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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

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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Sarah Brooks

Mershon affiliate Sarah Brooks, professor of political science, has been appointed associate editor of the American Journal of Political Science. As part of the journal's editorial team, Brooks will work to secure high-quality reviews and identify manuscripts that satisfy the journal's expectations of intellectual contribution and scholarly impact.

Earlier this year, Brooks was also the recipeint of the Joan N. Huber Huber Faculty Fellow Award for Excellence in the Social and Behavioral Sciences this year.

Former Mershon Director James A. Robinson has passed on May 7, 2018 at the age of 85.  

He is survived by his daughter, Adelaide Robinson McCulloch (Jeffrey), and his son, Luke Robinson (Rica Kimball). Robinson served as director of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies and later vice president for academic affairs at the Ohio State University; president of Macalester College; and president of the University of West Florida.

The first child in his family to attend college, thanks to a scholarship from the American Legion, Robinson was passionate about equal access to quality higher education for all people.

Donations in his honor may be made to UWF Foundation, 11000 University Parkway Bldg. 12, Pensacola, FL 32514-5750, or by visiting https://uwf.edu/offices/foundation/.