Mershon Center for International Security Studies
February 19, 2019
In This Issue
Dakota Rudesill
Assistant Professor of Law
Dakota Rudesill has won the Sidney D. Drell Academic Award from the Intelligence and National Security Alliance. Nominated by Mershon affiliate Peter Mansoor, Rudesill was recognized as "one of only a handful of legal academics with experience inside the Intelligence Community." INSA noted the Ohio State National Security Simulation, sponsored by the Mershon Center, which Rudesill organizes.
In the Media
Paul Beck
Academy Professor of Political Science

"History of Ohio Presidents"
WOSU-FM All Sides
February 18, 2019

"Ohio loses clout in the new Congress"
Columbus Dispatch
February 10, 2019

"Ohio lawmakers hope for unifying tone in State of the Union address"
WSYX-TV Columbus
February 5, 2019
Peter Shane
Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law
"'I didn't need to do this.' Critics say Trump quote undercuts national emergency for border wall"
USA Today
February 16, 2019
Thomas Wood
Assistant Professor of Political Science
"Defining Socialism In The United States "
WOSU-FM All Sides
February 11, 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
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Aaron James
"Modern Money and Sovereign Obligations"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Aaron James Aaron James, professor of philosophy at University of California-Irvine, works on rationalism and the foundations of moral and practical judgment, with a focus on constructivism (what it is, how it might explain objectivity, and whether it could provide a foundational theory). He is author of Fairness in Practice: A Social Contract for a Global Economy (Oxford, 2012), and is planning a book on the morality and political economy of distribution for a world of increasing ecological scarcity and lower growth rates (at least in the advanced world). In this talk, James will discuss the potential consequences of Modern Money Theory (MMT) for trade partner countries. Read more and register at
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Ludivine Bantigny
"1968: General strike, practices and hope"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Ludivine Bantigny Ludivine Bantigny is assistant professor of history at University of Rouen Normandy. In recent years, her research has been devoted to the 1968 event and the various mobilizations that followed (feminisms, "sexual revolution", political cultures). She is the author of 1968, de grands soirs en petits matins (Seuil, 2018); La France à l'heure du monde. De 1981 à nos jours (Seuil, 2013, 2019); and «Prolétaires de tous les pays, qui lave vos chaussettes ?». Le genre de l'engagement dans les années 1968 (PUR, 2017, with Fanny Bugnon and Fanny Gallot). In this talk she will discuss the projects that were forged by the protagonists of the social and political movement in 1968. Read more and register at
Friday, February 22, 2019

Erik Voeten
"Are liberal international institutions responsive to backlash? Evidence from the European Court of Human Rights"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Erik Voeten Erik Voeten is the Peter F. Krogh Professor of Geopolitics and Justice in World Affairs at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and Government Department. He has completed research on the United Nations, the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights and broader issues of international law and cooperation. He is also editor of the academic journal International Organization. In this event, Voeten will discuss evidence that the European Court of Human Rights is responding to backlash from consolidated liberal democracies. Read more and register at
Friday, February 22, 2019

Sally Haslanger
"Ideology, Cultural Logics, and Sites of Resistance"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Sally Haslanger Sally Haslanger is a professor of linguistics and philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has published on topics in metaphysics, epistemology and feminist theory, with a recent emphasis on accounts of the social construction of race and gender. In this event, Haslanger will argue that laws and institutions depend on social meanings embedded in a system of power relations, internalizing an ideology that distorts, obscures, and occludes important facts and results in a failure to recognize the interests of subordinated groups. Read more and register at
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Raphaëlle Branche
"Ending the French-Algerian war? Amnesty laws and the tensions of memory in France, from 1962"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Raphaëlle Branche Professor of modern and contemporary history at the University of Rouen, Raphaëlle Branche has worked extensively on colonial violence, focusing on French Algeria. She examines issues of illegal violence such as rape, torture, summary executions mainly from the point of view of the perpetrators. She has also addressed more specifically the issue of prisoners during the French-Algerian war (1954-1962) and acts of violence committed by the Algerian civilians and combatants during the war of independence as well as during the 1871 uprising. In this event, Branche will discuss amnesty laws passed in the 1960s to quell violence. Read more and register at
Mershon News
Conference: What is Realist Foreign Policy?
Realism is the oldest theory of international relations. On March 1-2, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies will host a conference on "What is Realist Foreign Policy?" organized by Professor of Political Science Randy Schweller.

Realist Foreign Policy From the sophists and Thucydides, Machiavelli and Hobbes, to E.H. Carr, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Hans Morgenthau, to Kenneth Waltz, Robert Jervis, and John Mearsheimer, realism as an intellectual construct has dominated the study of international relations.

Given the primacy of the realist approach and its compelling explanations of state behavior and the dynamics of the international system, does realism consistently provide the most reliable guidance for statecraft? More fundamentally, what precisely is realist foreign policy? How do we know it when we see it? For instance, in his State of the Union address delivered this month, President Trump called himself a "principled realist." What does he mean?

The purpose of the conference is to assemble a "dream team" of realists to hammer out the elements we should expect to see in realist foreign policy. The ultimate goal is to develop a set of baseline expectations on a range of important issues (alliances, coercive diplomacy, economic statecraft, ethics/morality, deterrence, nuclear politics, etc.) for realist foreign policies that distinguish them from the liberal alternatives.

See the conference schedule and register at
Other Events
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Robert McMahon
"The Role of the United States in Securing Indonesian Independence, 1945-1949: History, Legacy, and Lessons"
3:30 p.m., Pacific Place Mall, Level 3 SCBD
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Kav. 52-53, Jakarta
Sponsored by U.S. Indonesia Society

Robert McMahonFew today are aware that in 1948-1949 the United States played the decisive role in securing Indonesia's independence from the Dutch. This year's 70th anniversary of US-Indonesia diplomatic relations is thus a fitting time for Indonesians and Americans to learn more about the U.S. role in Indonesia's independence and the foundations of the U.S.-Indonesia relationship, valuable for us now and for the decades ahead. Robert McMahon, Ralph D. Mershon Professor Emeritus at Ohio State, will speak at the U.S.-Indonesia Society in Jakarta. The event will be livestreamed at, then a recording will be uploaded on the society's website and YouTube channel.  Register here
Friday, February 22, 2019

Mara Goldman
"Knowing nature otherwise? Changing views from the East African Plains"
3:30 p.m., 1080 Derby Hall, 154 N. Oval Mall
Sponsored by Department of Geography

Mara GoldmanWhat does it mean to speak of a global Africa and how does it help to move conversations regarding nature conservation and rangeland management in new directions? Mara Goldman, associate professor of geography at University of Colorado-Boulder, will focus on one part of Africa (the semi-arid rangelands of Tanzania and Kenya), and one group of people who live there (Maasai pastoralists / agropastoralists), who are piecing together different ways of knowing and being with nature in conjunction with Western enforced management schemes, to make sense of changing social and physical environments. Read more (pdf)
Friday, March 1, 2019

Art in a Time of Revolution
Featuring Zara Anishanslin, John Lear, and Byron Hamann
3 p.m., 165 Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave. Mall
Sponsored by Center for Historical Research

Zara Anishanslin Zara Anishanslin (left) is associate professor of history and art history at University of Delaware. She will speak on art and material culture in the American Revolution. John Lear is professor of history at University of Puget Sound, where he specializes in Modern Latin America. His talk will focus on Diego Rivera as an artist/political figure in the Mexican Revolution and the Cold War. Byron Hamann, associate professor of history of art at Ohio State will provide commentary. Co-sponsored by History of Art and the Center for Latin American Studies.
Other News
Byrd Center Symposium to take place March 22

The Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center is pleased to announce the inaugural Byrd Center Symposium: Climate Change Research at Ohio State, to be held on Friday, March 22, 2019, at Scott Hall on West Campus.

The symposium will gather all of the climate research here at Ohio State under one roof for a day in order to increase visibility of your research on campus and to help you connect with other Ohio State climate researchers.

The symposium will span the gamut of all climate, physical drivers of climate and the response of water and energy cycles, the impact of climate change, ways of thinking and talking about climate, and everything in between.

Student participation is strongly encouraged. Submit a poster abstract by February 22 and register by March 1 at
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