Mershon Center for International Security Studies
January 22, 2019
In This Issue
R. William Liddle
Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Indonesian Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Budi Bowoleksono, bestowed the Cultural Award to Bill Liddle on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia at a ceremony at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, DC, on December 12. Among those in attendance were two of Liddle's former students from Indonesia, Mohtar Mas'oed from Gadjah Mada University and Bahtiar Effendy from UIN Jakarta. Read more
Wendy Hesford
Professor of English

Wendy Hesford, professor and faculty director for the Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme, has been named Ohio Eminent Scholar in Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy. Hesford has published six books, including the award-winning Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions and Feminisms. Her third monograph, Violent Exceptions: Children's Human Rights and Humanitarian Rhetoric, is forthcoming. Read more
Peter Hahn
Dean of Arts and Humanities

Peter Hahn recently delivered his presidential lecture, titled "The Authority of Academics in a Time of Turbulence," at the annual meeting of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) in Philadelphia. The full lecture has since been published in Diplomatic History and is available here.
In the Media
Paul Beck
Academy Professor of Political Science

"Trump considers declaring national emergency for border wall"
ABC6 Columbus
January 8, 2019

"Donald Trump's Dimming Prospects"
The New York Times
November 29, 2018

"Democratic underdog Tina Maharath wins Ohio Senate seat"
November 27, 2018

"Ohio becomes latest state to try to pass 'heartbeat' abortion ban"
ABC News
November 16, 2018
Bear Braumoeller
Associate Professor of Political Science

"What's the intersection of war and math? It's where Bear Braumoeller's research happens"
Voices of Excellence
December 5, 2018
Joyce Chen
Associate Professor of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

"Climate change is making soils saltier, forcing many farmers to find new livelihoods"
The Conversation
November 29, 2018
Richard Gunther
Professor Emeritus in Political Science
Paul Beck
Academy Professor of Political Science
Erik Nisbet
Associate Professor of Communication

"Yes, Russian trolls helped elect Trump"
The New York Times
December 17, 2018
Austin Knuppe
PhD student in Political Science

"A complicated Yemen conflict"
Ohio State Insights
December 2018
Zeb Larson
PhD student in History

"We Need to Systematize Alt-Ac Career Guidance"
Inside Higher Ed
November 21, 2018
Mitch Lerner
Associate Professor of History

"The key factor in the rise of Trumpism that we continue to ignore"
The Washington Post
January 2, 2019
Margaret Newell
Professor of History

"New England Indians, Colonists, and Origins of Slavery"
Ben Franklin's World
January 7, 2019
Peter Mansoor
Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History

"Trump Says Mattis Resignation Was 'Essentially' a Firing, Escalating His New Front Against Military Critics"
The New York Times
January 2, 2019
John Mueller
Senior Research Scientist

"Three views on our nuclear future"
Minnesota Public Radio
January 2, 2019
R. Joseph Parrott
Assistant Professor of History

"Why Congress has finally moved to stop Trump in Yemen"
The Washington Post
December 20, 2018
Ellen Peters
Professor of Psychology

"A Guide to Overcoming FOBO, the Fear of Better Options"
November 19, 2018
Sarah Van Beurden
Associate Professor of African History

"A Museum Rethinks Its Mission"
The Wall Street Journal
November 9, 2018
Thomas Wood
Assistant Professor of Political Science

"Are young people today hostile to democracy and capitalism? Far from it."
The Washington Post
December 7, 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.
Mershon Events
Friday, January 25, 2019

Mershon Center Research Symposium
Featuring 5-minute talks on four Mershon faculty projects and 10 graduate student posters
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Mershon conference postersThe Mershon Center invites you to our first annual Research Symposium. Come and learn more about the research that our Mershon affiliated faculty and graduate students are doing across a wide range of disciplines. Four faculty research teams will make brief (5 minute!) presentations about their research followed by 5 minutes of questions and discussion for each speaker. Following the faculty presentations, we will adjourn to the Mershon atrium to view research poster presentations by Mershon supported graduate students. Read more and register at
Monday, February 4, 2019

Sara Koopman
"What Does a Feminist Peace Look Like? Colombia's Struggles Over the World's Most Inclusive Peace Accord"
3:30 p.m., 014 Psychology Building, 1835 Neil Ave.
Co-sponsored with Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Sara Koopman Sara Koopman is assistant professor in the School of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State University. Her research focuses on feminist political geography, including alternative securities, international accompaniment, gender and security, peacebuilding in Colombia, and social movements and solidarity. Specifically, her work explores global North-South solidarity efforts, how it can fall into colonial patterns, and how it can be decolonized. She will discuss events around the Columbian accords' recognition that those already marginalized because of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other categories suffered differently during the war, and thus need targeted measures to build peace. Read more and register
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

John Horne
"War as Revolution, 1904-1923"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

John Horne John Horne is professor emeritus of modern European history at Trinity College Dublin and Member of the Royal Irish Academy. He is the author and editor of a number of books and over 100 chapters and articles, many relating to the Great War. Among his latest publications are (ed.) A Companion to World War One (Oxford, Blackwell-Wiley, 2010); (ed.) Vers la guerre totale: le tournant de 1914-1915 (Tallandier, 2010); and with Robert Gerwarth, War in Peace: Paramilitary Violence in Europe after the Great War (Oxford, 2012). In this talk, he will ask whether World War I was really a large-scale revolution. Read more and register at
Mershon News
National Veterans Memorial and Museum
Exhibit space at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in downtown Columbus. (Credit: NVMM Gallery)

Mershon's Peter Mansoor had hand in creation
of Columbus museum to honor veterans
Last October, hundreds of veterans, citizens, and their families turned out on a rainy Saturday to celebrate the opening of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in downtown Columbus.

The ceremony, marked with speeches by Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, Reps. Joyce Beatty and Steve Stivers, L Brands CEO Les Wexner, and a keynote by retired Gen. Colin Powell, marked the opening of one of the most anticipated architectural creations in the world.

In attendance outside the 53,000 square foot, $75 million facility was Mershon affiliate Peter Mansoor, Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History, who serves on the Veterans Advisory Committee that helped shape the vision for the building, grounds, and exhibits.

Built next to the Scioto River with a stunning view of the Columbus skyline, the museum's structure consists of a pathway that spirals up to a rooftop sanctuary. A neighboring 2.5-acre memorial grove provides space for veterans and citizens to reflect about their service.

Mansoor, who joined the Mershon Center in 2008 after a 26-year career in the U.S. Army that culminated in his service as executive officer to Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq, discusses the creation of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus and how he got involved:

How did the National Veterans Memorial and Museum get to be located in Columbus?

Peter Mansoor
The impetus for a National Veterans Memorial and Museum came from Les Wexner, the founder, chairman, and CEO of L Brands, Inc. He noted that the Franklin County Veterans Memorial was, in his estimation, "hideous." Only its name and the memorial tablets inside the building attested to its purpose. 

The building also badly need a costly renovation. Instead of using taxpayer dollars to refurbish an aging structure, Wexner suggested a public-private partnership, with more than $40 million of his own money jump-starting the effort, to build a brand new facility. 

Along the way Wexner recruited former Senator John Glenn to head a veterans advisory committee, on which I also served. Further discussions with Gov. John Kasich led to the memorial being expanded first to a statewide facility, and later, with support from Ohio's Congressional delegation, to a national memorial and museum.

How did you become involved with creating the museum? Which aspects (for example, design, architecture, exhibits, subjects covered, text) were you involved with?

Les Wexner suggested to Guy Worley and Amy Taylor, the CEO and COO, respectively, of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, that I serve as a member of the veterans advisory committee. I readily agreed and later also chaired the sub-committee charged with developing ideas for the outdoor space (now the Memorial Grove, water cascades, and reflecting pool).

In discussions with the museum design firm, I became concerned about quality control for the historical content in the exhibits. Amy asked if I would agree to take on that role, which I did. So I have looked at and edited every inscription, caption, and piece of explanatory text in the museum to ensure its historical accuracy. I'm hoping we got it right!

One of the largest exhibits at the museum is a long two-sided display recounting the history of U.S. military conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the Iraq War. Did you have a hand in that display?

The content was created by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, a first-class museum design firm that also created the content for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the National World War I Museum, among others. I worked with their team to ensure the historical accuracy of the displays, including the timeline of U.S. military history that wraps around the interior of the displays.

Read the rest of the interview at
Other Events
Wednesday-Thursday, January 23-24, 2019

2019 Community Engagement Conference
"Partnering for a Resilient and Sustainable Future"
Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St.
Sponsored by Center for Historical Research

Mary RobinsonWhat role do meaningful partnerships play in creating a sustainable future? How does a community become and remain vibrant and resilient? How can we ensure future generations have the clean air and clean water on which all life depends? Building on the success of 2018, this conference will bring together a broad range of community engagement practitioners to share diverse ideas, engage in robust discussion and actively develop networks to address these and other complex questions. The keynote by Mary Robinson (left), former president of Ireland, will take place Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Read more
Other News
'Origins' examines how colonial era shaped Congo

Origins has published a new piece: " A New Congo Crisis?" by Mershon affiliate Sarah van Beurden.

Ever since Joseph Conrad set his 1899 novel  Heart of Darkness there, Congo has struck many observers as a paradox. An enormous territory located in the very core of Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is so rich in natural resources that it ought to be among the most prosperous countries on the continent. 

Yet, as historian Sarah Van Beurden explains this month, patterns of political repression, violence, and economic exploitation established in the 19th-century colonial era continue to shape dynamics in Congo today.

About Origins: Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective is a monthly ad-free magazine that features top scholars on today's most pressing topics. Published by The Ohio State History Department, its authors include National Book Award winners and world-renowned scholars. You can also explore reviews of popular history books on the Origins website as well as the new monthly feature Milestones.
Data harmonization projects posts latest newsletter

We are pleased to announce the latest issue of   Harmonization: Newsletter on Survey Data Harmonization in the Social Sciences. The newsletter is produced by CONSIRT, Cross-National Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training Program, of The Ohio State University and the Polish Academy of Sciences. Read more about the data harmonization project

This issue features new research. We begin with two articles on the meaning of survey items that do not refer to a specific time frame for respondent's past political behavior: what we call, "Have Done 'Ever'" items. Irina Tomescu-Dubrow, Josh Dubrow, Ilona Wysmulek, and Kazimierz M. Slomczynski write about the history of, and logical limits in, the use of these items. J. Craig Jenkins and Joonghyun Kwak examine the connection between Have Done Ever items and protest event data.

Next, Joonghyun Kwak explores the cross-national comparability of perceived immigrant-threat measurement. Bashir Tofangsazi and Denys Lavryk reveal what it is like to hand code the documentation of over 1700 surveys. 

We round out the issue with news of the Comparative Survey Design and Implementation international workshop hosted by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, about sessions at the next ESRA conference, and partnerships with The Ohio State University's Translational Data Analytics Institute.

A goal of the newsletter is to help build a community of scholars, institutions and government agencies interested in survey data harmonization. We invite you to contribute your articles, news, and new publications to future newsletters. Contact Irina Tomescu-Dubrow at
Staff Career Development Grant closes January 31

Staff have an opportunity to further their growth and development through the Staff Career Development Grant. Eligible staff can apply for a grant of up to $1,250 for individuals, $1,750 for groups of 2-10 and $2,000 for groups of 11 or more, and the funds can be used for professional development, education or training costs related to job and/or career goals. Applications are being accepted until Thursday, January 31.
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