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Mershon Center welcomes visitors, fellows
COLUMBUS -- The Mershon Center for International Security Studies is pleased to welcome a variety of post-doctoral fellows, visiting scholars, and other guests in residence during 2006-07. Seven are arriving for the fall quarter, with two more coming in the winter and spring.
Jason Parker, who received in Ph.D. in history at the University of Florida under Robert McMahon in 2002, will be a post-doctoral fellow.
He will use his time at Mershon to complete "The Contest: Hearts, Minds, and the History of American Public Diplomacy in the 'Third World,' " which examines U.S. public diplomacy during the Cold War through eight case studies in four regions: the Middle East, Central and South America, sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia.
Parker argues that although U.S. public diplomacy in the Third World had mixed success and unintended consequences, it was an integral part of the broader Cold War struggle, was conducted systematically, and was relatively inexpensive and effective.
Darrin Mortenson joined the Mershon Center in August as journalist in residence.
Mortenson, a reporter for the North County Times , the paper for Camp Pendleton in California, spent three tours of duty as a reporter embedded with Marines in Iraq. His second tour took place in 2004 with the first Marine battalion in Fallujah, where he saw the violence leading up to the brutal slaying of four American contractors.
During his time at Mershon, Mortenson plans to finish a book analyzing the 2004 events in Fallujah. He argues that 11 months of occupation by U.S. Army troops preceded the contractors' slayings, and that Marines attacked the town as early as March after losing troops of their own. In completing his book, Mortenson hopes to expand the university's access to primary military documents on the war in Iraq.
Anita Bucknam this fall began a two-year stint as CIA Officer in Residence. Through this program, the CIA places experienced officers in universities across the country to teach, conduct research, and act as a resource for faculty and students.
Bucknam is one of only four CIA Officers in Residence placed this year; others are at Duke, Tufts, and the University of San Diego. This fall she will teach Introduction to Intelligence; in the winter, she will teach a seminar on Topics in Intelligence.
Bucknam has a bachelor's from Cornell University in Russian Language and Literature, and a master's in Soviet Studies from Harvard. After two other careers, Bucknam joined the CIA in 1992, working on Russian economic and political issues until 9/11, when she started working on counter-terrorism issues. She also served short tours in the National Security Agency, State Department, and White House, and overseas in Moscow.
Julie Clemens joined the Mershon Center this year as Graduate Research Assistant in Peace Studies. Clemens, a doctoral candidate at the School of Educational Policy and Leadership, is writing her dissertation on "Peace and the Politics of Truth in U.S. Higher Education."
This study is a critical analysis of the condition of peace scholarship in the United States, seeking to identify the areas where peace studies is located in higher education, its contributions to international relations and education, and ways it can improve its standing.
Clemons will also be working with the Ohio Council of Churches and other donors to the Peace Studies Fund to identify candidates for the Mershon Center's endowed chair in peace studies.
Taehyun Kim, a professor at the Graduate School of International Studies in Chung-Ang University in South Korea, will be a visiting scholar. Among other projects, he is working on a book on South Korean foreign policy after democratization.
Kim argues that while democratization has been a blessing for the South Korean people and contributed to international peace and security, it also poses serious challenges for political leadership, resulting in an indecisive and disorganized foreign policy.
To make his point, Kim cites the South Korean decision to send troops to Iraq in 2003-04. After the government agreed to send 6,000 troops, an Iraqi terrorist group took a South Korean citizen hostage, eventually beheading him. This led to a heated debate about whether South Korea should honor its commitment. The government reacted by sending half as many troops as promised, in secret, to a location not originally intended.
The Mershon Center will host another visiting scholar from South Korea, Yong Cheol Kim, professor of political science at Chonnam National University.
Kim's main scholarly interests are Korean politics, cyber-politics, democratic transition and consolidation, and Korea-U.S. Relations. While at the Mershon Center, he will work on a project, "Online Social Movements: Comparing South Korea and the United States."
Kim is the co-author of Electronic Democracy: The Search for a New Political Paradigm (Seoul, 2005); The 2004 National Assembly Elections in South Korea (Seoul, 2004); Contemporary Korean Politics (Seoul, 2003); Korea in Transition (Georgetown University, 2002); Korea's Globalization (Cambridge University, 2000); and Democracy and Development: Theory and Practice (London, 1996).
Finally, the Mershon Center is pleased to host Justin Tighe, a post-doctoral fellow sponsored by the East Asian Studies Center. A lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Melbourne, Tighe is the author of Constructing Suiyuan: The Politics of Northwestern Territory and Development in Early Twentieth Century China (Brill 2005).
During his time at OSU, Tighe will conduct research on late Qing/Republican constructions of Inner Asia and their significance in the making of empire and nation state. He will teach three courses on topics relating to China, Taiwan, and Inner Asia. Tighe received his Ph.D. in Chinese Studies at Monash University in 2003.
In the spring, the Mershon Center will welcome one more post-doctoral fellow, Tarak Barkawi, and one more visiting scholar, Babak Rahimi. More information will be included in a future newsletter.
About the Mershon Center for International Security Studies
The Mershon Center for International Security Studies advances the understanding of national security in a global context by fostering interdisciplinary faculty and student research in three areas of focus: the use of force and diplomacy; the ideas, identities, and decisional processes that affect security; and the institutions that manage violent conflict. The Mershon Center is a unit of the Office of International Affairs at The Ohio State University.
Journalist in Residence
CIA Officer in Residence
Graduate Research Assistant in Peace Studies
Yong Cheol Kim