back to news Dec. 14, 2017

Christopher Gelpi named director, Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Christopher F. Gelpi, professor in the Department of Political Science, has been named director of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University, effective Jan. 1, 2018, to June 30, 2022.

The mission of the Mershon Center is to advance the understanding of national security in a global context. The center was founded in 1967 in honor of Ohio State alumnus Col. Ralph D. Mershon, and has since promoted research in three primary areas:

  • The use of force and diplomacy
  • The ideas, identities and decisional processes that affect security, and
  • The institutions that manage violent conflict.

“I am so pleased and honored to be able to serve as the next director of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies,” said Gelpi, whose primary research interests include the sources of international military conflict, strategies for conflict resolution and American public opinion on foreign policy issues.

He is currently studying public sentiment surrounding the use of military force and working on experimental methods for the study of war and crisis bargaining.

“The Mershon Center played a big role in my decision to come to Columbus five years ago,” said Gelpi, adding that he has long been an admirer of the center’s emphasis on interdisciplinary research, as well as “its reputation for valuing intellectual diversity as a path toward understanding international politics.”

Gelpi is widely published on the topic of war and conflict resolution, and is author of The Power of Legitimacy: The Role of Norms in Crisis Bargaining (Princeton University Press, 2002) and co-author of Choosing Your Battles: American Civil-Military Relations and the Use of Force (Princeton University Press, 2004) and Paying the Human Costs of War: American Public Opinion and Casualties in Military Conflicts (Princeton University Press, 2009). His research has been published in the American Political Science Review, International Security, the Journal of Peace Research and Public Opinion Quarterly, among many others.

Gelpi will also remain as Chair of Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution at the Mershon Center through Aug. 14, 2023.