Mershon Center for International Security Studies
March 6, 2017
In This Issue
In the Media
Paul Beck
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioral Sciences

"Race for Ohio's next Governor taking shape"
WSYX-TV Columbus
March 2, 2017
Richard Gunther
Professor Emeritus of Political Science

"Congressional redistricting plan open for debate"
Akron Beacon Journal
March 2, 2017
David Stebenne
Professor of History and Law

"Donald Trump and the self help movement"
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, March 9, 2017

Tana Johnson
"Permeation of Global Governance by Pressure Groups"
12 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Tana Johnson Tana Johnson is assistant professor of public policy and political science at Duke University. Her book Organizational Progeny: Why Governments are Losing Control over the Proliferating Structures of Global Governance (Oxford University Press, 2014) shows that in a variety of policy areas, global governance structures are getting harder for national governments to control -- not only because the quantity and staffing of international organizations has mushroomed, but also because the people working in these organizations try to insulate any new organizations against governments' interference. In this presentation, Johnson will discuss which types of NGOs have the most input at the United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations. Read more and register at
Thursday, March 16 - Sunday, March 19, 2017

International Conference on Conflict Resolution Education
"Tools for Preparing the Change Leaders of the Future:
Social Enterprise, Innovation and Education"
Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St.
Co-sponsored by Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict

Conflict Resolution Education logo The International Conference on Conflict Resolution Education (CRE) is an opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration and research. Presentations will focus on innovations in conflict resolution that are making broad impacts on social entrepreneurship and peacebuilding in the local to global community. The conference is intended for educators, staff and administration in primary, secondary and higher education, as well as members of the business community, policymakers, researchers, non-profit leaders, media groups, philanthropists, and anyone wishing to make positive change in their communities. Participants will exchange best practices, evaluation methodology, creation of policy implementation structures, consideration of obstacles to success, and new and innovative use of training, resources and technology. Read more and register at
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tarak Barkawi
"Combat and Historiography in the Battle of Sangshak"
12 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Tarak Barkawi Tarak Barkawi is a reader in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He writes on the pivotal place of armed force in globalization, imperialism, and modernization, and on the neglected significance of war in social and political theory. His book on the Indian and British armies in World War II, Soldiers of Empire, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. Barkawi was a postdoctoral fellow at the Mershon Center in 2006-07. In this talk, he will examine historiographical debates regarding the Battle of Sangshak, showing how history about war is shaped by those who experienced it. Read more and register at
Mershon News

Saad Z. Nagi, Mershon Professor of Sociology and Public Policy from 1970 to 1990, passed away on February 9 at age 91.

Saad Z. Nagi Nagi had a long and rewarding association with The Ohio State University starting when he was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology in 1958. He held faculty appointments in the Department of Sociology and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and served as chair of the Sociology Department from 1982 to 1989.

Nagi "lived an extraordinary life of deeply-felt purpose," his daughter, M. Karima Nagi, said. "My father's body of work was devoted to issues of social justice on many levels."

In the 1980s, Nagi's research interests expanded from disability into issues related to social justice, including social movements and development, democratization, ethnic identification, social stratification, mobility and poverty. His study on poverty in Egypt was the first of its kind. It remains the only scientific study of its kind throughout the Middle East.

Nagi won the Distinguished Scholar Award at Ohio State in 1982. His papers are housed at Ohio State University Library.

Following his retirement from Ohio State in 1990, Nagi served as research professor and director of the Social Research Center at American University in Cairo until 1995. His final project, proposing an international organization to aid nations in developing democratic institutions, will be made available posthumously.

Nagi's books include Poverty in Egypt: Human Needs and Institutional Capacities (Lexington Books, 2001); Disability: From Social Problem to Federal Program, with Irving Howards and Henry P. Brehm (Praeger, 1980); Child Maltreatment in the United States: A Challenge to Social Institutions (Columbia, 1977); and Disability and Rehabilitation: Legal, Clinical, and Self-Concepts and Measurement (Ohio State, 1969).

A memorial for Nagi will be held on Saturday, April 8, at 2 p.m. at Rutherford Funeral Home, 450 W. Powell Road in Powell, Ohio, followed by a buffet dinner at the Nagis' home. For more information, see   Read more
Other Events
Thursday, March 9, 2017

Matt Goldish
"Magic & Witchcraft at the Dawn of Modernity: Why Then & What Now?"
7 p.m., The Forum, Columbus Museum of Art, 480 E. Broad St.
Sponsored by CLIO Society

Matt Goldish We may think of magic and witchcraft beliefs as relics of some bygone dark age. In this discussion we will learn that magical ideas flourished with particular success precisely at the dawn of modern times. We will also see that the European and American witch hunts did not occur in the middle ages but precisely during the scientific revolution. Why might that have been the case? And why should we still be paying close attention to occult mentalities in our own time? Matt Goldish is the Samuel M. and Esther Melton Chair in Jewish History. He is author of  Jewish Questions: Responsa on Sephardic Life in the Early Modern Period  (Princeton, 2008);  The Sabbatean Prophets  (Harvard, 2004); and  Judaism in the Theology of Sir Isaac Newton  (Kluwer, 1998).  Read more
Friday, March 10, 2017

Angie Plummer and Imram Malik
"Immigration, Islamophobia, and Security: Seeking a Balance"
11:30 a.m., The Boathouse at Confluence Park, 679 W. Spring St.
Sponsored by Columbus Council on World Affairs

Angie Plummer What is Islamophobia and what does its existence mean for our communities? How can we reconcile the current debate over immigration policy against the backdrop of our country's history as a nation of immigrants? How do we balance the need to protect a country's citizens from the threat of terrorism with the need to sustain an immigration program that keeps our economy healthy and that promotes values of diversity and openness? What explains the surge of xenophobia in the United States at particular times in our history? To help us put these critical topics into context, we welcome Angie Plummer (left), executive director of Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), a non-profit organization serving refugees and immigrants in Central Ohio, and Imran Malik executive president of the NOOR Islamic Center, which since 2006 has served the Muslim community of central Ohio and the community at large. Read more and register
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Serena Zabin
"An Intimate History of the Boston Massacre"
4:30 p.m., 165 Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave. Mall
Sponsored by Center for Historical Research

Serena ZabinThe 1770 Boston Massacre is one of the most famous events in American history, but in her forthcoming book Serena Zabin reveals that the massacre was the climax of months of conflict between occupying British troops, their families and local allies, and the larger Boston population. Occupied Boston was a small city where interwoven strands of politics, love, fear, and desire reshaped everything, including allegiance to Britain. Zabin is a professor of history at Carleton College. Her talk is part of the William Hammond Lecture Series. Zabin will also be part of an informal discussion about writing for a public audience on Friday, March 31, at 11:30 a.m. in 240 Page Hall. A light lunch will be available. Read more
Other News
Society for Risk Analysis seeking abstracts

The Society for Risk Analysis invites your abstracts for presentations at the 2017 SRA Annual Meeting in Arlington, Virginia, USA, December 10-14.

We welcome contributions on any topic related to risk assessment, risk characterization, risk perception, risk communication, risk management, risk governance, and policy relating to risk, in the context of risks of concern to individuals, to public and private sector organizations, and to society at a local, regional, national, or global level.

The theme of the conference "Risk Analysis - the Profession, the Practitioners, the Research" highlights the important role risk analysts have in tackling risk problems and improving the science and practice of risk analysis.

Abstracts are due no later than May 31, 2017, midnight EST. Read more
Dirksen Center offers Congressional research grants

The Dirksen Congressional Center invites applications for grants to fund research on congressional leadership and the U.S. Congress. The center, named for the late Senate Minority Leader Everett M. Dirksen, is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization devoted to the study of Congress.

Since 1978, the Congressional Research Grants program has invested more than $1 million to support over 462 projects. The center has allocated up to $30,000 in 2017 for grants with individual awards capped at $3,500.

The competition is open to individuals with a serious interest in studying Congress. Political scientists, historians, biographers, scholars of public administration or American studies, and journalists are among those eligible.

The center encourages graduate students who have successfully defended their dissertation prospectus to apply and awards a significant portion of the funds for dissertation research. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who reside in the United States.

Applications are accepted at any time, but the deadline is April 1, 2017, for the annual selections, which are announced in May. Read more
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