Mershon Center for International Security Studies
August 27, 2014
In This Issue
Richard Herrmann
Distinguished Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences and former Mershon Center director

Randy Schweller
Professor of Political Science 
Presented about the conflict in Ukraine in an event called "Russian Roulette: Putin's Gamble" at the Columbus Metropolitan Club on August 20, 2014.  See video from the event in the CMC video archive.
In the Media
Christopher Gelpi
Chair of Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution
"Poll: How far should U.S. go in Iraq?"
August 18, 2014
Richard Gunther
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
"Constitutional Modernization Commission Looks At State's Redistricting Plan"
August 7, 2014

"Changes Could be Coming to the Ohio Constitution, Part 2"
August 13, 2014
Brian Joseph
Distinguished University Professor of Linguistics
"How Language Changes, Courtesy of Yelp and The Gray Lady"
July 31, 2014
Peter Mansoor
Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History
"U.S. launches air strikes in Iraq"
August 11, 2014
Randy Schweller
Professor of Political Science
"Are We Entering an Age of Global Disorder?"
August 5, 2014

"Is Global Chaos the New Normal?"
July 29, 2014

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
Thursday-Saturday, September 4-7, 2014

Sustainable Pluralism: Linguistic and Cultural Resilience in Multiethnic Societies
Organized by the Mershon Research Network in Cultural Resilience
120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Sustainable PluralismThis conference examines the grassroots strategies by which minority languages and cultural practices are sustained in plural societies. Weak actors defend themselves and pursue their goals through accommodation, avoidance, and nichemaking. Our international case studies come from Tibet, New Orleans, Mongolia, the Philippines, Greenland, Jewish Krakow, Russian Alaska, indigenous Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, the Lake Michigan Potawatomi, the Senegambian borderland, western China, and beyond. Keynote speakers Lenore Grenoble (Univerity of Chicago), Camiel Hamans (European Union), and Salikoko Mufwene (Univerity of Chicago) will offer us views on the question from the Arctic, Brussels, and subsaharan Africa. Read more and register at
Monday, September 8, 2014

Mark Stewart
"Climate Change Risk Assessment: Is Adaptation a Workable Solution to Climate Change?"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Mark Stewart Mark Stewart is director of the Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability at  University of Newcastle in Australia. He is co-author of Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Engineering Systems (Chapman & Hall, 1997) and Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security (Oxford, 2011). He has more than 25 years of experience in probabilistic risk and vulnerability assessment of infrastructure and security systems. In this presentation, Stewart will apply risk and cost-benefit considerations to climate adaptation strategies, arguing that climate change threats are manageable at a cost to the United States of $20 billion per year or 0.5 percent of the federal budget.  Read more and register at
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Waging Peace
Panel discussion sponsored by the Mershon Center and Humanities Institute
4 p.m., Saxbe Auditorium, Moritz College of Law, 55 W. 12th Ave.

This event is an exploration of non-violent approaches to resolving international conflict. Panelists and guests will discuss the sources of military conflict and explore non-violent strategies designed to promote peace. The event will examine the impact of democracy, human rights, and trade on international peace-building; explore the impact of U.N. peacekeeping; and talk about grassroots peace and anti-intervention movements. Moderated by Fred Andrle, Humanities Institute associate and former host of WOSU's Open Line. Read more and register at
Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Crisis in Iraq
"Causes, Consequences, and Options Going Forward"
6 p.m. 352 Drinko Hall, Moritz College of Law, 55 W. 12th Ave.

After the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011, post-war Iraq faced many challenges and threats that led to the deterioration of the Iraqi state. Key causes and consequences of this deterioration include the rise of the Islamic State, ineffectual leadership of the Al-Maliki government, and growing internal tensions between Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurdish denizens. This event will feature a discussion between Peter Mansoor, Mason Chair in Military History, and Emma Sky of Yale University on the situation in Iraq, key challenges, and options for U.S. policy going forward. Co-sponsored by the Ohio State chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society.  Read more and register at iraq
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Eldar Shafir
"The Scarcity Mindset and its Consequences"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Eldar Shafir Eldar Shafir is the William Stewart Tod Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, and co-founder and scientific director at ideas42, a social science R&D lab. He studies decision-making, cognitive science, and behavioral economics. His recent research has focused on decision-making in contexts of poverty and on the application of behavioral research to policy. In this talk, Shafir will review recent research into the psychology that emerges in contexts of scarcity, and the decisions -- occasionally commendable, often problematic -- that ensue. Some implications for thinking about scarcity (especially poverty) and for policy will be considered. Read more and register at

Featured News
Event archives
Mershon events live on through recorded archives


Each year, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies holds about 50 speaker events and conferences that reach more than 3,000 attendees from across Ohio State and the Central Ohio community.


Besides attending an event in person, you may also be able to view it on streaming video and podcast, provided the speaker has given permission to record the event. Over the past 10 years, the Mershon Center has built a library of almost 500 event recordings, which are available in two areas.


Events from Fall 2008 forward are now available under Events on the Mershon Center website. You can browse by month using the dropdown menu to the left on the Events page, or search for a speaker name or keyword in the website search function.


All past events are available in the Mershon Center community of the Knowledge Bank, an online archive sponsored by the Ohio State Libraries and Office of the Chief Communications Officer. You can browse the Events section of the community or search by name or keyword. You can also access the Knowledge Bank by clicking on the link in the footer that appears at the bottom of every page on the Mershon Center website.


The Mershon Center event recordings drastically increase the number of people in the center's audience every year. In 2012-13, for example, almost 6,000 people in 31 countries watched almost 14,000 streaming videos and downloaded almost 80,000 podcasts of Mershon Center events.


See a list of streaming videos from the 2013-14 Mershon Center events at


Mershon News
Atzili wins Furniss Award for 'Good Fences, Bad Neighbors'


Boaz Atzili

Since World War II, nations have operated under the consensus that territorial aggression and conquest of one state by another should be prohibited. While this has greatly reduced conflict between states, it also may have resulted in an unintended consequence: a proliferation of failed states where government is dysfunctional, social ties are lacking, and civil war is common.


This argument is set forth by Boaz Atzili, associate professor in the School of International Service at American University, in his first book, Good Fences, Bad Neighbors: Border Fixity and International Conflict.


The book, published by University of Chicago Press in 2012, is winner of the Mershon Center's Edgar S. Furniss Book Award. The winning author receives a cash grant and is invited to speak at Mershon Center.


Atzili will speak on Monday, October 6, 2014, at 3:30 p.m. Read more and register for this event at  Read more about the Furniss Book Award and Atzili's winning book at


Study finds why some firms are 'named and shamed' by activists


A new study of the anti-sweatshop campaigns of the 1990s reveals which companies are most likely to become targets of anti-corporate activists.


Researchers found that companies tended to attract the attention of labor activists if they were large, had prominent brand images, or had good corporate reputations. When combined, these factors were especially important.


"Companies that had all of these characteristics were nearly guaranteed to be a target of activism," said Tim Bartley, lead author of the study and associate professor of sociology at The Ohio State University.


The researchers focused on 151 large U.S. lead firms in the apparel, textile and footwear industries. They looked for evidence of anti-sweatshop activism from 1993 to 2000 that was reported in major trade journals.


Bartley conducted the study with Curtis Child of Brigham Young University. Their results appear in the journal American Sociological Review.  Read more at Ohio State Research News.


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