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Mershon Center Speaker Series
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Daniel Ahn
"The Sword and the Shield: The Economic Impact of Targeted Sanctions and Adversarial Counter-Strategies"
Thursday, November 01, 2018, 03:30pm - 05:00pm
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43201

Daniel Ahn

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Daniel P. Ahn is currently a professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he teaches graduate courses on energy economics and conflict; senior advisor at the Rapidan Group; and advisor for the U.S. government.

He was previously the chief economist at the U.S. Department of State, where he advised the secretary and senior principals on a wide range of international economic and security topics relevant to U.S. foreign policy, including global macroeconomic growth, financial stability, economic sanctions, counter-terrorist financing, international trade, and energy security.

Prior to public service, Ahn was the chief economist for commodities at Citigroup in New York and also held senior positions at Citadel, Barclays Capital, and Lehman Brothers. He has also held research and teaching positions at Harvard University, National Bureau of Economic Research, Columbia University, Council on Foreign Relations, and International Monetary Fund.

He is the author of multiple research articles, Congressional testimony, and a forthcoming economics textbook. He was featured in Forbes Magazine as one of "30 under 30 in Finance."

Ahn completed his A.B. in economics and finance with honors from Princeton University, and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.


Our present-day capacity for destruction is unparalleled in human history. Yet, contemporary wars fought by liberal democracies, destructive to life and things as they are, are overall much less devastating, especially in terms of their human toll, than wars of the past. The greater military power that we possess does not manifest itself in greater destruction, but, to the contrary, in greater restraint. We thus live in a paradox of power: Our means and methods of war have become both harsher (in potential) and tamer (in practice).

I explore how the evolution of international law, technology, and social norms – and the dynamic between them – has contributed to the paradox of power, and I consider the implications of the paradox for conceptions of victory on the modern battlefield.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. 


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