Mershon Center for International Security Studies
September 9, 2013
In This Issue
Geoffrey Parker
For being named one of the first honorary members of the new International Society for Historical Climatology and Climate History. Parker's most recent book is Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century (Yale University Press, 2013).

Sean Kay
For being named director of the Arneson Institute for Practical Politics and Public Affairs at Ohio Wesleyan University. Like the Mershon Center, the Arneson Institute hosts guests speakers on national and international issues, and supports interdisciplinary faculty and student research.

In the Media
Bear Braumoeller
Associate Professor of Political Science

"Is War Really In Decline?"
September 5, 2013
Pop Sci

Study Challenges Theory Modern Nations are Less Warlike"
September 5, 2013
National Geographic

Mark Grimsley
Associate Professor of History

"The Professional Historian and Popular History"
September 1, 2013
Society for Military History blog

Richard Herrmann
Chair, Political Science

"Local Reactions To Syrian Conflict"
August 29, 2013
NBC-4, Columbus

Sean Kay
Mershon Affiliate

"Obama's Decision Reverberates as Global Critics Sense Weakness"
September 2, 2013
Bloomberg News

"Get smart"
August 21, 2013
International Institute for Strategic Studies blog

Peter Mansoor
Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History

"Dangers lurk if U.S. strikes Syria"
August 28, 2013
Columbus Dispatch

"How a U.S. strike on Syria might look"
August 29, 2013
BBC News

"Syria strike targets: White House has likely narrowed down options, experts say"
August 31, 2013
NBC News

"Obama breaks from precedent in asking Congress for approval to strike Syria"
September 1, 2013
The Hill

John Mueller
Ralph D. Mershon Senior Research Scientist

"5 myths about terrorism (including that it works)"
August 20, 2013

Peter Shane
Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law

"Rebalancing War Powers: President Obama's Momentous Decision"
September 1, 2013
Shane Reactions blog

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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Coming up at the Mershon Center
Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jack Donnelly
"Anarchy is not an Ordering Principle, Anarchy Has No Effects: Rethinking the Elements of International Structures"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Jack Donnelly Jack Donnelly is the Andrew Mellon Professor in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at University of Denver. He has written extensively on international human rights, including Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice (Cornell, 3rd ed., 2013). In recent years he has also worked on structural international theory. His talk will present material initially presented in recent articles in International Organization, European Journal of International Relations, and International Theory, and is a step on the path towards a book tentatively titled The Structures of International Societies. Read more and register at

Monday, September 16, 2013

Laura Dugan
"Efforts to Control Terrorism in the Middle East"
12:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Laura Dugan Laura Dugan is associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at University of Maryland. Her research examines the consequences of violence and the efficacy of violence prevention/intervention policy and practice. Dugan is co-principal investigator for two important event-based datasets: the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and the Government Actions in Terrorist Environments (GATE) dataset. This presentation describes efforts to document all actions Middle Eastern governments take that are directed toward terrorist organizations or their constituencies resulting in the GATE database. Read more and register at

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Michael Horowitz
"Presidents, Kings, Dictators, and Wars: Leader Risk and International Politics"
12:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Michael Horowitz Michael Horowitz is associate professor of political science at University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on international conflict issues, especially military innovation by state and non-state actors, the role of leaders in international politics, and the intersection of religion and international relations. His first book, The Diffusion of Military Power: Causes and Consequences for International Politics (Princeton, 2010) won the Edgar S. Furniss Book Award from the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. His current project attempts to bring leaders, the decision makers who start wars and make the peace, back into our core understanding of international politics. Read more and register at

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hassan Sheik Mohamud
President of Somalia
9 a.m., Great Hall Meeting Room, Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St.
Co-sponsored by the John Glenn School of Public Affairs

Hassan Sheik Mohamud Elected president of Somalia in 2012, Hassan Sheik Mohamud is leading the first constitutional government of Somalia in 20 years. Listed by Time magazine as one the 100 most influential people in the world, he has been a civic and political activist, a university professor and dean, and is the founder and chairman of the Peace and Development Party. Read more and register at

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Shirin Tahir-Kheli
"America and the World of Islam: The Role of Women in Muslim Societies"
Noon, Livestream Event
Co-sponsored by the Columbus Council on World Affairs

Shirin Tahir-Kheli Shirin Tahir-Kheli was the first Muslim ambassador for the United States, sworn-in in 1990 as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in special political affairs. As senior adviser to the secretary of state (2005-09), Ambassador Tahir-Kheli played a key role in policy formulation during a critical year for reform efforts in the United Nations and was central to the effort to support the empowerment of women.  Tahir-Kheli was listed by Newsweek in 2011 as one of the "150 Women Who Shake the World." In 2012, she was part of a short list of "Immigrants: The Pride of America" noted in The New York Times. Read more and see the webcast at

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fixing American Democracy: The Quandaries of Political Reform
Symposium featuring Bruce E. Cain
9 a.m., 165 Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave.
Co-sponsored by Moritz College of Law

Bruce Cain In this symposium, Bruce E. Cain will respond to interdisciplinary perspectives by Ohio State scholars on his new book Fixing American Democracy: The Quandaries of Political Reform. Cain is professor of political science at Stanford University and director designate of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. Ohio State participants include Edward Foley and Dan Tokaji, Moritz College of Law; Piers Turner, Philosophy; Paula Baker, History; Mike Neblo, Political Science; Stephane Lavertu, John Glenn School of Public Affairs. Read more and register at

Other Events
Friday, September 13, 2013

Graham Hubbs
"Transparency, Corruption, and Democratic Institutions"
3:30 p.m., 347 University Hall, 230 N. Oval Mall
Sponsored by Conversations on Morality, Politics, and Society (COMPAS)

Graham Hubbs Proponents and critics alike have denied that Wikileaks's releases of state secrets count as the work of a democratic press. A central goal of this paper is to produce an account of the press that is adequate for analyzing this view of Wikileaks's activities. I focus on the institutional role of the press in a well-functioning democracy and discuss the role of transparency in deterring institutional corruption. The basic thought is perhaps unsurprising: to ensure that an institution is serving its public function and not being manipulated for self-interested gain, its activities must be transparent to the public. Graham Hubbs (University of Idaho) argues that transparency can be realized in a democracy only by an extra-governmental institution such as "the press," and that Wikileaks provides a contemporary example. For more information, see

Friday, September 20, 2013

Danielle Fosler-Lussier
"'Bug, are you listening?': Musical Relations between the U.S. and The U.S.S.R."
12:45 p.m., 156 University Hall, 230 N. Oval Mall
Sponsored by the Department of History

Danielle Fosler- Lussier Danielle Fosler-Lussier, associate professor of music at Ohio State and a Mershon Center affiliate, will discuss a chapter from her book-in-progress on American musical cultural diplomacy in the Cold War. She will discuss the section of the book that explores American-Soviet musical cultural diplomacy for the Seminar in Russian, East European, and Eurasian History. More information is on the seminar webpage.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Michael Herzfeld
"Inventing the Language of the Human Sciences: Ancient Sources and Modern Solutions in Greece and Thailand"
Cartoon Room, Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St.
Sponsored by the Sawyer Seminar

Michael Herzfeld In both Greece and Thailand, the emergence of social anthropology and other social science disciplines has necessitated the invention of new technical vocabularies for describing the facts of everyday social existence.  Greek scholars have followed the well-established national pattern of recasting ancient words as modern terms. Many of them, however, also have vernacular currency, creating a distinctive mixture of confusion and clarity.  In Thailand, by contrast, while recourse to Sanskrit is common, English has dominated.  Michael Herzfeld (Harvard University) will explore the cultural, political, and linguistic reasons for the difference between two countries located within the penumbra of colonial influence. For more information, see

Past Events

Christopher Hill slider
Christopher Hill (center), former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, stands with Mershon Center Director
Craig Jenkins (left) and Mason Chair in Military History Peter Mansoor.

Former ambassador to Iraq gave 2012 Kruzel Lecture

Christopher Hill, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, spoke to Ohio State faculty and students at the Mershon Center on October 26, 2012, about "Trends in American Foreign Policy: What the Next Administration Will Face." The event was the Mershon Center's annual Joseph J. Kruzel Memorial Lecture and was organized by Mershon Affiliate Sean Kay, chair of International Studies at Ohio Wesleyan University. Hill served as the U.S. ambassador to Iraq from April 2009 until August 2010. For more information about this event, or to view a streaming video, see the event news page.

Mershon News
2013-14 COMPAS to focus on Public/Private


The Conversations on Morality, Politics, and Society (COMPAS) program for 2013-14 will focus on the distinction between Public and Private. This theme connects a wide range of pressing policy questions and scholarly debates.


Governments have considered privatizing a range of previously public services such as prisons, roads, schools, and the military. At the same time, proponents of social justice have argued that we should sometimes be made publicly accountable for our behavior in "private" domains such as the workplace and the family.


Developments in information technology, genetics, and neuroscience raise new moral, legal, and practical questions about personal privacy. Internet use and social media have changed how we conduct our personal and social lives in ways that invite reflection on the distinction between public and private activity.


The way in which society defines the boundary between public and private also has important implications for the question of how to live a good life. Should there be a sphere of private behavior that is immune from public scrutiny? If so, then how large should this sphere be, and what areas of life should it contain? Should some public functions be performed only by public (politically accountable) actors? If so, then which functions, and why?


This year-long program will explore the many facets of these complex and critical issues. Public and Private will reach across a range of academic disciplines at Ohio State and will include conferences, seminars, colloquia, and community events. Read more at 

Tickets available for Reza Aslan on 9/11

The Office of First Year Experience is inviting all first-year students and the campus community to An Evening with Reza Aslan, on Wednesday, September 11, at 7:30 p.m. at Mershon Auditorium. Aslan, visiting campus as part of the Buckeye Book Community common reading program for the first-year class, will discuss the perception of Islam in America as it relates to the tragedy of 9/11. Pick up free tickets (2 per person) at 340 Student Academic Services Building weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Read more at

All-star cast to highlight Glenn Leadership Forum

Former Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives Jo Ann Davidson will deliver the keynote address in the morning and Sen. John Glenn will lead a conversation between senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown on issues they are facing in Washington during lunch, on Friday, September 27, at the 4-H Center. The forum is designed for alumni, students and individuals working in the public management field and provides professional development sessions in public policy, administration and leadership that are both practical and insightful for leaders in the public, nonprofit and private sectors. Read more at

University of Dayton to hold human rights conference


The University of Dayton will hold a conference on The Social Practice of Human Rights: Charting the Frontier of Research and Advocacy on October 3-5, 2013. Two full days of programming are scheduled.  Friday will include 18 panels of original research in the field of human rights, and Saturday will feature three plenary panels comprised of speakers from major NGOs, philanthropic foundations, and academia to engage in critical issues confronting the human rights community.  More information including a preliminary program and registration is at  


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