Mershon Center for International Security Studies
January 23, 2017
In This Issue
Ellen Peters
Professor of Psychology

Ellen Peters, professor of psychology and director of the Decision Sciences Collaborative, is co-author of a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on the complexity of communicating about science effectively with public audiences. The report reviews the evidence about effective approaches to science communication and offers an agenda to help guide future research in this area.
Randy Schweller
Professor of Political Science

Randy Schweller, professor of political science, was a guest on the NPR radio program, "Here and Now" for Inauguration Day on Friday, January 20. The nationally broadcast show aired in Columbus on WOSU FM 89.7.
In the Media
Joan Cashin
Professor of History

"The dangerous myth of 'political correctness' that itself represses free speech"
Cleveland Plain Dealer
January 21, 2017
David Stebenne
Professor of History and Law

"Do Business Leaders Make Good Presidents?"
January 19, 2017

"Donald Trump's Vision of Religion and America"
Huffington Post
January 21, 2017
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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Mershon Events
Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jocelyn Olcott
"The Geopolitics of Feminism: International Women's Year, the United Nations, and the Globalization of Social Policy"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Jocelyn Olcott Jocelyn Olcott is a scholar on the feminist history of modern Mexico. Her first book, Revolutionary Women in Postrevolutionary Mexico, explores questions of gender and citizenship in the 1930s. She is currently working on two book-length projects: a history of the 1975 U.N. International Women's Year Conference in Mexico City (under contract with Oxford University Press), and a biography of the activist and folksinger Concha Michel. In this talk, Olcott will consider the 1975 UN International Women's Year Conference in Mexico City to discuss the ways that 1970s feminism and the explosion of women's organizing around the world reoriented global policies around a host of issues ranging from population and food security to labor policies and environmental accords. Read more and register at
Thursday, February 9, 2017

Jonas Bunte
"Troops or Cash? Analyzing the Interdependencies Between Security and Financial Cooperation"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Jonas Bunte Jonas Bunte is assistant professor for public policy and political economy at University of Texas at Dallas. He is a political economist with a particular interest in the politics of finance. Bunte analyzes how distributional consequences of financial flows provide domestic actors the incentive for political action, and how domestic institutions shape this process. In this talk, Bunte will discuss how defense cooperation and economic cooperation are related. His research reveals that (1) defense and economic cooperation mutually increase the other, (2) countries that are highly active creditors in the loan network make for unattractive defense partners, (3) countries that borrow from the same creditors are more likely to cooperate in defense, and (4) governments tend to make loans to the same debtors as their defense partners. Read more and register at
Monday, February 13, 2017

Paul Staniland
"Armed Politics and the State in South Asia"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Paul Staniland Paul Staniland is assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago, where he co-directs the Program on International Security Policy. His research interests are in civil war, international security, and ethnic politics, primarily in South Asia. His current book project and related articles examine organizational cohesion and fragmentation in insurgent groups. In this talk, Staniland will offer a new theory of how states evaluate armed groups, arguing that ideological perception and instrumental incentives combine to assign groups to six different political roles. These roles, ranging from mortal enemies to business partners to undesirable, determine the strategies that governments pursue and the orders they seek to construct. Read more and register at
Mershon News

Sarah Brooks at Risk Institute
Mershon affiliate Sarah Brooks, associate professor of political science, spoke on "Political Risk: Challenges and Opportunities in Overseas Investment" for a symposium on Political Risk at the Risk Institute at Fisher College of Business.

On November 15,  The Risk Institute at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business welcomed dozens of area and regional professionals to Navigating Political Risk in Uncertain Times, an executive education session that explored effective ways to manage political risk and gain insight on how to navigate the landscape and find potential for competitive advantage.

Speakers at the symposium included Mershon affiliate  Sarah Brooks, associate professor of political science, speaking on "Political Risk: Challenges and Opportunities in Overseas Development," and Richard Herrmann, interim director and chair of political science, on "Forecasting Political Risk."

The session centered around three concepts:
  • Learning to identify, measure, and manage political risk
  • Examining the macro-level political risks that could affect business interests
  • Exploring the relationship between the state and market in social and economic relations
The session's thought provoking ideas and dialogues advanced The Risk Institute's unique role in uniting industry thought leaders, academics and highly respected practitioners in an ongoing dialogue to advance the understanding and evolution of risk management.

Other Events
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"The United States and the Middle East: Policy Challenges for the New Administration"
11:30 a.m., Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Dr.
Sponsored by Columbus Council on World Affairs

Richard HerrmannHeadlines about the Middle East are part of our daily news cycle. There's political turnover, volatile oil prices, Islamic extremism, and a refugee crisis that affects the entire world. Join us as we explore current hot spots in the Middle East and U.S. policy implications for the new administration. Richard K. Herrmann, professor and chair of political science, concentrates on international relations, international security, and political psychology. He is also interim director of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, and has served as a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and on the Secretary of State's policy planning staff. Read more and register
Other News
Spring 2017 Environmental Film Series begins

Join us for the Spring Semester 2017 Student Environmental Film Series, hosted by the School of Natural Resources and the Office of Energy and Environment. The film series will begin at 7 p.m. for six Tuesday evenings, beginning January 24 in Room 130 of the CBEC Building, 151 W. Woodruff Ave.  The film series will include:
  • January 24: Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time
  • January 31: Before the Flood, a climate/environmental film featuring actor/activist Leonardo DiCaprio
  • February 7: Red Gold, an environmental documentary of the planned Pebble Mine in Alaska, now perhaps abandoned
  • February 14: Years of Living Dangerously, Season Two, Episode 1: A Race Against Time, solar energy development in India and the U.S.
  • February 21: Return of the River: story of the largest U.S. dam removal project, Elwha River, Olympic Peninsula and salmon habitat recovery
  • February 28: Years of Living Dangerously, Season Two, Episode 8: Uprising, the U.S. dependence on coal plants and China's impact on the global environment.
Refreshments will be available prior to the screenings. Read more
University Engagement Recognition Awards

The Office of International Affairs has joined with the Offices of Outreach and Engagement, Service-Learning, Student Life and Undergraduate Education to recognize faculty, staff, students and community partners with the University Outreach and Engagement Recognition Awards program. The Office of International Affairs is offering two awards:
  1. The Distinguished International Engagement Award to recognize Ohio State faculty and staff who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in and commitment to international outreach and engagement by having established a project that has a long-term record of sustained impact, achievement and scholarship.
  2. The Emerging International Engagement Award to recognize Ohio State faculty and staff who have demonstrated outstanding promise in international outreach and engagement with the development of a relatively new initiative that has shown short-term results and has the potential for long-term impact, achievement and scholarship.
Applications are due by Tuesday, February 28 . Visit for submission information.
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