Mershon Center for International Security Studies
August 29 , 2016
In This Issue
Skylar Cranmer
Carter Phillips and Sue Henry Associate Professor of Political Science

Cranmer is recipient of the 2015-2016 The Political Ties Award from the American Political Science Association (APSA) for his paper, "Kantian fractionalization predicts the conflict propensity of the international system," published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The award is given annually for the best article published on political networks.
In the Media
Paul Beck
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioral Sciences
"Presidential race map tilting toward Clinton"
August 19, 2016

"In re-election bid, Ohio senator keeps safe distance from Trump"
August 23, 2016
Peter Mansoor
Gen. Raymond E. Mason Chair in Military History
Orlando Sentinel
August 17, 2016
John Mueller
Senior Research Scientist

"How Safe Are We? Asking the Right Questions About Terrorism," with Mark Stewart
Foreign Affairs
August 15, 2016

"Getting real on the terrorism threat to the United States"
War on the Rocks
August 23, 2016

"Misoverestimating ISIS: Comparisons with Al-Qaeda," with Mark Stewart
David Stebenne
Professor of History and Law

"Tensions are high ahead of Upper Arlington recall vote on council members"
Columbus Dispatch
August 22, 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.
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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
Human Rights Study Abroad
Wendy Hesford (center left) and Amy Shuman (center right) with students Jayne Van Schaik (bottom left), Cara Clark (bottom right), Afnan Isleem (top left), and Marta Csejtey (top right).

Students explore human rights in study abroad program

Mershon affiliates Amy Shuman and Wendy Hesford hosted the first "Human Rights and the Humanities" student summer travel and study program, which included four students (three English majors and one International Studies major) and the assistance of one English graduate student.

Participants of the five-day study program, held June 12-16, 2016, attended film screenings at this year's Human Rights Watch Film Festival at the Walter Reed Theatre at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, attended the "Human Rights in the Age of Ambiguity" conference at Fordham University, and explored the archives at Columbia University's Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research.

Among the films that the group screened were "Desperate Journey," about asylum seekers arriving in Europe by sea; "The Crossing," which focused on a group of Syrian refugees; and "The Uncondemned," about the lawyers, activists, and Rwandan women who fought to have rape recognized as a war crime.

Students also attended panels on the Syrian refugee crisis and virtual reality and human rights. At the Fordham conference, students attended panels on a range of topics, including a debate between Stephen Hopgood and Samuel Moyn about international human rights theory, panels on LGBTQI rights, and the politics of immigration. They heard a keynote presentation by a former acting UN high commissioner for human rights.

"Human Rights and the Humanities" is funded by the Ronald and Deborah Ratner Teaching Award, International Studies Program, and Mershon Center for International Security Studies. Applications for next year's program will be available in Spring 2017.   Read more
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
Alexander Hamilton Society to hold election debate

Nick Dowling
The Ohio State chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society is pleased to announce its inaugural debate for Fall 2016. 

The debate, to be held Wednesday, September 14, at 6 p.m. at Moritz College of Law, 55 W. 12th Ave., will center on the foreign policies of each of the two major presidential candidates and their implications for the United States and the world. 

Speaking in support of the foreign policy of Hillary Clinton will be Nick Dowling (right), founder and president of national security firm IDS International. Speaking in support of Donald Trump's foreign policy will be Randy Schweller, professor of political science and Mershon affiliate.

Mershon affiliate and Hamilton Society adviser Peter Mansoor, Gen. Raymond E. Mason Chair in Military History, will moderate.

As always, free Wings Over and Coke products will be provided on what should be an exciting, informative, and pertinent night on the eve of the election. Read more and register
 Ako-Adounvo to serve as interim vice provost at OIA

Gifty Ako-Adounvo Gifty Ako-Adounvo, assistant vice provost for international affairs, will lead the Office of International Affairs, effective September 1, 2016. Ako-Adounvo will continue in this interim capacity while a search is conducted for a new vice provost for global strategies and international affairs.

With more than 20 years in the field of international affairs in higher education, Ako-Adounvo oversees a wide range of OIA's programs, including education abroad, international student and scholar services, and the development of international agreements and partnerships. In addition, her national leadership service includes the National Association of International Educators and the Association of International Education Administrators.

Prior to her administrative role in OIA, as a faculty member she taught in  the Department of Classics and Department of African American and African Studies. She earned her doctorate in classical studies at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and joined Ohio State in 2004. 
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