Mershon Center for International Security Studies
September 26 , 2016
In This Issue
In the Media
Paul Beck
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioral Sciences

"Ohio poised to go down to the line on Election Day"
September 22, 2016
John Mueller
Woody Hayes Senior Research Scientist

"Local expert: Biggest impact from terror attacks is fear"
Springfield News-Sun
September 19, 2016
Randy Schweller
Professor of Political Science

"President Trump's First Term"
The New Yorker
September 26, 2016
David Stebenne
Professor of History and Law

"The Religious Backgrounds of Mike Pence and Tim Kaine and the 2016 Presidential Election"
Huffington Post
September 16, 2016

"A Diversified Economy Cushions Columbus, Ohio, From Downturns"
September 19, 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
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
Monday, October 17, 2016

Robert Ross
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Robert Ross Robert S. Ross is professor of political science at Boston College, associate at the John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University, and senior advisor of the Security Studies Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on Chinese security policy, East Asian security, and U.S.-China relations. His recent publications include Chinese Security Policy: Structure, Power, and Politics; China's Ascent: Power, Security, and the Future of International Politics, and New Directions in the Study of Chinese Foreign Policy. In this talk, Ross will discuss how heightened pressure for the United States and China to expand their alliance commitments is undermining prospects for mutual restraint. Read more and register at
Mershon News
Job opening: Director, Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Mershon Center logo stacked The Ohio State University seeks a director for the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. The center is the intellectual center on campus for the study of national and international security in a global context. It brings together top faculty from across campus and beyond to promote multi-disciplinary collaboration, high quality scholarship, and public outreach that addresses the questions central to security studies, broadly defined. Ohio State's Office of International Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences sponsor this position jointly. The director will be expected to pursue an active research agenda and to carry a half-time teaching load in his or her department.

Qualifications: The Mershon Director must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree and have a record of successful publication and teaching that justifies appointment at the rank of full professor. Experiences in governmental, inter-governmental, and/or non-governmental institutions and agencies dealing with security issues are desirable, as is significant experience of international engagement and collaboration generally. Applicants should have a track record of academic leadership including grant seeking and institution building. 

Application Instructions: More information about the position including an application form and instructions can be found at Academic Jobs Online at All applicants should submit a curriculum vitae and a cover letter briefly (1-2 pages) explaining why they are interested in the position and describing their vision of international security studies going forward. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled but those received by October 24, 2016, will receive priority consideration. Inquiries may be directed to Richard Herrmann at
Other Events
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, 160 Enarson Classroom Building, 2009 Millikin Road
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
Thursday, September 29, 2016

Takashi Nishiyama
"Kamikazes: Japanese Suicide Attacks in Global Historical Context"
2:30 p.m., 191 Mendenhall Lab, 125 S. Oval Mall 
Sponsored by East Asian Studies Center

Takashi Nishiyama Suicide attacks have long been misunderstood in the West. Global military history has recorded unplanned, singular, and impulsive suicide attacks by individuals who saw no prospect for survival. World War II Japan, however, was highly distinct in terms of the massive scale and duration of its suicide operation. The tactic of ramming, as practiced by Kamikaze operators against the Americans, remains vividly in the minds of many in the West. In this lecture, Takashi Nishiyama, Department of History at State University of New York, will analyze different meanings attached to suicide and technology for homeland defense by Japan and elsewhere at times of war. He will show that the kamikaze operation mobilized various cultural tools such as altruism, professionalism, and gender roles for urgent homeland defense. 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
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"Facts and Values: How Does Science Inform Democracy?"
3 p.m., 165 Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by Center for Ethics and Human Values

Ellen Peters A crucial issue underlying public debates about sustainability concerns how scientific information is taken up by citizens and then represented within democratic deliberation. A series of influential studies in psychology have suggested that individuals' political commitments significantly affect how they process scientific findings and accommodate them within their belief systems. What exactly do these findings show and to what extent do they threaten the prospects for informed public deliberation about the challenges facing our democracy in the 21st century, including sustainability and climate change?

Ohio State is home to two of the world's leading researchers on these questions: Ellen Peters (left) and Michael Neblo. Peters is director of Ohio State's Decision Sciences Collaborative. In a series of significant articles, she has addressed a wide range of factors affecting complex decision-making processes, including the significance of numeracy and the role of emotions in our judgments. In his work, Neblo defends the possibility of effective democratic deliberation against theoretical and empirical challenges. He sets out his positive vision of deliberative democracy in his forthcoming book, Common Voices: Between the Theory and Practice of Deliberative DemocracyRead more
Thursday, October 13, 2016

John Brooke
"Climate Change, the Anthropocene and the Deep History of the Earth"

7 p.m., Columbus Museum of Art, The Forum, 480 E. Broad St.
Sponsored by the Clio Society

John BrookeWhat is the evidence for human-driven climate change in recent history, what is coming to be called the "Anthropocene"? How does this evidence compare with what we know about climate in the past, both in the more familiar epoch of human history proper, but also in prehistory, and the deep, geological history of the earth? John Brooke will provide a layman's overview, and briefly comment on the way forward for humanity. Brooke is Humanities Distinguished Professor of History and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the Ohio State University. He is, most recently, the author of Climate Change and the Course of Global History: A Rough Journey, published by Cambridge University Press in 2014. Read more
Monday, October 17, 2016

CHINA Town Hall
"Local Connections, National Reflections"

6 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by Institute for Chinese Studies

Jonathan Pollack China's rapid emergence as a global player and potential partner on many U.S. policy priorities has ensured that the Sino-American relationship will have a direct impact on the lives of nearly everyone in both countries. To help Americans better understand the complex U.S.-China relationship, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is conducting the tenth annual CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections. The program at The Ohio State University begins with a lecture by Jonathan Pollack (left) of the Brookings Institution, then a live webcast discussion featuring former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, moderated by National Committee President Stephen Orlins. Pollack's latest book is No Exit: North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, and International Security (Routledge, 2011). His current research, to be published as Endangered Order: Revisionism and Strategic Risk in Northeast Asia, focuses on the strategic ambitions and fears of the leaders of China, Japan, South Korea, and North Korea, and their consequences for the future regional order. Read more
Other News
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, 2016. 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.
Career Enhancement Fellowship for junior faculty

Applications are being accepted for Career Enhancement Fellowships for Junior Faculty, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. This pre-tenure award program seeks to increase minority junior faculty members and other faculty members committed to eradicating racial disparities in core fields in arts and humanities. Application deadline: October 28, 2016.
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