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Mershon Center for International Security Studies Annual Report 2009-10

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/49873

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Title: Mershon Center for International Security Studies Annual Report 2009-10
Creators: Becker, Cathy
Keywords: Mershon Center Annual Report 2009-2010
national security
security studies
faculty research
graduate students
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Mershon Center for International Security Studies
Abstract: Since 1967, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies has worked to fulfillthe vision of Ralph D. Mershon. He gave his generous gift to The Ohio State University nearly 50 years ago to ensure that civilians would study military activities.The Mershon Center aims to advance the understanding of national security by examining it in a global context. Security is a very broad topic and encompasses many questions, as anyone looking at the range of things the U.S. Department of Defense spends money on would quickly see. In an era in which defining a problem as a matter of national security often leads to increased funding, it is not surprising that the security agenda is very long. To make a high-quality impact on this agenda, even with the considerable talent available at The Ohio State University, it is necessary to concentrate the Mershon Center’s attention. We do this by focusing on three questions: 1) How is force in combination with diplomacy used in world affairs? 2) How do cultures and the ideas people have about what is right and about who they are affect their sense of security and readiness to fight and cooperate? 3) How can institutions be created to effectively manage violent conflicts both between states and within them? The center addresses these questions by funding faculty research, doctoral dissertation projects, and undergraduate research and study abroad. It also brings to the Ohio State campus leading scholars and policymakers who are identifying the most important issues within the three broad questions and finding the best answers to them. The center seeks to draw out the implications of those answers for both policymakers and citizens more generally. As is clear in Iraq and Afghanistan, often the most vexing problems involve social change, the mobilization of people for collective action, and the construction of legitimate governance. They also often include understanding how human beings and social systems are likely to behave, how leaders are likely to decide, and how we can avoid major intelligence failures or at least contain them. As part of The Ohio State University, the Mershon Center is fortunate in that it can draw on very talented people in numerous disciplines. Four federally funded national resources centers—for East Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia, and Latin America—cooperate with Mershon. Moreover, colleagues in political science, history, economics, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy as well as law, English, and other disciplines contribute in crucial ways. They bring diverse theoretical perspectives, different methodological skills, and a range of expertise in issue areas and geographic regions. They are willing to engage across disciplines, overcome initial obstacles of different vocabularies and jargon, and respect the rigor and appropriateness of both qualitative and quantitative data analysis. As colleagues from across campus engage at Mershon, they bring the best the academy has to offer to the questions at the heart of the center’s mission. It is their ideas that drive the center and make directing it such a pleasure. This report highlights the work they have done and the products they have generated. I encourage you to seek more information about research done at the center and video recordings of many of its events on our web site at mershoncenter.osu.edu.-- Richard Herrmann, Director
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/49873
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Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported