welcome. *Authors are listed in random order.
Article
While a great deal is known about the creation of the Sala IV, how and why it became active, and the nature of its jurisprudence, little is known about the central question posed in this book: Under what conditions do court-mandated ESC rights decisions stick? This chapter examines this question by first detailing the transformation of the Costa Ri...

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