Mershon Center for International Security Studies
April 9, 2018
In This Issue
Katherine Borland
Associate Professor of Comparative Studies
Katherine Borland is the recipient of a prestigious 2018-2019 Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies award. She will teach folklore and performance studies at the University of Helsinki in Finland from August 2018 through May 2019. She will also visit folklore programs and ethnological archives at University of Turko, Åbo Akademi, University of Jyväskylä, University of Eastern Finland and the Folklore Archive of the Finnish Literature Society in Helsinki.
In the Media
Richard Gunther
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
Paul Beck
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Erik Nisbet
Associate Professor of Communication
"Researchers say fake news had 'substantial impact' on 2016 election"
The Hill
April 3, 2018

"'Fake news' and the outcome in 2016"
Akron Beacon-Journal
April 6, 2018
Peter Shane
Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law
"How the courts - not Congress - could protect Mueller's investigation"
Washington Post
April 3, 2018
Oded Shenkar
Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management
"Looming Trade War with China"
WOSU-FM All Sides
April 4, 2018
Thomas Wood
Assistant Professor of Political Science
"What principles would you compromise for politics?"
Deseret News
March 28, 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.
Stay Connected

You Tube icon give
Mershon Events
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Steve Fuller
"The Post-Truth Condition: Why We've Always Been There and Why It's Unlikely to Go Away Soon"
12 p.m., 165 Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Avenue Mall

Steve Fuller Steve Fuller is Auguste Comte Professor of Social Epistemology at University of Warwick. Originally trained in history and philosophy of science, Fuller is best known for his foundational work in the field of "social epistemology," which is the name of a quarterly journal he founded in 1987 as well as the first of his more than 20 books. At this event, Fuller will speak on his latest book, Post-Truth: Knowledge as a Power Game, which shows how today's post-truth worldview is deeply rooted in the history and philosophy of religion, politics and science. Read more and register at
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Kassim Alsraiha
"Religion and citizenship in the Gulf States: Does the thinking of contemporary reformist clerics make a difference?"
12 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Co-sponsored by Middle East Studies Center

Kassim Alsraihia Kassim Alsraiha is a faculty member at the Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev in Beer Sheva, Israel, where he facilitates leadership and professional training, specializing in education and community development. He is one of the founders and served on the board of directors for AHED, the Association of Academics for the Development of Arab Society in the Negev, and worked as a project manager at the Center for Bedouin Research and Development. This talk will examine the reformist religious citizenship proposed by reformist clerics and the degree to which these new ideas are being accepted by the populations of the Gulf States. Read more and register at
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Sarah Bush
"Who's There? Election Observer Identity and the Local Credibility of Elections"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Sarah Bush Sarah Bush is assistant professor of political science at Temple University. Her recent book, The Taming of Democracy Assistance: Why Democracy Promotion Does Not Confront Dictators (Cambridge, 2015), explores how and why the United States and other developed countries turned to democracy promotion at the end of the Cold War and what the impact of doing so has been. In this event, she will discuss the effect that election observers have on local attitudes about elections, arguing that the activities of election observers can enhance the local credibility of elections, but only when locals perceive observers as being both capable of detecting fraud and unbiased in that pursuit. Read more and register at
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Stephen Macekura
"Dethroning the Goddess of GNP: Environmentalism, International Development, and the Origins of Ecological Economics"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Stephen Macekura Stephen Macekura is a scholar of U.S. and international history who focuses on political economy, international development, U.S. foreign relations, and environmentalism. He is the author of Of Limits and Growth: The Rise of Global 'Sustainable Development' in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge, 2015). The book analyzes how environmental NGOs struggled to implement environmental protection measures in the developing world in the 1950s and 1960s and then critiqued and reformed the development policies of the U.S. government, World Bank, and UN system in the 1970s and 1980s. At this event, Macekura will explore critiques of economic growth by revealing how reformers have challenged the ways in which the concept of "growth" has been defined, assessed, and measured. Read more and register at
Friday, April 20, 2018

Memorial for John Carlarne
4 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

John Carlarne The Mershon Center invites you to a lecture and discussion in honor of John Carlarne, his contributions to both the study and practice of peace making, and his contributions to the Peace Studies program at the Mershon Center and in central Ohio. We will listen to John's TEDxOhioStateUniversity talk on his experiences in in the war in Bosnia and their implications for peace building and reconstruction. Then we will discuss John's work and its impact on the central Ohio community. Please join us to honor our colleague. Refreshments will be available. Read more and register at
Mershon News
Who becomes a hero? It is more than just a personality trait
Social factors shaped who rescued people in Rwandan genocide

We tend to think of heroes in terms of a psychological profile: brave, altruistic, strong.

But a new study suggests that for at least one kind of heroism, it takes a village to save a life.

Through in-depth interviews, researchers examined what motivated some members of the majority Hutu population in Rwanda to risk their own safety to save persecuted ethnic Tutsi during the genocidal violence of 1994. The violence claimed up to 1 million lives, eliminating much of the Tutsi population.

Hollie Nyseth Brehm
Hollie Nyseth Brehm
Assistant Professor of Sociology
"We started this study thinking we would identify the individual characteristics that motivated rescuers, because that's what most previous research had pointed to," said Mershon affiliate Hollie Nyseth Brehm, co-author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at The Ohio State University.

"But we realized very quickly that most people who rescued weren't doing this alone. It was a form of collective action. The social dynamics and situational context were key factors in determining whether someone decided to rescue."

In fact, the results of the study made clear that not all the Hutu who saved Tutsi were heroes, Brehm said. The researchers interviewed six Hutu who killed or performed other violence against some Tutsi, but also saved others.

"Some of them killed a Tutsi they didn't know, but saved someone they knew," Brehm said.

"People's behavior is complex. You can't always put them into these neat categories of 'good' or 'bad.' Psychological theories fall short when trying to explain why some people who rescued also killed other people. That's why it is important to understand the social situation, as we do in this study."

Nyseth Brehm conducted the study with Nicole Fox, assistant professor of criminology at California State University, Sacramento. Their results appear online in the journal Social Forces and will appear in a future print edition.

>> Read more about this research at
Other Events
Thursday, April 12, 2018

Xiaowei Zheng
"Republican China before the People's Republic: Republicanism and Constitutionalism in the Revolution of 1911"
12:45 p.m., 168 Dulles Hall, 230 Annie & John Glenn Ave.
Sponsored by Center for Historical Research

Xiaowei Zheng Xiaowei Zheng is associate professor of history at University of California at Santa Barbara. Her research interests include local history of the Qing dynasty and early republican political culture, with a focus on the emergence of popular nationalism and the potential of republicanism. Her most recent book, The Politics of Rights and the 1911 Revolution in China, chronicles the 1911 Revolution and argues for its transformative effect. Her current project, tentatively titled The Unfinished Mission: Constitutionalism in China, examines Chinese political discourse on popular rights, sovereignty, and constitutionalism throughout the 20th century. This will be the final event in this year's  series, "'You Say You Want a Revolution?': Revolution in Historical Perspective."
Friday, April 13, 2018

COMPAS Conference
"Religion in Global Context"
8:45 a.m., 11th Floor, Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave. Mall
Sponsored by Center for Ethics and Human Values

How has religion contributed to the pursuit of world peace? How has it served as a source of global conflict and violence? Does religious belief play an essential role in bringing about moral progress? Are religious conflicts really about religion? 

8:45-9 a.m. - Welcoming Remarks
Don Hubin, Director of the Center for Ethics and Human Values 

9-10:30 a.m. - Session 1: Religion and Global Conflict
José Casanova (Sociology, Theology, and Berkley Center, Georgetown University)
William Cavanaugh (Catholic Studies, DePaul University)
Moderator: Eric MacGilvray (Political Science, The Ohio State University)

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Session 2: Religion and Global Cooperation
Azza Karam (Senior Sociocultural Adviser, UNFPA) 
Donald A. Sylvan (Political Science, The Ohio State University) 
Moderator: Benjamin McKean (Political Science, The Ohio State University)
Other News
'Origins' examines assassination of Martin Luther King

Origins has published a new piece: " The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." by Hasan Kwame Jeffries.

Fifty years ago, a man who preached peace was cut down by violence. As word spread of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s murder, riots broke out in cities across the nation as an especially alienated segment of the black population rebelled against the racially discriminatory status quo and sought to make white America take notice of their plight, their deep frustration, and their determination to do something about their situation. As Hasan Kwame Jeffries shows, these riots not only reshaped urban landscapes but also shaped the way King would be remembered or, more accurately, misremembered.

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.
Sustainable supply chain through the lens of reinvention

Nadya Zhexembayeva The 2018 Environmental Professionals Network Signature Event will explore the concept of sustainable supply chains through the lens of reinvention. Nadya Zhexembayeva, Chief Reinvention Officer at WE EXIST Reinvention Agency, will introduce us to the need for "reinvention" to achieve an exceptionally sustainable supply chain. Then sustainability and supply chain professionals from three iconic companies (Patagonia, Owens Corning, and Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams) will share how they are working to embed sustainability into their supply chains. Zhexembayeva will facilitate a deeper conversation with our panelists and audience participants about how to build reinvention and sustainability into our social, economic and environmental systems. The event will take place Monday, April 16, 2018, at 7 p.m. in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom, Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St. Read more and register
1501 Neil Avenue     |     Columbus, OH 43201     |     (614) 292-1681     |     Fax: (614) 292-2407