Mershon Center for International Security Studies
March 9 , 2015
In This Issue
Amy Shuman
Professor of English
For receiving the 2015 Distinguished Scholar Award. Established in 1978, the award recognizes exceptional scholarly accomplishments by senior professors who have compiled a substantial body of research. Recipients are nominated by their departments and chosen by a committee of senior faculty, including several past recipients of the award. Distinguished Scholars receive a $3,000 honorarium and a research grant of $20,000 to be used over the next three years.
Bruce Weinberg
Professor of Economics
For being selected as a Joan N. Huber Faculty Fellow for 2015 in recognition of his first-rate scholarship. The award is in honor of Emeritus Professor Joan Huber, who served as dean of the social and behavioral sciences from 1984 to 1992 and as Ohio State's senior vice president for academic affairs and provost until her retirement in 1993. Fellows are nominated by department chairs and receive an annual cash award of $6,000 a year for three years to further their research programs.
In the Media
Paul Beck
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioral Sciences
February 26, 2015
Peter Mansoor
Gen. Raymond E. Mason Chair in Military History
March 2, 2015
John Mueller
Senior Research Scientist
The Guardian,
with Mark Stewart 
February 24, 2015

February 26, 2015
Erik Nisbet
Associate Professor of Communication
"Nobody is immune from resisting science they wish weren't true. Even liberals"
February 24, 2015

"Politics, science, and public attitudes: What we're learning, and why it matters"
February 25, 2015

"Biased interpretations of science? Liberals do it, too."
February 26, 2015

"Politicians, others on right, left challenge scientific consensus on some issues"
March 8, 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
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Richard Zeckhauser
"The Wisdom of Crowds and the Stupidity of Herds"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Richard Zeckhauser Richard Zeckhauser is the Frank P. Ramsey Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University. He pioneered the field of policy analysis and currently addresses an array of policy areas where uncertainty plays a major role. His seminal contributions to decision theory and behavioral economics include the concepts of status quo bias, quality-adjusted life years, and the analytics of ignorance. Zeckhauser has written or coauthored a dozen books - most recently Collaborative Governance: Private Roles for Public Goals, and The Patron's Payoff: Conspicuous Commissions in Renaissance Italy -- and 280 articles. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Econometric Society, and Institute of Medicine. Read more and register at
Thursday, March 12, 2015

Barbara Koremenos
"The Continent of International Law: (Im)precision and Reservations"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Barbara Koremenos Barbara Koremenos is associate professor of political science at University of Michigan. She focuses on how international law can be structured to make international cooperation most successful. She has published in both political science and law journals, including the American Political Science Review, International Organization, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Legal Studies, and Law and Contemporary Problems. Koremenos received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her research -- the first such winner to study international relations and law. Her book, The Continent of International Law, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. Read more and register at
Friday, March 13, 2015

Karen Dawisha
"Is Putin's Russia a Kleptocracy? And So What?"
5:30 p.m., Faculty Club Grand Lounge, 181 South Oval Dr.

Karen Dawisha The Midwest Slavic Association and Center for Slavic and East European Studies cordially invite you to the keynote address and opening reception for the 2015 Midwest Slavic Conference. Karen Dawisha will speak about the rise in politics of current Russian president Vladimir Putin and his kleptocratic regime based on work conducted for her recently published book,  Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?  After her talk, the opening reception for the conference will take place. Both the keynote and reception are free and open to the public. The reception will feature a cash bar. Full details on the 2015 Midwest Slavic Conference, including registration information, can be found on the conference webpage.
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Kelly Greenhill
"Better than the Truth: Extra-factual Sources of Threat Conception and Proliferation"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Kelly Greenhill Kelly Greenhill is associate professor at Tufts University and chair of the Conflict, Security and Public Policy Working Group at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. She is author of Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion and Foreign Policy (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs), winner of the 2011 International Studies Association's Best Book of the Year Award. She is currently completing a cross-national study that explores why, when, and under what conditions, contested (or "extra-factual") sources of political information - such as rumors, conspiracy theories, and myths - materially influence the development and conduct of states' foreign and defense policies. Read more and register at
Friday, March 27, 2015

Paul Chamberlin
"The Cold War's Killing Fields"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Paul Chamberlin Paul Chamberlin is associate professor of history at University of Kentucky. His first book was The Global Offensive: The United States, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the Making of the Post-Cold War World (Oxford, 2012). He is currently working on a history of the Cold War in the Third World under contract with HarperCollins. He earned his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University and has held fellowships at Yale University and Williams College. Chamberlin will examine the darker side of the superpower struggle: a vast, bloody conflict fought to prevent nuclear war, mark out the boundaries of the American and Soviet empires, and decide the fate of societies throughout the developing world. Read more and register at
Monday, March 30, 2015

Student Peace Awards
"Practices and Strategies of Nonviolence"
3 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Peace Studies Society logo 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 2015 Student Peace Awards will be part of a half-day long celebratory conference intended to educate the OSU community about peace. The focus of this year's conference will be "Practices and Strategies of Nonviolence." Participants include Jennifer Battonis, interim vice president of the Sustained Dialogue Institute in Washington, D.C.; Mark Chupp, assistant professor in the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University; and Danielle Poe, professor of philosophy at University of Dayton. In addition to workshops and panel discussions, the Peace Studies Society will present an award and scholarship to an Ohio State student committed to peace activism in his or her community. Read more and register at
Featured News
Mershon affiliate Peter Mansoor (left), playing the president of the United States, is briefed during the National Security Law and Process simulation, held November 14-15, 2014, at Moritz College of Law.
Mershon affiliate organizes national security simulation


Students in Mershon affiliate Dakota Rudesill's National Security Law class this fall had an unusual assignment for their final exam: They participated in a two-day immersive national security simulation held November 14-15, 2014, at Moritz College of Law.


Stepping into the shoes of lawyers, policymakers, intelligence analysts, and reporters, the students dealt with a series of realistic national security crises ripped from the headlines. They had to apply law, policy and facts they had learned in class to navigate the simulation's outcome.


The National Security Law and Process simulation explored decision making in federal executive and legislative branches at the intersection of law and policy regarding national security, under crisis conditions. It was an open, dynamic simulation that moved in real time over 48 hours. Students had agency, and their decisions dictated outcomes for the story lines. 

Participating in the simulation were Mershon Center faculty affiliates Peter Mansoor, who played the president of the United States, and Peter Shane, as well as Mershon graduate student affiliates Daniel Curzon, Rudy Hightower, and Will Waddell. Throughout the event, Rudesill drove the players toward particular issues and dilemmas.


Chief Judge James E. Baker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and former legal advisor to the National Security Council, gave the keynote address, emphasizing the importance of integrity and good process in decision-making.


Several experienced Washington practitioners including former members of the military and National Security Council played the roles of senior government officials, giving students the experience of working with seasoned leaders with high expectations.


Students from units across the Ohio State campus also participated, including Moritz College of Law, John Glenn School of Public Affairs, School of Communication, International Studies Security and Intelligence, and several other graduate programs. 

Read more about the simulation on the Mershon Center website and see photos and a video made by Moritz College of Law.
Other Events
Thursday, March 12, 2015

Science, Literacy, and Citizenship
3:30 p.m., 143 University Hall, 230 N. Oval Mall
Sponsored by LiteracyStudies@OSU

Science, Literacy, and Citizenship, with Michael Bevis (Earth Sciences), Ruth Colker (Law), Steven Rissing (EEOB), and Douglas Kniss (Biomedical Engineering, OBGYN). Moderated by Harvey J. Graff (English and History).  LiteracyStudies@OSU presents a forum that examines some of the intersections that tie together three of the most compelling topics in American culture, the polity, and the American university, past, present, and future. Of special interest to the participants in this discussion are the place of literacy-reading and writing, comprehension and expression-in science as well as other domains of learning, knowledge, and action; and the roles and responsibilities of science and scientific understanding in contemporary citizenship. This includes such critical issues as climate change, evolution, human life, conceptions of dis-ability, and human rights. We are concerned with their relationships. And particularly pressing, we explore the place of education including high schools, universities. Read more

Sunday-Monday, March 22-23, 2015

Political Asylum and the Politics of Suspicion
120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Sponsored by Center for Folklore Studies

Asylum conference logo This workshop engages with the politics of suspicion that increasingly informs policies and processes of political asylum across the globe. There is a growing body of research highlighting inconsistencies and inequalities in political asylum procedures at the local level. This workshop contributes to this body of scholarship yet importantly expands this inquiry to also interrogate the broader political ambivalences about international policy, border security, and humanitarianism that sustain and reproduce such inequitable and flawed systems of asylum. More specifically, this workshop explores the impact of the politics of suspicion on political asylum systems by bringing into dialogue two levels of analyses: asylum hearings/adjudicative processes, on the one hand, and larger state and international policies and debates about immigration, protection, and security, on the other. Read more

Friday, March 27, 2015

I/S Journal Symposium
"The Future of Internet Regulation"
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saxbe Auditorium, Drinko Hall, 55 W. 12th Ave.
Presented by Moritz College of Law

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in the midst of an "open networks" rule making process. So far, it has drawn more than 1.1 million public comments. Why? Because the Internet is the central communications medium of our time. It presents unprecedented opportunities and challenges in virtually every domain of social, economic, political, and cultural life. How governments respond to this issue will have enormous impacts.


Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC, will present the opening policy keynote at "The Future of Internet Regulation," a public symposium hosted by I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society. Following Chairman Wheeler's speech, panels of distinguished academics will discuss such critical issues as net neutrality, Internet freedom, and the future of Internet governance. The day will conclude with a lecture by William Dutton, formerly the founding director of the Oxford Internet Institute. 


Admission is free, and lunch will be provided to advance registrants. Read more and register

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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