Mershon Center for International Security Studies
August 22 , 2016
In This Issue
Janet Box-Steffensmeier
Vernal Riffe Professor of Political Science

Box-Steffensmeier has won the Jewell-Loewenberg Paper Award from the Legislative Studies Section of the American Political Science Association, for best article published in Legislative Studies Quarterly in 2015, for "Examining Legislative Cue-Taking in the U.S. Senate." She is also winner of the Society for Political Methodology's 2016 Excellence in Mentoring Award, which honors members who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to mentoring and advising graduate and/or undergraduate students, particularly those from underrepresented groups. She will receive both awards at the APSA annual meeting in Philadelphia in September.
Bear Braumoeller
Associate Professor of Political Science

Braumoeller spent summer 2016 as a visiting fellow at Nobel Peace Prize Research and Information, affiliated with the Norwegian Nobel Institute and official organizer of the annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert. On May 27 Braumoeller spoke there on "The Spread of Peace and the Spread of War: Explaining an Apparent Paradox." See video
Skylar Cranmer
Carter Phillips and Sue Henry Associate Professor of Political Science

Cranmer won the best conference paper award (2015) from the Political Networks section of the American Political Science Association for his working paper with Philip Leifeld, "A Performance Based Comparison of the Temporal Exponential Random Graph Model (TERGM) and Stochastic Actor Oriented Model (SAOM)." The award will be presented at the annual meeting in September.
Alexander Hamilton Society
Ohio State University Chapter

The Ohio State chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society (AHS) was named the 2015-16 Chapter of the Year at the national AHS Student Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., in June. Chapter president Martin Lopez accepted the award on behalf of the chapter. During the 2015-16 academic year, the Ohio State chapter organized six events, including the inaugural " Deal or No Deal: The Iran Nuclear Deal and Its Implications" event, which drew a record audience of 245 students and attendees. The group's faculty adviser is Mershon affiliate Peter Mansoor.
In the Media
Paul Beck
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioral Sciences
"Different strategies for Trump and Clinton to win Ohio"
July 7, 2016

"The History of U.S. Political Conventions"
July 12, 2016

"The GOP National Convention in Cleveland"
July 21, 2016

"Could Donald Trump leave the 2016 presidential race?"
August 3, 2016

"Who will win Ohio? Polls show a dead-even race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton"
August 4, 2016

"As Clinton pulls away from Trump in polls, why Ohio remains close"
August 6, 2016

"Confusion as Gary Johnson tries to get on Ohio ballot"
August 9, 2016
Christopher Gelpi
Chair of Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution
August 9, 2016
Sean Kay
Mershon Associate
"Bridging America's Foreign Policy Elite - Main Street Divide"
August 11, 2016
Peter Mansoor
Gen. Raymond E. Mason Chair in Military History
The Ring of Fire
August 4, 2016

John Mueller
Senior Research Scientist

"Does More Security at Airports Make Us Safer or Just Move the Targets?"
The New York Times
July 1, 2016

"Embracing the Almighty Dollar: Islamic State's Currency Debacle"
Cato Institute
July 11, 2016

"Democrats Seriously Underestimate Voter Fear of ISIS"
August 1, 2016
Erik Nisbet
Associate Professor of Communication

"Could growing internet use inspire more democratic uprisings?"
Ohio State Newsroom
June 28, 2016

"Tech Tuesday: Facebook's News Feed, the Internet and Democracy, and Virtual Reality"
All Sides with Ann Fisher,
start at minute 16:44
July 5, 2016

"Is internet freedom a tool for democracy or authoritarianism?"
The Conversation
July 20, 2016

"The tragedy of Turkish democracy in five acts"
The Conversation
July 26, 2016
Daniel Silverman
Ph.D. Student in Political Science
Monkey Cage
July 28, 2016
David Stebenne
Professor of History and Law

"Crisis of Conscience"
Huffington Post
June 30, 2016

"The Democratic National Convention"

"A Third Term for the Clintons?"
The Conversation
July 29, 2016

"Hillary Clinton's Religious Background and the 2016 Presidential Election"
Huffington Post
August 14, 2016
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.
Stay Connected

Welcome to Fall 2016!

The Mershon Center for International Security Studies has a busy schedule of activities this semester. Below is a listing of our events for September. To read more and register for each event, simply click on the links. If you have any questions, please contact Mershon Center event coordinator Steven Blalock or public relations coordinator Cathy Becker. We hope to see you soon!
Mershon Events
Monday, September 12, 2016

Christiane Gruber
3 p.m., Research Commons, 3rd Floor, 18th Avenue Library, 175 W. 18th Ave.
Co-sponsored by Middle Eastern Studies Center and Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

Christiane GruberIn June 2013, Gezi Park became the staging ground for the most serious challenge to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's decade-long rule in Turkey. When police brutally cleared the Istanbul park, five young men lost their lives, becoming official "martyrs" of the Gezi movement. Christiane Gruber, associate professor of Islamic art at University of Michigan, will examine the symbolic framings and functions of martyrs in a pluralistic society shaped by the desire to preserve a secular representative democracy in the face of increasing authoritarianism. Gruber will explore the rhetorical strategies and visual output of the Gezi Movement in slogans, chants, graffiti, digital art, Twitter posts, posters, banners, stickers, processions, sit-ins, and performances. Read more and register at
Thursday-Friday, September 22-23, 2016

Fall COMPAS Conference
11th Floor, Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave.
Organized by Center for Ethics and Human Values

COMPAS Fall 2016COMPAS is a series of year-long conversations on morality, politics, and society organized by the Center for Ethics and Human Values. The theme for the 2016-17 COMPAS program is inequality. It kicks off with a major interdisciplinary conference that aims to engage a general audience by focusing on four intersecting policy issues: mass incarceration, neighborhoods and social inequality, health disparities, and economic inequality and democracy. These issues raise important questions about poverty and opportunity, individual well-being and institutional justice, and the rights and responsibilities of democratic citizenship. They also cause us to reflect on the social and political effects of class, race, gender, and other factors. Richard Wilkinson, author of The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger (Bloomsbury, 2011, with Kate Pickett), will give the keynote address. Read more at
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Kwame Anthony Appiah
5 p.m., Performance Hall, Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St.
Co-Sponsored by Office of International Affairs and Center for Ethics and Human Values

Kwame Anthony Appiah A world-renowned philosopher, cultural theorist and author, Kwame Anthony Appiah has published widely on moral philosophy, political theory, ethics, and African American literature and culture. A leading thinker on race and society, Appiah's current research centers on the roles of idealization and ideals in psychology, ethics and politics, and his talk will focus on ethics in higher education. Appiah holds an appointment at New York University's Department of Philosophy and its School of Law, where he teaches in New York and at the university's global centers. In 2009, Forbes Magazine named Appiah as one of the world's seven most powerful thinkers, and in 2012, he was one of eight scholars presented with the National Humanities Medal by President Obama. Read more
Mershon News
Ohio State, Battelle hire former Mershon associate


Ohio State University and Battelle have teamed to hire national security expert Zachary Mears for a joint position.


Zachary Mears Mears began as assistant vice president for national security and research programs at Ohio State's Office of Research and as senior advisor at Battelle on August 1, 2016. The position allows him to help the university and Battelle develop and implement a strategic relationship management plan related to national security research.


Mears will lead the expansion of collaborative research projects, scientific and educational programs and business development opportunities at Ohio State to further the collaborative relationship between the university and Ohio-based federal national security programs.


His primary focus will be on the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He will also work to develop teams of internal and external partners to identify major state and federal funding opportunities.


Mears received his Ph.D. in political science from Ohio State in 2009 with a dissertation on "Presidents, the Public, and American Foreign Policy Behavior," working with Mershon Center director Richard Herrmann. He was Mershon associate in Washington from 2010-12.


Prior to joining Ohio State, Mears served as the deputy chief of staff to the secretary of defense and chief of staff to the deputy secretary of defense. He advised the secretary and deputy secretary of defense on national priorities and managed their implementation.

Mershon Center seeks art for break room


The Mershon Center for International Security Studies seeks artwork to display in our newly remodeled breakroom space on the first floor of our building, 1501 Neil Ave., at the corner of Neil and Eighth.


We invite artists to submit artwork that would be appropriate for an academic space; any style and/or medium is welcome, with the exception of large sculptures as to not impede the functionality of the space. Artists will also have the opportunity to sell their art, and the center would not take a commission. While we will accept submissions from any artist, preferential consideration will go to artwork with themes centered on peace, security, international conflict, identity, and citizenship.


Submissions for art to be displayed in the Mershon Center breakroom will be accepted on a rolling basis, as the artwork is changed periodically and pieces are sold. To submit artwork for consideration, please send a photo or photos of the piece along with a statement about it that includes the title, size, and medium to Kyle McCray at If you have any questions, please contact Kyle McCray at or 614-806-1122.

Other Events
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco
3:30 p.m. Mershon Auditorium, 1871 N. High St.
Sponsored by Office of Energy and Environment

Prince Albert II of Monaco H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, a longtime supporter of global environmental and sustainability issues, will present a lecture focusing on climate change, biodiversity and access to clean water. A supporter of the Venturi Buckeye Bullet and electric concept cars, Prince Albert II is coming to Ohio State to learn more about our research and educational programming on sustainability matters. In 2006, Prince Albert II established the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, supporting sustainable and ethical projects that focus on climate change and developing renewable energies, combating the loss of biodiversity, improving universal access to clean water, and fighting desertification. Over the past 10 years, the foundation has initiated or supported 370 international projects in locations as diverse as the Mediterranean Basin, the Least Developed Countries (as defined by the United Nations official list) and the Polar Regions.  Read more
Friday, September 9, 2016

Umut Korkut
"The Consolidation of Illiberal Politics in Hungary: Christianity, Anti-Modernism, Conservatism, and Europe"

11:30 a.m., 160 Enarson Classroom Building, 2009 Millikin Road
Sponsored by Center for Slavic and East European Studies

Umut Korkut Umut Korkut is a reader at Glasgow School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University. He is also a trustee for the executive committee of the Political Studies Association. His research interests include Eastern European and Turkish politics, migration, and religion, gender and politics. He is currently writing a monograph, "Politics and Gender Identity in Turkey: Centralised Islam for Socio-Economic Control" for Routledge. In this lecture, Korkut will explore the development and consolidation of illiberal politics amidst the global crisis of neoliberalism and democracy since 2008. He will concentrate on Hungary but will also discuss Poland, Slovakia, France, Turkey, and the United States, tracing anti-modern, Christian, and anti-humanitarian tendencies of illiberal democracy in the region.  Read more
Friday-Saturday, September 23-24, 2016

Conference in Honor of John F. Guilmartin
120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by Department of History

John F. GuilmartinLt. Col. John F. "Joe" Guilmartin Jr., U.S. Air Force (Ret.), was a prominent member of the History Department at The Ohio State University for nearly three decades. He served two tours in the Vietnam War, logging more than 120 missions over Laos and North Vietnam in 1965-66 as a HH-3E "Jolly Green" helicopter pilot. Guilmartin, simply "Dr. G" to his students, was an authority on military and maritime history, airpower history, military technology, and the Vietnam War. At Ohio State he supervised 26 graduate students to completion of their Ph.D. degrees. He also sat on more than 270 student examination committees, the most of any other faculty member on record. On Friday the conference will include presentations from Guilmartin's fellow scholars and colleagues. The Saturday event is his celebratory Festschrift and will feature papers by his former doctoral students. Read more at
Monday, September 26, 2016

Alam Payind
"Update on Extremist Jihadi Groups in Afghanistan and the Middle East"
Noon, 100 Enarson Classroom Building, 2009 Millikin Road
Sponsored by Middle East Studies Center

Alam PayindIn March the Middle East Studies Center sponsored a symposium on Jihadi groups with Amr Al-Azm, associate professor of Middle East history and anthropology at Shawnee State University; Alam Payind, director of the Middle East Studies Center; and Richard Herrmann, interim director of the Mershon Center. The symposium ( video here) addressed complex issues related to extremist jihadi groups in the Middle East, as panelists introduced the topic, provided background information on these groups and the area they operate in, and discussed the implications for U.S. foreign policy. In this event, Alam Payind will provide an update on the situation based on his recent fieldwork in Afghanistan.  Read more and register
Other News
Bystydzienski named director of Slavic Center

Jill Bystydzienski
Jill Bystydzienski, professor in the Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, has been named director of the Center for Slavic and East European Studies (CSEES) effective September 1.

Bystydzienskiwill oversee the center's promotion of the interdisciplinary study of the Baltics, Balkans, Caucasus, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Eurasia and Russia, and the administration of a master's degree in Slavic and East European Studies. CSEES is also home to the Polish Studies Initiative and the Slovene Research Institute.

The center is one of Ohio State's federally funded Title VI National Resource Centers which fosters education in area studies and awards Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship grants. Bystydzienski succeeds Joe Brandesky, the Martha W. Farmer endowed professor in the Department of Theatre at Ohio State Lima, who led the center for the past two years.  Read more
Ohio State named finalist for global learning award

The Ohio State University is one of four finalists for the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities' inaugural institutional award for Global Learning, Research and Engagement.

O-H-I-O in South Africa The award recognizes institutions as innovators in their comprehensive efforts to internationalize their campuses. Arizona State University, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Minnesota also are finalists.

Over the past seven years, Ohio State has created an institutional framework that has strengthened internationalization efforts and expanded the university's global reach.

The university launched the Global Option, a curriculum enhancement program that helps undergraduates acquire international knowledge through coursework integrated into their majors. Ohio State is ranked 7th in the number of students studying abroad with participation increasing 51 percent in the last four years.

Ohio State also broadened its international connections with the opening of Global Gateways, liaison offices in Shanghai, Mumbai and São Paulo, as well as through partnerships with institutions abroad that have resulted in additional grant and funding opportunities, new research collaborations, and the development of dual degree programs.

The winner will be announced during the 2016 APLU Annual Meeting November 13-15 in Austin, Texas. Read more
'Origins' examines European connections to the hajj


Origins has published its new article: "The Hajj and Europe," by Eileen Kane.


The hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims, is one of the largest and most meaningful movements of people in the world. Last year, more than 2 million of the devout from all over the world traveled to Saudi Arabia to fulfill an Islamic duty.


Yet as historian Eileen Kane details, the hajj has been shaped by interactions with Europe for several centuries. Though we don't think of it this way, the hajj is very much a European affair. Read the entire 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.

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