Mershon Center for International Security Studies
March 7, 2019
In This Issue
Sona Hill
Postdoctoral Researcher
Sona Hill received an honorable mention for the 2019 Irving K. Zola Award for emerging scholars by the Society for Disability Studies. Hill is postdoctoral researcher of migration studies, disability studies, and medical humanities. She researches the living conditions of people who become disabled as a result of wars, incarceration, genocide, and political instability in the Middle East, namely Iran, Iraqi, and Syrian Kurdistan.
In the Media
Paul Beck
Academy Professor of Political Science

"Ohio lawmakers weigh in on Cohen testimony"
WSYX-TV Columbus
February 27, 2019

"Expect less flash, more cash during Gov. Mike DeWine's first State of the State address"
March 4, 2019

"Hero to some, villain to others, Ohio's Jim Jordan rarely draws indifference"
Columbus Dispatch
March 5, 2019
John Mueller
Woody Hayes Senior Research Scientist
"Nuclear parity?"
RT Worlds Apart
February 28, 2019
Geoffrey Parker
Andreas Dorpalen Professor of History
"'Nature's Mutiny' Review: Tracking History's Turbulence"
Wall Street Journal
March 1, 2019

"A Carlos V no le gustaban los cambios, ni políticos ni espirituales"
March 3, 2019
Ellen Peters
Professor of Psychology
"Can't make decisions? Prof. Ellen Peters' research can help you understand why"
ASC Voices of Excellence
February 28, 2019
Peter Shane
Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law
"States File Suit Against Trump Administration Over Wall Emergency "
Wall Street Journal
February 18, 2019
About Mershon Memo
Mershon Memo is a weekly e-mail newsletter distributed by the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, part of the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University.
Mershon Events
Monday, March 18, 2019

Richard John
"On Human Detection of Deception in Social Media"
Noon, 035 Psychology Building, 1835 Neil Ave.

Richard John Richard John serves as Research Theme Co-Leader for Risk Perception and Communication at the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) and associate professor of psychology at University of Southern California. His research focuses on normative and descriptive models of human judgment and decision making and methodological issues in application of decision and probabilistic risk analysis. He will discuss experiments on how well people can recognize false posts to social media following extreme events such as natural disasters and terror attacks. Read more and register at
Friday, March 22, 2019

Jennifer Lind
"The External Sources of Great Power Rise"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Jennifer Lind Jennifer Lind is associate professor in the Government Department at Dartmouth College, a faculty associate at the Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies at Harvard University, and a research associate at Chatham House, London. She is the author of Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics (Cornell, 2008), which examines the effect of war memory on international reconciliation. In this event, she will discuss some emerging great powers successfully move into the great power ranks while others fail. Read more and register at
Monday, April 1, 2019

Gregg Brazinsky
"Empathy at War: Emotions in Sino-North Korean Relations during the Korean War"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Co-sponsored by the Institute for Korean Studies

Gregg Brazinsky Gregg Brazinsky works on U.S-East Asian relations and East Asian international history. He is interested in the flow of commerce, ideas, and culture among Asian countries and across the Pacific. He is the author of two books: Winning the Third World (2017), which focuses on Sino-American rivalry in the third world, and Nation Building in South Korea (2007), which explores U.S.-South Korean relations during the Cold War. In this event, Brazinsky will discuss how the Chinese and North Korean governments mobilized their citizens and soldiers during the Korean War. Read more and register at
Mershon News
'Jihad and Co.' by Aisha Ahmad wins Furniss Award
For two decades, militant jihadism has been one of the world's most pressing security crises. In civil wars and insurgencies across the Muslim world, certain Islamist groups have taken advantage of the anarchy to establish political control over a broad range of territories and communities. In effect, they have built radical new jihadist proto-states.

Why have some ideologically-inspired Islamists been able to build state-like polities out of civil war stalemate, while many other armed groups have failed to gain similar traction?

Aisha Ahmad
Aisha Ahmad
In Jihad & Co.: Black Markets and Islamist Power (Oxford University Press, 2017), Aisha Ahmad argues that there are concrete economic reasons behind Islamist success. By tracking the economic activities of jihadist groups in Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, Mali, and Iraq, she uncovers an unlikely actor in bringing Islamist groups to power: the local business community.

Jihad & Co. is winner of the Mershon Center's Edgar S. Furniss Award, given annually to an author whose first book makes an exceptional contribution to the study of national and international security. Ahmad will speak about the book at the Mershon Center on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. Read more and register at

Jihad and Co Aisha Ahmad is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Toronto, director of the Islam and Global Affairs Initiative and a senior researcher of the Global Justice Lab at Munk School of Global Affairs, and chair of the board of directors of Women in International Security (WIIS)-Canada.

She has conducted fieldwork in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Mali, Iraq, and Lebanon, and has advised both government and international organizations on global security policies. Her research uncovers the economic drivers of conflict in war zones across the modern Muslim world.

Besides winning the Furniss Book Award, Jihad & Co. also won the 2018 Best Book in Comparative Politics Prize by the Canadian Political Science Association.

The Edgar S. Furniss Book Award commemorates the founding director of the Mershon Center. Previous winners include Aaron Friedberg, John Mearsheimer, and Stephen Walt.
Other Events
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Anne Garland Mahler
"Race and Empire from the Tricontinental to the Global South"
2:30 p.m., 062 Hagerty Hall, 1775 College Road
Sponsored by Center for Historical Research

Anne Garland Mahler Anne Garland Mahler is assistant professor of Latin American cultural studies at University of Virginia. She is author of From the Tricontinental to the Global South: Race, Radicalism, and Transnational Solidarity (Duke, 2018) and director of the online publication Global South Studies.  Mahler frequently publishes and speaks in the areas of histories of radical internationalism, racial discourses, cold war politics, and postcolonial and Global South theory. This talk traces the history and intellectual legacy of the understudied global justice movement called the Tricontinental - an alliance of liberation struggles from 82 countries, founded in Havana in 1966. Read more
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Brendan Nyhan
"Fake News in the 2016 and 2018 Campaigns: Prevalence, Detection, and Effects"
4 p.m., 165 Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave. Mall
Sponsored by Center for Ethics and Human Values

Brendan Nyhan Brendan Nyhan is professor of public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy of the University of Michigan. His research primarily focuses on misperceptions about politics and health care. He is a contributor to The Upshot blog at The New York Times and a co-founder of Bright Line Watch, a watchdog group that monitors the status of American democracy. In this event he will discuss evidence showing that consumption of fake news in the 2016 and 2018 elections was concentrated among a small group of people with heavily skewed information diets. Read more and register
Other News
Apply for 2019 International Engagement Awards

The Office of International Affairs has partnered with the Offices of Outreach and Engagement, Service-Learning, Student Life and Student Academic Success and the Wexner Medical Center to recognize faculty, staff, students and community partners with the University Outreach and Engagement Recognition Awards program. Two awards are being offered:

The Distinguished International Engagement Award to recognize Ohio State faculty and staff who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in and commitment to international outreach and engagement by having established a project that has a long-term record to sustained impact, achievement and scholarship. ($3,000)

The Emerging International Engagement Award to recognize Ohio State faculty and staff who have demonstrated outstanding promise in international outreach and engagement with the development of a relatively new initiative that has shown short-term results and has the potential for long-term impact, achievement and scholarship. ($1,000)

Applications are due Friday, March 8. Visit
Fulbright Week at Ohio State will be March 25-29

The Office of International Affairs, the Graduate School and the Undergraduate Fellowship Office invite all students, faculty and staff to participate in Fulbright Week 2019, a week dedicated to informing the Ohio State community about the opportunities available through the Fulbright and Fulbright-Hays program. Events take place March 25-29, 2019.

View the complete schedule of events at

For more information about Fulbright Week, contact Fulbright campus representative Joanna Kukielka-Blaser at
1501 Neil Avenue     |     Columbus, OH 43201     |     (614) 292-1681     |     Fax: (614) 292-2407