Mershon Center for International Security Studies
September 8 , 2015
In This Issue
John Mueller
Senior Research Scientist

Gave the annual PRIO Peace Address at the Peace Research Institute Oslo in Norway on "The Dangers of Alarmism" on September 1. He spoke about threat and threat perception, based on his research into the post-9/11 climate of security and the fear of terror.
In the Media
Peter Mansoor
Gen. Raymond E. Mason Chair in Military History
The Lantern
September 3, 2015
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
Thursday, September 10, 2015

Charles Mills
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Charles Mills Charles Mills is John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at Northwestern University. He works in social and political philosophy, particularly in oppositional political theory as centered on class, gender, and race. His first book, The Racial Contract (Cornell, 1997), won a Myers Outstanding Book Award for the study of bigotry and human rights in North America. It has been adopted widely in courses across the United States. In this talk, Mills will look at different dimensions of racial in/equality, the theoretical problems it poses, and offer some suggestions as to how these challenges might be addressed. Read more and register at
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Viacheslav Morozov
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Viacheslav Morozov Viacheslav Morozov is professor of E.U.-Russia studies at the University of Tartu. Before moving to Tartu in 2010, he taught for 13 years at St. Petersburg State University, where he defended his Ph.D. in world history in 1997. His recent research focuses on how Russia's political and social development has been conditioned by the country's position in the international system. This approach is laid out in his most recent book, Russia's Postcolonial Identity: A Subaltern Empire in a Eurocentric World (Palgrave, 2015), which highlights the fact that Russia, in spite of its great power identity and imperial ambition, has been unable to overcome economic and normative dependency on the West. Read more and register at
Monday, September 21, 2015

Ingrid Hehmeyer
11:30 a.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Ingrid Hehmeyer Ingrid Hehmeyer is an agricultural engineer, pharmacist, and archaeologist who serves as associate professor in the history of science and technology at Ryerson University in Ontario. She specializes in human-environmental relationships in the arid regions of ancient and medieval Arabia. Her current field research focuses on the history of water technology in medieval Yemen, where she investigates technical innovations in hydraulic engineering and strategies for water management that allowed people to live under harsh environmental conditions. A lunch conversation will be held after the talk for graduate students in which Hehmeyer will talk informally about her fieldwork in Yemen and how the traditional knowledge of contemporary farmers sheds light on the archaeological evidence.  Read more and register at
Friday, September 25, 2015

David Schmidtz
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

David Schmidtz David Schmidtz Kendric Professor and founding director of the Center for Philosophy of Freedom at the University of Arizona. David is editor-in-chief of Social Philosophy and Policy and author of Rational Choice and Moral Agency (Princeton), Elements of Justice (Cambridge), Person, Polis, Planet (Oxford), and co-author of Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility (Cambridge, with Bob Goodin) plus Brief History of Liberty (Blackwell, with Jason Brennan). He currently is working on Markets in Education with Harry Brighouse for Oxford University Press. In this presentation, Schmidtz will consider how plausible it would be, if utility were all that mattered, to think consequentialist morality is about maximizing utility. He will focus on how much less plausible that reduction becomes if, as a matter of empirical fact, affecting people's payoffs is only one of several ways of affecting people. Read more and register at
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Scott Snyder
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Scott Snyder Scott Snyder is senior fellow for Korea studies and director of the program on U.S.-Korea policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. The program examines South Korea's efforts to contribute on the international stage; its potential influence and contributions as a middle power in East Asia; and the peninsular, regional, and global implications of North Korean instability. Snyder is co-author of The Japan-South Korea Identity Clash: East Asian Security and the United States (Columbia, 2015). In this talk, Snyder will isolate competing notions of national identity as the main obstacle to a productive Japan-South Korea partnership. Through public opinion data, interviews, and years of observation, he argues that incompatible, rapidly changing conceptions of national identity in Japan and South Korea have complicated territorial claims and international policy. Read more and register at
Mershon News
See Zeckhauser discuss decision making at Mershon
Psychologists regularly discuss systematic biases in people's decision-making processes. Examples include loss aversion, resetting of reference points, and preference for the status quo. Given these biases, group decision-making is often a significant factor in exacerbating a person's behavioral propensities.
Richard Zeckhauser
This was the core of a lecture by Richard Zeckhauser, Frank P. Ramsey Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University. He pioneered the field of policy analysis and currently addresses an array of policy areas where uncertainty plays a major role.  
You can go here to see Zeckhauser's lecture on "The Wisdom of Crowds and the Stupidity of Herds" at the Mershon Center on streaming video or podcast.  
Zeckhauser's seminal contributions to decision theory and behavioral economics include the concepts of status quo bias, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and the analytics of ignorance.  He has written or coauthored a dozen books - most recently Collaborative Governance: Private Roles for Public Goals and The Patron's Payoff: Conspicuous Commissions in Renaissance Italy -- and 280 articles.
Zeckhauser is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Econometric Society, and the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences). In 2014, he was made a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association. He holds a B.A. (summa cum laude) and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.
Other Events
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

William Brustein and Louisa Roberts
The Socialism of Fools? The Leftist Origins of Modern Anti-Semitism
4 p.m. Barnes & Noble, 1598 N. High St.
Sponsored by Alexander Hamilton Society

William Brustein William Brustein (left) and Louisa Roberts will give readers a glimpse of their new book, The Socialism of Fools? The Leftist Origins of Modern Anti-Semitism (Cambridge, 2015), which examines the role that the historic European left played in developing and espousing anti-Semitic views. Anti-Semitism, as it has existed historically in Europe, is generally thought of as having been a phenomenon of the political right. Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs, and Roberts, a graduate student in sociology at Ohio State, collaborated to research a wide range of primary and secondary sources, including the analysis of left- and right-wing newspaper stories, to trace the relationship between the political left and anti-Semitism in France, Germany and Great Britain from the French Revolution to World War II, ultimately concluding that the relationship between the left and anti-Semitism has been much more profound than previously believed. Read more and register
Other News
2015 Study Abroad Expo takes place September 18


The 2015 Study Abroad Expo will be held on Friday, September 18, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the Buckeye Reading Room in the Thompson Library. The Expo gives students the opportunity to talk one-on-one with study abroad experts and learn more about the myriad of ways to study abroad at Ohio State. Students will be able to explore programs for all majors and learn more about how to fund their prospective study abroad experience. Visit the Office of International Affairs website to learn more.  

Environmental film series: October 20 - November 24


The Office of Energy and Environment and the Environmental Professionals Network are hosting a film series designed to raise student awareness of climate change and the economic, health, political and environmental impacts resulting from climate change, on six Tuesday evenings this semester. Three evenings will screen episodes from the PBS series "Earth, A New Wild," and three evenings will screen episodes of the Showtime series "Years of Living Dangerously."


Each film is one hour in length, and a discussion session will follow hosted by a member of the Ohio State faculty. The film series is being offered as an independent credit course for students (ENR 4193 Section 35418) as well as open to anyone who would like to attend.


The film series takes place every Tuesday at 7 p.m. from October 20 through November 24 at U.S. Bank Theater in the Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St.  See the schedule here 

Imam to hold weekend of events at Columbus church
First Community Church presents "Exploring the Myths, Realities & Spiritual Practices of Islam" with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf in a series of lectures, discussion, and spiritual practice to take place October 2-4 at the church's North Campus, 3777 Dublin Road in Columbus.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf A leading voice for Islamic moderation and a renowned teacher of Sufi spirituality, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is founder of The Cordoba Initiative, a multi-national, multifaith organization dedicated to improving Muslim-West relations. For over two decades he served as Imam at the al-Farah Mosque in New York City, and is the author of Moving the Mountain: Beyond Ground Zero to a New Vision of Islam in America (Free Press, 2012) and What's Right with Islam Is What's Right with America (HarperCollins, 2005). He appears regularly at the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum (Davos).

Friday, October 2, 7 p.m.
"Getting Islam Right: An Interview and Discussion with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf"

Former television news reporter and anchor, Minister of Spiritual Care Rev. Dr. Deborah Countiss Lindsay will be asking Imam Feisal a host of tough and engaging questions about Islam in America and globally, and will solicit further question-and-answer time from those in attendance.

Saturday, October 3, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
"Exploring the Spiritual Dimension of Islam: Sufi Teachings and Practice"
Imam Feisal leads a morning of teaching and practices to deepen our experience of the Holy through the wisdom of the Sufi spiritual tradition.

Sunday, October 4
Imam Feisal will be the guest preacher at First Community Church's 9:45 a.m. worship service at 3777 Dublin Road, and at the 11 a.m. worship service at the Tri-Village campus, 1320 Cambridge Blvd.

Read more and register for all events at
1501 Neil Avenue     |     Columbus, OH 43201     |     (614) 292-1681     |     Fax: (614) 292-2407