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Mershon News

Joonghyun Kwak

Joonghyun Kwak is joining the Mershon Center for International Security Studies as a postdoctoral researcher working with Craig Jenkins on the Survey Data Recycling project. His primary mission is to develop analysis of data quality to assess the added value of international survey harmonization.

There is a wealth of international survey data that is rarely used because of the difficulties of constructing comparable measures over time and space. The Survey Data Recycling project is building a public access online database that harmonizes into comparable measures the major social, demographic and political variables from over 3,500 international surveys covering 24 major survey programs for over 142 countries covering 1966-2016.

A major product will be metadata measuring survey quality and a set of online analytic tools for evaluating, visualizing and managing these data. The project will create a Handbook for Survey Harmonization as well as research articles assessing the value-added from international survey harmonization.

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Michelle O'Brien

Michelle O'Brien is joining the Mershon Center for International Security Studies as a postdoctoral researcher. Her current research focuses on the consequences of exposure to armed conflict and violent events for individual and institutional change.

O'Brien's dissertation examined these consequences for education, migration, and abortion in Tajikistan after the 1992-1997 civil war. In a collaborative project, she used agent-based modeling to understand how individual and community-level processes contribute to long-term social change after the 1996-2006 Maoist rebellion in Nepal.

O'Brien is most recently the author of "Migration as an Adaptive Response to Ethnic Nationalism in Russia," in Migration Studies, in which she finds that ethnic minorities in Russia are more likely to out-migrate when faced with hate crimes and ethnic nationalist politics.

During her time at the Mershon Center, O'Brien will work with Mershon affiliate Hollie Nyseth Brehm and Kammi Schmeer, both from the Department of Sociology, on a project investigating the long-term social and demographic consequences of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Michelle has a B.A. in sociology from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Washington.

Peter Mansoor

Mershon affiliate Peter Mansoor will be featured in "Will the Forever War Ever End?," an upcoming event to mark the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks and their ongoing legacy in the United States.

Sponsored by WOSU Public Media and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, the event will feature an interview with Mansoor by Ann Fisher, host of All Sides with Ann Fisher on 89.7 NPR News. It will take place Tuesday, September 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road.

On Patriot’s Day, this dialogue will consider whether the “Forever War” will ever end. What does the commitment of troops in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa mean for national security at home and abroad? What could be a strategy for ending a war on terror that has transformed into an endless war?

Enjoy complimentary light hors d’oeuvres and soft drinks prior to the program in the theater lobby starting at 5 p.m. The discussion will begin at 6 p.m. Registration is $15 for general admission and $5 for students, with student ID required at check-in. Tickets can be purchased here.

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Bill Liddle (second from left), professor emeritus of political science, speaks at the National Library in Jakarta with his co-authors (left to right) Kuskridho (Dodi) Ambardi, Tom Pepinsky, and Saiful Mujani.

Mershon affiliate Bill Liddle, is a celebrity of sorts in Indonesia, known for his lifelong scholarship about Indonesian politics as well as his mentorship of Indonesian scholars.

In July, Liddle, professor emeritus of political science, was the star of the show during a launch for two of his books held at the National Library in Jakarta. About 300 people attended the invitation-only event, including the governor and vice-governor of Jakarta.

The books Liddle launched were Voting Behavior in Indonesia since Democratization: Critical Democrats, with Saiful Mujani and Kuskridho Ambardi (Cambridge University Press, 2018), and Piety and Public Opinion: Understanding Islam and Political Behavior, with Thomas Pepinsky and Saiful Mujani (Oxford University Press, 2018).

In addition to Liddle and his three co-authors, the launch featured Indonesia's most prominent political talk show host acting as moderator, and three discussants, all prominent public intellectuals and academics. After the discussants spoke, there was about an hour of questions from the floor.

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R. William Liddle

Mershon faculty affiliate R. William Liddle, professor emeritus of political science, has won the Anugerah Kebudayaan (Culture Award) from the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture.

The award is given each year to foreigners in the social, political, economic, law, culture, and science fields concerning Indonesia, and other fields that have great benefit for the nation and state of Indonesia.

Liddle won the award for his scholarship about Indonesian politics as well as his mentorship as a doctoral dissertation advisor for Indonesian scholars. His research focuses on political leadership, voting behavior, and popular attitudes toward Islamic politics in Indonesia.

“This is a wonderful honor for Bill, and very well deserved,” said Christopher Gelpi, director of the Mershon Center. “Bill has spent a lifetime creating and fostering scholarship about Indonesia, and we are very pleased to see the government of Indonesia recognize his work.”

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