Mershon Center for International Security Studies
February 1 , 2016
In This Issue
In the Media
Richard Gunther
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
"Ohio poised to take partisan politics out of congressional redistricting"
Akron Beacon-Journal
January 16, 2016
John Mueller
Senior Research Scientist
"Fear of terrorism could get you killed"
San Angelo Standard-Times
January 24, 2016

"The Truth About Terrorism the Media Won't Tell You"
January 23, 2016
Peter Shane
Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law
"Presidential Candidates, Silent on Presidential Power"
  The New York Times
January 22, 2016
About Mershon Memo
Mershon Memo is a weekly e-mail newsletter distributed by the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, a unit of the Office of International Affairs at The Ohio State University.
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Mershon Events
Thursday, February 4, 2016

Will Reno
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Will Reno William Reno is professor of political science and director of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of Corruption and State Politics in Sierra Leone (Cambridge, 1995), Warlord Politics and African States (Lynne Rienner, 1999), Warfare in Independent Africa (Cambridge, 2011), and other works on the politics of conflict and the organization of armed groups in failed states. More information about his research is at Reno will discuss how research explains variations in the ways armed groups organize their relations with surrounding communities in the context of conflict in collapsed states. Read more and register at
Friday, February 5, 2016

Sara Mitchell
"Contentious Issues in World Politics"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Sara Mitchell Sara Mitchell is professor of political science at University of Iowa, where she co-directs the Issue Correlates of War Project and is associate editor of Foreign Policy Analysis and Research and Politics. She is co-author of Domestic Law Goes Global: Legal Traditions and International Courts (Cambridge, 2011), Guide to the Scientific Study of International Processes (Wiley-Blackwell 2012), The Triumph of Democracy and the Eclipse of the West (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and C onflict, War, and Peace: An Introduction to Scientific Research (CQ Press/Sage 2013). In this talk, Mitchell will describe the issue approach to world politics, how it differs from other major theories of interstate conflict, and present new data from the Issue Correlates of War Project. Read more and register at
Monday, February 15, 2016

Michael Campana
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Michael Campana Michael Campana is professor of hydrogeology and water resources management at Oregon State University and technical director of the American Water Resources Association. His expertise and interests include hydrogeology; hydrophilanthropy; integrated water resources management); water, sanitation, and hygiene in developing regions; water policy; and education. He founded and runs his own hydrophilanthropic foundation, the Ann Campana Judge Foundation. As WaterWired he blogs and tweets on water and related issues. Campana will recount his experience as project director for the South Caucasus River Monitoring Project, a model of collaboration and cooperation in a region where such traits have at times been in short supply. Read more and register at
Friday, February 19, 2016
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Cristina Bicchieri Cristina Bicchieri is the S.J.P. Harvie Chair of Social Thought and Comparative Ethics, and professor of philosophy and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the director of the Behavioral Ethics Lab and the Penn Social Norms Consulting Group. Bicchieri works on social norms, their measurement and behavioral/field experiments on norm change, cooperation and fairness on social networks. Her most recent work looks at the role of trendsetters in social change, and how network structures facilitate or impair behavioral changes. Among her books are The Grammar of Society: the Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms (Cambridge, 2006) and Norms in the Wild: How to Diagnose, Measure and Change Social Norms (Oxford, 2016). Read more and register at
Research Spotlight

Principal Investigator: Marcus Kurtz, Department of Political Science

Marcus Kurtz Property rights are generally seen as a necessary condition for economic development and domestic security. According to this narrative, violent conflict arises where governments cannot resolve competing claims to territory, and economic stagnation sets in where governments can arbitrarily seize assets. Where property ownership is clearly defined and enforced by the state, political stability and economic development are the result.

This line of thinking is unquestioned across much of social science - but is it true? Marcus Kurtz tests this assumption by examining the relationship between property rights and political and economic outcomes in four very different countries: Germany, Chile, South Africa, and Argentina.

To structure his inquiry, Kurtz places these four case studies along two axes:

* Social property arrangements: Do owners have the right use property in whatever way they see fit, or do they have certain responsibilities to other stakeholders such as neighbors or employees? 

* Security of enforcement: Does the government effectively enforce property laws regardless of whether the laws favor owner rights or owner responsibilities? Or are laws regarding owner rights and responsibilities broken without repercussions?

Using this classification, Kurtz arranges his four case studies as follows:

    Social Property Arrangements 
    Owner responsibilities emphasized Owner rights emphasized
Security of enforcement  High Social property system
* Germany
Liberal property system
* Chile
* South Africa for whites, pre-1994
Low Politicized property system
* Argentina, post-1945
Oligarchic property system
* South Africa for non-whites, pre-1994

Preliminary evidence from Kurtz's analysis shows that strong property rights, exemplified by the liberal property systems of Chile and white South Africa under Apartheid, may be the result of political stability and economic development rather than the cause. At the least, strong property rights are just one road to political stability and economic development, but not the only road.

Consider the case of Argentina, one of the wealthiest countries in South America despite a history that includes waves of nationalizing and privatizing property and the near collapse of the political party system. In Apartheid South Africa, property rights for whites rested on the sustained exploitation of non-white property and labor. Meanwhile, German industrialization was founded on radical definitions of property ownership and redistribution of assets.

A grant from the Mershon Center allowed Kurtz to do field research in South Africa. He will using the findings to apply for external grants for more extensive data collection, write a series of academic articles, and ultimately publish a book on property rights, political stability, and economic development.
Other Events
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Michael Rubin, Alexander Thompson, Randall Schweller
6 p.m., Room 348, Moritz College of Law, 55 W. 12th Ave.
Sponsored by Alexander Hamilton Society | OSU Chapter

Michael Rubin The Alexander Hamilton Society is pleased to announce its inaugural event, for the spring semester, "Playing with Fire: The Perils and Pluses of Engaging with Rogue Regimes," at 6 p.m. on the evening of February 2 in the Moritz College of Law (Drinko Hall), room 348. We will be hosting author and American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Rubin (left) and Ohio State's own, political science professor, Alexander Thompson for a debate over the role of negotiation with rogue regimes like North Korea, Iran, and Syria. Randall Schweller, also, from the political science department, will serve as our moderator for the evening. As usual, we will be serving free wings and Coke products. We look forward to seeing you! Read more and register
Monday, February 8, 2016

Fukunari Kimura
4:30 p.m., Room 190 Knowlton Hall, 275 W. Woodruff Ave.
Sponsored by East Asian Studies Center

Fukunari KimuraThe TPP trade deal, which covers a region that boasts nearly 40 percent of the global economy, aims to reduce trade barriers and to establish new environmental, intellectual property and labor standards. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made TPP a cornerstone of his economic policy -- commonly referred to as "Abenomics" -- in an effort to spur economic growth. Fukunari Kimura of Keio University (Tokyo) will discuss the TPP deal and its impact on the East Asian economy as well as criticisms it has received. This event is  part of a lecture tour to U.S. colleges and universities sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan.    Read more
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Robert Daly
11:30 a.m., WOSU@COSI, 333 W. Broad St. 
Sponsored by Columbus Council on World Affairs

Robert Daly Robert Daly was named as the second director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson Center in August 2013. He came to the Wilson Center from the Maryland China Initiative at the University of Maryland. Prior to that, he was American director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing. Daly began work in U.S.-China relations as a diplomat, serving as Cultural Exchanges Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in the late 80s and early 90s. Daly will discuss economy, security and prospects for the future in U.S.-China relations.   Read more and register
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Dagomar Degroot
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by Department of History

Dagomar Degroot Dagomar Degroot is an environmental historian who bridges disciplines to investigate how people confront changes in the natural world. He has written a book, currently in peer review, that furnishes the first detailed analysis of relationships between climate change and the "Golden Age" of the Dutch Republic. His ongoing projects trace the human consequences of 17th century Arctic cooling; investigate connections between climate change and early modern conflict; and identify how people have responded to environmental changes in space. Degroot is the founder of, a website that attracts more than 100,000 viewers annually, and the co-founder of Climate History Network, an organization with more than 150 multidisciplinary members. In this lecture, Degroot examines whether climatic changes during the "Little Ice Age" from 1450 to 1850 led to more societal conflict. Read more and register at
Thursday, February 11, 2016

M. Sanjayan
7 p.m., Archie M. Griffin Ballroom, Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St.
Sponsored by Environmental Professionals Network

M. Sanjayan M. Sanjayan is a leading global conservation scientist, writer and an Emmy-nominated news contributor focused on the role of conservation in improving human well-being, wildlife and the environment. He serves on Conservation International's senior leadership team as executive vice president and senior scientist. Previously he was the senior scientist for The Nature Conservancy. His scientific work has been published in journals including Science, Nature, and Conservation Biology. He is a Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute. With remarks on " Central Ohio's Contributions to Protecting Earth's Environments and Peoples" by Tom Stalf, CEO of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The event is free but registration is required.
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Mike Chinoy
" Going Critical: North Korea's Bomb and Asian Security"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by Korean Studies Institute

Mike ChinoyMike Chinoy is senior fellow at the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California, and the author of Meltdown: The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis. He has served as a foreign correspondent for more than 30 years, including as CNN's senior Asia correspondent and Beijing bureau chief. He covered the 1989 events at Tiananmen Square, earning the CableACE, duPont and Peabody awards. He was also Hong Kong bureau chief for five years, and has visited North Korea 17 times. Chinoy will examine the current and future issues that threaten to destabilize the critical region of East Asia. Read more and register at
3:30 p.m., 1080 Derby Hall, 154 N. Oval Mall
Sponsored by Department of Geography

Matthew Zook Matthew Zook is professor of geography at University of Kentucky. He studies how the geoweb is produced order to better understand where, when, and by whom geo-coded content is being created. As an economic geographer Zook also studies study how flows of material goods in the global economy are shaped by immaterial flows of information. His interest is in the range of ways in which material and virtual flows are intertwined: sometimes complementary, sometimes contradictory, but always central to the evolution of spatial relations in the economy. In this talk, Zook will review the power-laden ways in which social media-derived data represent the cultures of cities as well as the potential problems in using these data for urban research and decision-making. Read more
Grant Opportunities
Elizabeth Gardiner
Elizabeth Gardiner (second from right), doctoral student in anthropology, interviews rural citizens about land privatization in Burkina Faso.

Mershon Center offers grants for research, study abroad

Each year, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies holds a competition for Ohio State faculty and students to apply for research grants and scholarship funds.

Applications for Faculty Research and Seed Grants and Graduate Student Research Grants must be for projects related to the study of national security in a global context. We are also interested in projects that emphasize the role of peace-building and development; strengthen the global gateways in China, India and Brazil; relate to campus area studies centers and institutes; or address the university's Discovery Themes of health and wellness, energy and the environment, and food production and security.

In recent years the center has funded several dozen faculty and graduate student research projects with grants for travel, seminars, conferences, interviews, experiments, surveys, library costs, and more. To learn about the types of projects being funded, please see faculty project summaries on the Mershon Center website under Research and graduate project summaries in past Annual Reports.

The Mershon Center has also established International Security Scholarships for Undergraduate Theses and Study Abroad to support undergraduates whose professional career plans lie in the field of international security and who would benefit doing research for an undergraduate thesis or studying in a foreign country. Applications will be evaluated by an interdisciplinary review committee that will make recommendations to the director of the Mershon Center. Scholarship amounts typically range from $2,000 to $3,000.

Application forms and instructions for all Mershon Center grants and scholarships can be found in the Grants section of the Mershon Center website. The deadline for all applications is 5 p.m. on Monday, February 22, 2016.
Office of International Affairs offers engagement awards

The Office of International Affairs is currently accepting applications for the International Engagement Awards as part of the University Outreach and Engagement Recognition Awards. Our office offers two awards:

The Distinguished International Engagement Award ($3,000) 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 of sustained impact, achievement and scholarship.

The Emerging International Engagement Award ($1,000) 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.

Applications are due by Tuesday, February 16, 2016, and can be submitted at
1501 Neil Avenue     |     Columbus, OH 43201     |     (614) 292-1681     |     Fax: (614) 292-2407