Mershon Center for International Security Studies
February 3, 2014
In This Issue
Kendra McSweeney
Associate Professor of Geography

For publication of her research project "Drug Policy as Conservation Policy: Narco-deforestation" in the journal Science. This project was originally funded by the Mershon Center in 2011-12.  A Research News press release about the study resulted in coverage by several major media outlets including NBC News and National Geographic.
Bill Liddle
Professor Emeritus of Political Science

For speaking on his Mershon-funded research at the 2014 Indonesian Elections Open Forum Series at the U.S.-Indonesia Society meeting in Washington, D.C. Liddle spoke on "The Electability of Political Parties and Candidates: The 2014 Indonesian Elections."

In the Media
Kendra McSweeney
Associate Professor of Geography
"Drug Trafficking Leads to Deforestation in Central America"
Ohio State Research News
January 30, 2014
"Drug traffickers deal lethal blow to Central American forests, study says'"
January 30, 2014
"Drug Trafficking Poses Surprising Threats to Rain Forests, Scientists Find"
National Geographic
January 30, 2014 

"Drug trafficking ravages Central American forests"
January 30, 2014
"As Drug Traffickers Move In, Tropical Forests Fall"
January 30, 2014
"Drug trafficking in Central America wreaking havoc on forests, study finds"
January 31, 2014
Kate Epstein
Former graduate student affiliate, now at Rutgers University

"Military-industrial complex? Blame the torpedoes"
January 26, 2014
The Boston Globe

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 6, 2014

Lien-Hang Nguyen
"Spies, Allies, and Murder?: The Ominous Origins of the Tet Offensive"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Lien-Hang Nguyen is associate professor of history at the University of Kentucky. Her first book, Hanoi's War: An International History of the War for Peace (UNC Press, 2012) won the 2012 Edward M. Coffman Prize, Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize, and was a finalist for the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize.  Nguyen has also published numerous peer-reviewed articles and essays on the wars for Vietnam, and has written pieces for The New York Times, BBC, and San Jose Mercury News. Read more and register at
Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kenneth Scheve
"Who Cooperates?: Strategy Types and Reciprocal Behavior in Mass Populations"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Kenneth Scheve is professor of political science at Stanford University and senior fellow at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute. He currently serves as the director of The Europe Center at FSI. Scheve is the author, with Matthew Slaughter, of Globalization and the Perceptions of American Workers, examining American public opinion about the liberalization of trade, immigration, and foreign direct investment policies. He is currently writing a book with David Stasavage examining the interaction between mass warfare, fairness concerns, and the development of progressive taxation in the 19th and 20th centuries across 20 countries. Read more and register at
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

Featured News
Norman MacLeod (third from left) spoke at the Mershon Center on October 8, 2013.
MacLeod speaks on extinction events past and present

Watch a streaming video of Norman MacLeod, dean of post-graduate education and training at the Natural History Museum in London, speaking on "The Causes of Extinction: Setting the Modern Biodiversity Crisis in Context" at the Mershon Center. MacLeod visited as part of the center's Climate, Security, Health and Resilience initiative. Shown above (left to right) are project collaborators John Brooke, professor of history; Craig Jenkins, director of the Mershon Center; Norman MacLeod; Ellen Mosley-Thompson, director of Byrd Polar Research Center; Geoffrey Parker, Andreas Dorpalen Professor of History; and Lonnie Thompson, Distinguished University Professor in the School of Earth Sciences.
Other Events
Monday, February 3, 2014

Gleb Tsipursky
"Soviet Jazz Networks and the Cold War in the 1960s"
4:30 p.m., Room 205, 18th Avenue Library, 175 W. 18th St.
Sponsored by Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Sponsored by the School of Music 

Gleb Tsipursky is assistant professor of history at The Ohio State University, Newark and an affiliate of the Mershon Center. He writes about modernity, youth, popular culture, consumption, emotions, the Cold War, globalization, social control, policing, and violence in the Soviet Union. This presentation traces the gradual growth of Soviet jazz networks from the local level to the city, province, country-wide, and even international level.  These networks of contacts between jazz musicians, promoters, and fans played an important role in the musical life of the Cold War Soviet Union. 
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

Mershon News
Mansoor takes readers behind the surge in Reddit AMA


"I am Colonel (Retired) Peter Mansoor, former executive officer to General David Petraeus during the surge in Iraq and now a professor of military history at The Ohio State University. AMA."


So began Mershon affiliate Peter Mansoor's AMA - or Ask Me Anything - one of the most popular features on the social site Reddit. In an AMA, one person answers questions from online participants. 


Although anyone can conduct an AMA, the most popular ones are with notable people such as President Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Rachel Maddow, and Roger Ebert.


Mansoor got talked into doing an AMA by his daughter Kyle, 25, and son J.T., 19. "They are big fans of Reddit, and ... they felt my story would be compelling," he said.


Compelling, it was. In his AMA, Mansoor gave Redditors a look behind the scenes of the surge in Iraq and discussed his candid views of colleagues in the Iraq War and issues in the military.


Questions ranged from whether the war in Afghanistan was winnable, to the leadership of Donald Rumsfeld, to how to address PTSD.


Unlike most AMA conductors, Mansoor spent an entire day answering questions. His AMA garnered 3,478 comments and more than 23,000 up and down votes.  See highlights here

J. Timmons Roberts to speak at climate justice events

SENR Seminar Series
Thursday, February 6, 2014
4 p.m., 103 Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Road

Climate Justice Lecture Series
Friday, February 7, 2014
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Avenue

J. Timmons Roberts, Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at Brown University, will present several talks at Ohio State, which are all free and open to the public. He will discuss issues of inequality in climate change as an environmental and social issue. He will also address issues of "responsibility" -- who bears greater responsibility for contributing to climate change? Who is must vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change? Who is taking action to adapt to or mitigate climate change? Who is taking action to address the problem through emissions reductions and leadership in negotiating a global agreement? 

At 4 p.m. on February 6, Roberts will give a talk at the School of Environment and Natural Resrouces seminar series entitled "Inequality and Climate Change: Vulnerability, Responsibility, Action." Read more

The next day, Roberts will give a talk in the Center for Latin American Studies Climate Justice Series on "Climate Justice, Latin America, and the UN Negotiations" at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. The talk will be at noon, and lunch will be provided by Si Se�or Peruvian Cuisine. Read more and register   
COMPAS photography contest deadline February 6


The COMPAS (Conversations on Morality, Politics, and Society) program in the OSU Center for Ethics and Human Values is sponsoring a photography contest to explore the interaction between public and private. The contest is open to all university faculty, students, staff, and alumni as well as the Columbus community. Professional photographers will judge submissions and cash prizes will be awarded. Deadline: February 6.

Taste of OSU to take place February 7


The Office of International Affairs, along with more than 30 Ohio State student organizations and the University Dining Services chefs, are coming together to prepare an evening of international food, exhibits and cultural performances for the campus community at the 2014 Taste of OSU, which is set for Friday, February 7, from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Ohio Union. Join and share the Taste of OSU Facebook event, and look for updates leading up to the event.

News from Outreach and Engagement


Proposals sought for Outreach and Engagement Forum
Poster proposals are being accepted for the 2nd Annual Outreach and Engagement Forum, set for May 1 from 1-3 p.m. in the Ohio Union Archie Griffin Ballroom. Complete the online proposal submission form at by Feb. 21. The forum is an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to interact with Ohio State's outreach and engagement community, share your work and make connections with potential collaborators.  
--> Contact:


Final information session for Outreach grants
The final information session for this year's Engagement Impact Grants, OSU CARES/OSU Extension Seed Grants and Service-Learning Grants will be on Feb. 6, from noon - 1 p.m., at 33 W.11th Ave., Room 101.  Representatives from the Office of Outreach and Engagement, OSU CARES/OSU Extension, and the Service-Learning Initiative will be available to answer your questions. These grants are an opportunity for university faculty and staff to establish and/or expand innovative, creative, scholarly outreach and engagement initiatives that can have a substantial impact within the university and community. Grant submission deadline is Feb. 28. RSVP for the session at
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Outreach and engagement recognition award nominations 

The offices of Outreach and Engagement, International Affairs, Student Life and Undergraduate Education, and the Service-Learning Initiative, have joined together to recognize faculty, staff, students and community partners with the University Outreach and Engagement Recognition Awards program. Awards will be presented in the community engagement, international engagement, service-learning, staff, student, student group and community partner categories. Nominations are due Feb. 14.

--> Contact: 247-7795 or

--> Submit a nomination:


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