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What is Realist Foreign Policy conference poster

Realism is the oldest theory of international relations. On March 1-2, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies will host a conference on "What is Realist Foreign Policy?" organized by Professor of Political Science Randy Schweller.

From the sophists and Thucydides, Machiavelli and Hobbes, to E.H. Carr, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Hans Morgenthau, to Kenneth Waltz, Robert Jervis, and John Mearsheimer, realism as an intellectual construct has dominated the study of international relations.

Given the primacy of the realist approach and its compelling explanations of state behavior and the dynamics of the international system, does realism consistently provide the most reliable guidance for statecraft? More fundamentally, what precisely is realist foreign policy? How do we know it when we see it? For instance, in his State of the Union address delivered this month, President Trump called himself a "principled realist." What does he mean?

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The Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University invites applications to fill two postdoctoral fellowship positions for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Applications are welcomed from scholars who have completed their Ph.D. since June 30, 2013, or who expect to complete their degree by June 30, 2019. The term of appointment is July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. Successful applicants may apply for a one-year renewal of the fellowship.

The Mershon postdoctoral fellowships support research on national security in a global context. We understand international security from a wide range of perspectives, approaches, and substantive foci. Consequently, successful applicants may come from a variety of disciplines that engage international security broadly conceived. We especially welcome applications from scholars whose work explicitly integrates knowledge across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

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Dorothy Noyes

Mershon affiliate Dorothy Noyes, professor of English and Comparative Studies and former director of the Center for Folklore Studies, was awarded an honorary doctorate in folkloristics at the 99th Anniversary Celebration of the University of Tartu in Estonia on December 1, 2018.

Currently serving as president of the American Folklore Society, Noyes was recognized for contributions to international folkloristics and for fruitful collaborations with Tartu’s Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore.

Noyes’ ethnographic and historical research addresses the traditional public sphere in Romance-speaking Europe; she also writes on folklore theory and on the international policy careers of culture concepts.

"Dorothy Noyes is a highly esteemed scholar of festival and political performance and an outstanding specialist in folklore theory and history," the university announcement said. "Fluent in Catalan, French, Spanish and Italian, she has conducted extensive research on and in Catalonia and western Europe more broadly. Her path-breaking research, which combines folklore studies with insights drawn from political science and international relations, has opened up new opportunities for scholars interested in exploring expressive culture as a means of agency in diverse contexts, past and present."

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Peter Mansoor

Last October, hundreds of veterans, citizens, and their families turned out on a rainy Saturday to celebrate the opening of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in downtown Columbus.

The ceremony, marked with speeches by Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, Reps. Joyce Beatty and Steve Stivers, L Brands CEO Les Wexner, and a keynote by retired Gen. Colin Powell, marked the opening of one of the most anticipated architectural creations in the world.

Built next to the Scioto River with a stunning view of the Columbus skyline, the museum’s structure consists of a pathway that spirals up to a rooftop sanctuary. A neighboring 2.5-acre memorial grove provides space for veterans and citizens to reflect about their service.

In attendance at the grand opening outside the 53,000 square foot, $75 million facility was Mershon affiliate Peter Mansoor, Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History, who serves on the Veterans Advisory Committee that helped shape the vision for the building, grounds, and exhibits. Mansoor also personally fact-checked all the historical content.

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Each year, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies holds a competition for Ohio State University faculty and graduate students to apply for grant funds to support research related to international security.

Faculty research and seed grants and graduate student research grants may be used for a variety of research-related purposes including travel, interviews, experiments, surveys, library costs, and more.

The mission of the Mershon Center is to advance the understanding of national security in a global context. Our understanding of international security draws from a wide range of perspectives, approaches, and substantive foci. Consequently, successful applicants may come from a variety of disciplines that engage international security broadly conceived.

The center places an especially strong emphasis on supporting interdisciplinary research. Applicants are encouraged to develop collaborative interdisciplinary proposals that include a statement on how their project will contribute to the interdisciplinary development of knowledge.

Please note that as of 2019 research grant funds will no longer cover speaker series and conferences, which will be judged in a separate competition.

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Featured News

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