Mershon Center for International Security Studies
January 6, 2014
In This Issue
Bear Braumoeller
Associate Professor of Political Science

On winning the International Studies Association Best Book Award of 2014 for The Great Powers and the International System: Systemic Theory in Empirical Perspective (Cambridge, 2012).  In the book, Braumoeller argues that leaders both shape the material and ideological forces of history as they are also constrained and compelled to act by historical circumstance.
Peter Mansoor
Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History

On having his most recent book, Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War (Yale, 2013), selected as one of six finalists for the inaugural 2013 Guggenheim-Lehrman Military History Prize.  Based on newly declassified documents, Surge is an insider's view of the most decisive phase of the Iraq War.
Geoffrey Parker
Andreas Dorpalen Professor of History

On having his book Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the 17th Century (Yale University Press, 2013) named by The Times and The Sunday Times of London as History Book of the Year.  In this book, Parker traces a series of revolutions, droughts, famines, invasions, wars, regicides, and government collapses to changing weather patterns from 1618 to the late 1680s, with implications for today. 
In the Media
Chadwick Alger
Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Public Policy
"All must work to ensure human rights"
December 10, 2013
Columbus Dispatch
Paul Beck
Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Sociology and Communication
"If Cincinnati mayor derails streetcar project, feds want money back"
December 18, 2013
Christian Science Monitor
William Brustein
Vice Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs
"Franklin University aids Saudis' education push"
November 29, 2013
Columbus Dispatch
Mitch Lerner
Associate Professor of History
"What if Kennedy had survived?"
November 23, 2013
Newark Advocate
John Mueller
Ralph D. Mershon Senior Research Scientist
"Targeting needles, or adding more hay?"
November 13, 2013
The Indian Express
Mary Tarantino
Professor of Theatre
"Ohio State students' lighting project brings building to life"
November 19, 2013
Columbus Dispatch
Alexander Wendt
Ralph D. Mershon Professor of International Security
"'Quantum' author to speak at OWU"
January 2, 2014
Lima News

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   twitter   Picasa
Coming up at the Mershon Center
Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mustapha Nabli
"How to Transform the Arab Spring into an Economic Spring: The Case of Tunisia"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Mustapha Nabli is a Tunisian economist who has served as governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia from the revolution of 2011 to July 2012. He is also professor of economics at the Facult� de Droit et des Sciences Politiques et Economiques de Tunis. In this talk, Nabli will provide a broad perspective and a comprehensive view about the origins and causes of the New Arab Awakening. He suggests that in order to understand the Arab Spring or New Arab Awakening, we need to place it in the long historical context of the political and economic developments at least since the 1950s or the post-independence era. Read more and register at
Thursday, January 9, 2014

Adam Cathcart
"China-North Korea Relations in the Kim Jong-Un Era"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Adam Cathcart is lecturer in Chinese history at University of Leeds. His research interests lie in cultural construction in North Korea, ethnic Koreans in China, international aspects of the U.S. occupation of Japan, and Chinese-North Korean relations in the 1940s and 50s. Cathcart is founder and chief editor of Sino-NK, an online academic resource featuring work by graduate students which focuses on the borderlands and history of Chinese-Korean interactions. He has a bachelor's degree in cello performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and is an active performer of Chinese and Korean contemporary music. Read more and register at
Monday, January 13, 2014

John Mueller
"Chasing Ghosts: The FBI and Counter-Terrorism"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

John Mueller is Ralph D. Mershon Senior Research Scientist and Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies Emeritus at the Mershon Center. His most recent books include Terrorism, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security (2011), with Mark Stewart; Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al Qaeda (2010); and Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them (2006). In this talk, Mueller will explore the abrupt rise and continuing persistence of official fears of terrorism. Important in this is the effect of the "threat matrix" that coordinates and drives the quest to follow up 5,000 almost entirely fruitless "threats" each day.  Read more and register at
Thursday, January 16, 2014

Richard Immerman
"The CIA: Its Origin, Its Transformation, and Its Militarization"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Richard Immerman is Marvin Wachman Director of the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy at Temple University. Among his publications are The CIA in Guatemala: The Foreign Policy of Intervention, which won the Stuart Bernath Book Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. Immerman co-edited the Oxford Handbook of the Cold War, and his The Hidden Hand: A Brief History of the CIA will be published in 2014. He will discuss how the CIA transformed from an agency established to collect and analyze intelligence to one preoccupied with covert and paramilitary operations. Read more and register at
Friday, January 24, 2014

Student Peace Conference and Awards
Featuring Peace Activism and Human Rights Panel Discussion
3-8 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

The Student Peace Awards were initiated in 2013 by the Peace Studies Society student organization at The Ohio State University, as a means of recognizing significant contributions by students to peace and justice. The 2014 Student Peace Awards will be part of a half-day long celebratory conference that will include workshops on compassionate communication, peace through service, and a panel discussion on bridging the gap between theory and practice in the nonviolent defense of human rights. The conference will be free and open to all. Since space is limited, early registration is strongly advised. Read more and register at

Featured News
Aaron Friedberg gave the Joseph J. Kruzel Memorial Lecture on November 15, 2013.
Friedberg speaks on U.S. relationship with China

Watch a streaming video of Aaron Friedberg, professor of politics and international affairs and co-director of the Woodrow Wilson School's Center for International Security Studies at Princeton University.  He served as deputy assistant for national security affairs and director of policy planning in the Office of the Vice President from 2003 to 2005. Friedberg is author of The Weary Titan: Britain and the Experience of Relative Decline, 1895-1905, winner of the Edgar S. Furniss Award from the Mershon Center.  He gave the annual Joseph J. Kruzel Memorial Lecture on his most recent book, A Contest for Supremacy: China, America and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia (W.W. Norton, 2011).
Mershon News
Mershon Center offers faculty, student grants


Each year, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies holds a competition for Ohio State faculty and students to apply for research grants and scholarship funds. 


Faculty and student research grant applications must be for projects related to the study of national security in a global context. We are also interested in projects that emphasize the role of peace-building and development initiatives globally, as well as projects that strengthen the global gateways in China, India and Brazil. We will also consider projects related to campus area studies centers and institutes, or projects that address the university's Discovery Themes of health and wellness, energy and the environment, and food production and security.


The Mershon Center has also established the International Security Study Abroad Scholarship to support undergraduates whose professional training and career plans lie in the field of international security and who would benefit by studying in a foreign country. Students are encouraged to take foreign language courses, especially those deemed critical for national security. As many as 12 scholarships of up to $2,000 each will be awarded.


For more information, including application forms and instructions, please see the Grants section of the Mershon Center website. The deadline for all applications is Friday, January 31, 2014.

'Origins' examines role of Alawites in Syria


Origins has published its new article: "Alawites and the Fate of Syria," by Ayse Baltacioglu-Brammer.


The Civil War in Syria has become one of the most bloody and geopolitically important events to come out of the Arab Spring. While the war has become in many ways a sectarian Shi'a-Sunni battle, in Syria there is a third religious group that has played a pivotal role in the history of that country: the Alawites.


This month historian Ayse Baltacioglu-Brammer outlines the history of this little known community and describes how they became perhaps the most important power bloc in Syria after the 1970s. She reminds us that we cannot understand the civil war raging in Syria without understanding the Alawites.


The whole article can be found at . As always, you can listen to the podcast.

1501 Neil Avenue     |     Columbus, OH 43201     |     (614) 292-1681     |     Fax: (614) 292-2407

� 2013 Mershon Center for International Security Studies - Office of International Affairs