2010-11 Mershon Center Speakers and Conferences

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    Cybersecurity: Shared Risks, Shared Responsibility
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-04-01) Shane, Peter M.; Hunker, Jeffrey
    Cybersecurity: Shared Risks, Shared Responsibility conference looks at how cybersecurity -– whether in contexts as gripping as "cyberwar" or as mundane (but potentially devastating) as identity theft -– is now the stuff of daily headlines. Organized by I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, this conference approaches the subject with two ambitions. The first is to move beyond generalities in specifying the roles and responsibilities both the public and private sectors will have to shoulder in order for the United States to share global leadership in cybersecurity. The second is to bring together the many sub-communities of researchers, policy makers, and professionals around the globe who focus on cybersecurity from its many angles into a larger community interested in developing this analysis.
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    The Constitutional Incoherence of Islam as the Official Religion of the State
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-05-12) An-Na`im, Abdullahi
    An-Na`im discussed how almost all the constitutions of Muslim majority countries stipulate that Islam is the religion of the state. Many constitutions also stipulate that Shari`a is the source of legislation. In his lecture, An-Na`im will argue that such provisions are not only incoherent, as the state is incapable of having a religion or enforce Shari`a as such, but also inconsistent with the principle of constitutionalism itself. He will also highlight some of the problematic consequences of this confusion in the constitutional, political and legal experiences of Muslim majority countries.
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    'Stupid' Terrorists? Why Homegrown Terrorists are Often Incapable of Deadly Attacks in the United States
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-05-23) Brooks, Risa
    Analysts and observers regularly observe that terrorists in the United States seem especially incapable of preparing and executing their attacks, such that they are often apprehended and make crucial mistakes. Why is this? Are homegrown terrorists in the United States especially subpar compared with other classes of terrorists? This presentation explores the interaction of three factors that explain the relative incapacity of terrorists in the United States: a security environment that generates a diverse array of mechanisms for detecting terrorist activity, a lack of experience in terrorist tradecraft among aspiring militants, and the way that the security environment precludes individuals from attaining the skills necessary to avoid detection in the first place and successfully execute their attacks. Drawing from recent cases, especially instances of apparent Muslim-American "homegrown" terrorism, about which there has been growing public concern, this presentation underscores the limited capacity of self-initiated terrorists to execute deadly attacks in the United States.
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    Gender and States of Emergency
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-04-21) Bystydzienski, Jill
    The Gender and States of Emergency conference will gather a range of perspectives on how gender, in relation to racial, sexual, bodily and economic dimensions, is vital to investigating the impact of war, natural disasters, and political upheavals. At the same time, "states of emergency" is not confined to discussions of catastrophic events; trauma exists in the everyday. In addition, some political actors work to define a particular moment as a state of emergency in order to mobilize publics, re-define citizenship or utilize national machinery. Participants will explore the issue of states of emergency from a variety of angles, not only states in (economic, political or environmental) emergency, but what it means to be in a state of crisis as a specifically situated woman. Participants will examine the nexus of material and affective "states" of crisis, considering the difference that gender makes in natural disasters, war, public policy, institutions and national discourse about citizenship and belonging. Keynote Addresses: Kimberlé Crenshaw, UCLA and Columbia University Cynthia Enloe, Clark University
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    Military Frontiers: A Graduate Symposium Border Crossings
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-05-12) Waddell, Will; Douglas, Sarah
    Military Frontiers: A Graduate Symposium brings together leading graduate students engaged in national academic debate within military history. The conference seeks to revive discussions of the successful "Theatrum Militarum" graduate conference held at Ohio State in the 1990s. This year, panels will highlight graduate students performing research that crosses both physical and disciplinary borders. The topics of discussion will address themes of the use of force and diplomacy to resolve conflict; ideas, identities, and decisional processes that affect security; "Law of War" and other ethical and legal issues arising from armed conflict; how war affects and is affected by race and gender; links between war, science and technology; and institutions that manage violent conflict. Students of military and diplomatic history, and specialists in military studies, are encouraged to attend Military Frontiers. Keynote Address: Victor Davis Hanson, Stanford University
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    Migration, Religion and Germany
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-04-08) Becker-Cantarino, Barbara
    Migration and religion have shaped in particular the United States but also the German-speaking territories of Central Europe during the religious wars in the wake of the Reformation; immigration (especially from Islamic countries) has taken again an important role in present political debate in Germany (and in the EU). A first group of lectures at the conference will present and discuss recent research on the historical phase of early German transatlantic migrations and colonization by Pietists and Moravians in North America, especially Pennsylvania and Ohio from a post-colonial vantage point. The sessions of the second conference day will then address individual and group migrations from Turkey and Islamic countries in the 20th and 21st centuries and the political and religious controversies and cultural clashes as well as efforts at resolution in Germany. The Migration, Religion and Germany conference will provide a stimulating intellectual environment for discussing important cultural issues concerning Central Europe, especially the German-speaking countries, and should also contribute to our understanding of the importance of the present migration / immigration debate in the United States. Keynote Address: Rebekka Habermas, University of Göttingen
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    Causal Responsibility and Voting
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-02-18) Brennan, Geoffrey; Sayre-McCo​rd, Geoff
    Brennan's discussion was based off of a paper that is a response to a line of argument developed in a 1999 paper by Al Goldman and endorsed with minor modifications in Richard Tuck's book Free-Riding (Harvard University Press, 2008). The argument seeks to extend the scope of voter responsibility by appeal to a broadened account of causal efficacy. Goldman sees this argument as supplying moral reasons why individuals should vote and also as explaining why so many of them do vote. Brennan argued that in the voting case responsibility and causal efficacy should be maintained as independent notions, that Goldman's line yields the wrong advice for action-guidingness, and that the explanatory argument appeals to dubious logic.
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    The International Politics of the European Ordering Moment, 1989-91, and Their Legacy Twenty Years Later
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-02-25) Sarotte, Mary; McMahon, Robert
    Mary Sarotte spoke about her award winning book, 1989.
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    The Compliance Gap and the Efficacy of International Human Rights Institutions
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-04-28) Dai, Xinyuan; Mattiacci, Eleonora
    Dai discussed how recent studies of human rights treaties find that states increasingly endorse human rights norms but their behavior does not always or even usually conform to these norms. This gap between commitment and compliance is suggested to have persisted, if not increased. To many, such a gap would call into question the efficacy of international human rights institutions. She argues that the compliance gap, risks distorting the discrepancy between commitment and compliance. More important, to properly evaluate the effect of international human rights institutions, we must first understand the mechanisms by which seemingly weak international institutions impact states' policies indirectly through non-state actors and domestic politics.
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    The Wikileaks Afghanistan War Logs: A Boon or Bane for Academic Research?
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-05-18) O'Loughlin, John
    The findings of a spatial analysis of the 77,000 secret war logs released by Wikileaks in summer 2010 are reviewed in the context of a broader review of the dynamics of conflict in Afghanistan-Pakistan. The reaction to the published paper in Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol. 51 no. 4, 2010, the advisability of analyzing the confidential data by academics, and the wider issues of people's right to know versus state security secrets are presented as an invitation for a discussion and debate.
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    The Feudal Revolution and Europe's Rise: Institutional Divergence in the Muslim and Christian Worlds before 1500 CE.
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-05-03) Blaydes, Lisa
    Blaydes spoke about the contrasts between the development of Europe and the Islamic world, specifically looking at Egypt. She highlighted how the difference​s in military recruitment in Europe and the Islamic world ended up impacting the state-society relations. She points out that Western Europe and the Islamic world diverged politically before they diverged economically.
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    Faculty Panel
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-03-08) Herrmann, Richard; Grimsley, Mark; Findley, Carter; Mansoor, Peter; Tamer, Georges; Webber, Sabra
    The panel will analyze the issues surrounding the recent uprisings in the Middle East including Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Libya. Participants will discuss the historical background, forces driving change, and implications for the future of democracy in the Middle East and U.S. policy toward the region.
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    Enemies Into Friends: How Peace Breaks Out
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-03-30) Kupchan, Charles
    Kupchan discussed when and how adversaries are able to find their way from enmity to amity. He will draw on a wide range of historical cases to explore the sources of rapprochement and expose prevalent myths about the causes of peace.
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    Grand Strategic Folly
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-04-13) Mearsheimer, John
    Mearsheimer discussed how when the Cold War ended in 1989, there was much optimism about the future of international politics, and especially America's ability to lead the world toward the millennium. Two decades later, pessimism has replaced optimism, as the United States finds itself in losing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and unable to get Israel, Iran and North Korea to change their behavior on matters of critical importance to Washington. Mearsheimer will attempt to explain what went wrong and what can be done to fix the problems plaguing U.S. foreign policy.
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    The Development of Early Islamic Political Vocabulary
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-04-12) Donner, Fred
    Donner, discussed several stages of religious and political developments in the early Muslim community and how they shaped political concepts in Islam, which still dominate Islamic political thought.
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    9 Parts of Desire
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-01-27) Raffo, Heather; ElSaffar, Amir
    Heather Raffo, author and actress of the award winning one woman show 9 Parts of Desire, teams up with Amir ElSaffar, accomplished jazz trumpeter and Iraqi santoor player, for a dramatic evening of spoken word and melodic solos. Using characters from the acclaimed one-woman show like slam poetry, together they present a concert of urban and classical sounds that spring from both their Iraqi and American roots. Heather Raffo's 9 Parts of Desire, described by The New Yorker as "an example of how art can remake the world," details the lives of nine ordinary and extraordinary Iraqi women. Both mythical and contemporary, the women's words weave in and out of the ancient quarter tone scales of Amir's classical santoor and the improvisational heart of jazz, resulting in a melody decidedly Iraqi and American.
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    The War in Afghanistan: What to Expect in 2011
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-02-03) Exum, Andrew
    Exum discussed what has taken place in Afghanistan since President Obama took office and what to expect from 2011, when U.S. forces are scheduled to begin a transition, to 2014, when that transition is expected to be completed. He examined how we will be able to tell if the current military strategy is either succeeding or failing.
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    Enhancing Security through States without Nations
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-03-03) Stevens, Jacqueline
    Stevens is the author of States without Nations: Citizenship for Mortals (Columbia University Press, 2009). In her book, she explores alternatives to our current laws that base citizenship on parochial, unjust ideas about birth, and shows how these laws are connected to other archaic practices inconsistent with liberalism, including inheritance and marriage.
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    The Unmaking of an Arab Regional Order
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-05-05) Haddad, Bassam
    Haddad addressed some of the misconceptions that many American people have about the Arab world.
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    The Origin of the Good and Our Animal Nature
    (Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 2011-04-01) Korsgaard, Christine
    Korsgaard spoke on her paper that is part of a larger project where she investigates questions on the origins of values and the implications of those origins for our relationships to non-human animals. She believes that all value is dependent on the existence of valuing beings.