Mershon Center for International Security Studies
October 7, 2013
In This Issue
Corrine McConnaughy
Named a new guest contributor to the Washington Post's popular political science and politics blog, The Monkey Cage. McConnaughy will be posting on a regular basis, highlighting Ohio State as a player in the "political science can inform politics" game.

In the Media
Craig Jenkins
Director, Mershon Center for International Security Studies

"Mall Safety a Concern After Terrorist Attack in Kenya"
September 23, 2013

John Mueller
Ralph D. Mershon Senior Research Scientist

"America is Spending Too Much on Defense"
October 3, 2013

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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Coming up at the Mershon Center
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Norman MacLeod
"The Causes of Extinction: Setting the Modern Biodiversity Crisis in Context"
12:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Norman MacLeod Norman, MacLeod is dean of post-graduate education and training at the Natural History Museum in London. His research has made significant contributions to new morphometric data-analysis methods, the punctuated-equilibrium controversy, as well as the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction controversy. MacLeod is author of The Great Extinctions: What Causes them and How They Shape Life (NHN Press, 2013). He will discuss causes of ancient extinctions in the context of the modern biodiversity crisis. Read more and register at
Friday-Saturday, October 11-12, 2013

The Confirming Presidential Election of 2012
Conference organized by Herb Weisberg
120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Herb WeisbergThe Confirming Presidential Election of 2012 will examine the 2012 presidential campaign and election, analyzing factors that affected voting, including the impact of domestic, foreign, and military policy debates. The 2012 election confirmed Obama's 2008 voter coalition of African-Americans, Hispanics, women, gays, and young people, with each of these groups continuing to vote Democratic and with higher than their normal turnout levels. Thus, the 2012 election could be seen as confirming a pro-Democratic realignment that had emerged in the 2008 election, which could have long-term implications. Read more and register at
Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pauline Jones-Luong
"Crude Ambitions: The Internationalization of Emerging National Oil Companies"
4 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Pauline Jones Luong Pauline Jones-Luong is professor of political science at University of Michigan. Her scholarly work contributes broadly to the study of institutional origin, change, and impact in a wide variety of settings: newly emergent states with multiple competing subnational identities, states transitioning from planned to market economies, states rich in natural resources, and states with predominantly Muslim populations. She will discuss why national oil companies in developing countries have had varying levels of success. Read more and register at
Friday, October 18, 2013

Comparative National Elections Project: Key Findings and Future Directions
Workshop organized by Richard Gunther
9:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Richard Gunther This workshop will present findings of the Comparative National Elections Project that will be published in a volume edited by Richard Gunther, Paul Beck (both of the Mershon Center), Pedro Magalh�es (University of Lisbon), and Alejandro Moreno (Autonomous Technological Institute, Mexico). This is the Mershon Center's longest-running research project, and it has become the second-largest survey-based research project in the world, now including over 40 countries on five continents. The editors will summarize and lead discussions on the wide-ranging empirical findings and their implications for both social science theory-building and the real world of democratic politics. Read more and register at
Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sheila Miyoshi Jager
"Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea"
12:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Shiela Miyoshi Jager Sheila Miyoshi Jager is associate professor and program director of East Asian studies at Oberlin College. She has authored three books, including Narratives of Nation Building in Korea: A Genealogy of Patriotism (M.E. Sharpe, 2003), Ruptured Histories: War, Memory and the Post-Cold War in Asia (Harvard University Press, 2007), and Brothers At War: The Unending Conflict in Korea (W.W. Norton/Profile Books, 2013). In this presentation, she will trace the story of Korean competition and conflict over the peninsula: an unending war between two "brothers" with ramifications for the rest of the world. Read more and register at
Friday, October 25, 2013

Douglas MacLean
"Some Reflections on the Value of Pain and Suffering"
4 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Douglas MacLean Douglas MacLean is professor of philosophy at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His research and teaching are primarily in ethics, focusing on philosophical issues in public policy. MacLean has edited and contributed to several books on ethical issues involving the management of public risks, including Energy and the Future and Values at Risk. His recent work also addresses issues in environmental ethics and techniques for measuring costs and benefits in public policy decisions. In this talk, he will make the case that pain and suffering are woven into human life in ways that we cannot imagine eliminating without making our lives and much of what we value unrecognizable. Read more and register at

Other Events
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kazunari Yoshimura
"Drying Earth: Current Global Water Issues and Provisions"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by Institute for Japanese Studies

A third of the world's population lives in water-stressed countries. With increasing water demands, this number is expected to rise to two thirds by 2025. Join Kazunari Yoshimura as he gives a general overview of global water issues and discusses the possibility of U.S.-Japan cooperation in terms of water treatment, water security and disaster prevention. In his lecture, Yoshimura will also go into detail on wastewater treatment technologies in both the United States and in Japan  and will discuss his experience as a technical advisor to the United Nations as well as Japan's official development assistance and contributions as a member of the international community. Read more
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Yana Hashamova
"War Rapes: Redefining Motherhood, Fatherhood, and Nationhood"
5 p.m., Faculty Club Grand Lounge, 181 S. Oval Drive
Sponsored by College of Arts and Sciences

Yana Hashamova is director of the Center for Slavic and East European Studies at The Ohio State University. Based on Slavenka Draculic's S.: A Novel about the Balkans (1999) and Jasmila Zbanic's Esma's Secret (2006), her paper considers the horrors of war rapes and their consequences for a generation of women who were forced to experience motherhood under transgressive circumstances, the mytho-creation of fatherhood, and the new(old) face of nationhood in Bosnia. Read more and register
Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Eric Klinenberg
"Adaptation: Climate Change and the Future of Cities"
4:30 p.m., 165 Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave Mall
Sponsored by the Humanities Institute

Eric Klinenberg is professor of sociology, public policy, and media, culture, and communications at New York University.  His most recent book, Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, was published in 2012. He is also the author of award-winning books Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago and Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media. Read more  


Featured News

Climate, Security, Health and Resilience graphic
Mershon, Byrd Polar launch new initiative on climate

The Mershon Center for International Security Studies and the Byrd Polar Research Center are joining forces to develop a multiyear initiative to bring together faculty and graduate students to study the impact of climate on human health, international security, and resilience of societies.

Craig Jenkins
Craig Jenkins, director of the Mershon Center

The Climate, Security, Health and Resilience initiative will sponsor a series of outside speakers, internally focused workshops and leading edge conferences focused on integrating what is known about a range of major topics regarding climate and society.


The project will bring together an interdisciplinary world-class cohort of Ohio State experts -- including climatologists, geographers, sociologists, political scientists, legal experts, medical scientists, and historians -- who both study the climate itself and assess its impacts on society.


Unique to the CSHR initiative is its two complementary approaches on past and future. On the one hand, project leaders seek to "rewind" the tape of history to study similar climate-induced catastrophes in the past; on the other, they hope to "fast forward" to predict what might happen in the future based on our best understanding and climate models.


Ellen Mosley-Thompson
Ellen Mosley-Thompson, director of Byrd Polar Research Center

A major feature of CSHR is a series of workshops to take place in coming years on climate and health, climate and food security, climate and water security, climate and population dynamics, and climate and human conflict. 


These events will be designed to answer questions such as:  How does climate and associated climate change affect disease and human health? How does climate affect international security, including the spawning of instability and violence and new areas of international engagement? How does climate affect the resilience of societies and their ability to adapt and adjust to climate challenges?


CSHR will also encourage the preparation of faculty proposals for outside funding to private, federal, and international agencies such as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Gates Foundation, and Mellon Foundation. Students may be involved through the creation of climate-centered study abroad programs, and links will be formed with agencies doing similar research both domestically and abroad.


For more information, see the Mershon News story.

Mershon News
Two graduate student affiliates win Fulbright-Hays grants


Two graduate student affiliates of the Mershon Center are among this year's winners of the prestigious Fulbright-Hays grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Kirsten Hildonen and Ian Johnson, both from the Department of History, were selected to participate in the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad program.


Kirsten Hildonen

The Fulbright-Hays grant enables the students to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. Only 75 fellowships were awarded out of 320 applications nationwide.


Hildonen will travel to Serbia to focus her research on the practices of everyday life and the fluidity of community relations in the context of violent conflict during the period of German military and political occupation in Belgrade during World War II. She won a 2012 grant from the Mershon Center for her project "Belgrade at War."


Ian Johnson Johnson will conduct his research in Russia and explore the secret treaty signed by the Germans and the Soviets that laid the groundwork for a cooperative military program. He describes it as a wager - an exchange of Soviet space for German technology - upon which World War II would turn. He won a 2013 Mershon Center grant for his project "The Faustian Pact: Secret German-Soviet Military Cooperation in the Interwar Period."  Read more here.

Upcoming events with the Sawyer Seminar


The Sawyer Seminar is a series of events and activities through October 2014 centered around the theme "CrossRoads: Culture, Politics, and Belief in the Balkans and South Asia."


The seminar features nine lectures by invited speakers, two film screenings with discussion led by the directors, and a two-semester discussion group and seminar course, culminating in a conference in October 2014 that brings together specialists of the two regions.


Kristen Ghodsee On October 14, Kristen Ghodsee (left), John S. Osterweis Associate Professor and program director of Gender and Women's Studies at Bowdoin College, presents "Transnational State Feminisms: Bulgarian, African, and South Asian Women's Movements During the Cold War."


On November 4, Victor Friedman, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago, will present "The Indic Origins of Europe's Romani People: From Myth to History and Back Again."


On December 2, Chandra Mallampalli, associate professor of history at Westmont University, will present "Religion, Law, and Identity in Colonial India: The Role of Court Cases in Defining Religious Boundaries."


Five Mershon affiliates were part of the faculty group that won a grant from the Mellon Foundation to organize the Sawyer Seminar.

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