Mershon Center for International Security Studies
October 28, 2013
In This Issue
Mitch Lerner
Director, Institute for Korean Studies

For winning a major grant from the Korea Foundation to develop and coordinate Korean studies courses for undergraduate students at Big Ten Universities in partnership with colleagues in the Big Ten's Committee on Institutional Cooperation. The first courses will launch in Spring 2014.

Ted Hopf
Former Affiliate

For winning the Marshall Shulman Book Prize for Reconstructing the Cold War: The Early Years, 1945-1958 (Oxford, 2012). Awarded annually by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the prize recognizes an outstanding monograph dealing with the international relations, foreign policy, or foreign-policy decision-making of any of the states of the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe. The Mershon Center supported Hopf's research on this book when he was at Ohio State.

In the Media
Paul Beck
Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Sociology and Communication

"In Ohio, Tea Party Proud of Boehner"
October 9, 2013
U.S. News and World Report

"Safe U.S. House seats guarantee gridlock"
October 13, 2013
Columbus Dispatch
Gleb Tsipursky
Assistant Professor of History

"Class-sourcing as teaching strategy"
October 18, 2013
Inside Higher Ed

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, November 7, 2013

Sheena Chestnut Greitens
"Coercive Institutions and State Violence under Authoritarianism"
12:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Sheena Chestnut Greitens Sheena Chestnut Greitens is a scholar at Harvard University's Academy for International and Area Studies. She is also an associate in research at Harvard's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, and an assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard in 2013. Her research focuses on authoritarianism, state-society relations, and international security in East Asia. In this presentation, she will examine the origins and operation of the coercive apparatus in three Cold War anticommunist authoritarian regimes -- Taiwan, the Philippines, and South Korea. Read more and register at
Friday, November 8, 2013

Edgar S. Furniss Book Award Winner
Joshua Rovner
"Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence"
12:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Joshua Rovner Joshua Rovner is John Goodwin Tower Professor of International Politics and National Security at Southern Methodist University. He is also director of studies at the Tower Center for Political Studies, a interdisciplinary center for public and international affairs. Rovner is author of Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell, 2011), which won the International Studies Association award for best book in security studies, as well as the Edgar S. Furniss Book Award from the Mershon Center. In addition to his work on intelligence and foreign policy, he writes widely on nuclear weapons and contemporary strategy. Read more and register at
Friday, November 15, 2013

Joseph J. Kruzel Memorial Lecture
Aaron Friedberg
"A Contest for Supremacy: China, America and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia"
12:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Aaron Friedberg Aaron Friedberg is professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1987, and co-director of the Woodrow Wilson School's Center for International Security Studies. He is author of The Weary Titan: Britain and the Experience of Relative Decline, 1895-1905 (winner of the Edgar S. Furniss Book Award) and In the Shadow of the Garrison State: America's Anti-Statism and its Cold War Grand Strategy, both published by Princeton. His latest book is A Contest for Supremacy: China, America and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia (Norton, 2011). In this presentation, Friedberg will examine the factors that appear to be impelling the United States and China towards a deepening geopolitical rivalry. Read more and register at
Monday, November 18, 2013

Patrice McMahon
"Partners in Peace? Non-Governmental Organizations in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding"
12:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Patrice McMahon Patrice McMahon is associate professor of political science and director of global engagement for the College of Arts and Sciences at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is the author of Taming Ethnic Hatreds: Ethnic Cooperation and Transnational Networks in Eastern Europe (Syracuse, 2007) and has two edited books, At Home and Abroad: How States Respond to Human Security (2013) and Statebuilding and the International Community: Getting its Act Together? (2012). Focusing on the Balkans, McMahon will explain the contradictory and often negative role played by the international community in supporting NGOs in peacebuilding environments. Read more and register at

Other Events
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Anastasiya Astapova
"The Contested Biographies of Political Leaders: The Case of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus"
4 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by the Center for Folklore Studies

A recurrent and seemingly universal phenomenon of political leadership is the doubling of biographies. There is an official biography, both personal and professional, often presented through state-sponsored media. But alternative beliefs and narratives also circulate. A famous example is that of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, who was rumored to have died in the middle of his presidency and been replaced by a look-alike for the TV cameras; the United States has also seen extensive public argument over the birthplace of Barack Obama. Some biographies of contemporary leaders have counter-beliefs for almost every element in them, starting from the birth of the leader. Based on recent ethnographic fieldwork, this talk focuses on the official and vernacular biographies of the current president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko. Anastasiya AstapovaPh.D. candidate at University of Tartu in Estonia, will ask how the biographies differ, how and by whom each version is constructed, and what consequences result.  Read more
Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Priscilla Clapp
"From Burma to Myanmar: Hard Road to the Rule of Law"
6 p.m., Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center, 65 S. Front St.
Sponsored by the Ohio State Bar Association

Diplomat Priscilla Clapp will address the many difficult issues facing Myanmar as it haltingly moves toward democracy and adopting the rule of law. Once known as "the jewel of Asia," Myanmar is strategically wedged between China and India. It is rich in natural resources -- oil, gas, timber, gems, and minerals. World leaders praise Myanmar for adopting political and economic reforms once unimaginable. Yet establishing the rule of law remains vexing after more than 50 years of crushing military rule when generals made the laws and controlled the courts. Clapp served as the U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Burma for three years. She is currently advising the Asia Society and the United States Institute of Peace's Rule of Law Center. RSVP to or 614.387.9003 by Friday, November 1.


Featured News
Jack Donnelly
Jack Donnelly spoke at the Mershon Center on September 12, 2013.
Donnelly speaks on international structure theory

Watch a streaming video of Jack Donnelly, Andrew Mellon Professor in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at University of Denver, speaking about "Anarchy is not an Ordering Principle, Anarchy Has No Effects: Rethinking the Elements of International Structures."  His talk presented material from recent articles in International Organization, European Journal of International Relations, and International Theory, and is a step on the path towards a book tentatively titled "The Structures of International Societies."

Mershon News
International Photography Competition calls for entries


The Office of International Affairs is accepting entries for its annual International Photography Competition where Ohio State faculty, staff, students and visiting scholars are invited to submit photos taken outside of the United States. All photographs must be the original work of the entrant and of high quality.


First, second and third place awards as well as "honorable mention" awards will be made for each of the three categories: people, places and food. A "Best of Show" will be awarded, and more than $400 in prize money will be distributed to the winning entries.


The International Photography Exhibition, which includes the winning photographs from the competition, will be on display in the East Art Lounge in the Ohio Union. These photographs will be showcased during December 2013.


The deadline for entries is 4 p.m., Monday, November 4, 2013. For more information, see the competition rules.

Origins examines historical roots of Trayvon Martin case


Origins has just published its new article: "Justice Denied: The Killing of Trayvon Martin in Historical Perspective," by Hasan Kwame Jeffries.  


The basic fact was never in dispute: on February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in the town of Sanford, Fla. When a verdict of "not guilty" was announced, African Americans saw the outcome as another painful link in a chain of unpunished cruelty dating back hundreds of years. 


This month historian Hasan Kwame Jeffries examines the long history of racial violence in America and how the issue of race permeated every aspect of the tragedy from the shooting, to the reluctance of the local police to arrest Zimmerman, to the conduct of the trial itself. 


The whole article can be found at As always, you can listen to the podcast



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