Mershon Center for International Security Studies
April 6 , 2015
In This Issue
In the Media
Paul Beck
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioral Sciences
April 2, 2015
Peter Hahn
Chair, Department of History
"Yemen faces civil war and foreign intervention"
March 31, 2015
John Mueller
Senior Research Scientist
CATO Institute
March 30, 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
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Panel: A New Cold War?
"Politics, Policies, and Consequences"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Following the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in early 2014, the crisis in Ukraine persists as fighting between the army and pro-Russian separatist rebels continues. The European Union and United States have responded by announcing new sanctions against Russia and negotiating a ceasefire, which was violated just five days after its inception. The outcome of the conflict remains to be seen, though the issues at hand, including economic trade and arms control difficulties, are reminiscent of former conflicts between Russia and the West. This calls to question, should this recent collapse in relations be considered "a New Cold War"? This panel discussion will feature Richard Herrmann (left), chair of Political Science; Mershon associate Gerry Hudson; and Dakota Rudesill, assistant professor of law. Read more and register at
Friday, April 10, 2015

Joseph J. Kruzel Memorial Lecture
Henry Nau
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Henry Nau is professor of political science and international affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. He directs (since 2013 co-directs) the U.S.-Japan-South Korea Legislative Exchange Program, semiannual meetings between members of the U.S. Congress, Japanese Diet, and Korean National Assembly. His latest book is Conservative Internationalism: Armed Diplomacy Under Jefferson, Polk, Truman, and Reagan (Princeton, 2013). From January 1981 to July 1983, Nau served on President Reagan's National Security Council as senior staff member responsible for international economic affairs. Among other duties, he was the White House sherpa for the annual G-7 Economic Summits at Ottawa (1981), Versailles (1982), and Williamsburg (1983) and a special summit with developing countries at Cancun, Mexico (1982). Read more and register at
Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sarah Kreps
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Sarah Kreps Sarah Kreps is associate professor of government at Cornell University. Her research focuses on issues of international security, particularly questions of conflict and cooperation, alliance politics, political economy, and nuclear proliferation. Her current research investigates public attitudes toward humanitarian intervention: first whether support is higher than alternative uses of force; and second, how much the humanitarian aspect of these interventions matter relative to other characteristics such as multilateralism and strategic interests. Findings suggest that the public is more favorably disposed toward humanitarian intervention, with most of that increase in support resulting from the view that there is a moral obligation to intervene to defend women and children. Read more and register at
Monday, April 20, 2015

Arash Abizadeh
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Arash Abizadeh Arash Abizadeh is associate professor of political theory at McGill University. His research focuses on democratic theory, cosmopolitanism, nationalism, and identity, and on 17th and 18th century philosophy, especially Hobbes and Rousseau. In this talk, Abizadeh will discuss the democratic borders thesis, which holds that a state's regime of border control is democratically legitimate only if the laws governing it result from political processes in which both citizens and foreigners can participate. This is because to be democratically legitimate, the (coercive) exercise of political power must be democratically justified to all subject to it; and both citizens and foreigners are subject to a polity's regime of border control. Abizadeh defends this thesis against three objections. Read more and register at
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Stephen Brooks
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Stephen Brooks Stephen Brooks is associate professor of government at Dartmouth University. His current research spans three topics: U.S. foreign policy in the current era, public opinion about the U.S. role in the world, and how economic factors influence security affairs. He is the author of Producing Security: Multinational Corporations, Globalization, and the Changing Calculus of Conflict (Princeton), and co-author, with William Wohlforth, of World out of Balance: International Relations and the Challenge of American Primacy (Princeton). His presentation will delineate why our underlying understanding of the role of economics in international relations is inadequate and how this can be rectified. Read more and register at
Featured News
Jacob Shapiro Terrorist Agenda

Shapiro wins Furniss Award for 'Terrorist's Dilemma'


How do terrorist groups control their members? Do the tools groups use to monitor their operatives and enforce discipline create security vulnerabilities that governments can exploit?


Jacob N. Shapiro, associate professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, answers these questions and more in The Terrorist's Dilemma: Managing Violent Covert Organizations (Princeton University Press, 2013), winner of the Mershon Center's Edgar S. Furniss Book Award.


The winning author receives a cash grant and is invited to speak about the book at Mershon Center. Shapiro will speak in Fall 2015.


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.


The Terrorist's Dilemma is the first book to systematically examine the great variation in how terrorist groups are structured. Employing a broad range of agency theory, historical case studies, and terrorists' own internal documents, Shapiro discusses the core managerial challenges that terrorists face and illustrates how their political goals interact with the operational environment to push them to organize in particular ways.


Shapiro provides a historically informed explanation for why some groups have little hierarchy, while others resemble miniature firms, complete with line charts and written disciplinary codes. Looking at groups in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, he highlights how consistent and widespread the terrorist's dilemma -- balancing the desire to maintain control with the need for secrecy -- has been since the 1880s.


Through an analysis of more than 100 terrorist autobiographies he shows how prevalent bureaucracy has been, and he utilizes a cache of internal documents from al Qaeda in Iraq to outline why this deadly group used so much paperwork to handle its people.


Tracing the strategic interaction between terrorist leaders and their operatives, Shapiro closes with a series of comparative case studies, indicating that the differences in how groups in the same conflict approach their dilemmas are consistent with an agency theory perspective.


Shapiro's active research projects at Princeton study political violence, economic and political development in conflict zones, security policy, and urban conflict. He co-directs the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.


His research has been published or is forthcoming in broad range of academic and policy journals including American Journal of Political Science, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Organization, International Security, Journal of Political Economy, and World Politics as well as a number of edited volumes. The Terrorist's Dilemma is his first book.

Other Events
Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Israel-Macedonia 20 Year Relationship
7 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by Buckeyes for Israel and Macedonian-American Student Organization 

Buckeyes for Israel and the Macedonian-American Student Organization are pleased to bring together a celebration of Israel and Macedonia's 20th anniversary of close, bilateral ties. Commemorating a similar event held in Tel Aviv, in which the Macedonian Philharmonic was invited to perform, the two groups will celebrate not only the long-standing history between Macedonians and Jews, but also the strong support Macedonia and Israel lend each other. The event will bring in the consulate generals from both countries: the Honorable Elad Strohmayer, deputy consulate general of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic region, and the honorable Elena Zarkovska, consulate general of Macedonia to Detroit. Both speakers will address the issues facing Israel and Macedonia, and how continuing to strengthen our current relationship will benefit both countries.  The discussion will be moderated by Craig Jenkins, director of the Mershon Center.
Thursday, April 16, 2015

Noam Shoval
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by Center for Urban and Regional Analysis

Noam Shoval Noam Shoval is professor of geography at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His main research interests are urban geography and planning, urban tourism and the implementation of advanced tracking technologies in various areas of spatial research such as tourism and urban studies and medicine. Shoval was an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Department of Geography of the University of Heidelberg. He spent last year as a visiting professor at the Center for Urban and Social Research at the University of Pittsburgh. Shoval will discuss the potential of geographic tracking technologies for research in the social sciences. This talk will examine new ways to measure social segregation in Israel using GPS devices.
Monday, April 27, 2015

Dotse Tsikata 
2:30 p.m., Vorys Faculty Lounge, Moritz College of Law, 55 W. 12th Ave.
Sponsored by Center for African Studies

Dotse Tsikata Dotse Tsikata is a visiting scholar at University of California-Davis School of Law, on leave from the African Development Bank's Legal Department. His areas of research are the law of international organizations and sovereign debt. He is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, and the University of Toronto. He will speak about the growing number of African governments that have issued bonds in the international markets, reaching record levels in 2013 and 2014. The unprecedented wave of African sovereign borrowing from the bond markets has generated responses ranging from the celebration of new sources of finance for development (the Africa Rising narrative) to warnings about the risk of African sovereign debt crises to come. 
Other News
Fulbright-Hays competition now open for grant support


The Office of International Affairs is seeking applicants for the U.S. Department of State's Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad program. These grants provide support for advanced graduate students studying modern foreign languages and area studies. 


All doctoral degree candidates proposing full-time dissertation research abroad on topics that develop research knowledge and capabilities in world areas not commonly taught in U.S. institutions must apply to the Office of International Affairs by Friday, April 17


Grants support field research of six to 12 months in duration. Eligibility is restricted to students who possess the requisite language skills for the dissertation project, and who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. 


To learn more about the application process, contact Joanna Kukielka-Blaser at or visit

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