Mershon Center for International Security Studies
August 21, 2018
In This Issue
Nicholas Breyfogle
Associate Professor of History
Nicholas Breyfogle is an editor of Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, which won a $100,000 grant from the Stanton Foundation. With this support, Origins will expand curricular material, produce video content, revise marketing and publicity, and develop material to distribute to policymakers.
Sarah Brooks
Professor of Political Science
Sarah Brooks was appointed associate editor of the American Journal of Political Science. As part of the editorial team, Brooks will work to secure high-quality reviews and identify manuscripts that satisfy the journal's expectations of intellectual contribution and scholarly impact.
Robert Holub
Oversight Committee
Robert Holub, Ohio Eminent Scholar and professor of German in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures (GLL), was appointed interim chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC), effective July 1. He was also reappointed chair of GLL, a post he has held since 2014. Holub is a member of the Mershon Center Oversight Committee.
Peter Mansoor
Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History
Peter Mansoor won the 2018 Adviser of the Year Award at the Alexander Hamilton Society Student Leadership Conference held in July in Washington, D.C. The Ohio State chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society also won 2018 Chapter of the Year.
Hollie Nyseth Brehm
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Hollie Nyseth Brehm, with her colleagues Christopher Uggen and Jean-Damascéne Gasanabo, received the James F. Short Distinguished Article Award from the American Sociological Association for "Age, Gender, and the Crime of Crimes: Toward a Life-Course Theory of Genocide Participation" published in the journal Criminology (2016).
In the Media
Paul Beck
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioral Sciences
"What to Know Ahead of Ohio's Special Congressional Election"
August 7, 2018
Joan Cashin
Professor of History
"Is this the US president most like Trump?"
BBC News
July 6, 2018
Richard Gunther
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
Paul Beck
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Erik Nisbet
Associate Professor of Communication
"Ohio State study: 'Fake news' probably helped flip Obama voters to Trump in 2016"
The Columbus Dispatch
May 7, 2018
Mitchell Lerner
Associate Professor of History
"Trump's unilateralism and Korea-US alliance"
The Korea Times
July 30, 2018
Kendra McSweeney
Professor of Geography
"Honduras: Indigenous Garifuna use radio to fight for their land"
June 25, 2018
John Mueller
Senior Research Scientist
Mark Stewart
Visiting Scholar
"The TSA has a new program that could spy on you. It's a massive waste of money."
August 6, 2018
Erik Nisbet
Associate Professor of Communication
Olga Kamenchuk
Associate Professor of Communication
"3 charts explain how Russians see Trump and US"
The Conversation
July 13, 2018
Dorothy Noyes
Professor of English and Comparative Studies
"For Hundreds of Years, Papier-Mâché Has Lent a Surreal Face to Catalan Culture"
July 3, 2018
Randy Schweller
Professor of Political Science
"A Perspective From A Pro-Trump Political Science Professor"
NPR Weekend Edition
June 9, 2018
Peter Shane
Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law
"Trump and His Lawyers Embrace a Vision of Vast Executive Power"
The New York Times
June 4, 2018
Thomas Wood
Assistant Professor of Political Science
"Why Americans are buying into rabid pro-Trump conspiracy theories"
Yahoo News
August 4, 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.
Stay Connected

You Tube icon give
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
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
Bill Liddle at Jakarta book launch
Bill Liddle (second from left), professor emeritus of political science, speaks at the National Library in Jakarta with his co-authors (left to right) Kuskridho (Dodi) Ambardi, Tom Pepinsky, and Saiful Mujani.

Liddle launches two books in Jakarta ceremony

Mershon affiliate Bill Liddle is a celebrity of sorts in Indonesia, known for his lifelong scholarship about Indonesian politics as well as his mentorship of Indonesian scholars.

In July, Liddle, professor emeritus of political science, was the star of the show during a launch for two of his books held at the National Library in Jakarta. About 300 people attended the invitation-only event, including the governor and vice-governor of Jakarta.

The front page of  Media Indonesia , a leading Jakarta daily, on July 16. The caption says "Indonesians are quite capable of creating their own democracy."
The books Liddle launched were
Voting Behavior in Indonesia since Democratization: Critical Democrats, with Saiful Mujani and Kuskridho Ambardi (Cambridge University Press, 2018), and
Piety and Public Opinion: Understanding Islam and Political Behavior, with Thomas Pepinsky and Saiful Mujani (Oxford University Press, 2018).

In addition to Liddle and his three co-authors, the launch featured Indonesia's most prominent political talk show host acting as moderator, and three discussants, all prominent public intellectuals and academics. After the discussants spoke, there was about an hour of questions from the floor.

The main topic of discussion was the rise of radical Islamic clerics and whether they pose a threat to the democratic constitution, which is multi-religious rather than strictly secular. Indonesians may adhere to one of six religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Orthodoxy for each is determined by officials of the Ministry of Religion in consultation with the relevant clerical organizations.

Piety and Public Opinion directly addresses the issue of whether pious Muslims prefer to be governed by syariah (Islamic law), while Voting Behavior in Indonesia examines religion as one of several independent variables influencing how Indonesians have voted in six national elections since democracy was restored in 1999.

Liddle and his co-authors find that most Muslims and Muslim voters do not want changes to the constitution or a syariah state, but are instead rational voters influenced by perceptions of governmental performance, especially connected to the economy, much like voters elsewhere.

This summer, Liddle also won the Anugerah Kebudayaan (Culture Award) from the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, given each year to foreigners in the social, political, economic, law, culture, and science fields who have greatly benefited the nation and state of Indonesia.
Other Events
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
2018 Education Abroad Expo to be September 4

The 2018 Education Abroad Expo is the perfect place to learn more about Ohio State's 200+ study abroad programs. Join us on Tuesday, September 4, from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Archie Griffin East Ballroom at the Ohio Union. Students can talk one-on-one with the experts and find out about the myriad of ways to study abroad at Ohio State. Visit the Office of International Affairs for all the details.
'Origins' looks at history of nuclear nonproliferation

Origins has published a new piece: " Fear and Loathing Around the World: The Rise of the New Populism" by Marc Horger, Gregory Kupsky, and Zoltan Adam.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Western politicians and commentators trumpeted the triumph of liberal democracy. Around the world, it seemed, democracy was on the march-in the former communist regimes of Eastern Europe, in large parts of Africa, and elsewhere in the developing world. 

Now, even the most optimistic must concede that the democratic wave has stalled and, in many places, is retreating. Voters across the globe have embraced some version of "populism" as a backlash against liberal democracy. This month we've invited three historians to examine the rise of nationalist populism in three countries: the United States, the Philippines, and Hungary.

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.
Alliance for the American Dream launched

The Ohio State University is collaborating with Schmidt Futures to launch the Alliance for the American Dream - an initiative to identify ideas that will foster true social mobility, true equality of opportunity and a true middle class that is attainable and sustainable. Together with members of our communities, thought leaders, and business leaders, we will generate ideas to improve the lives of middle class families in Ohio by 2020 - extending to communities across the United State in the years to come. To learn more, visit
New teaching resources available for fall semester

The Teaching in CarmenCanvas page on the ODEE site brings together a wide variety of resources from Ohio State faculty, instructional designers and the makers of the Canvas software that powers Carmen. The Autumn 2018 edition features stories about teaching with technology, best practices for Carmen courses and assignments, app tutorials and so much more. Be sure to visit this page often to stay engaged with the teaching tools available and to learn new and innovative ways to enhance the learning experience.
1501 Neil Avenue     |     Columbus, OH 43201     |     (614) 292-1681     |     Fax: (614) 292-2407