Mershon Center for International Security Studies
October 16, 2017
In This Issue
Janet Box-Steffensmeier
Divisional Dean, Social and Behavioral Science

Janet Box-Steffensmeier was selected for the Alumni Award of Merit from her undergraduate alma mater, Coe College. She will receive the award on October 12 at the Coe College Homecoming.
In the Media
Carole Fink
Professor Emeritus of History
"Many tests for a weaker Angela Merkel"
Star News
October 4, 2017
Bill Liddle
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
"Long Agenda Awaits Next Jakarta Governor After High-Stakes Campaign"
Voice of America
October 12, 2017
Hollie Nyseth Brehm
Assistant Professor of Sociology
"Perpetrators of genocide commonly say they are 'good people' when defending themselves in court"
Peter Mansoor
Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History
"British Foreign Minister discusses Brexit, threats of security, at Ohio State event"
The Lantern
October 4, 2017
Peter Shane
Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law
"The NFL and the First Amendment: A Guide to the Debate"
Washington Post
October 5, 2017
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
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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

Michael Fischerkeller Michael Fischerkeller is a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses, where he supports U.S. regional and functional and multinational force commanders, including deployments to U.S. Pacific Command, Iraq and Afghanistan. He earned a Ph.D. in international relations and research methods from Ohio State and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Mershon Center. This presentation will offer the bases of an argument that, within cyberspace, the protection or advancement of national interests cannot rest on deterrence as the central strategy but can be realized through a strategy that captures and takes advantage of unique characteristics of the domain - a strategy of persistence. Read more and register at
Thursday, October 19, 2017

James Fearon
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

James Fearon James D. Fearon is Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and professor of political science at Stanford University. His research focuses on political violence - interstate, civil, and ethnic conflict in particular. In addition he has worked on aspects of democratic theory and the impact of democracy on foreign policy. Fearon was elected member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2012 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002. In this presentation, Fearon will argue that arms are useful not only for deterrence or taking territory, but also because they influence the resolution of a set of disputed issues. It is shown that states can cooperate on the issues by limiting military competition, but only as far as a "war constraint" allows. Read more and register at
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Cosette Creamer
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Cosette Creamer Cosette Creamer is Benjamin E. Lippincott Chair in Political Economy at the University of Minnesota and affiliated faculty at the University of Minnesota Law School. Her research and teaching interests rest at the intersection of international and comparative law, politics, and the empirical analysis of law. The substantive focus of her research spans trade and economic law, international arbitration and dispute resolution, and human rights. In this talk, Creamer will discuss when the WTO's dispute settlement system asserts authority over or defers to the regulatory choices of government. Read more and register at
Mershon News
Perpetrators of genocide say they're 'good people'

Hollie Nyseth Brehm
The men who were tried for their role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide that killed up to 1 million people want you to know that they're actually very good people.

That's the most common way accused men try to account for their actions in testimony before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, a new study has found.

Researchers examined more than 10,000 pages of testimony from 27 defendants at the ICTR to determine how these men tried to explain their involvement in the genocidal violence.

They found that an "appeal to good character" was used by defendants more than all other explanations combined to say why they weren't guilty of the horrible crimes they were accused of committing.

"Genocide has been called the crime of crimes, and these accused perpetrators very much understood that," said Mershon affiliate Hollie Nyseth Brehm, co-author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at The Ohio State University.

"They were trying to protect their reputation. Rather than acknowledging their role, they emphasized what good people they were and talked about their good deeds and admirable character traits."

Brehm's research on perpetrators of genocide has been supported by grants from the Mershon Center in 2014-15 and 2017-18.

Nyseth Brehm conducted the study with Emily Bryant of Boston University, Emily Brooke Schimke of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Christopher Uggen of the University of Minnesota. Their results appear online in the journal Social Problems and will be published in a future print edition.

Read the rest of this story at
Other Events
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

CHINA Town Hall with Ambassador Susan E. Rice and Tashi Rabgey
6 p.m., 100 Ramseyer Hall, 29 W. Woodruff Ave.
Sponsored by Institute for Chinese Studies

Tashi Ragbey A national conversation on China taking place in 80+ communities throughout the United States, the CHINA Town Hall at Ohio State University begins with a talk at 6 p.m. by Tashi Rabgey (left), Research Professor of International Affairs, Elliot School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, on  "Missing Territoriality: Tibet and the Governance Paradigm in the People's Republic of China," followed by a live webcast discussion with Ambassador Susan E. Rice, former national security adviser and ambassador to the United Nations, moderated by Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Read more
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

COMPAS Colloquium
"Roadmap for A Shared Society: How Israeli Jews and Palestinians Can Live and Prosper Together"
2 p.m., 165 Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave. Mall
Sponsored by Center for Ethics and Human Values

Givat logo The Center for a Shared Society at Givat Haviva aims to build an inclusive, sustainable, thriving Israeli democracy based on mutual responsibility and civic equality. Its leading work has been recognized by the award of the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education. Yaniv Sagee, executive director of Givat Haviva International, and Mohammad Darawshe, director of Shared Society education department, will discuss how they engage Israel's divided communities in collective action towards the advancement of a shared vision of the future. They will also consider how their model for developing equality and coexistence might be applied in other contexts of societies with deep historical, political and social rifts. Read more
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

J.D. Vance
4:30 p.m., Mershon Auditorium, 1871 N. High St.
Sponsored by Provost's Lecture Program

J.D. Vance J.D. Vance will propose a hands-on approach to problems facing his native state of Ohio: opioid addiction, under-preparedness of the workforce, and domestic instability. Through his non-profit organization, Our Ohio Renewal, Vance, a 2009 alumnus of Ohio State, will tackle these issues that shaped his upbringing in Middletown, Ohio, subject of Hillbilly Elegy, Vance's No. 1 New York Times best-seller.  Described as a "brilliant book" and  "one of the most important" reads of 2016,  Hillbilly Elegy  is a searing portrait of the lives of the white working class, providing timely perspective on the rise of political populism and the growing concerns of many Americans.  Read more and register
Other News
'Origins' examines infrastructure projects in America

Origins has published its new article: " Colonizing Mars: Practicing Other Worlds on Earth" by Lisa Rand Ruth.

In 1897, southern England was invaded by Martians. Or rather that was the plot of H. G. Wells's now-classic novel The War of the Worlds. Those of us on Earth have long been fascinated by what we might find on the red planet. Could humans travel there and survive? This month, historian Lisa Rand Ruth charts the decades of experiments here on Earth to prepare for a voyage to Mars. Read the article at .

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.
Career Talk: "Working as a Foreign Service Officer in East Asia"

Brian Gibel Interested in learning about how to apply area studies and your language skills professionally? Have you considered pursuing a career in diplomacy? Join the East Asian Studies Center for a career talk by Brian Gibel, U.S. Department of State, as he discusses life in the Foreign Service, the opportunities and challenges of working overseas, and the most pressing issues concerning the East Asian region. The event takes place Wednesday, October 18, at 5:30 p.m. in Room 100, Ramseyer Hall, 29 W. Woodruff Ave.) Registration is required. Read more:
Undergraduates invited to apply for Propel Ohio summit

Propel Ohio is a leadership program that promotes civic engagement and inspires undergraduate students to grow into civic leaders in Ohio. Undergraduate students are invited to apply to participate in Propel Ohio: Collegiate Leadership Summit 2017, which will be held on Friday, Nov. 17 at the University of Akron. The program will actively engage with college students on issues that affect childhood poverty, including food security, inequities in education, and homelessness. The application deadline is Tuesday, October 10. Read more:
Call for Abstracts: Questioning Science in Uncertain Times

In addition to the two keynote speakers, our workshop will feature contributed papers that address the theme of the workshop: How should scholars working in Science and Technology Studies and allied fields approach science and technology in these "uncertain" times? We encourage both submissions that interrogate the role of STS and consider questions of science and democratization (e.g. social movements, citizen science, populism, the politics of knowledge and ignorance, etc.), how values are formed in science, the role of art and design in scientific critique, and structural inequalities and the politics of science and technology. 

To submit a paper for consideration, please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words, including references. Each speaker will have 30 minutes to present their paper during the workshop. The closing date for abstracts is November 1, 2017. To submit an abstract, please email it as a PDF attachment to

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