Mershon Center for International Security Studies
September 19 , 2016
In This Issue
In the Media
John Mueller
Woody Hayes Senior Research Scientist

"Ohio Voters Measure the Presidential Candidates by Their Response to Terrorism"
Canton Repository
September 11, 2016

"The 9/11 Anniversary: 15 Years of Alarmism-and Counting"
National Interest
September 12, 2016
Erik Nisbet
Associate Professor of Communication

"Why Russians like Vladimir Putin's wars"
Washington Post
September 13, 2016
David Stebenne
Professor of History and Law

"Like Pearl Harbor, 9/11 changed how we live"
Columbus Dispatch
September 11, 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

Mershon Events
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
Monday, October 3, 2016
4:30 p.m., 360 Journalism Building, 242 W. 18th Ave.
Co-Sponsored by School of Communication

Olga Kamenchuk Media and journalism are very important components of all elections, whether in the United States or abroad. However, the role they play and the rules that govern their influence vary widely from country to country. In many countries the media promotes free and democratic elections.  Yet in others the media is a tool of autocrats to maintain their power. This event features a panel of international media and election experts from the Comparative National Elections Project representing Russia, Mexico, Germany, Portugal and South Africa. Panelists include:
  • Thorsten Faas, professor of political science at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
  • Olga Kamenchuk (left), director of international studies at VCIOM (Russian Public Opinion Research Center),  the leading opinion polling company in the post-Soviet area
  • Pedro Magalhaes, researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon
  • Robert Mattes, director of the Democracy in Africa Research Unit at University of Cape Town
  • Alejandro Moreno, professor of political science at Mexico's Autonomous Technological Institute, and director of public opinion polls at Reforma newspaper. 
The discussion will be moderated by Mershon affiliate Erik Nisbet, associate professor of communication, political science, and environmental policy. Read more and register at
Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thomas Lindemann
2 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Thomas Lindemann Thomas Lindemann is professor of political science at Ecole Polytechique (LinX Research Centre) and University of Versailles Saint-Quentin. During Fall 2016, he is a visiting professor at Columbia University. He is the author of six books and numerous articles published in leading international relations journals such as International Political Sociology, International Relations, and International Theory. He has contributed to introduction of the concept of recognition into the international relations discipline, with an emphasis on the antagonist and emotional aspects of the concept. His talk will show the limits of utilitarian models for the comprehension of war and humanitarian intervention and defend the idea that behind the concepts of interest are hidden logics of (non-)recognition between self and other. Read more and register at
Mershon News
250 attend debate on foreign policy of Trump, Clinton

Last week almost 250 people attended a lively debate on the foreign policies of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump organized by the Ohio State chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society.

" Trump vs. Clinton: What 2016 Means for the World" featured Nick Dowling, president of IDS International, speaking in support of Clinton, and Randy Schweller, professor of political science, speaking in support of Donald Trump. Moderating the debate was AHS faculty adviser Peter Mansoor, Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History. Mansoor and Schweller are affiliates of the Mershon Center.

The debate was lively and engaging, with presentations from Dowling and Schweller and lots of questions from students. Martin Lopez, president of the AHS Ohio State chapter, opened and closed the event.  You can see a slideshow of photos from the debate (sound included) below.

Other Events
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
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Robert Gates
"America's Global Leadership: What's at Stake in 2016?"
11:30 a.m., Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High St.
Sponsored by U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

Robert GatesGrowing global challenges -- from Syria to ISIS to Zika -- impact America's economic and security interests every day. Join former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, one of the most respected national security experts, to discuss why America's role in the world matters for this election and beyond. Gates is an American statesman, scholar and university president who served as U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and was director of the CIA under President Bush. He currently serves as chancellor of the College of William and Mary. Co-sponsored by the Columbus Council on World Affairs. Register here
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Gregory Kulacki
"The Risk of Nuclear War between the United States and China"
Noon, 115 Mendenhall Lab, 125 S. Oval Mall
Sponsored by East Asian Studies Center

Gregory Kulacki Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, the governments of the United States and the People's Republic of China are a few poor decisions away from starting a war that could escalate rapidly and end in a nuclear exchange. Mismatched perceptions increase both the possibility of war and the likelihood it will result in the use of nuclear weapons. Miscommunication or misunderstanding could spark a conflict that both governments may find difficult to stop. Gregory Kulacki, China Project Manager for Union of Concerned Scientists, is an expert on cross-cultural communication between the United States and China. Since joining UCS in 2002, he has promoted dialogue between experts from both countries on nuclear arms control and space security. Read more
Friday, September 30, 2016

Bill Shkurti
"Campus Chaos: OSU in the Sixties"
3:30 p.m., 165 Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by University Libraries

Bill ShkurtiJoin us for a panel discussion and book signing of Bill Shkurti's The Ohio State University in the Sixties: The Unraveling of the Old Order (Ohio State University Press, 2016). Panelists include Bill Crandell, one of the leaders of the 1970 student strike; Mabel Freeman, president of the Women's Self Government Association, 1965-66; and Niki Schwartz, president of Students for Liberal Action, 1962-63. Bill Shkurti is a retired employee of Ohio State University and an alumnus. He received both his undergraduate ('68) and masters ('74) degrees from Ohio State. Shkurti served the university for 10 years as a vice president for finance and then another 10 years as senior vice president of business and finance. He currently holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. For more information about campus during this period, please see the online exhibition  Spring of Dissent: The 1970 Student Demonstrations
Monday, October 3, 2016

"Economic Analysis of Key Presidential Election Issues"
6 p.m., 11th Floor, Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

There has been considerable rhetoric around key issues in the upcoming presidential election, but much less analysis of their potential economic impact. Join the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) for an evening conversation that will dig deeper into some of the election issues through a critical unbiased, non-partisan economic examination from leading economic experts. Among the speakers:
  • Mark Partridge, C. William Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy, will provide an overview of the economic agendas released by the candidates.
  • Ian Sheldon, Andersons Chair of Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy, will provide an assessment of the candidates' platforms on jobs and trade.
  • Joyce Chen, Development Economist, will discuss the effects of immigration on the domestic economy.
  • Jung Kim, Managing Director, Research and Business Intelligence, Columbus 2020, will offer an overview of the candidates' platforms from the lens of the potential impact on our region's economy.
Light refreshments will be served. There is no cost to attend. However, we kindly request that all participants register. Register here
Other News
'Origins' traces history of Colombian rebel group FARC


Origins has published its new article: "Colombia: On the Brink of Peace with the FARC?" by Steven L. Taylor.


This summer marked significant progress in resolving one of the longest running guerrilla insurgencies in Latin America when the Colombian government signed a cease-fire agreement with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, known to the world as the FARC. 


While the conflict between the FARC and successive Colombian governments has been going on for decades, this month Steven Taylor describes how the FARC grew out of earlier periods of political violence stretching back in the 19th century and the many reasons why peace has been an elusive goal. 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.

2016 International Photography Competition

All students, faculty, staff, visiting scholars and alumni at The Ohio State University are invited to submit their photos to the 2016 International Photography Competition. Entries will be accepted through October 10. This is a wonderful opportunity to share your original photographs from around the world. In addition to honoring the Best in Show, first, second and third place winners will be selected in the following categories: People, Places and Cultural Exchange. There will also be People's Choice awards for the photos that receive the highest votes via the Facebook voting phase. Visit the Office of International Affairs website to learn more.
1501 Neil Avenue     |     Columbus, OH 43201     |     (614) 292-1681     |     Fax: (614) 292-2407