Mershon Center for International Security Studies
October 23, 2018
In This Issue
Kelly Atkinson
Doctoral Student in Political Science
"Policy and Possibilities of Humanitarian Development: Displaced Women and Peace-building Features of the UNHCR"
Refugee Survey Quarterly
October 4, 2018
Joyce Chen
Assistant Professor of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics
"Moving to despair? Migration and well-being in Pakistan"
World Development
January 2019
Mohamed Helal
Assistant Professor of Law
"The Myth of U.N. Collective Security"
Emory International Law Review
April 23, 2018
Geoffrey Parker
Andreas Dorpalen Professor of European History
Imprudent King: A New Life of Philip II, audiobook narrated by Nigel Patterson
Tantor Audiobooks
October 19, 2018
In the Media
Paul Beck
Academy Professor of Political Science
"Dark Money and Politics"
WOSU-FM All Sides
October 12, 2018
"Get Out the Vote"
WOSU-FM All Sides
October 8, 2018
Bear Braumoeller
Associate Professor of Political Science
"The Science of Peace: Escalating Intensity"
Arts and Sciences Ascent
October 2018
John Casterline
Robert T. Lazarus Professor in Population Studies
"The African Century: Studying the implications of population growth"
Arts and Sciences Ascent
October 2018
Skyler Cranmer
Carter Phillips and Sue Henry Associate Professor of Political Science
"The Science of Peace: Suppressing Conflict"
Arts and Sciences Ascent
October 2018
Lesley Ferris
Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of Theatre
"Theatre And Addressing Racism"
WOSU-FM All Sides
October 15, 2018
John Mueller
Senior Research Scientist
"Nuclear Weapons Don't Matter But Nuclear Hysteria Does"
Foreign Affairs
November/December 2018
Hollie Nyseth Brehm
Assistant Professor of Sociology
"Resilience in the Aftermath of Genocide"
Arts and Sciences Ascent
October 2018
Randall Schweller
Professor of Political Science
"How Trump Is Winning At Foreign Policy"
Kera Think Podcast
October 7, 2018
Peter Shane
Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law
"Why Trump can't fire Powell for disagreement over monetary policy"
October 11, 2018
Thomas Wood
Assistant Professor of Political Science
"Cordray, DeWine sparred in a tamer round two"
Toledo Blade
October 2, 2018
About Mershon Memo
Mershon Memo is a weekly e-mail newsletter distributed by the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, part of the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University.
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Mershon Events
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Steven Lobell
"A Granular Theory of Balancing"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Steven Lobell Steven Lobell is professor of political science at University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Lobell is the author, co-author, or co-editor of seven books including, most recently, Neoclassical Realist Theory of International Politics (Oxford University Press, 2016) and The Political Economy of Regional Peacemaking (University of Michigan Press, 2016). He is also the PI of Department of Defense Minerva Research Initiative award on "Power Projection, Deterrence Strategies, and Escalation Dynamics in an Era of Challenging Near Peers, Rogue States, and Terrorist and Insurgent Organizations." In this event, Lobell will present a finely tuned theory of balancing, arguing that states do balance effectively. Read more and register at
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Annette Becker
"Messengers of the Disaster: Raphael Lemkin, Jan Karski and Genocides"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Annette Becker Annette Becker is a professor at University of Paris-Nanterre and honorary member of the Institut Universitaire de France. She is deputy director of the International Research Center of the Historial de la Grande Guerre [Museum of the Great War]. She has published widely on World War I, its commemoration, return of the soldiers, humanitarian aspect and trauma, and now focuses on the cultural aspects of the wars and links between the two World Wars. She will discuss her latest book Messagers du désastre, Raphaël Lemkin, Jan Karski et les génocides (Fayard, 2018), a history of the concept of genocide: the perpetrators, the victims, and the "messengers" who try to warn, to see, to speak. Read more and register at
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Carol Graham
"Unequal Hopes, Lives, and Lifespans in the U.S.A.: Insights from the New Science of Well-Being"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Carol Graham Carol Graham is the Leo Pasvolsky Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, College Park Professor at University of Maryland, and senior scientist at Gallup. Her most recent books include Happiness for All? Unequal Lives and Hopes in Pursuit of the American Dream (Princeton, 2017), The Pursuit of Happiness: An Economy of Well-Being (Brookings, 2011), and Happiness around the World: The Paradox of Happy Peasants and Miserable Millionaires (Oxford, 2009). At this event, Graham will discuss how well-being metrics can be used to identify and monitor trends in life satisfaction and hope, and in desperation and misery. Read more and register at
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Daniel Ahn
"The Sword and the Shield: The Economic Impact of Targeted Sanctions and Adversarial Counter-Strategies"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Co-sponsored with Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Daniel Ahn Daniel P. Ahn is a professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he teaches graduate courses on energy economics and conflict; senior adviser at the Rapidan Group; and adviser for the U.S. government. He was previously the chief economist at the U.S. Department of State, where he advised the secretary and senior principals on a wide range of international economic and security topics relevant to U.S. foreign policy, including global macroeconomic growth, financial stability, economic sanctions, counter-terrorist financing, international trade, and energy security. Read more and register at
Friday, November 2, 2018

Peter Turchin
"The Evolution of Complex Societies: Old Theories and New Data"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Peter Turchin Peter Turchin is a scientist and an author who wants to understand how human societies evolve, and why we see such a staggering degree of inequality in economic performance and effectiveness of governance among nations. Turchin is the founder of a new transdisciplinary field of cliodynamics, which uses the tools of complexity science and cultural evolution to study the dynamics of historical empires and modern nation-states. His most recent books are Ultrasociety: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators on Earth (Beresta Books, 2015), and Ages of Discord: A Structural-Demographic Analysis of American History (Beresta Books, 2016). Read more and register at
Mershon News
Mershon welcomes new peace studies coordinator
The Mershon Center for International Security Studies has a new peace studies coordinator on staff by way of Northern Ireland.

Teri Murphy
Teri Murphy
Teri Murphy was most recently deputy executive director at Corrymeela Peace Center, Northern Ireland's oldest peace and reconciliation organization. There she oversaw an analytic review of peacebuilding programming and developed a consensus-driven strategic plan; supervised 35 full-time staff and 25 volunteers; and managed a £1.5 million budget.

The experience positions her well for the peace studies coordinator role, which is split between the Mershon Center and the International Studies Program.

For Mershon, Murphy will develop, plan, execute and supervise peace-related programming and educational activities, including conferences and speaker panels; cultivate, expand and sustain collaborative partnerships with community organizations; and supervise peace-related student groups and activities. Additionally, she will teach three undergraduate courses each year for the International Studies Program's Peace Studies minor.

Murphy has been actively engaged in conflict intervention and peacebuilding in several international contexts for the past 25 years. Her primary research interests focus on the intersection between peace, human security, and development.

As a scholar-practitioner, Murphy conducts applied research in conflict-affected settings including Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Turkey/Syria, and the MENA region. Her focus is on developing culturally adaptive and complexity sensitive policies and practices for relief, stabilization, development, and transitional processes. She has written several policy briefs related to Turkey's mediative influence and aid approach in the region.

Murphy has a Ph.D. in social psychology from University of Cape Town. Read more
Other Events
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Robert Johnson
"Go to Your Gawd Like a Soldier": Understanding the Experience of Wars in Afghanistan from Malalai to the Mujahideen"
3:30 p.m., 168 Dulles Hall, 
230 Annie and John Glenn Ave.
Sponsored by Department of History

Robert JohnsonThis lecture will examine the experience of war through four key themes: the appropriation of memory, the trauma of war, the ambiguity of victory, and the soldier experience. It will offer insights into the political, cultural, economic, social, ideological, psychological, and geographical factors that characterized conflict in Afghanistan across the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Robert Johnson is director of the Changing Character of War Research Centre at the University of Oxford. He is author of The Great War and the Middle East (2016) and The Afghan Way of War (2011), among other titles. For more information, contact Jennifer Siegel
Friday, November 2, 2018

Integrating Philosophical and Economic Perspectives on Well-Being
165 Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave. Mall
Sponsored by Center for Ethics and Human Values

When economists and philosophers talk about human well-being, are they talking about the same thing? Can we make progress on challenges like environmental sustainability and other important policy questions without a shared understanding of what human well-being consists in? This conference aims to foster interdisciplinary understanding and collaboration between philosophers and economists who are interested in well-being. It should be of interest not only to philosophers and economists, but to anyone interested in human well-being. Main speakers include Daniel Hausman (Philosophy - Wisconsin) and John Weymark (Economics - Vanderbilt)  Read more and register
Other News
'Origins' examines history of presidential scandals

Origins has published a new piece: " American Presidential Scandals" by Marc Horger.

Unprecedented. That word has been tossed around a lot since Donald Trump decided to run for president. Whether or not it has been overused, it certainly applies to the volume and scope of the scandals in which he has been embroiled since 2016. Presidential malfeasance is not new, but as historian Marc Horger traces, Trump's scandals have wrapped up all the different kinds of disrepute into one tangled web to an extent that is, well, unprecedented.

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.
Slavic Center to show film on Velvet Revolution

The Center for Slavic and Eastern European Studies will host a screening of the film " Listopad: A Memory of the Velvet Revolution" followed by a discussion with the film's producer, Jeffrey Brown on Thursday, November 15, from 7-9 p.m. in Room 14 of the Psychology Building

Here is a synopsis of the film: "Petr, Jiri and Ondrej are an unlikely trio of friends. An artist, a hockey player and a music trader, the boys survive Communism by playing sports, drinking beer, chasing girls and listening to underground music. But they are bound together by their common desire for freedom and, on a cold, dark night in November, Petr, Jiri and Ondrej join the front lines of a student demonstration in the streets of Praha. Face-to-face with the riot police, the boys are forced into a momentous decision: stand up against the Communist regime or give in to a system that has silenced their families for generations."
Carmen Collection: 1968 and the OSU34

At The Ohio State University, a Black Student Union (BSU) was formed to address concerns of African American students. In April 1968, a meeting was scheduled with BSU members and university administrators to discuss discriminatory housing practices and the lack of black faculty and course content at the university. After a white driver ordered four BSU members off a campus bus for discussing issues of the day, the meeting became increasingly contentious and ultimately resulted in a takeover of the university administration building by what became known as the OSU34. 

In this video, four participants share their stories of that day, the fallout and outcomes that followed, and their return to campus 50 years later to mark that momentous event.  This incredible story is an early edition of the Carmen Collection, a series that highlights hidden Buckeye experiences, challenges and accomplishments that have helped to shape what the university is today. Part of Ohio State's upcoming sesquicentennial celebration, the Carmen Collection will debut in autumn 2019. See it at
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