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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Mershon Center for International Security Studies


    Members of the student Peace Studies Society organized a conference and awards ceremony at the Mershon Center.


    Joshua Rovner (second from right) won the Edgar S. Furniss Book Award for Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell, 2011).


    Aaron Friedberg gave the 2013 Joseph J. Kruzel Memorial Lecture on "A Contest for Supremacy: China, America and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia," on November 15, 2013.


    Mershon Center, Byrd Polar Research Center join forces to launch new initiative on climate change


    Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud visited Ohio State on September 23, 2013.


    Panelists at The Confirming U.S. Presidential Election of 2012 conference, held October 11-12, 2013.


    Gen. James N. Mattis (second from left), 11th Commander of U.S. Central Command, met with former U.S. Sen. John Glenn (center) on a visit to the Mershon Center.


    Valentine Moghadam, director of the international affairs program at Northeastern University, spoke on "Women and Gender after the Arab Spring."

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Mershon News

Bruce Weinberg

Mershon affiliate Bruce Weinberg, professor of economics, is the lead author of a new study published in the journal Science that finds university research is a key component to the U.S. economy, returning the investment through enormous public value and impact on employment, business and manufacturing nationwide.

"The main purpose of science funding isn’t as a jobs program or a stimulus program, but this study provides the first detailed information about the short-term economic impacts of federal research," Weinberg said.

Weinberg and his colleagues tracked investments at nine large, Midwestern universities. In total, the schools received $7 billion in research and development funding in 2012, about half of which came from the federal government. The economists found that $1 billion of that investment was spent on equipment and services from U.S. vendors. Of those expenditures, 16 percent stayed in the university’s home county; another 16 percent remained within the state.

Weinberg's results also shed light on a diverse workforce. Most of the workers supported by federal research funding are not university faculty members. In fact, fewer than one in five workers supported by federal funding is a faculty researcher. Using a new data set, the researchers also found that each university that receives funding spends those dollars throughout the United States -- about 70 percent spent outside their home states -- supporting companies both large and small.


Daniel Sui

Daniel Sui, professor and chair, Department of Geography, and Distinguished Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, has been selected by the Association of American Geographers (AAG) for its Distinguished Scholar Award in Regional Development and Planning. 

The award is in recognition of Sui’s more than two decades of contributions to the applied or theoretical understanding of development, planning and/or policy issues. In addition to research, this award also recognizes Sui’s contributions to mentoring/teaching and leadership/service roles at local, national, and international levels. 

A Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, Sui is a widely respected scholar in many aspects of technology, geographic information science (GIScience), urban, and regional research. 


Bear Braumoeller

Chadwick Alger, professor emeritus of political science and public policy at the Mershon Center, passed away on February 15, 2014, at the age of 89.

Alger, an authority on peacebuilding and the United Nations system, joined the political science faculty of The Ohio State University in 1971, where he did teaching and research for more than 40 years.

Alger’s areas of expertise included:

  • global problem-solving by international governmental and non-governmental organizations, primarily focused on the United Nations System;
  • the world relations of local people, governments and organizations;
  • inventory and evaluation of available "tools" and strategies for peace building.

Subjects of his research included decision-making in the U.N. General Assembly, the role of non-governmental organizations in the struggle for human rights and economic well-being, evolving roles of NGOs in U.N. decision-making, potential roles of the U.N. System in the 21st century, religion as a peace tool, the expanding tool chest for peace builders, and why the United States needs the U.N. System.

Alger was director of the Mershon Program in Transnational Intellectual Cooperation in the Policy Sciences (1971-81) and director of the Mershon Program in World Relations (1982-91).


Bear Braumoeller

Mershon affiliate Bear Braumoeller is the recipient of the 2013-14 J. David Singer Book Award Committee for ISA-Midwest.  The award was given for Braumoeller's book The Great Powers and the International System: Systemic Theory in Empirical Perspective, published by Cambridge University Press in 2013. This award is given every other year to the author of an outstanding book published in the previous three years.

Braumoeller's book asks the question: Do great leaders make history? Or are they compelled to act by historical circumstance? This debate has remained unresolved since Thomas Carlyle and Karl Marx framed it in the mid-19th century, yet implicit answers inform our policies and our views of history. In this book, Braumoeller argues persuasively that both perspectives are correct: Leaders shape the main material and ideological forces of history that subsequently constrain and compel them.  His studies of the Congress of Vienna, the interwar period, and the end of the Cold War illustrate this dynamic, and the data he marshals provide systematic evidence that leaders both shape and are constrained by the structure of the international system


John Carlarne

Each year the student Peace Studies Society at Ohio State organizes a speaking event and awards ceremony to recognize the efforts of undergraduates who have contributed to the cause of peace and justice.

This year almost 70 people attended a half-day conference held January 24 at the Mershon Center. 

Sessions at the conference included "Speak Peace in a World of Conflict," with Tom Carlisi and Jeff Brown of the Center for Compassionate Communication, and "Peace through Service in Rotary," with the Rotaract Club of OSU.

A human rights panel and discussion included Patrick Coy, director of the Center for Applied Conflict Management at Kent State University; Julie Hart, professor of sociology and peace and justice at Ohio Dominican University; and John Carlarne, peace studies coordinator at the Mershon Center.

Integral to the conference was the Student Peace Award, given by the Peace Studies Society with support from the Mershon Center.  Lauren Chen (pictured), a biomedical science major at Ohio State, was recognized for her work to empower children in the slums of Lenana, Kenya, through education and civic engagement.  

Students applied or were nominated through an online process in which they were asked to describe their contributions to peace in the local and global community. The award supports students with a $250 scholarship. 

For more information about the Student Peace Conference and Peace Awards, including links to workshop packets and a photo album, please see the event web page.


  • Rovner

    Rovner’s ‘Fixing the Facts’ selected for Furniss Book Award

    Joshua Rovner, associate professor of strategy and policy at U.S. Naval War College, is winner of the Furniss Book Award for


  • Breyfoglen

    Breyfogle awarded multiyear grant to study environmental history in Russia

    Mershon affiliate Nicholas Breyfogle is one of a team of transnational researchers about to embark on a challenging, far flung adventure.

    Six top scholars in diverse fields - histo ...