The American people have been losing faith in their political representatives and approval rates for Congress remain at a historic low. Scientific research provides empirical evidence for the symptoms of disassociation with the representative system. Yet my thesis investigates the roots of America’s dysfunctional polity from a literary perspective by analyzing Hunter S. Thompson’s coverage of the 1972 presidential election. It locates the origin of America’s political dysfunction in the hyper-political sixties that curiously resulted in disenchantment with the political establishment. Whereas, so far, critical studies have labelled Thompson’s writing as satire, my approach aims to illustrate the author’s use of irony that enables this politically engaged writer to acknowledge his growing frustration on the campaign trail, and, effectively, establish solidarity with the disenchanted members of society. Thereby, the use of irony fosters the readers’ understanding for the subject of the text, namely the complex election process and its protagonists.
In an era marked by massive global interconnectedness and dependencies, questions of world citizenship inevitably resurface and the Internet, as a tool for instant, global communication, is at the center of the contemplation. Scholars have traditionally focused their attention on the rising inequalities associated with globalized
flows of goods and capital and the Internet is framed largely in terms of an empowerment structure with no integral effect on identity. This thesis explores how cosmopolitan community formation on the Internet can work by analyzing CouchSurfing, a hospitality network that makes use of Web 2.0 technology to govern membership and interaction. It creates a stable community of frequent, decentralized interaction. It facilitates cultural learning and supports the establishment of encumberable relationships across cultures.
The WS-Agreement Standard as defined in the current proposal does not accommodate negotiation between service provider and requesters to yield an agreement. It is limited to simple offers and acceptances. However, negotiations between service providers and service consumers beyond the basic mechanism are required and are also part of the charter of the GRAAP working group. There are many mechanisms for negotiating agreements between parties for different purposes, having different sets of participants, different economic properties, different interactions patterns, and different information requirements to enter the interaction. Given the generality of the WS-Agreement scope, supporting a single negotiation mechanism would not satisfy the requirements of different application scenarios. Hence, the objective of this thesis is to devise a proposal to extend the WS-Agreement specification to facilitate the integration of arbitrary negotiation protocols into the WS-Agreement interaction. This includes facilities to enable a party to advertise the negotiation protocol it supports, the role that it can take in this protocol, expectations on other roles in the negotiation, and other meta-information that is necessary to start an interaction. This thesis analyzes the scope of negotiation protocols relevant for service level agreement establishment, derives a data structure for negotiation protocol meta-data, a protocol to exchange meta-data and initiate a negotiation protocol, and obtaining the result of the negotiation, the agreement. The new functionality extends the current WS-Agreement specification seamlessly. The thesis demonstrates the viability of the approach using scenarios of specific negotiation mechanisms.