Mershon Center for International Security Studies
September 4, 2018
In This Issue
Bruno Cabanes
Donald G. & Mary A. Dunn Chair in Modern Military History
Une histoire de la guerre: Du XIXe siècle à nos jours [A History of War: From the 19th Century to the Present] (Seuil, 2018)
Joan Cashin
Professor of History
Yana Hashamova
Professor of Slavic and East European Cultures
Screening Trafficking: Prudent or Perilous (Central European University Press, 2018)
Mitch Lerner
Associate Professor of History
Eleanor Paynter
Doctoral Student in Comparative Studies
"The Liminal Lives of Europe's Transit Migrants" ( Contexts: Understanding People in Their Social Worlds, June 2018)
In the Media
Paul Beck
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioral Sciences
"How to Protect Your Vote in the Fall Elections"
August 28, 2018

"Can Trump Hold the GOP Together? Ohio Shows Some Clues"
Time via Yahoo
August 24, 2018
Mitchell Lerner
Associate Professor of History
"The Trump presidency marks the end of the American century"
The Washington Post
August 30, 2018

"John Bolton claims there's "concern" 3 countries besides Russia are meddling in elections"
August 19, 2018
Dakota Rudesill
Assistant Professor of Law
"Trump's Secret Order on Pulling the Cyber Trigger"
August 29, 2018

"Commentary: John McCain, up close, was remarkable leader"
August 28, 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.
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Mershon Events
Friday, September 14, 2018

Brooke Ackerly
"Climate Change Justice and Responsibility: Theorizing From the Coast of Climate Change"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Brooke Ackerly Brooke Ackerly is professor of political science at Vanderbilt University and co-editor-in-chief of the International Feminist Journal of Politics (2018-2021). In her research, teaching, and collaborations, she works to clarify without simplifying the most pressing problems of global justice, including human rights and climate change. Her most recent book is Just Responsibility: A Human Rights Theory of Global Justice (Oxford, 2018). In this presentation, based on research in Bangladesh, Ackerly will offer a grounded normative theory of climate change justice as a problem of global governance, which has surprising implications for taking responsibility for climate change globally. Read more and register at
Monday, September 17, 2018

Gabriella Blum
"How We Fight Wars Today"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Gabriella Blum Gabriella Blum is the Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Harvard Law School, specializing in public international law, the law of armed conflict, international negotiations, and counterterrorism. She is the author of The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones - Confronting a New Age of Threat (Basic Books, 2015), with Benjamin Wittes and recipient of the Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize. In this presentation, Blum will explore how the evolution of international law, technology, and social norms has contributed to the paradox of power, in which greater military power does not manifest itself in greater destruction, but, to the contrary, in greater restraint. Read more and register at
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Aila Matanock
"Electing Peace: From Civil Conflict to Political Participation"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Aila Matanock Aila Matanock, assistant professor of political science at University of California-Berkeley, will speak about her 2017 book, Electing Peace: From Civil Conflict to Political Participation (Cambridge). It won the 2018 Charles H. Levine Memorial Book Prize and was a runner up for the 2018 Conflict Research Society Book of the Year Prize. In Electing Peace, Matanock presents a theory that explains the causes and consequences of civil conflict settlements that enable the combatant sides to participate as political parties in post-conflict elections. Matanock finds that these provisions are associated with an increase in the chance that peace will endure, potentially contributing to a global decline in civil conflict. Read more and register at
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Meir Elran
"The Israeli Power Paradox"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Meir Elran Meir Elran is senior research fellow and head of the Homeland Security Program and co-head of the Society-Military Program at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. Brig. Gen. (ret.) Elran served in the Israel Defense Forces as a career officer for 24 years in senior command and staff positions, primarily in the Military Intelligence Directorate. His last post was deputy director of Military Intelligence (1987-1989). Elran's lecture will strive to explain why Israel, the strongest power in the Middle East, is facing difficulties in managing the continuous conflicts with much weaker adversaries such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Read more and register at
Thursday, October 4, 2018

John Mearsheimer
"The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

John Mearsheimer John Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1982. Mearsheimer has written extensively about security issues and international politics more generally. He is the author of six books including Conventional Deterrence (1983), which won the Edgar S. Furniss Jr. Book Award; The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (2001, 2014), which won the Joseph Lepgold Book Prize; The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (with Stephen M. Walt, 2007), which made the New York Times bestseller list; and Why Leaders Lie: The Truth about Lying in International Politics (2011). In this event, based on his new book, The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities, Mearsheimer will explain why liberal hegemony, the foreign policy pursued by the United States since the Cold War ended, was doomed to fail. Read more and register at
Mershon News
O'Brien joins Mershon Center as postdoctoral researcher
Michelle O_Brien
Michelle O'Brien
Michelle O'Brien is joining the Mershon Center for International Security Studies as a postdoctoral researcher. Her current research focuses on the consequences of exposure to armed conflict and violent events for individual and institutional change.

O'Brien's dissertation examined these consequences for education, migration, and abortion in Tajikistan after the 1992-1997 civil war. In a collaborative project, she used agent-based modeling to understand how individual and community-level processes contribute to long-term social change after the 1996-2006 Maoist rebellion in Nepal.

O'Brien is most recently the author of "Migration as an Adaptive Response to Ethnic Nationalism in Russia," in Migration Studies, in which she finds that ethnic minorities in Russia are more likely to out-migrate when faced with hate crimes and ethnic nationalist politics.

During her time at the Mershon Center, O'Brien will work with Mershon affiliate Hollie Nyseth Brehm and Kammi Schmeer, both from the Department of Sociology, on a project investigating the long-term social and demographic consequences of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Michelle has a B.A. in sociology from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Washington.
Mansoor to appear in WOSU dialogue
Peter Mansoor
Peter Mansoor
Mershon affiliate Peter Mansoor, Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History, will be featured in "Will the Forever War Ever End?," an upcoming event to mark the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks and their ongoing legacy in the United States.

Sponsored by WOSU Public Media and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, the event will feature an interview with Mansoor by Ann Fisher, host of All Sides with Ann Fisher on 89.7 NPR News. It will take place Tuesday, September 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road.

On Patriot's Day, this dialogue will consider whether the "Forever War" will ever end. What does the commitment of troops in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa mean for national security at home and abroad? What could be a strategy for ending a war on terror that has transformed into an endless war?

Enjoy complimentary light hors d'oeuvres and soft drinks prior to the program in the theater lobby starting at 5 p.m. The discussion will begin at 6 p.m. Registration is $15 for general admission and $5 for students, with student ID required at check-in. Tickets can be purchased here.
Other Events
Thursday, September 6, 2018

Phil Levy and Bin Yu
"Rising China: Trade and America's Pacific Posture "
6 p.m., 100 Mendenhall Lab, 125 S. Oval Mall
Sponsored by Alexander Hamilton Society at Ohio State

Phil Levy Bin YuJoin the Ohio State chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society for its first event of the 2018-2019 academic year, "Rising China: Trade and America's Pacific Posture" The discussion will feature Phil Levy (left) and Bin Yu (right), moderated by Peter Mansoor. Phil Levy is senior fellow for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Bin Yu is professor of political science and East Asian studies at Wittenberg University. AHS adviser Peter Mansoor is the Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History. The discussion will begin with trade but will gradually progress into broader concerns about U.S.-China relations. Be sure to attend this exciting event and enjoy free pizza and Coke products. Read more and register
Sunday, September 16, 2018

Michael Neblo
"Science Sundays" Politics with the People"
3 p.m., U.S. Bank Theater, Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St.
Sponsored by College of Arts and Sciences

Michael NebloCitizens and scholars alike worry about the health of representative democracy around the world today. They worry about resurgent nationalism across the globe as well as accusations of "democratic deficits" against technocrats. In the United States, public approval of Congress remains near its all-time low, with populist challenges roiling both major parties. Michael Neblo presents some realistic reform proposals based on his research into what ails democratic politics in the United States today. Neblo is associate professor of political science and (by courtesy) philosophy and public policy, and director of the Institute for Democratic Engagement and Accountability (IDEA) at The Ohio State University. Read more and register
Other News
Three area studies centers win federal grants

Three Ohio State Area Studies Centers have been awarded more than $6.67 million in U.S. Department of Education funding for the next four years. These awards support language and area studies learning and provide grant opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and professional school students.

The Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for Slavic and East European Studies and the East Asian Studies Center, all affiliated with the Office of International Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences, have been selected to receive Comprehensive National Resource Center and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship grants for the 2018-22 award period.

The grants will be used by the Area Studies Centers to sponsor a wide range of academic activities, provide training for secondary school teachers, expand instructional initiatives and conduct outreach activities with community colleges and minority-serving institutions.

Title VI National Resource Center grants are awarded to Area Studies Centers around the country to support foreign language, area, and international studies infrastructure. The support of these programs is an effort to ensure a steady supply of graduates with expertise in less commonly taught languages, world areas and transnational trends.
Call for Proposals: 2019 Community Engagement Conference

Proposals are now being accepted for Ohio State's second annual Community Engagement Conference, January 23-24, 2019, at the Ohio Union. The conference will bring together faculty, staff, students, and community partners to focus on professional development and making connections, while exploring new potential engagement partnerships. The theme of this year's conference is Partnering for a Resilient and Sustainable Future. Proposals are due by October 3, 2018. All accepted presentations and posters will receive a citable URL in Engaged Scholars (the conference proceedings).

Submit a proposal and learn more at
Ohio State releases new active aggressor video

It's scary to think about, but an active aggressor could strike any place, at any time. That's why Ohio State's Department of Public Safety has released a new "Surviving an Active Aggressor" video to educate the campus community. The 9-minute video provides important updates to the university's original safety tutorial released in 2015. The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority and we encourage all Buckeyes to watch.

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