Mershon Center for International Security Studies
February 17, 2014
In This Issue
Bear Braumoeller
Associate Professor of Political Science

For being selected by the International Studies Association to recieve the 2014 J. David Singer Book Award for an outstanding book published in the previous three years for his book The Great Powers and the International System: Systemic Theory in Empirical Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
Geoffrey Parker
Andreas Dorpalen Professor of History

For being selected by the Society for Military History to receive a 2014 Distinguished Book Award for the best book-length publication in English on non-United States military history for his book Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century (Yale University Press, 2013).  The award, which carries a $1,000 stipend, will be presented on April 4 during the annual meeting of the Society for Military History in Kansas City, Missouri.  

And for receiving a 2014-15 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete a new biography of Emperor Charles V (1500-1558). The NEH Fellowship program receives an average of 1,252 applications per year and makes an average of 88 awards per year, for a funding ratio of 7 percent.
In the Media
Kendra McSweeney
Associate Professor of Geography
"Lawlessness is Undoing Effort to Save Honduran Forests"
The New York Times
Februarly 12, 2014
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, February 20, 2014

Gregory Maney
"Explaining Political Violence Against Citizens in Northern Ireland: A Contention-Oriented Approach"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Gregory Maney is professor of sociology at Hofstra University, where he is director of active citizenship at the Center for Civic Engagement and co-director of the Irish Studies program. A recent co-authored article on political violence in Northern Ireland published in Mobilization received the Peace, War, and Social Conflict Section of the American Sociological Association's award for Outstanding Published Article. Another recent article on the relationship between reforms and nonviolent contention published in Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change received the Emerald Literati Network Award for Excellence. Maney is working on two National Science Foundation-funded projects on political violence and peace movements. Read more and register at
Monday, February 24, 2014

Eric Jennings
"Free French Africa in World War II"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Eric Jennings is professor of history at University of Toronto, specializing in modern French colonialism. His study of French Equatorial Africa and Cameroon under Free French rule, entitled La France libre fut africaine, is forthcoming with Perrin and will appear in English with Cambridge University Press. It considers the centrality of sub-Saharan Africa for the early Fighting French movement, paying special attention to issues of legitimacy and coercion. His Dalat and the Making and Undoing of French Indochina (California Press, 2011) is a multi-angled study of a French colonial hill station in Southeast Asia.  This presentation focuses upon the contribution of African colonies to the Free French war effort of General Charles de Gaulle.  Read more and register at
Friday, February 28, 2014

Douglas Brinkley
"Vietnam, Walter Cronkite, and Today's Foreign Policy Lessons"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Douglas Brinkley is professor of history at Rice University, bestselling author, and presidential historian for CBS News.  Brinkley is currently working on the third volume of his U.S. conservation history series, tentatively titled Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Renewal of America. The first two volumes, The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America and The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom, 1879 to 1960, were both bestsellers. Brinkley's 1994 book, The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey, chronicled his first experience teaching the American Odyssey course, an innovative on-the-road class that became the progenitor to C-SPAN's Yellow School Bus. Read more and register at
Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Judith Recanti and Colonel Orly Gal
"Creating a Healthy Society - the Vision, Role, and Contribution of Women"
7 p.m., OSU Hillel, Wexner Jewish Student Center, 46 E. 16th Ave.

Judith Recanti Judith Yovel Recanti (left) and Colonel Orly Gal (Res.) are two extraordinary women, each a leading social activist in Israel. In 1998 Judith founded NATAL - Israel Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War. Judith's mission was to build a healthier Israeli society by addressing the needs of those individuals who have experienced psychological trauma related to the ongoing conflict in Israel, including trauma from terrorism, military experience, and rocket attacks. Orly joined in this mission as NATAL's executive director in 2006. Since then, Judith and Orly have created what is now considered the largest, most comprehensive, and "go to" organization for war and terror-related trauma treatment in Israel. NATAL is an apolitical organization that treats any Israeli (whether Jewish, Muslim or Christian) who has experienced conflict-related trauma. RSVP required to  Read more at
Friday, March 7, 2014

Charli Carpenter
"Lost Causes: Agenda Setting and Agenda-Vetting in the Global Issues Networks"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Charli Carpenter Charli Carpenter is associate professor of political science at University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her interests include national security ethics, the laws of war, agenda-setting in transnational advocacy networks, gender and political violence, humanitarian affairs and the role of information technology in human security. She will discuss human security networks and agenda-setting. Her research centers on the role of network structure in norm development, and contributes to the growing engagement by IR scholars with network theory as a theory, rather than as a metaphor for alternate forms of governance. She is particularly interested in how changes in information technology are both enhancing and also constituting networked forms of governance in the human security area. Read more and register at

Featured News
Confirming Election of 2012
The Confirming Election of 2012 conference, organized by Herb Weisberg (third from left), took place at the Mershon Center on October 11-12, 2013.
Conference examined election that re-elected Obama

You can watch the recorded sessions from The Confirming Election of 2012 conference, which took place at the Mershon Center on October 11-12, 2013. Organized by Herb Weisberg, professor emeritus of political science, the conference examined the 2012 presidential campaign and election, analyzing factors that affected voting, including the impact of domestic, foreign, and military policy debates. The election confirmed Obama's 2008 voter coalition of African-Americans, Hispanics, women, gays, and young people, with each of these groups continuing to vote Democratic and with higher than their normal turnout levels. Thus, the 2012 election could be seen as confirming a pro-Democratic realignment of the electorate that had emerged in the 2008 election, which could have long-term implications. 
Other Events
Thursday, February 20, 2014

Casper Symposium
Noon, Saxbe Auditorium, Moritz College of Law, 55 N. 12th St.
Sponsored by Department of Political Science and Alexander Hamilton Society

Michael Singh The Casper Symposium was endowed by Sheldon Robert Casper, a prominent Ohio attorney, to honor the memory of his parents. The Symposium aims to discuss an important policy question from several points of view.  The focus of the 2014 Casper Symposium will be on two main questions: (1) How should the United States deal with the Iran's nuclear program? and (2) What should the United States do about the civil war in Syria?  Featured panelists include Mershon affiliates Christopher Gelpi, Chair of Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution; Richard Herrmann, chair of political science; and Alexander Thompson, associate professor of political science, as well as Michael Singh (left), managing director of The Washington Institute.  Read more
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Daniel Y. Kim
"Nationalist Frames of Memory and The Korean War: The National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian and The War Memorial in Seoul"
4 p.m., Multicultural Center, Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St.
Sponsored by Institute for Korean Studies

Daniel Kim Daniel Y. Kim, associate professor of English at Brown University, will examine a curious similarity between two state-sponsored sites of historical memory -- the War Memorial of Seoul and the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.  Both present the Korean war as an event whose meaning is discernible only insofar as it is contextualized in relation to other wars. In "The Price of Freedom: Americans at War," a permanent exhibit at the National Museum of American History in the Smithsonian, the Korean War section comprises a small corner room that sits between the monumental exhibits devoted to World War II and the Vietnam War. That conflict is reduced to either an echo or foreshadowing of another war, its meaning crowded out by the other, more significant conflicts that preceded and followed it. Ironically, a similar dependence on framing characterizes the place of the Korean War in the War Memorial of Seoul. While the conflict functions as the centerpiece and climactic event in that exhibit, the sections devoted to a centuries-long history of repelling foreign invaders as well as to the South Korean involvement in Vietnam are in fact indispensable to explaining the Korean War's significance. Read more

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rachael Woldoff
"From Rent Control to Luxury: Seniors, Yuppies, and College Students Sharing an Apartment Community"
3:30 p.m., 1080 Derby Hall, 154 N. Oval Mall
Sponsored by Center for Urban and Regional Analysis

Rachael Woldoff, associate professor of sociology at West Virginia University and winner of the 2013 Best Book Award from the Urban Affairs Association, will speak about her ethnographic project (under contract with NYU Press) on New York City's Stuyvesant Town which has been called the "largest American real estate deal ever."  Woldoff received her Ph.D. in sociology from Ohio State in 2003. Read more

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Alexander Cooley
"Central Asia's Changing Regional Security Dynamics: 2014 and Beyond"
4 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by Center for Slavic and East European Studies

Alexander Cooley The Center for Slavic and East European Studies invites students, faculty and the general public to join us for the 2014 CSEES Graduate Student Choice Speaker lecture. Each spring, Slavic Center masters students choose a speaker outside of Ohio State to give the lecture and then take the lead in organizing the event.  This year  Alexander Cooley (Columbia University) will give a presentation arguing that the era of Central Asian "multivectorism" is drawing to a close. It will examine the current strategic repositioning and of Russia, China and the United States in the context of NATO's withdrawal from the region and their possible regional political dynamics and consequences. This talk draws on some material from Cooley's book, Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia, but also goes beyond it to show how the careful managing of external relations that the Central Asian states engaged in from 2001-11 is likely to be significantly challenged. Read more

Mershon News
Mershon welcomes back former director as visiting scholar


The Mershon Center welcomes a new visiting scholar this year -- or perhaps we should say we are welcoming him back.


Charles F. Hermann (Chuck), now at Texas A&M, has a long history at The Ohio State University, where he was a member of the Department of Political Science, and at the Mershon Center, where he served first as associate director beginning in 1970 and then as director from 1980 to 1995.


After leaving Ohio State, Hermann became founding director of the George H. W. Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, where he now is the Brent Scowcroft Chair in International Policy Studies and International Affairs.


As a professor of international affairs his expertise is in American and comparative foreign policy, crisis management and simulation. In 2012 he edited When Things Go Wrong: Foreign Policy Decision Making Under Adverse Feedback. Previous books include Violent Conflict in the 21st Century, The American Defense Annual, New Directions in Foreign Policy, International Crises, and Why Nations Act.


Hermann will speak at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, on "Critical Foreign Policy Decisions: Continue or Change Course?"  Read more and register

'Origins' examines Russian laws, attitudes on homosexuality


Origins has published its new article: "Russia, Gay Rights, and the Sochi Olympics," by David Stone.


Origins logoThe Sochi Olympics were designed to be a crowning moment in the Russia of Vladimir Putin, a chance to move on from the years of breakdown and uncertainty that followed the end of the Soviet Union and to celebrate a strong, new Russia. And they have been. But the games have also been marred by cost overruns, corruption, terrorist threats, and most especially international backlash against Russian treatment of homosexuality. This month, historian David Stone explores the roots of Russia's new law on homosexual propaganda and the increasing intolerance of Russian society. The whole article can be found at


About Origins: More than seven years old, Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective is a monthly ad-free magazine that features top scholars on today's most pressing topics. It is published by The Ohio State History Department. Past Origins articles and content, available for free online, have been utilized by PBS documentaries and NPR stations, and been circulated by the Georgian president, US military generals, the AARP, and high school social studies teachers, while its authors include National Book Award winners and world-renowned scholars. You can also explore our book reviews of popular history books on the Origins website as well as our new monthly feature Milestones. Origins is interested in teaming with like-minded organizations and websites.

McSweeney finds new threat to forests: drug trafficking


Mershon affiliate Kendra McSweeney, associate professor of geography, is the lead author of a new study published in Science, finding that drug trafficking endangers rainforests in Central America. 


According to the study, the craving for cocaine in the United States is fueling the destruction of rainforests in Central America as narco-traffickers seek new routes to ship their drugs and expand areas to launder profits. Read more from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Kent State to host peace studies conference


This academic year marks the 40th year of the Applied Conflict Management BA degree at Kent State University. It is also the inaugural year of the Conflict Analysis and Management track in the Ph.D. in political science. To mark this occasion, CACM is having a conference on Friday, March 7 entitled, "Conflict Management Practices and Possibilities: A Conference Celebrating 40 Years of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State University."


George Lopez George Lopez, a major scholarly figure in peace and conflict studies in general and in economic sanctions in particular, is keynoting the conference. He recently left an endowed chair at Notre Dame for a vice-presidential position with United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C.


There is an entire day of workshops and a lunch session with Gandhi in the person of Gandhi portrayer Bernie Meyer. For students is a panel of alumni with successful careers in the field of conflict management discussing their work and career options, and another panel of community mediators from the region. It is an exciting mix of practitioners, scholars, and performers lined up for the day.


Registration costs all of $12, includes lunch, and must be completed by Tuesday, February 25. Read more and register


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