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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Ellen Peters John Casterline

Two Mershon Center faculty affiliates are among five Ohio State University researchers elected this year as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Fellows are selected by their academic peers. It is considered one of the most prestigious honors given to U.S. scientists.

“These five faculty represent what makes Ohio State a national leader in research that serves Ohio, the nation and the world,” said Morley Stone, senior vice president for research.

New Fellows affiliated with the Mershon Center are:

John Casterline, professor of sociology. For distinguished contributions to the field of social demography, particularly for studies of fertility, family planning and the demographic transition in developing nations in Africa. Casterline is a member of the Mershon Center Oversight Committee.

Ellen Peters, professor of psychology. For contributions to basic research on affect, numeracy, and risky decision-making, and for translational research on communicating health risks and improving medical decisions and policies. Peters co-organized Mershon's 2016 conference on Risk and Security.

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Mearsheimer Video ScreencapOn October 4, 2019, John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, visited the Mershon Center to speak about his latest book, The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities (Yale, 2018).

Before his talk, Mearsheimer sat down to discuss some of the themes of his book. Catch those highlights in a new video from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Mershon Center.

In The Great Delusion, Mearsheimer takes on the widespread belief in the West that the United States should spread liberal democracy across the world, foster an open international economy, and build institutions. This policy of remaking the world in America's image is supposed to protect human rights, promote peace, and make the world safe for democracy.

But Mearsheimer argues this is not what has happened. Instead, the United States has ended up as a highly militarized state fighting wars that undermine peace, harm human rights, and threaten liberal values at home.

In the book, Mearsheimer explains why liberal hegemony, the foreign policy pursued by the United States since the Cold War ended, was doomed to fail. It makes far more sense, he maintains, for Washington to adopt a more restrained foreign policy based on a sound understanding of how nationalism and realism constrain great powers abroad.

Thanks to the communications team at the College of Arts and Sciences for help in creating the Mearsheimer Visits Mershon video. Watch it here

Kazimierz Slomczynski

Mershon affiliate Kazimierz M. Slomczynski, professor emeritus of sociology, has been inducted as a member of the Academia Europaea (known also as Academy of Europe, AE), an organization of eminent scholars whose aim is to promote interdisciplinary research and advise governments and international organization in scientific matters.

With Mershon affiliates Craig Jenkins, senior research scientist and professor emeritus of sociology, and Irina Tomescu-Dubrow, visiting scholar in sociology, Slomczynski received a four-year, $1.4 million award from the National Science Foundation for the project, “Survey Data Recycling: New Analytic Framework, Integrated Database and Tools for Cross-National Social, Behavioral and Economic Research,” starting Sept. 1, 2017.

This award grew out of a 2016-17 Mershon research grant on State Responses to Contention and New Waves of Protest as well as a Mershon-sponsored conference on Democracy, the State and Protest: International Perspectives on Methods for the Study of Protest, held May 2017. 

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Marcus Kurtz

Mershon affiliate Marcus Kurtz has been named director of the Undergraduate International Studies Program, effective January 1, 2019.

Kurtz is professor of political science with research and teaching interests in comparative politics, democratization, political economy and development, with a focus on Latin America.

Kurtz is the author of two books: Free Market Democracy and the Chilean and Mexican Countryside (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and Latin American State Building in Comparative Perspective: Social Foundations of Institutional Order (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

He has also published several peer-reviewed journal articles, including “Oil and Democracy: Endogenous Natural Resources and the Political ‘Resource Curse,'” “Capturing State Strength: Experimental and Econometric Approaches” and “Paths of Policy Diffusion: When and How Diffusion Shapes Financial Globalization in Latin America.”

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