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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Paul Beck

Richard Gunther

Democratization has been a consistent theme of activities at the Mershon Center, whether through events or research. The showcase project in this initiative, long supported by the center, is the Comparative National Elections Project (CNEP), one of the largest and longest-running projects of its kind in the world.

This month the Mershon Center began housing the project's website at https://u.osu.edu/cnep/

Co-directed by Mershon affiliates Richard Gunther and Paul Beck, CNEP is a partnership among scholars who have conducted election surveys across the democratic world. Founded in the late 1980s, it now includes 41 surveys from 1990 to 2015 in 24 different countries on five continents, with multiple election surveys in 11 countries. CNEP-based surveys are projected in up to eight future elections.

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Peter Hahn

Mershon affiliate Peter Hahn, professor and chair of the Department of History, has been named divisional dean of the Arts and Humanities effective July 1, according to an announcement from David Manderscheid, executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Hahn has chaired the History Department since 2006.  Under his leadership, several important initiatives and programs have been strengthened or established that benefit students, undergraduate and graduate; increase outreach to alumni, friends and the public; and attract, retain and support top scholars.

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Amy Shuman

Mershon affiliate Amy Shuman, professor in the Department of English, was one of five faculty members to recieve a 2015 Distinguished Scholar Award from The Ohio State University.  The official announcement was made May 15.  

Shuman was recognized as one of the preeminent scholars in folklore studies, as well as in the fields of narrative studies, literacy studies and human rights studies.  Among the world’s top scholars in narratology, she is a pioneer in the study of the uses of narrative in everyday life and political asylum process.

Her co-authored book, Rejecting Refugees: Political Asylum in the 21st Century, considers the use of personal stories of suffering and trauma in the political asylum process and proposes a model for the role of narrative in advancing human rights.  Shuman's research for this book was supported with a grant from the Mershon Center.

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Alexander Wendt

In a periodic survey of faculty at more than 1,400 colleges and universities worldwide, Alexander Wendt was once again named as the most influential scholar in international relations over the past 20 years. Wendt is Ralph D. Mershon Professor of International Security at the Mershon Center.

The survey was part of the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) Project done by the Theory and Practice of International Relations at the College of William and Mary in collaboration with Foreign Policy magazine. Wendt was also named for most influential scholar in international relations in the 2011 survey.

Wendt is author of Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge, 1999), widely cited for bringing social constructivist theory to the field of international relations. His book argues that international politics is determined not primarily by material concerns such as wealth and power, but by states' perceptions of each other as rivals, enemies, and friends. Social Theory of International Politics was named Best Book of the Decade by the International Studies Association in 2006 and has been translated into 10 languages.

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