Mershon Center for International Security Studies
October 8, 2018
In This Issue
Barbara Roth
Doctoral Student in Political Science
Mershon graduate student affiliate Barbara Roth is one of five doctoral candidates from The Ohio State University to be awarded the prestigious Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship by the U.S. Department of Education, International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office. She will conduct research in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 12 months examining the Settlement Social Norms and Conflict Migration in Bosnia.
Bruno Cabanes
Donald G. and Mary A. Dunn Chair in Modern Military History
Bruno Cabanes recently published a book titled Une histoire de la guerre: Du XIXe siecle a nos jours [A History of War: From the 19th Century to the Present] (Seuil, 2018). The book, which analyses military conflicts from the 19th century through modern times, received a two-page review in Le Monde des Livres, a French publication on par with the New York Review of Books.
In the Media
Paul Beck
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioral Sciences
"Face the State with Scott Light"
WBNS-TV Columbus
September 28, 2018
Mitchell Lerner
Associate Professor of History
"Trump strategy on North Korea may be forestalling real change"
The Hill
September 27, 2018
Sarah van Beurden
Associate Professor of African American and African Studies
"Where 'Human Zoos' Once Stood, A Belgian Museum Now Faces Its Colonial Past"
September 26, 2018
Thomas Wood
Assistant Professor of Political Science
"Where Ohio's Gubernatorial Candidates Stand"
WOSU-FM All Sides
September 19, 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.
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Mershon Events
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Steven Lobell
"A Granular Theory of Balancing"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Steven Lobell Steven Lobell is professor of political science at University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Lobell is the author, co-author, or co-editor of seven books including, most recently, Neoclassical Realist Theory of International Politics (Oxford University Press, 2016) and The Political Economy of Regional Peacemaking (University of Michigan Press, 2016). He is also the PI of Department of Defense Minerva Research Initiative award on "Power Projection, Deterrence Strategies, and Escalation Dynamics in an Era of Challenging Near Peers, Rogue States, and Terrorist and Insurgent Organizations." In this event, Lobell will present a finely tuned theory of balancing, arguing that states do balance effectively. Read more and register at
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Annette Becker
"Messengers of the Disaster: Raphael Lemkin, Jan Karski and Genocides"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Annette Becker Annette Becker is a professor at University of Paris-Nanterre and honorary member of the Institut Universitaire de France. She is deputy director of the International Research Center of the Historial de la Grande Guerre [Museum of the Great War]. She has published widely on World War I, its commemoration, return of the soldiers, humanitarian aspect and trauma, and now focuses on the cultural aspects of the wars and links between the two World Wars. She will discuss her latest book Messagers du désastre, Raphaël Lemkin, Jan Karski et les génocides (Fayard, 2018), a history of the concept of genocide: the perpetrators, the victims, and the "messengers" who try to warn, to see, to speak. Read more and register at
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Carol Graham
"Unequal Hopes, Lives, and Lifespans in the U.S.A.: Insights from the New Science of Well-Being"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Carol Graham Carol Graham is the Leo Pasvolsky Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, College Park Professor at University of Maryland, and senior scientist at Gallup. Her most recent books include Happiness for All? Unequal Lives and Hopes in Pursuit of the American Dream (Princeton, 2017), The Pursuit of Happiness: An Economy of Well-Being (Brookings, 2011), and Happiness around the World: The Paradox of Happy Peasants and Miserable Millionaires (Oxford, 2009). At this event, Graham will discuss how well-being metrics can be used to identify and monitor trends in life satisfaction and hope, and in desperation and misery. Read more and register at
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Daniel Ahn
"The Sword and the Shield: The Economic Impact of Targeted Sanctions and Adversarial Counter-Strategies"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Co-sponsored with Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Daniel Ahn Daniel P. Ahn is a professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he teaches graduate courses on energy economics and conflict; senior adviser at the Rapidan Group; and adviser for the U.S. government. He was previously the chief economist at the U.S. Department of State, where he advised the secretary and senior principals on a wide range of international economic and security topics relevant to U.S. foreign policy, including global macroeconomic growth, financial stability, economic sanctions, counter-terrorist financing, international trade, and energy security. Read more and register at
Friday, November 2, 2018

Peter Turchin
"The Evolution of Complex Societies: Old Theories and New Data"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Peter Turchin Peter Turchin is a scientist and an author who wants to understand how human societies evolve, and why we see such a staggering degree of inequality in economic performance and effectiveness of governance among nations. Turchin is the founder of a new transdisciplinary field of cliodynamics, which uses the tools of complexity science and cultural evolution to study the dynamics of historical empires and modern nation-states. His most recent books are Ultrasociety: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators on Earth (Beresta Books, 2015), and Ages of Discord: A Structural-Demographic Analysis of American History (Beresta Books, 2016). Read more and register at
Mershon News
Madokoro's 'Elusive Refuge' wins Furniss Book Award
The 1949 Chinese Communist Revolution is a subject of inexhaustible historical interest, but the plight of millions of Chinese who fled China during this tumultuous period has been largely forgotten.

Laura Madokoro
Laura Madokoro
Laura Madokoro recovers the history of China's 20th century refugees in Elusive Refuge: Chinese Migrants in the Cold War (Harvard University Press, 2016), winner of the Edgar S. Furniss Book Award, given annually by the Mershon Center for International Security Studies.

Madokoro will speak about "On Refuge: The Politics of Race and Humanitarianism" at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 8, 2018, at the Mershon Center, 1501 Neil. Ave. Read more and register at

Focusing on humanitarian efforts to find new homes for Chinese displaced by civil strife, Madokoro points out a constellation of factors - entrenched bigotry in countries originally settled by white Europeans, the spread of human rights ideals, and the geopolitical pressures of the Cold War - which coalesced to shape domestic and international refugee policies that still hold sway today.

The Furniss Award commemorates the founding director of the Mershon Center, Edgar S. Furniss, and is given annually to an author whose first book makes an exceptional contribution to the study of national and international security. Previous winners include John Mearsheimer, Barry Posen, and Stephen Walt.  Read more
Other Events
Thursday, October 18, 2018

Max Bergholz
"Microhistories of Nationalism and Violence"
3:30 p.m., 160 Enarson Classroom Building, 2009 Milliken Road
Sponsored by Center for Slavic and East European Studies

Max BergholzDuring two terrifying days and nights in early September 1941, the lives of nearly 2,000 men, women, and children were taken savagely by their neighbors in Kulen Vakuf, a small rural community straddling today's border between northwest Bosnia and Croatia. In his prize-winning book, Violence as a Generative Force: Identity, Nationalism, and Memory in a Balkan Community (Cornell, 2016), Max Bergholz tells the story of the sudden and perplexing descent of this once peaceful multiethnic community into extreme violence. Bergholz is James M. Stanford Professorship in Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. He will also be meeting with graduate students in the Department of History for a discussion of his contribution to a forum in American Historical Review on Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in 168 Dulles Hall, 230 Annie and John Glenn Ave.
Friday, October 19, 2018

'Fake News': Causes, Effects, Solutions
320 Pomerene Hall, 1760 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by School of Communication and University Libraries

What is 'fake news'? You hear the phrase everyday, but do you know what it means? Is 'fake news' new, or has it been around for a long time? Why do people believe 'fake news', and why does it spread the way it does? Is there anything we can or should do to limit or stop the spread of 'fake news'? Together, with panelists from Ohio State and beyond, we'll explore these questions. Sessions include "Misinformation and Communication," "Misinformation and the Mind," and "Misinformation and Society." This conference will take place in the new Translational Data Analytics Institute Ideation Zone.  Read more and register
Friday, November 2, 2018

Integrating Philosophical and Economic Perspectives on Well-Being
165 Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave. Mall
Sponsored by Center for Ethics and Human Values

When economists and philosophers talk about human well-being, are they talking about the same thing? Can we make progress on challenges like environmental sustainability and other important policy questions without a shared understanding of what human well-being consists in? This conference aims to foster interdisciplinary understanding and collaboration between philosophers and economists who are interested in well-being. It should be of interest not only to philosophers and economists, but to anyone interested in human well-being. Main speakers include Daniel Hausman (Philosophy - Wisconsin) and John Weymark (Economics - Vanderbilt)  Read more and register
Other News
IPR to host satellite discussion after AAAS lecture

On Tuesday, October 30, Interim Executive Dean Janet Box-Steffensmeier will moderate a dynamic discussion on-site at the Institute for Population Research, following the livestream of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences annual public lecture. The Academy's presentation will focus on the politicization of the 2020 census and its implications for the functioning of our government. Ohio State is one of three institutions hosting satellite discussions, along with Georgetown University and the American Philosophical Society. Read more and register
Mershon affiliates discuss importance of voting

In the 2014 midterm elections, only 14.5 percent of eligible Ohio State students voted. OSU Votes, a student-run movement housed in the Office of Student Life, is trying to double that number this November. A variety of programs aim to promote voter registration and turnout, including the Big Ten Voting Challenge - a friendly competition between Big Ten Conference universities to encourage students to vote. Leading up the 2018 midterm elections, political science professors, including Mershon affiliates Thomas Wood and Janet Box-Steffensmeier, explained why voting is important. The last day to register to vote in the midterms is Tuesday, October 9.
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