Mershon Center for International Security Studies
February 27, 2019
In This Issue
In the Media
Richard Herrmann
Social and Behavioral Sciences Distinguished Professor
"Middle East talks to kick off series"
Delaware Gazette
February 18, 2019
Peter Shane
Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law
"Will a 'national emergency' build a border wall?"
Ohio State Insights
February 21, 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
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
Friday-Saturday, March 1-2, 2019

What is Realist Foreign Policy?
Organized by Randy Schweller
120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Realist Foreign PolicyRealism is the oldest theory 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? 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 goal is to develop a set of baseline expectations on a range of important issues for realist foreign policies that distinguish them from the liberal alternatives. Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor and Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, will be the keynote speaker. Read more and register at
Monday, March 4, 2019

Richard John
"The End of the American International Order -- And Why You Will Miss It"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Jonathan Kirshner Jonathan Kirshner is professor of political science and international studies at Boston College. He is the author of Currency and Coercion: The Political Economy of International Monetary Power, and Appeasing Bankers: Financial Caution on the Road to War, which won the best book award from the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association. He has also edited the volumes Monetary Orders: Ambiguous Economics, Ubiquitous Politics and Globalization and National Security. His most recent books include Hollywood's Last Golden Age: Politics, Society and the Seventies Film in America, and American Power after the Financial Crisis. Read more and register at
Monday, March 18, 2019

Richard John
"On human detection of deception on 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
Mershon News
Forbidden Zones
Actors perform Forbidden Zones: The Great War, researched and written in a Mershon-supported project organized by Lesley Ferris and Bruno Cabanes.
Mershon Center seeks speaker/conference proposals
The Mershon Center for International Security Studies invites applications for conferences and speaker series on international security issues for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The Mershon Center understands international security from a wide range of perspectives, approaches, and substantive foci. The center places an especially strong emphasis on supporting interdisciplinary research. Applicants are encouraged to develop collaborative proposals for conferences and speaker series that bridge disciplinary boundaries.

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:
  • Relevance to international security issues broadly conceived
  • The extent to which they bridge two or more disciplinary perspectives
  • The inclusion of diverse perspectives, theoretical approaches, and methodologies.
All applications should include a 500-word description of the conference or speaker series topic that addresses the three criteria described above. Proposals should include any relevant information on planned presentation format or activities as well as any planned professional products from the activities. Applicants are encouraged to explore novel formats, themes, and professional activities.

Proposals for speaker series should also include a list of four speakers and two alternate speakers for the series. Proposals for conferences should provide a list of 8 to 10 external participants who would be invited to the conference. Each speaker or conference participant should be identified with a biography of up to 100 words and a professional website address.

Applications will be due Monday, March 18, 2019, at 5 p.m. Proposals from faculty should be submitted to Proposals from graduate students should be submitted to Please contact Christopher Gelpi at with questions regarding possible proposals. Read more
Other Events
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Stephanie Smith
"The Revolutionary Politics of Art in Post-revolutionary Mexico"
5 p.m., Faculty Club, 181 S. Oval Drive
Sponsored by Department of History

Stephanie Smith During the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, Mexico City acted as a nexus of radical artists and intellectuals -- from Mexico and abroad -- who met, organized, and created their works in this lively city. This talk analyzes the complex interactions of these folks from different parts of the world and the ways they shaped Mexico's post-revolutionary cultural and political environments. In addition to Mexico's leading artists, including Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, this presentation will consider the photographer Tina Modotti (from Italy); the founder of the journal Mexican Folkways, Frances (Paca) Toor (from the U.S.); the printmaker Pablo O'Higgins (from the U.S.); the controversial arrival of Leon Trotsky (from the Soviet Union); and others. Register here (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.
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
'Origins' looks at history of Catholic sex abuse scandals

Origins has published a new piece: " The Catholic Church and Sexual Abuse, Then and Now" by Wietse de Boer.

For more than two decades, the Catholic Church has been reeling from sexual abuse scandals. Stories of predatory priests have emerged around the world. While some have attributed the abuses to problems in contemporary society, this month historian Wietse de Boer takes a much deeper look. He argues that the way the Church has responded to these outrages has its roots 500 years ago when the Catholic Church faced its first major crisis of sexual abuse.

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.
CEHV launches Ethics Throughout Ohio State (ETHOS)

Rattan Lal The Center for Ethics and Human Values is proud to announce a new program called ETHOS - Ethics Throughout Ohio State - that highlights the ethical motivations and challenges that underlie much of the cutting edge research being done at OSU. ETHOS aims to show how scholars across many disciplines are helping to improve the life of our community.

The first interview subject for ETHOS is Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and Director of Ohio States's Carbon Management and Sequestration Center. Lal has received numerous international awards for showing how understanding soil is crucial to promoting a healthier environment and more sustainable agriculture. See the interview
Apply for University Engagement Recognition Awards

Ohio State's University Engagement Recognition Awards honor faculty, staff, students and community partners for outstanding achievement in meaningful partnerships that produce engaged scholarship and community impact. Awards will be given in the community engagement, international engagement, service-learning, healthy communities, staff, student, student group and community partner categories. A total of $20,500 will be awarded. Applications are due March 8.

To submit an application:
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