Mershon Center for International Security Studies
April 4 , 2016
In This Issue
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.
Stay Connected

Facebook bug Twitter bug Picasa bug give
Mershon Events
Friday-Saturday, April 8-9, 2016
Organized by Allan Silverman, Ellen Peters, and Christopher Gelpi
120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Paul Slovic The Mershon Center for International Security Studies in collaboration with the Decision Sciences Collaborative at The Ohio State University present the first annual conference on Risk and Security. The goal of the conference is to explore both qualitative and quantitative issues in risk and security, especially issues concerning decision making under uncertainty. Speakers include James H. Baker, U.S. Department of Defense; Vicki Bier, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Lara Buchak, University of California-Berkeley; Scott de Marchi, Duke University; Robert Jervis, Columbia University; Baruch Fischhoff, Carnegie Mellon University; Rose McDermott, Brown University; Paul Slovic (shown), University of Oregon and Decision Research; Mark Stewart, University of Newcastle, Australia; and Troy S. Thomas, National Security Council. Read more and register at
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Ed Mansfield Edward Mansfield is the Hum Rosen Professor of Political Science and director of the Christopher H. Browne Center for International Politics at University of Pennsylvania. He is author of Power, Trade, and War (Princeton, 1994), Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go to War [with Jack Snyder] (MIT, 2005), and Votes, Vetoes, and the Political Economy of Trade Agreements [with Helen V. Milner] (Princeton, 2012). In this talk, Mansfield will assess financial reform and the implementation of economic liberalization. He finds that reform tends to be conducted by poorer countries and participants in the International Monetary Fund Standby Arrangement and its Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility. Read more and register at
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by the Institute for Korean Studies

Ji Young Choi Ji Young Choi is associate professor of politics and government at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he is affiliated with the International Studies Program and East Asian Studies Program.  Currently, he is a visiting scholar at the Mershon Center of International Security Studies. Choi specializes in international relations history and theories, international political economy, and East Asian security and political economy. His recent research interests are in a historical and theoretical view on the rise of China and Korean security. In this talk, Choi will explore how changing formations in national identities have shaped foreign policy outcomes in South Korea. Read more and register at
Thursday, April 14, 2016
The Art of Protest: Principles and Practices of Nonviolence
4 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Danielle Poe The Student Peace Conference is an annual event started by the Peace Studies Society in 2013. This year's conference, entitled The Art of Protest: Principles and Practices of Nonviolence, will consist of three workshops aimed at helping participants practice peace and nonviolence in their everyday lives and in direct action campaigns. This year's presenters include Danielle Poe (left) from University of Dayton, Patrick Coy from Kent State University, and Craig Hovey from Ashland University. Additionally, one Ohio State student will be recognized with the Student Peace Award scholarship for contribution to peace and social justice. Read more and register at
Friday, April 15, 2016
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Michael Barnett Michael Barnett is University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. Currently, he is an associate editor of International Organization. He will be speaking about his most recent book, The Star and the Stripes: A History of the Foreign Policies of American Jews (Princeton, 2016). Barnett argues that American Jews identify with, and believe their survival depends on, the American principles of liberalism, religious freedom, and pluralism. This identity and search for inclusion form a political theology of prophetic Judaism that emphasizes the historic mission of Jews to help create a world of peace and justice. Read more and register at
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Jeremi Suri Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has a joint appointment as a professor in the Department of History and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Suri is the author and editor of eight books on international history, national security, and foreign relations. He has published in leading scholarly journals, including the American Historical Review, Diplomatic History, International Security, and Journal of Cold War Studies. He also writes frequently for major newspapers and magazines. Suri will discuss how national security studies as a discipline has shaped U.S. global engagement for the past 70 years, and how it might influence the next generation of American thinkers, citizens, students, and policy makers. Read more and register at
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Julia Gray Julia Gray is associate professor of political science at University of Pennsylvania, specializing in international political economy. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, European Journal of Political Research, and Review of International Organizations. Her book, The Company You Keep: International Organization and Sovereign Risk in Emerging Markets, is currently under contract at Cambridge University Press. Gray will discuss her latest research on international agreements, which finds that the vast majority are signed by heads of state who have no ability or intention of implementing them at home. Read more and register at
Research Spotlight
Genocide, Justice, and Rwanda's Gacaca Courts

Principal Investigators:
Hollie Nyseth Brehm, Department of Sociology
Christopher Uggen, University of Minnesota

More than 1 million people were killed in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and another 1 million were implicated as perpetrators. In response, the government of Rwanda created the "gacaca" courts, a community-based system of justice modified to address crimes of genocide.

Hollie Nyseth BrehmHeralded as an innovative form of community justice, the gacaca courts tried almost 2 million cases from 2002 to 2012. Yet, their outcomes have yet to be systematically analyzed.

In this project, Hollie Nyseth Brehm (right) and Christopher Uggen plan to put together a summary database of all 1.96 million gacaca cases, analyze a random sample of 150 detailed case files, and conduct interviews with gacaca judges, defendants, and witnesses.

This research will answer three key questions:

Who participated in the genocide? The database will contain information about people found guilty of participating in the genocide, allowing Nyseth Brehm and Uggen to assess how age, gender, occupation, marital status, and regional patterns may have played a role.

What sanctions were given to those found guilty? Gacaca courts used both punitive and restorative justice, including prison sentences, community service, formal agreements, and restitution. The database will help researchers learn how and why certain sanctions were imposed, considering person-specific factors such as age and gender; case-specific factors such as accomplices and severity; and court-specific factors such as judges and witnesses.

What are the broader impacts of the court system? Gacaca courts aimed not just to punish perpetrators but also to reintegrate members of Rwandan society, who had to live together in the same communities after violence subsided. Nyseth Brehm and Uggen will examine how restorative justice influenced community trust and cohesion by conducting interviews and analyzing crime rates. They will also consider how the gacaca courts influenced the overall system of justice in Rwanda.

To answer these questions, Nyseth Brehm and Uggen are compiling a summary database of almost 2 million gacaca court cases. They  also traveled to Kigali, Rwanda, where they interviewed 91 defendants, judges, and witnesses who participated in the gacaca courts.  Nyseth Brehm will return to Rwanda to continue interviews and work in the archives.
Other Events
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Robin BrooksRobin S. Brooks is Davis Fellow at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University for 2015-16. A Foreign Service officer with the State Department since 2004, Brooks has served as human dimension officer at the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, refugee resettlement officer at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, and chief of staff to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. She has also worked in the State Department Operations Center and at the U.S. embassies in Moscow and Sofia. She will discuss how, by prioritizing competition with Russia over bilateral relations with Eastern European countries, the United States damaged both its own national interests and those of its Eastern European partners. Read more and register at
Thursday, April 7, 2016

Giuseppe James Raviola
11:30 a.m., WOSU @ COSI, 333 W. Broad St.

Giuseppe James Raviola It is estimated that more than 1 billion people have experienced some form of extreme violence, ethnic conflict, torture, rape, terrorism, or starvation, as well as being victims of natural disasters. The plight of refugees fleeing their homeland or a person living in a war-ravaged community, plus the millions of others who suffer from mental illness are often overlooked as significant components of our world's health priorities. Dr. Giuseppe James Raviola has studied and written on child and adolescent mental health concerns, and the mental health and well-being of health care workers. He works to integrate mental health services into the care provided at Partners In Health sites, supporting local team leaders in Haiti, Rwanda and elsewhere. Read more and register
Thursday, April 7, 2016

Mary Habeck and Richard Herrmann
6 p.m., Moritz College of Law, 55 W. 12th Ave.

The Alexander Hamilton Society at The Ohio State University is pleased to announce its second event of the spring semester. We will be hosting two esteemed scholars: Mary Habeck (left) of the American Enterprise Institute, and Richard Herrmann, chair of Ohio State's Political Science Department, for an illuminating discussion of Russia's foreign policy moves, e.g. in Ukraine and Syria, and how the U.S. should and is responding. It is likely to be hosted in the Saxbe Auditorium, and we will have free Coke products and Wings Over chicken wings as usual. Read more and register
Friday, April 8, 2016

Amy Goodman
4:30 p.m., 100 Independence Hall, 1923 Neil Ave Mall

Amy Goodman Amy Goodman is an American broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter and author. Her investigative journalism career includes coverage of the East Timor independence movement and Chevron Corporation's role in Nigeria. Since 1996, Goodman has hosted Democracy Now!, an independent global news program broadcast daily on radio, television and the Internet. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Thomas Merton Award in 2004, a Right Livelihood Award in 2008, and an Izzy Award in 2009 for "special achievement in independent media." In 2012, Goodman received the Gandhi Peace Award for a "significant contribution to the promotion of an enduring international peace." Democracy Now! Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America, by Amy Goodman and David Goodman with Denis Moynihan will be available for sale at the event. Read more and register
Monday, April 11, 2016

Takashi Nishiyama
4:30 p.m., 206 Denney Hall, 164 Annie & John Glenn Ave
Sponsored by Institute for Japanese Studies

Takashi Nishiyama Takashi Nishiyama is associate professor of history at State University of New York, Brockport. Specializing in history of technology and Japanese history of the 20th century, he has published in Japanese and English. His recent publications include Engineering War and Peace in Modern Japan (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology, 2014) and Suicide, Gender, and Technology for War (under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press). In this talk, Nishiyama 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
Monday, April 18, 2016

Jane Hathaway
7:30 p.m., Whetstone Library, 3909 High St.

Jane HathawayJane Hathaway is professor of history at The Ohio State University, specializing in the Ottoman Empire before 1800, with a particular focus on the Arab provinces. Her current research project is a book-length study of the office of Chief Harem Eunuch of the Ottoman Empire. This talk will address the historical origins of key "radical" - or, more appropriately, puritanical or revivalist - movements in Sunni Islam. The focus will be on two main strands of Sunni revivalism: Wahhabism, which originated in the mid-18th century, and the Muslim Brotherhood, which originated in the early 20th century. Discussion will include a number of groups in the news in recent years, including Hamas, al-Qaeda, and ISIS.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Jessica Tuchman Mathews, Richard Nephew, Richard Herrmann
11:30 a.m., WOSU @ COSI, 333 W. Broad St.
Sponsored by Columbus Council on World Affairs

Richard HerrmannOn July 14, 2015 the United States and five other nations (the United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, and Germany) reached with Iran the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a 159-page historic agreement designed under American leadership to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Will this deal achieve that U.S. objective and will it serve America's broader interests in the turbulent Middle East? What are the strengths, and what are the concerns the United States has with this intensely negotiated agreement. Join us as we discuss these questions with Jessica Tuchman Mathews, distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Richard Nephew, program director at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University; and Richard Herrmann (left), interim director at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. Read more and register
Other News
Fulbright Week 2016 takes place April 11-15

The Office of International Affairs, the Graduate School and the Undergraduate Fellowship Office are hosting Fulbright Week 2016 from April 11-15. The three offices have combined efforts to provide a full week of events including information sessions, workshops and panels to inform faculty, graduate and undergraduate students about the opportunities available through the Fulbright and Fulbright-Hays programs. All faculty, professionals and students are welcome to participate. For the full schedule of activities please see the Fulbright Week web page.
1501 Neil Avenue     |     Columbus, OH 43201     |     (614) 292-1681     |     Fax: (614) 292-2407