CDDRL recognizes graduating class of senior honors students

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Eleven talented Stanford seniors have completed the Undergraduate Senior Honors Program at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) to graduate with honors in democracy, development, and the rule of law. Completing their theses on issues of global importance ranging from the impact of technology on government openness to the effectiveness of democratic governance projects, CDDRL honors students have contributed original research and analysis to policy-relevant topics. They will graduate from Stanford University on June 17.

Over the course of the year-long program, students worked in consultation with CDDRL affiliated faculty members and attended honors research workshops to develop their thesis project. Many traveled abroad to collect data, conduct interviews, and to spend time in the country they were researching. Collectively, their topics documented some of the most pressing issues impacting democracy today in China, Sudan, Greece, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Latin America, and beyond.  

In recognition of their exemplary and original senior theses, Mitul Bhat and John Ryan Mosbacher received the CDDRL Department Best Thesis Award for their research exploring welfare programs in Latin America and the developing oil industry in Uganda, respectively. Otis Reid received the David M. Kennedy Honors Thesis Prize and the Firestone Medal for Excellence, the top prizes for undergraduate social science research, for his thesis on the impact of concentrated ownership on the value of publically traded firms on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

After graduation, several honors students will leave Stanford to pursue careers at McKinsey & Company consulting group, serve as war crime monitors in Cambodia, work at a brand and marketing consultancy in San Francisco, conduct data analysis at a Palo Alto-based technology firm, work at a Boston-based international development finance startup using targeted investment for poverty alleviation, and conduct research in the political science field. The rest will be pursuing advanced and co-terminal degrees at Columbia Journalism School, the University of Chicago, and Stanford University.

A list of the 2012 graduating class of CDDRL Undergraduate Honors students, their theses advisors, and a link to their theses can be found here:



Mitul Bhat

Not All Programs are Created Equal: An Exploration of Welfare Programs in Latin America and their Impact on Income Inequality

Advisor: Beatriz Magaloni


Shadi Bushra

Linkages Between Youth Pro-Democracy Activists in Sudan and the Prospects for Joint Collective Action

Advisor: Larry Diamond



Colin Casey

Waging Peace in Hostile Territory: How Rising Powers and Receding Leadership Constrained US Efforts in Sudan 

Advisor: Francis Fukuyama


Nicholas Dugdale

Is Reform Possible at a Time of Political Crisis?: An Assessment of Greece's Efforts to Combat Tax Evasion and Shadow Economy Participation 

Advisor: Francis Fukuyama


Daniel Mattes

Nunca Más: Trials and Judicial Capacity in Post-Transitional Argentina 

Advisor: Helen Stacy


Hava Mirell


Keeping Diamonds “Kosher”: Re-evaluating the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in the Wake of Zimbabwe’s Marange Diamond Crisis 

Advisor: Kathryn Stoner-Weiss


Jack Mosbacher

Bracing for the Boom: Translating Oil into Development in Uganda 

Advisor: Larry Diamond


Jenna Nicholas

21st Century China: Does Civil Society Play a Role in Promoting Reform in China?  

Advisors: Francis Fukuyama & Thomas Fingar


Daniel Ong


Beyond the Buzzword: Analyzing the "Government 2.0" Movement of Technologists Around Government 

Advisor: Larry Diamond


Annamaria Prati

United Nations Development Programme: An Analysis of the Impact of the Structure on the Efficacy of its Democratic Governance Projects

Advisor: Stephen Stedman


Otis Reid

Monitoring, Expropriating, and Interfering: Concentrated Ownership, Government Holdings, and Firm Value on the Ghana Stock Exchange

Advisor: Avner Greif