Mershon Center for International Security Studies
November 5, 2018
In This Issue
Theodora Dragostinova
Associate Professor of History
"Beyond the Iron Curtain: Eastern Europe and the Global Cold War"
Special issue of Slavic Review, Fall 2018

This publication is based on a Spring 2016 Mershon Center conference and 2013-14 research grant.
Carole Fink
Humanities Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History
West Germany and Israel: Foreign Relations, Domestic Politics, and the Cold War, 1965-1974
Cambridge University Press
January 2019

This book was supported by a  2006-07 Mershon Center grant and 2006  conference.
In the Media
Paul Beck
Academy Professor of Political Science
"Ohio's 12th District Rematch Pits Ground Game Against Demographics"
WOSU Public Media
October 30, 2018

"Biden campaigns for Cordray in tight race for Ohio governor"
ABC6-TV Columbus
October 29, 2018

"Youth vote could help Democratic Party"
Ohio State Insights
October 2018
Joyce Chen
Associate Professor of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics
"Where goats drink first: Women struggle as coastal India grows saltier"
October 31, 2018
Sean Kay
Mershon Affiliate
"OWU professor updates book for re-release"
Delaware Gazette
October 30, 2018
Herb Weisberg
Professor Emeritus of Political Science

"Anti-Semitism in America"
WOSU-FM All Sides
October 31, 2018
"How politically engaged is Georgia? Report compares most and least engaged states"
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 18, 2018
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.
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Mershon Events
Thursday, November 8, 2018

Furniss Book Award Winner
Laura Madokoro
"On Refuge: The Politics of Race and Humanitarianism"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Laura Madokoro Laura Madokoro, assistant professor of history and classical studies at McGill University, will speak about "On Refuge: The Politics of Race and Humanitarianism" at 3:30 p.m. Thursday (11/8) at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 1501 Neil Ave. Madokoro is author of Elusive Refuge: Chinese Migrants in the Cold War (Harvard, 2016), winner of the 2016 Mershon Center's Edgar S. Furniss Book Award. The book documents the experience of Chinese migrants during the Cold War and the politics of exclusion and humanitarianism among the white settler societies of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. This talk will explore American responses to refugees in Asia during the Cold War. Read more and register at
Friday-Saturday, November 9-10, 2018

Populism and Race in the Trump Era
Organized by Benjamin McKean and Inés Valdez
120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Benjamin McKeanPopulism seems to have swept the globe, with the election of Donald Trump to the presidency among the most prominent examples. This conference will consider the ways political identities have been at the forefront of these populist narratives that have shaped contemporary democracy, with profound implications for national security. Populists tend to address a "people" that has supposedly been taken advantage of by elites and foreign actors, is threatened by particular groups, and whose efforts are not recognized by "ungrateful" groups. These claims rebrand social and political problems in terms of security threats and, in doing so, create a particular vision of "real Americans" who are entitled to democratic voice. This phenomenon touches upon important research in political science, sociology, and history on populism, immigration, and race that have not been put into conversation. This interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars whose research concerns populism, state violence against African-Americans, and the political theory of migration to answer this question. Together, the workshop will critically assess the relations among populism, racial exclusion, and conceptions of security as well as explore the potential of more democratic forms of populism. Read more and register at
Friday, November 16, 2018

Geoff Sayre-McCord
"Hume's Robust Theory of Practical Reason"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Geoff Sayre-McCord Geoffrey Sayre-McCord is Morehead-Cain Alumni Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he has taught since 1985. He is also director of UNC's Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program and director of the international Philosophy, Politics and Economics Society. Sayre-McCord has published extensively on metaethics, moral theory, epistemology, and the history of moral philosophy. In this event, Sayre-McCord will discuss debates over the philosophy of David Hume, arguing Hume is neither a skeptic of practical reason nor an instrumentalist, but more nuanced than either interpretation. Read more and register at
Friday-Saturday, November 30-December 1, 2018

Societies Under Stress: Welfare and Penal Policies amid Rising Insecurity
Organized by Sarah Brooks
120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Sarah Brooks Societies Under Stress: Welfare and Penal Policies amid Rising Insecurity is an interdisciplinary conference that aims at advancing collaborative research on the relationship between social welfare and penal policies across nations. It will bring together scholars from around the globe and from different disciplinary backgrounds -- mainly political science, sociology and criminology or law -- to ask: What are the causal links between crime control and social welfare policies? What are the ideological, political, social and historical foundations of these programs within and across nations? Read more and register at
Mershon News
Kurtz named director of International Studies program
Mershon affiliate Marcus Kurtz has been named director of the Undergraduate International Studies Program, effective January 1, 2019.

Kurtz is professor of political science with research and teaching interests in comparative politics, democratization, political economy and development, with a focus on Latin America.

Marcus Kurtz
Marcus Kurtz
He has also published several peer-reviewed journal articles, including "Oil and Democracy: Endogenous Natural Resources and the Political 'Resource Curse,'" "Capturing State Strength: Experimental and Econometric Approaches" and "Paths of Policy Diffusion: When and How Diffusion Shapes Financial Globalization in Latin America."

"I am honored to have been selected to lead the Undergraduate International Studies Program," Kurtz said. "I am excited to continue the improvements that have made the UISP one the gems of Ohio State's undergraduate offerings."

Kurtz has received distinguished recognition for his research and teaching. Among other honors, he was named Joan M. Huber Faculty Fellow in 2015, was awarded Best Paper in Political Sociology by the American Sociological Association in 2010 and received the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2007.

Kurtz received both his M.A. and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California-Berkeley. 

At the Mershon Center, Kurtz has received research grants for projects on Public Sector Capacity and Political Stability in Latin America (2006-07), State Building in Latin America (2012-13), and Property Rights, Political Conflict, and Economic Development (2014-15).

Kurtz will replace another Mershon faculty affiliate, Anthony Mughan, professor of political science, who has directed the Undergraduate International Studies Program since 1994.
Other Events
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Civil War: American Policy in Yemen
With Michael Doran, Austin Knuppe, and Christopher Gelpi
6 p.m., 001 Jennings Hall, 1735 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by Alexander Hamilton Society at Ohio State

Michael Doran The Alexander Hamilton Society at Ohio State is pleased to announce our second event of the semester, Civil War: American Policy in Yemen, which will focus on American policy in Yemen and America's relationship with the Saudi led coalition. The event will feature Michael Doran (left), senior fellow at the Hudson Institute specializing in Middle East security issues;  Austin Knuppe from the Department of Political Science, and Christopher Gelpi, director of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, as moderator. As always, free pizza and Coke products will be served. Read more and register
Friday, November 9, 2018

Training Researchers to Inform Policy
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
251 Drinko Hall, Moritz College of Law, 55 W. 12th Ave.
Sponsored by Scholars Strategy Network

Training Researchers to Inform Policy (TRIP) is a one-day workshop facilitated by experts at the national office of the Scholars Strategy Network. The goal of the workshop is to give you a hands-on introduction to effective principles of policy engagement. Designed for accomplished senior professors and advanced graduate students alike, scholars leave TRIP workshops with tools to engage effectively in policy and build relationships with policymakers, civic leaders, and journalists. Note that the training will be a few days after the mid-term elections, so we will have an understanding of the coming political/policy landscape in Ohio. Registration is free (facilitation and lunch will be paid by SSN Ohio Central Chapter). Read more and register
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

2018 Midterm Election Analysis
Reception 5 p.m., Program 6 p.m.
Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road
Sponsored by WOSU Public Media and John Glenn College of Public Affairs

Paul Beck Mike Thompson, WOSU Public Media's Chief Content Director for News and Public Affairs and host of WOSU TV's Columbus on the Record, will discuss the results of the 2018 midterm elections and where we go from here. Guests include Mershon affiliate Paul Beck (left), Academy Professor of Political Science, and Whitney Smith, CEO, W.T. Smith Consulting. Enjoy complimentary light hors d'oeuvres and soft drinks in the theater lobby prior to the program. Read more and register
Friday, November 16, 2018

COMPAS Conference: Geoengineering
11th Floor Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave. Mall
Sponsored by Center for Ethics and Human Values

Can we use technology to mitigate the harms of climate change? What are the moral implications of altering large scale systems that we don't completely understand? Does anyone have the political jurisdiction to make decisions about actions that might affect everyone on Earth? Speakers include Steven Brown (CEHV, Ohio State);  Doug MacMartin (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell); Jeffrey M. Bielicki (Energy Sustainability Research Laboratory, Ohio State); Stephen Gardiner (Philosophy, University of Washington); David Morrow (Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, American University); Emma Saunders-Hastings (Political Science, Ohio State); Wil Burns (Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy, American University); Holly Buck (Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA); Cinnamon Carlarne (Law, Ohio State). Read more and register
Other News
Fulbright-Hayes dissertation funding available

The Office of International Affairs is seeking applicants for the FY 2019 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowships. These grants provide support for advanced graduate students studying in most academic fields, but they must possess a strong background in area studies and modern foreign languages. All doctoral degree candidates proposing full-time dissertation research abroad on topics that develop research knowledge and capabilities in world areas not commonly taught in U.S. institutions are encouraged to apply. Grants support field research of six to 12 months in duration. If you plan to apply for the FY 2019 award, contact Joanna Kukielka-Blaser.
Call for Abstracts: 2019 Hayes Graduate Research Forum

The Hayes Graduate Research Forum Committee is pleased to announce an extension of the call for abstracts from graduate students at The Ohio State University to participate in the 33rd Edward F. Hayes Research Forum. Cash prizes of over $14,000 will be awarded to top presenters in each academic area. Abstracts will be accepted through November 10, 2018. The showcase will be held March 1, 2019, and is dedicated to presenting outstanding research by graduate students from across the range of Ohio State's academic areas. Please submit your abstract online. We strongly encourage you to review all abstract submission guidelines before submitting your abstract. The Hayes Forum is co-sponsored by the Council of Graduate Students, the Graduate School, and the Office of Research. Please contact Tracey Walterbusch with any questions.
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