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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Esther Gottlieb Senior Advisor for International Affairs
Adjunct Associate Professor, Education
129 Mershon Center and 140 Enarson Classroom Building
614.292.6392
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Education
M.A., University of Akron, Geography (1972)
M.A., Case Western Reserve University, Counseling and Student Development (1976)
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, International and Comparative Education (1987)

Teaching/Research
Esther Gottlieb is an international education specialist involved in implementing and evaluating education plans. At Ohio State she has worked with faculty from across campus on Clusters of Interdisciplinary Research on International Themes and with education outreach and program evaluation for the area study centers. Her experience with teacher education reform and training educators has spanned from the Kibbutzim College of Education in Tel Aviv to the Ohio Global Institute, a multi-university, multi-organization collaborative that trains educators in internationalizing across the curriculum.

Gottlieb teaches comparative school systems, globalization and education, and education for development.  Recently she has been involved in policy research on double university degrees, evaluating students' global competencies, and internationalizing the student learning experience, in the Colleges of Engineering, Social Work, and Public Health at Ohio State. She is currently collaborating on the creation of the Peace Education and Training Repository (PETR).

Her research centers on the discursive practices of education and on the analysis of reforms and polices. Among her publications are Identity Conflicts: Can Violence be Regulated? (ed. with J. Craig Jenkins, Routledge, 2007); Education and Social Change in Korea, with Don Adams; "Making Education World-Class: 'ThinkGlobalOhio,'" in Prospects (2012); "Are We Postmodern Yet? Historical and Theoretical Explorations in Comparative Education," in International Companion to Education (Routledge, 2000); "Appalachian Self-Fashioning: Regional identities and Cultural Models," in Discourse; "Global Rhetoric, Local Policy: Teacher Training Reform in Israeli Education," in Educational Policy; and "The Discursive Construction of Knowledge: The Case of Radical Education Discourse," in Quantitative Studies in Education.

Faculty Links
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
High-resolution photo
Mershon Center: Two Mershon affiliates receive reciprocal exchange awards (2017)
Mershon Center: Business peace collaborative wins USIP grant (2013)

Mershon Project
Hydropolitics: Water Scarcity and Security, with Bryan Mark (2015-16)
Peace Education and Training Repository, with John Carlarne (2013-14)
Cultural Circulations, with Amy Shuman (2005)
Deprivation, Violence and Identities, with J. Craig Jenkins (2003-04)

Alexander WendtRalph D. Mershon Professor of International Security
Mershon Center and Political Science
204C Mershon Center
614.292.9219
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Education
B.A., Political Science and Philosophy, Macalester College (1982)
Ph.D., Political Science, University of Minnesota (1989)

Teaching/Research
Alexander Wendt is Ralph D. Mershon Professor of International Security and professor of political science at The Ohio State University. His areas of expertise include the philosophy of social science and social theory, international relations theory, global governance, and international security.

Wendt is interested in philosophical aspects of social science, with special reference to international relations.  He is the author of Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge, 1999), which in 2006 received the International Studies Association award for "Best Book of the Decade" and has been translated into more than 10 languages. In the 2013 TRIP survey of 1,400 International Relations scholars he was named as the most influential scholar in the field over the past 20 years.

Wendt's latest book is Quantum Mind and Social Science: Unifying Physical and Social Ontology (Cambridge University Press, 2015), which proposes a quantum physical basis for consciousness and its place in the natural world, and explores the implications of this perspective for the social sciences. Wendt's argument provides a philosophical basis for human agency through free will, and for a holistic or 'non-local' vision of social life.

Recent publications also include New Systems Theories of World Politics, edited with Mathias Albert and Lars-Erik Cederman (Macmillan, 2010), based on a conference held at the Mershon Center in 2005. He has also published articles in International OrganizationAmerican Political Science ReviewReview of International StudiesEuropean Journal of International RelationsInternational Security, and Politics and Society.

He is also co-editor of International Theory: A Journal of International Politics, Law and Philosophy (Cambridge), which he founded with Duncan Snidal to bring together scholarship from international relations theory, international legal theory, and international political theory. 

Before coming to Ohio State in 2004, Wendt taught at Yale University, Dartmouth College, and University of Chicago.

Faculty Links
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Department web page
High-resolution photo

Media Links
Mind and Matter: Book Review: Quantum Ideas in Social Science (2015) (pdf)
Mershon Center: Q and A: Alexander Wendt on ‘Quantum Mind and Social Science’ (2015)
Mershon Center: Wendt again named top scholar in International Relations (2015)
Mershon Memo: Wendt named top scholar in International Relations (pdf) (2012)
Arts and Sciences: Alexander Wendt Selected Top Scholar in International Relations (2012)
Global Perspectives: Ohio State's own Alexander Wendt named world's most influential scholar in international relations (2012)

Mershon Projects
Quantum Social Science and Interntaional Security Studies Workshop (2017-18)
Critical Research in International Politics Speaker Series, with Jennifer Mitzen (2015-16)
Realism and Constructivism: From Debate to Dialogue (2005)
New Systems Theories of World Politics (2005)

 

Thomas WoodAssistant Professor
Political Science
2018 Derby Hall
154 N. Oval Mall
614.292.0674
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Education
Ph.D., Political Science, University of Chicago (2014)

Teaching/Research
Thomas Wood has interests in political behavior, vote choice, and elections. His principal area of research is campaign effects, exploiting new data and identification strategies to understand how campaigns can influence voters' attitudes, preferences and behavior. His second area of research are the unorthodox dimensions of American political attitudes, such as conspiratorial accounts of political events, and the use of magical thinking when individuals are faced with uncertainty and anxiety. His research has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Journal of the American Medical Association-Internal Medicine.

Faculty Links
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Department web page
High-resolution photo

Mershon Projects
The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election: Tumult at Home, Retreat Abroad (2017-18)

Ines ValdezAssistant Professor
Political Science
2072 Derby Hall
614.247.8729
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Education
B.A., Economics, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina (1998)
M.A., Political Science, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (2004)
Ph.D., Political Science, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (2011)

Teaching/Research
Inés Valdez is a political theorist and an assistant professor of political science at The Ohio State University, affiliated with the departments of Comparative Studies, Germanic Languages & Literature, Latina/o Studies, and Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Her research agenda is centered on the problem of racial, gender, and religious difference within political theory. Questions that animate Her research include: How is difference constructed politically? What are its effects on democratic politics? How does attending to difference require us to conceptualize basic concepts of political theory — including freedom, democracy, and cosmopolitanism — differently?

Valdez addresses this core concern through two main projects. The first project looks at different normative dimensions of the political theory of immigration with particular attention to the cases of the United States and France. A second project considers how structures of domination built upon a hierarchy of races condition cosmopolitan projects through a joint reading of Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant and U.S. black intellectual W.E.B. DuBois.

Faculty Links
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Department web page
Professional Website
Low-resolution photo

Mershon Projects
Migration and Global Justice Workshop (2014-16)

Amanda RobinsonAssistant Professor
Political Science
2018 Derby Hall
154 N. Oval Mall
614.292.5210
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Education
Ph.D., Political Science, Stanford University (2013)
B.A., Biology, Appalachian State University (2005)

Teaching/Research
Amanda Robinson is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at The Ohio State University. Her research interests are primarily in the field of comparative politics, and focus on the ways in which politics and culture are interrelated. Her current research evaluates the political causes and consequences of identity change in two very different contexts. The first focuses on the political logic of an ongoing cultural revival among the Lhomwe of southern Malawi, and the other on racial identity formation and its political implications among Somali immigrants to the United States. Past research evaluated the micro-foundations of nationalism and ethnicity, the political psychology of group identities, and the role of group identity in cooperation, collective action, and conflict.

Robinson's primary region of interest is Sub-Saharan Africa, and she has conducted research in Malawi, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia. She uses a variety of methods in her research, including original survey data collection, qualitative interviews and oral histories, field experiments, lab in the field experiments, and GIS analyses.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, Robinson will serve as the interim director of Ohio State’s Decision Sciences Collaborative.

Faculty Links
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Department web page
Professional website
High-resolution photo

Mershon Projects
Triggers of Non-State Mass Killings, with Hollie Brehm (2017-18)
Politicizing Ethnicity: Mechanisms of Ethnic Mobilization in Malawi (2016-17)