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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Ali Carkoglu Erik Nisbet Robert Bond

From the 2009 unrest in Iran, to the 2010 Arab Spring in Tunisia, to the 2011 revolution in Egypt, social media has played a critical role in Islamic politics.

In studying these examples of “Twitter revolutions,” scholars have concentrated mainly on authoritarian states, where social media provides an avenue of communication not controlled by the government. But what about countries where communication is allowed to be more free?

This is what a team of scholars headed by Robert Bond and Erik Nisbet in Ohio State’s School of Communication is examining through its research in Turkey, funded by a grant from the Mershon Center.

Working with Ali Çarkoğlu, professor of international relations and dean at Koç University in Istanbul, the team conducted a series of online surveys and experiments with almost 8,000 Turkish internet users in the months leading up to the June 2015 parliamentary elections. They also purchased a large dataset of posts on Facebook and Twitter from Turkish social media users, which they are using to evaluate political expression and predict support for parties.

Çarkoğlu will speak about this research and more at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, at the Mershon Center. Registration is at http://go.osu.edu/carkoglu.

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compascPerhaps the greatest cultural, economic, and technological challenge facing modern democracies and global development groups is how to respond to the depletion of natural resources and the effects of climate change. The health of the planet as well as the future shape of human society is at stake.

Responding to these challenges will require a combination of scientific and technological expertise, social scientific analysis, and humanistic reflection. That is why the Conversations on Morality, Politics, and Society (COMPAS) program for 2015-16 will focus on the theme of Sustainability.

This year's fall COMPAS conference, co-sponsored by the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, will be on "Sustainability: Visions and Values."

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Cardinal Peter Turkson

Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the first cardinal from Ghana, will visit Ohio State’s Columbus campus for a community discussion on global sustainability. Turkson’s talk is set for Monday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m. at Mershon Auditorium, 1871 N. High St., and will be followed by a fireside chat with Ohio State President Michael Drake.

This event is open to the public but tickets are required to attend. Tickets can be reserved online at https://wexarts.org/tickets/1528.

Respected around the world as a scripture scholar, an advocate for the poor and disenfranchised in the developing world, and as a spokesperson for protecting the environment as a matter of social justice, Turkson has long made news with his comments that link ecology and human life.

Turkson has become the face of climate change at the Vatican, having led the drafting process of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, presented at the Vatican conference on climate change on April 28, and introduced the encyclical during a June 18 news conference.

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Craig Jenkins

What do you get when you combine the efforts of the Rockefeller Foundation, U.S. Agency for International Development, and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency?

You get the Global Resilience Partnership, a campaign to foster alliances and drive innovation by creating opportunities for scale, impact, and sustainability in the Sahel, Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia – areas where new ideas and approaches can help countries and communities prepare for, adapt to, and recover in the face of chronic shocks and stresses.

This year, the partnership selected “Climate Change Challenges and Community Adaption in Coastal Bangladesh,” organized by J. Craig Jenkins, past director of the Mershon Center, and C.K. Shum, professor in the School of Earth Sciences, as one of 17 projects in its Global Resilience Challenge. The project was chosen out of a field of more than 500 applicants.

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