Mershon Center for International Security Studies
August 28 , 2017
In This Issue
Peter Hahn
Professor and Chair of History

Peter Hahn was honored by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) with its first Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes Hahn's tenure as executive director of SHAFR (2002-2015) as one of "extraordinary administrative competence" and "deep moral integrity and steadfast courtesy and concern for others."
Brian Joseph
Distinguished University Professor of Linguistics

Brian Joseph is project director on a new $74,808 NEH Digital Advancement Grant, "Named Entity Recognition for the Classical Languages for the Building of a Catalog of Ancient Peoples." The project involves the creation of a catalog of individuals and groups mentioned in ancient sources, to focus on the historical role played by those other than the "great actors." The team will use Named Entity Recognition, a computational linguistics method which identifies people and place names in texts and then sorts them into pre-defined categories.
Hollie Nyseth Brehm
Assistant Professor of Sociology

Hollie Nyseth Brehm has been elected to the advisory board of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS). The IAGS is a global, interdisciplinary, non-partisan organization that seeks to further research and teaching about the nature, causes and consequences of genocide, and advance policy studies on the prevention of suicide.
In the Media
Paul Beck
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioral Sciences
"Protesters pressure Portman on health care"
July 6, 2017

"National Politics Roundtable"
July 27, 2017

Rachel Bowen
Associate Professor of Political Science
July 11, 2017
Skyler Cranmer
Carter Phillips and Sue Henry Associate Professor of Political Science
July 19, 2017
William "Chip" Eveland
Professor of Communication
July 12, 2017
Richard Gunther
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
June 25, 2017
Mitch Lerner
Associate Professor of History
"China can't tame North Korea. The U.S. has to."
Washington Post
July 5, 2017

"The U.S.'s North Korea Problem"
Ohio State Insights
August 14, 2017

Erik Nisbet
Associate Professor of Communication
"Top UAE Official Slams Qatar-Owned Al-Jazeera for Anti-Semitism"
July 14, 2017
Hollie Nyseth Brehm
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Science News
August 11, 2017

Dorothy Noyes
Professor of English and Comparative Studies
"Collaborative Dilemmas"
July 13, 2017
Ellen Peters
Professor of Psychology
July 13, 2017

"Can a Psychological Intervention Help Students Cope with Math?"
Dakota Rudesill
Assistant Professor of Law
"Global Security and Warfare"

Randy Schweller
Professor of Political Science
"The Concept of Middle Power"
Peter Shane
Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law

"President Trump is considering pardoning himself. I asked 15 experts if that's legal."
July 21, 2017

"It'd Be Pretty Easy For Trump To Pardon His Family Members. He Could Even Tweet It."
Huffington Post
July 31, 2017
Amy Shuman
Professor of English
Human Rights in Transit
August 8, 2017
David Stebenne
Professor of History and Law

"America's dubious tradition of gerrymandering"
August 17, 2017
Thomas Wood
Assistant Professor of Political Science

"The future of fact-checking is in digital technology, human trust"
July 12, 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.
Stay Connected

Welcome to Fall 2017!

The Mershon Center for International Security Studies has a busy schedule of activities this semester. Below is a listing of our events in September. To read more and register, simply click on the links. We hope to see you soon!
Mershon Events
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Edgar S. Furniss Book Award Winner
Jesse Driscoll
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Jesse Driscoll Jesse Driscoll is associate professor of political science and chair of the Global Leadership Institute at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at University of California-San Diego. He is an area specialist in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Russian-speaking world. Driscoll is author of Warlords and Coalition Politics in Post-Soviet States (Cambridge, 2015), winner of the Edgar S. Furniss Book Award, given annually by the Mershon Center to an author whose first book makes an exceptional contribution to the study of national and international security. The book maps the processes by which well-functioning domestic hierarchies emerged after relatively short periods of anarchic violence in Georgia and Tajikistan. In this talk, Driscoll will argue that conflict in Ukraine can be best understood as a civil war. Read more and register at
Monday, September 18, 2017

Amr al-Azm, Alam Payind, Richard Herrmann
6 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Co-sponsored by Middle East Studies Center

Amr Al-AzmSoviets occupied Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989 to prevent the country from collapsing. Currently Russia is treating Syria as a client state in similar ways. Afghanistan remains a struggling democracy, often falling into "failed state" category. The Syrian state is almost nonexistent in terms of functional central institutions. This symposium will dig deeper into the two countries' situations, answering such questions as: What are the similarities and differences with regard to the relationship with Russia? What role do regional rivalries (Iran and Saudi Arabia) or intervention (Turkey) play? The panel features Amr al-Azm (pictured), associate professor of Middle East history and anthropology at Shawnee State University; Alam Payind, director of the Middle East Studies Center at Ohio State University; and Richard Herrmann, professor and chair, Department of Political Science. Read more and register at
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Paul D. Miller
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Paul D. Miller Paul D. Miller is associate director of the Clements Center for National Security at University of Texas-Austin. As a practitioner, Miller served as director for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the National Security Council staff; worked as an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency; and served as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, including a deployment to Afghanistan. His most recent book, American Power and Liberal Order: A Conservative Internationalist Grand Strategy, was published by Georgetown University Press in 2016. In this lecture, Miller argues that U.S. security depends on active sustained support of the international order. Read more and register at
Friday-Saturday, September 29-30, 2017

Culture of Military Organizations
120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Peter MansoorThis project aims to explore the impact of the culture on the development of effective military organizations and therefore its impact on security from 1861 to the present. The effectiveness of military organizations is dependent on a number of components, among them organization, doctrine, training, weapons technology, leadership, morale, discipline and cohesion, endurance, and the ability to adapt to volatile and uncertain combat environments. Underlying these factors is organizational culture, a vital wellspring of the effectiveness of armies, navies, and air forces throughout history. Yet organizational culture has been largely understudied as a component of military effectiveness. This project aims to fill that void. Organized by Peter Mansoor, Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History. Read more and register at
Mershon News
Mershon affiliates receive NSF award to develop international database


J. Craig Jenkins Mershon affiliates Craig Jenkins (right), senior research scientist and professor emeritus of sociology, along with Maciek Slomczynski, professor emeritus of sociology, and Irina Tomescu-Dubrow, visiting scholar in sociology, have received a four-year, $1.4 million award from the National Science Foundation for the project, "Survey Data Recycling: New Analytic Framework, Integrated Database and Tools for Cross-National Social, Behavioral and Economic Research," starting Sept. 1, 2017.


The award will support the development of a harmonized database derived from more than 3,000 national surveys administered over five decades to more than 3.5 million respondents from more than 150 countries. The project will enable innovative data-intensive research on major substantive topics of social science interest and advances the fields of comparative methodology and of survey data harmonization. Additional principal investigators include Spyros Blanas and Han-Wei Shen from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.


The award grew out of a conference held at the Mershon Center in May, "Democracy, the State and Protest: International Perspectives on Methods for the Study of Protest," organized by Jenkins, Slomczynski, and Tomescu-Dubrow. The event examined the relationship between protest and democracy, with an emphasis on measurement and methodology. Read more at

Tokdemir joins Mershon Center as visiting scholar


Efe TokdemirThe Mershon Center has a new visiting scholar for 2017-18 academic year: Efe Tokdemir, a postdoctoral fellow with International Studies Association's James N. Rosenau Fellowship, who will be working on projects examining causes and consequences of non-violent strategies of both state and non-state actors at the micro-level.


Tokdemir's research interests lie at the intersection of international relations and comparative politics. His primary research agenda examines how state and non-state actors strategically develop policies in relation to their audience in order to achieve their goals, and how individuals respond to these policies in return. While he focuses on the impacts of state actors' foreign policies to win "hearts and minds'" abroad in his dissertation, he also studies violent non-state actors' reputation-building strategies by bridging individual- and group-level studies.


Tokdemir received his Ph.D. (2017) and M.A. (2015) in political science from Binghamton University, SUNY; and B.A. (2012) in political science and international relations from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. His work has so far appeared in various journals including Journal of Peace Research, Conflict Management and Peace Science, International Political Science Review, and Electoral Studies.

Other Events
Friday, September 8, 2017

COMPAS Conference: Religious Freedom
11th Floor, Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by Center for Ethics and Human Values

Religious FreedomWhat makes a belief, practice, or community "religious"? Should religious freedoms be given more protection under the law than secular ones? What should we do when the exercise of religious freedom collides with the public interest?

8:45-9 a.m. - Welcoming Remarks
Don Hubin, Director of the Center for Ethics and Human Values


9-10:30 a.m. - Session 1: What (if anything) is special about religious freedom?
Speakers: Jason Josephson-Storm (Religion, Williams College)
Winnifred F. Sullivan (Religious Studies, Indiana)
Moderator: Sarah Iles Johnston (Classics and Comparative Studies, Ohio State)


11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Session 2: What are the proper limits of religious freedom?
Speakers: Andrew Koppelman (Law, Northwestern)
Steven D. Smith (Law, San Diego)
Moderator: Isaac Weiner (Center for the Study of Religion and Comparative Studies, Ohio State)

Friday, September 8, 2017

John Horack
"The Role of Space Exploration in China's Rise"
4 p.m., 110 Orton Hall, 155 S. Oval Mall
Sponsored by Columbus Council on World Affairs

John Horack Nations engage in spaceflight for many reasons - prestige at home and abroad, scientific inquiry, as a means to fortify and maintain a high-technology economy, and for national security. On all of these fronts, China has demonstrated global leadership. China has its own human-tended space station, and has launched significant scientific research satellites, including most recently the establishment of a research satellite for quantum-encrypted communications in space. In this lecture, John Horack, Neil Armstrong Chair in Aerospace Policy at Ohio State, will highlight Chinese accomplishments in spaceflight, address China's future plans in space, and explore how an integrated and thriving space program is a key part of China's global strategy. Read more
Other News
Carter V. Findley Professorship established

Carter Findley
On April 7, The Ohio State University Board of Trustees established the endowed faculty position, The Carter V. Findley Professorship in Ottoman and Turkish History. This endowed professorship will support the study of Ottoman and modern Turkish history, a field taught and studied at Ohio State since the 1930s, and will enhance the national and international competitiveness and distinction of the university in this field.

This professorship is complemented by the Carter V. Findley Fellowship for the Study of Ottoman and Turkish History. Both funds carry the name of Professor Emeritus Findley, recognizing both his academic contributions to the field and his many years of international fundraising efforts on behalf of the program in the Department of History.

Carter V. Findley is Humanities Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of History. His area of research is the history of Islamic civilization, with emphasis on the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East. The Mershon Center supported research for his book Turkey, Islam, Nationalism, and Modernity: A History, 1789-2007 (Yale, 2011).   Read more
Conference on alternative careers in humanities

Romand Coles Graduate students in the Department of Comparative Studies are hosting a conference on alternative careers for Ph.D.s in the humanities on Friday-Saturday, September 8-9. The keynote speaker is Romand Coles, professor of political theory and practice, Institute for Social Justice, Australian Catholic University. This conference seeks to address opportunities and initiatives for Ph.D. students in the humanities for careers in non-academic contexts. The event includes presentations, workshops and round-table discussion with students, faculty and local entrepreneurs. Read more
Education Abroad Expo to take place September 14

Education Abroad 2017 Will it be you who explores the world? Join us for the 2017 Education Abroad Expo, which will be held on Thursday, September 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Archie Griffin East Ballroom at the Ohio Union. The Expo gives students the opportunity to talk one-on-one with education abroad experts and learn more about the myriad of ways to study abroad at Ohio State. Students will be able to explore programs for all majors and learn more about how to fund their prospective education abroad experience.

Faculty and staff from 19 Ohio State departments and 14 university partners will be on hand to share their insight about specific programs in every major. Students will also have the opportunity to talk with their peers who have studied abroad and can share the ins and outs of their international experiences. And, if students are looking for ways to fund their education abroad experience, there will be information on the wide variety of scholarships available.

At Ohio State, students have the opportunity to study abroad with other Ohio State students and professors, take classes through a foreign university or an exchange program, complete an independent study or service learning project, conduct research or participate in an internship program. Of the more than 200 programs in 50 different countries, there's one especially designed to meet the needs of every student. Read more
'Origins' discusses fear of interracial marriage

Origins has published its new article: " Interracial Marriage in 'Post-Racial' America," by Jessica Viñas-Nelson.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Loving v. Virginia case that struck down laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Fifty years later, it seems absurd to most of us that such laws ever existed in the first place. But, as historian Jessica Viñas-Nelson explains, the fear of interracial marriage has been at the center of America's racial anxiety for a very long time. 

This month's issue of Origins also features " Stalingrad at 75, the Turning Point of World War II in Europe," by Ian Johnson, former Mershon graduate student affiliate who is now associate director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale University.

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.
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