Mershon Center for International Security Studies
January 26, 2015
In This Issue
In the Media
Paul Beck
Distinguished Social and Behavioral Sciences Professor Emeritus
"State of the Union Analysis"
January 21, 2015
Bear Braumoeller
Associate Professor of Political Science
"Reading professional journal articles on the iPad"
January 6, 2015
John Mueller
Senior Research Scientist
"Vlaming 'in de ban van angst voor terrorisme'. Ondertussen al 25 doden op de weg dit jaar"
["Fleming 'in the grip of fear of terrorism.' Meanwhile, all 25 deaths on the road this year"]
News Monkey, Belgium
January 19, 2015

"America's Terrorism Fear Factory Rolls On"
January 17, 2015

"We worry too much about terrorism"
January 15, 2015

"Ignore the headlines. The world is getting safer all the time."
January 14, 2015 
Oded Shenkar
Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management
World Insight, CCTV News, minute 10:15
January 23, 2015
Marc Spindelman
Isadore and Ida Topper Professor of Law
January 16, 2015
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
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ian Hurd
"The Politics of the International Rule of Law"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Ian Hurd Ian Hurd is a scholar of international politics and law at Northwestern University. His current work examines the history, politics, and practice of the international rule of law and its contribution to the contemporary international order. A leading theorist of international relations, Hurd is head of the International Organizations section of the International Studies Association. In this project Hurd considers the political implications of the turn to law in global politics. He examines the international rule of law as a political system, one which distributes power, authority, and obligation among actors. It defines the authority that constitutes states; it endows a language of political legitimation in the categories of lawful and unlawful state behavior; and it defines the parameters of responsibility and irresponsibility for the harms that arise from international acts. Read more and register at
Thursday, January 29, 2015

Istv�n Poved�k
"Vernacular Religious Wars: The Battle of S�k�sd"
4 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Istvan Povedak This workshop will feature Mershon Center visiting scholar Istv�n Poved�k, who will speak on vernacular religious wars. Conflicts between believers and the clergy arose in a small Hunagarian village in 1993 when a woman claimed that Jesus appeared to her and asked her to serve as his messenger. Since then Marika, the visionary of S�k�sd, has induced a remarkable pilgrimage from different parts of the country. Despite prohibition by Hungarian bishops, the chapel - built by Marika and her followers - is filled with pilgrims waiting for the message of Jesus mediated by the visionary. Poved�k will examine the contradictorily interpreted phenomena that generated significant tensions in the vernacular religiosity of Hungarian Roman Catholic believers. Co-sponsored by the Center for Folklore Studies and English Department. Read more and register at
Monday, February 2, 2015

Istv�n and Kinga Poved�k
"Transitions in Vernacular Religiosity: The Post-Socialist Case"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Istvan PovedakIn this graduate student workshop, visiting scholars Istv�n and Kinga Poved�k will introduce the changes and transformations of vernacular religiosity of Central and Eastern Europe in the past half-century. The first part of the lecture will focus on the religious circumstances of the Socialist era, the survival strategies of vernacular religiosity, the role of religious music as a countercultural practice. The second thematic part analyzes the transformations after 1989, the influx of transnational religious movements in the region such as the Pentecostal awakening among Romani groups and the "Neopagan-Christian war." The aspects of religious transformations will be demonstrated through Hungarian case studies. Students should register for the graduate workshop on Buckeye Link for 1 credit hour of English 8193 with Dorothy Noyes, course number 27469. Co-sponsored by the Center for Folklore Studies and English Department. Read more at
Friday, February 6, 2015

Penny Von Eschen
"Rebooting the Cold War: Cultural Narratives of Triumphalism and Nostalgia"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Penny Von EschenPenny Von Eschen is professor of history and American culture at University of Michigan. Her research interests include transnational cultural and political dynamics, race, gender, and empire, and the political culture of United States imperialism. Von Eschen is author of Satchmo Blows up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War (Harvard, 2004) and Race against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937-1957 (Cornell, 1997). In this lecture, she will examine the stakes of U.S. policy makers and cultural producers' national and global discourses about the Cold War. Von Eschen argues that a conservative narrative about the Cold War was consolidated in the 1999-2000 George W. Bush campaign, and that this account of the Cold War fundamentally shaped American responses to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Read more and register at
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Istv�n Poved�k
"The Sacralization of Nation: How Neonationalism Affects Vernacular Culture in Post-Socialist Hungary"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Istvan PovedakIstv�n Poved�k is a research fellow at MTA-SZTE Research Group for the Study of Religious Culture in Szegad, Hungary. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies as a specialist in vernacular religion. Poved�k is pursuing a project comparing celebrity images of Hungarian Romani and Afro-American heroes and stars. He is interested in the contemporary cult of heroes and celebrities, vernacular religiosity and the mingling of neonationalism-Christianity-neopaganism. In this presentation, he will discuss how certain Hungarian subcultures relate to their national consciusness. Co-sponsored by the Center for Folklore Studies and English Department. Read more and register at
Featured News
Young Rae Choi (right), doctoral student in geography, interviewed a fisherman mending his net while on a Mershon-funded research trip for her dissertation on urbanization and land reclamation in China. 
Mershon Center offers faculty, student grants, scholarships


 Each year, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies holds a competition for Ohio State faculty and students to apply for research grants and scholarship funds. 


Faculty and student research grant applications must be for projects related to the study of national security in a global context. We are also interested in projects that emphasize our initiatives in climate and security, peace-building and development, and democratization; strengthen the global gateways in China, India and Brazil; relate to campus area studies centers and institutes; or address the university's Discovery Themes of health and wellness, energy and the environment, and food production and security.


In recent years the center has funded several dozen faculty and student research projects with grants for travel, seminars, conferences, interviews, experiments, surveys, library costs, and more. To learn about the types of projects being funded, please see past issues of the Mershon Center Annual Report on the website under Publications.


The Mershon Center has also established the International Security Study Abroad Scholarship to support undergraduates whose professional training and career plans lie in the field of international security and who would benefit by studying in a foreign country. Students are encouraged to take foreign language courses, especially those deemed critical for national security. As many as 12 scholarships of up to $2,000 each will be awarded.


For more information, including application forms and instructions, please see the Grants section  of the Mershon Center website. The deadline for all applications is Friday, February 13, 2015.

Other Events
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Peace and Religion: Making Our Way in a Conflicted World
7 p.m., Saxbe Auditorium, Moritz College of Law, 55 W. 12th Ave.
Sponsored by the Ohio State Peace Studies Society

Several speakers from various spiritual perspectives will come together to foster a common understanding of peace. They will discuss where our differences in religion, belief, and spiritual practice stem from. Questions to be examined include:
  • What does religion have to do with peace? What are the roles of spirituality and religion in the world of peace?
  • What are the core messages of the religions and of other major perspectives?
  • Do we genuinely accept one another's different thoughts on these issues? Is world peace attainable?
  • How do you envision the future of the world?

Join us to share in the discussion about where our differences in religion, belief, and spiritual practice stem from. Featured speakers include:

  • Azam Akram, representative of the international Ahmadiyya Muslim community, who lectures nationwide about Islam. Ahmadiyya promotes true teachings of Islam that speak about peace and unity of humanity.
  • Feivel Strauss serves as a rabbi and senior Jewish educator at the Wexner Hillel Jewish Center at Ohio State. He lived in Israel for 15 years and has studied Talmudic law, Biblical exegesis, and Jewish history.
  • Seth Josephson is a second generation Buddhist and a cofounder of the Buddhist Network of Central Ohio. He is a doctoral candidate in Ohio State's Comparative Studies Department.
  • Eric Chabot is director of Ratio Christi ("Reason for Christ"), a Christian apologetics ministry at Ohio State that advocates for tolerance. He received a master's in religious studies from Southern Seminary.
Thursday, February 19, 2015

Edward Maibach
"TV Weathercasters as Climate Educators: Making the Global Local"
11 a.m., 360 Journalism Building, 242 W. 18th Ave.
Sponsored by School of Communication and Byrd Polar Research Center

Edward MaibachSince the first Climate Change in the American Mind survey (2008), investigators at George Mason and Yale Universities found that 2 out of 3 American adults trust TV weathercasters as a source of information about climate change. Upon learning this factoid, a senior TV meteorologist working in the Washington, D.C., media market phoned the lead investigator at Mason with a proposition: Let's work together to test the proposition that TV weathercasters can be effective climate educators.


That call led to three NSF grants (and philanthropic funding), and to a partnership involving universities (Mason, Yale, and Cornell), nonprofit organizations (Climate Central), professional societies (American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association), and government agencies (NOAA and NASA), and to considerable evidence that supports the proposition that America's TV weathercasters can indeed play an important role in educating the public about the local consequences of a global challenge.


Edward Maibach MPH, PhD (Communication, Stanford, 1990) is director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University. He conducts research on public engagement in climate change, and co-chaired the Engagement and Communication Working Group for the 3rd National Climate Assessment. He previously served as associate director of the National Cancer Institute, worldwide director of social marketing at Porter Novelli, and chairman of the board for Kidsave International. Read more

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Taking Ohio's Temperature: Assessing Local Health Impacts of Climate Change
7 p.m., WOSU@COSI, 333 W. Broad St.
Presented by Health Science Frontiers

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently announced that 2014 was globally among the top three warmest years since record-keeping began. However, what does this change in global climate mean locally for Ohio and Ohioans in the long-term?


According to 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment, Ohio is likely to experience more extreme heatwaves, increased heavy rain downpours, and flooding that will significantly worsen both local air and water quality. Climate change will also likely worsen existing environmental problems to harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.


How will these environmental changes impact human health in Ohio? Scientists and health experts warn that lower air quality may worsen asthma and increase respiratory diseases and infections. Lower water quality may also boost rates of infectious insect and water-borne diseases. Drinking water supplies may also be threatened, as recently happened in Toledo last year, as toxic algal blooms occurring in Lake Erie and inland water reservoirs occur more frequently.


So how do we adapt to these new climate conditions? What health precautions do we need to take? How do we communicate and educate Ohioans about these health risks? Please join us for a public conversation on these topics and more with a panel of local and national health, risk, and climate experts, including:

  • Edward Maibach, Professor and Director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University
  • David Bromwich, Professor of Geography and Senior Research Scientist at the OSU Byrd Polar Research Center
  • Jeffrey Reutter, Director, Ohio State Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory
  • Richard Hicks, Director, Office of Health Planning at Columbus Public Health

The panel will be moderated by a WOSU journalist. The event is free and open to the general public with seating beginning at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will be able to participate in the panel discussion during the Q and A session. Free parking vouchers will be distributed at the event. Please RSVP your attendance to by February 18, 2015.  Read more

Friday, February 20, 2015

Kathryn D. Sullivan
John H. Glenn Lecture on the Future of Space Policy and Exploration

7 p.m., Sanders Grand Lounge, Longaberger Alumni House, 2200 Olentangy River Road
Presented by John Glenn School of Public Affairs

Kathryn Sullivan

Kathryn Sullivan is a an esteemed scientist, renowned astronaut and intrepid explorer.


Prior to being confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, Sullivan held the position of assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction and deputy administrator.


Sullivan is the United States co-chair of the Group on Earth Observations, an intergovernmental body that is building a Global Earth Observation System of Systems to provide environmental intelligence relevant to societal needs.


An accomplished oceanographer, she was appointed NOAA's chief scientist in 1993, where she oversaw a research and technology portfolio that included fisheries biology, climate change, satellite instrumentation, and marine biodiversity.


She was the inaugural director of the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.  Prior to joining Ohio State, she served as president and CEO of COSI.


Sullivan was one of the first six women selected to join the NASA astronaut corps in 1978 and holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space. She flew on three shuttle missions during her 15-year career, including the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope.


Sullivan holds a bachelor's degree in earth sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a doctorate in geology from Dalhousie University in Canada. Read more and buy tickets to this event 

Other News
'Origins' examines presidential agenda in Turkey


Origins has published its new article: "Erdogan's Presidential Dreams, Turkey's Constitutional Politics," by Patrick Scharfe.


In the past several months, former Turkish Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made international headlines for statements about the roles and rights of women in Turkey, for constructing a massive new presidential palace, and for arrests of journalists. Some opponents worry that Erdoğan intends to impose his brand of Islamism on the long-secular Turkish political system. 


This month, historian Patrick Scharfe reminds us that Erdoğan's agenda also involves fundamentally rewriting the Turkish constitution to create a powerful presidency in place of its traditional figurehead role. To understand where the Turkish political system might be headed under Erdoğan requires us to understand the historical forces and military coups that have shaped it. The whole article can be found 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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