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George Mason University

S-CAR Activity Recap - Summer 2018

September 14, 2018


Summer 2018 has been extremely active with nine awards, including two lifetime achievement awards to Carlos Sluzki and a Summer Fellowship for Karina Korostelina. Four books, including one from Daniel E. Agbiboa, five book chapters, two reports, and six journal articles, including one by Tehama Lopez Bunyasi, were published. Much of the research focused on topics related to Africa and the Middle East, with some writings focusing on American politics. With 41 newspaper articles, one radio show, and 14 television and video appearances, S-CAR community members provided a strong, visible presence in the media. Early in the summer, S-CAR Visiting Scholar Siyabulela Mandela was prominently featured, contributing to both publications and media. Later in the summer, in-depth analyses were written about U.S. relations with Russia, North Korea, Trump, and John McCain.   

Awards and Honors

John DeRosa, PhD candidate, “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award.” The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, July 1, 2018.

Carol Daniel Kasbari, PhD candidate, “AAUW American Dissertation Fellowship.” American Association of University Women, July 2, 2018.

Tamara S. Hamilton, MS student, “First African American Woman in the World to Be Toastmasters International Accredited Speaker.” Toastmasters International, August 25, 2018.

Landon Hancock, PhD ’02, “Fulbright Scholar Award.” The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, June 1, 2018.

Karina Korostelina, “Fellowship - Institute for Advanced Studies at Waseda University, Japan.” Summer 2018.

John McDonald, S-CAR Senior Associate, “John W. McDonald Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Award.” June 12, 2018.

Ivan Sascha Sheehan,  PhD ‘06, “Executive Director - School of Public and International Affairs.” University of Baltimore, July 1, 2018.

Carlos Sluzki, Professor Emeritus, “Distinguished Career in Science Award, Washington Academy of Sciences, Washington DC.” Washington Academy of Sciences, May 11, 2018.

Carlos Sluzki, Professor Emeritus, “Doctor Honoris Causa, Maimonides University, Buenos Aires, Argentina.” Maimonides University, July 2018.

Academic Publications


Amr Abdalla, PhD ’01, published a Glossary of Peace and Conflict Studies (in Arabic) in collaboration with the Iraqi Al-Amal Association, The Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education, and UNDP-Iraq, on July 1, 2018.  Other authors include Fadoua Amer, Aya Ali, Ammar Yasin M. Ali, and Bassem Maher.

Daniel E. Agbiboa edited a book on Transport, Transgression and Politics in African Cities: The Rhythm of Chaos. It was published by Routledge on August 9, 2018.  

Coren Jonathan Allen, MS student, with a forward by S-CAR Visiting Scholar, Siyabulela Mandela and illustrations by Danny Barongo and Francesca Da Sacco, re-released his self-published book What If It Just Started Raining? in August 2018.

Lester Kurtz, Affiliated Faculty, edited the book The Warrior and the Pacifist: Competing Motifs in Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which was published by Routledge (2018).

Book Chapters

Mohammed Abu-Nimer, PhD ’93, “Islamic Approaches to Nonviolence and Peacebuilding: A Critical Examination.” In The Warrior and the Pacifist: Competing Motifs in Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Routledge, 2018.

Kevin Clements, former S-CAR Director, “Forward.” In The Warrior and the Pacifist: Competing Motifs in Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Routledge, 2018.

Douglas Irvin-Erickson, “Forward by Douglas Irvin-Erickson.” In A Rhetorical Crime: Genocide in the Geopolitical Discourse of the Cold War. Rutgers University Press, 2018.

Lester Kurtz, Affiliated Faculty, wrote two chapters,  “Rethinking Religion and Violence” and “Warriors and Pacifists: Dilemmas, Paradoxes, Alternatives,” in his book, The Warrior and the Pacifist: Competing Motifs in Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Routledge, 2018.

Lisa Schirch, PhD ’99, “Interreligious Dialogue.” In The Warrior and the Pacifist: Competing Motifs in Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Routledge, 2018.

Journal Articles

Daniel E. Agbiboa, “Eyes on the Street: Civilian Joint Task Force and the Surveillance of Boko Haram in Northeastern Nigeria.” Intelligence and National Security, May 24, 2018.

Sarah Federman, PhD ’15, “The Ideal Perpetrator: The French National Railways and the Social Construction of Accountability.” Security Dialogue, June 1, 2018: 1–18.

Tehama Lopez Bunyasi and Candis Watts Smith, “Get in Formation: Black Women’s Participation in the Women’s March on Washington as an Act of Pragmatic Utopianism.” The Black Scholar, no. 48 (July 11, 2018): 11–16.

Dean G. Pruitt, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, “Tom Schelling’s Contributions to Conflict Theory and Research.” Negotiation Journal, no. 3 (July 23, 2018): 283–90.

Lisa Schirch, PhD ’99, “Diverse Mennonite Theologies of and Approaches to the State.” Mennonite Life, vol. 72 (June 2018).

Roland B. Wilson, PhD ’15, Assistant Professor, Korea Campus, and Soyoung Kwon, “The Importance of Position and Power Symmetry in International Relations: The Case of U.S. Foreign Policy towards North Korea.” The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, no. 2 (June 1, 2018): 217–30.


Mohammed Cherkaoui, PhD ’12, S-CAR Adjunct Faculty, wrote two reports for the Al Jazeera Center for Studies: “Beyond Escalation: Transformative Narratives of the Gulf Crisis” (July 24, 2018); and “Trump and the Iranian Nuclear Agreement: Security Justification or Economic Strategy?” (May 29, 2018).


S-CAR in the News

Lenore T. Adkins wrote an article about Nelson Mandela’s grandson, S-CAR Visiting Scholar Siyabulela Mandela, titled “African and Caribbean Countries Score Big at Embassy Chef Challenge” for the AFRO, May 24, 2018.

Mandar Apte, S-CAR Visiting Scholar in Residence, published an article on Medium titled “Time Out America” on July 4, 2018.

Tatsushi Arai, PhD ’05, published an article in ACCORD on “Repatriation and Reconciliation Challenges in North-Eastern Nigeria” on May 31, 2018.

Mohammed Cherkaoui, PhD ’12, S-CAR Adjunct Faculty, published multiple articles at the start of the summer. His June 18, 2018 piece for the Al Arabiya News Channel explored whether the “Moroccan Sahara Conflict is a Problem.” On June 4, 2018, he published an article for the Arab Center Washington D.C. titled  “Political Calculations…from the Western Sahara to the Arabian Gulf.” On May 27, 2018, he published “The New Wave of Escalation Between Morocco, Iran and Hizbullah” in HesPress.

Mary Lee Clark, writing for the University News: George Mason University, highlighted two S-CAR projects related to education as a way of combatting violence. In “Mason Alumnus Is Using Education to Combat Boko Haram” (July 9, 2018), PhD ‘18 Ernest Ogbozor was spotlighted. On August 21, 2018, MS student Coren Jonathan Allen and S-CAR Visiting Scholar Siyabulela Mandela’s project was discussed in “School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution Student Creates Peace-Building Program for School Children.”

DC Embassy Events Consulting highlighted PhD candidate Soolmaz Abooali in “WAC-DC Foreign Policy Panel Series: ‘Games That Unite: Sports as a Tool for Diplomacy’ at the Ronald Reagan Building” on Medium on July 16, 2018.

Martin Finucane, for the The Boston Globe, interviewed Joshua Weiss, PhD ’02, in “Expert Offers Tips for President Trump’s Talks with N. Korea Dictator” on June 11, 2018.

African Defense Forum referenced PhD ‘18 Ernest Ogbozor’s work in an article about “A Study of Boko Haram’s Public Communications Offers Hints on Its Strategy,” published on DefenceWeb on May 28, 2018.

Africa Cable Network highlighted PhD ‘18  Ernest Ogbozor’s commencement and graduation in an article titled “Nigerian Grad Reveals What Prompted His Studying of ‘Conflicts Resolution’” on May 29, 2018.

Ibrahim Fraihat, PhD ’06, published two articles: “Jordan’s Lesson: We Should Stop Beating Ourselves Up” for the Middle East Monitor on June 7, 2018; and “What is Behind Jared Kushner’s Latest Middle East Tour?” for Al Jazeera on June 25, 2018. He also wrote two articles for the Al Arabiya News Channel: “إفشال صفقة القرن ممكن”  (July 1, 2018); and “الدرس الأردني: لا لجلد الذات” (June 6, 2018).  

Ibrahim Fraihat, PhD ’06, also wrote, with Leonid Issaev, an article titled “Russia Doesn’t Solve Conflicts, It Silences Them” for Foreign Policy on June 12, 2018.

Edith Hall, being interviewed by Nigel Warburton, declared Richard Rubenstein’s book one of “The Best Books on Aristotle” [Rubenstein’s book is #2)] for Five Books on August 20, 2018.

Suzanne de Janasz, Visiting Professor of Conflict Resolution, and Beth Cabrera provided guidance on “How Women Can Get What They Want in a Negotiation” in an article for the Harvard Business Review published on August 17, 2018.

John Gehring, writing for Commonweal Magazine, quoted MS ‘10 Jason Miller in an article titled “Traditional Disobedience: Renewing the Legacy of Catholic Activism” on May 22, 2018.

John Dale Grover, MS student, published three articles. On August 11, 2018, he published an article titled “Anti-Russian Hysteria Isn’t in America’s National Interest” on Fox News. On June 14, 2018, he explored “The 3 Ways Diplomacy With North Korea Could End—and War Is Still One of Them” for The American Conservative. On June 11, 2018, his article “Why Does America Need More Troops in Europe When It Deters Russia From Afar?” was published in RealClearDefense.

Walid Jawad, MS ’08, wrote several articles for the Al Arabiya News Channel: “‘Arabhood’: A Political Story in ‘American’ English” (July 31, 2018); “How to Forge a Favorable, Long-Term American Policy towards the Middle East” (May 31, 2018);  “The Arab Wave in US Congress” (August 30, 2018); “The Last American Statesman: McCain” (August 27, 2018); and “The US-North Korea Summit: Deeper into the Twilight Zone” (May 28, 2018).

Hind Kabawat, S-CAR CRDC Associate, and Olivia Barrett, MS student, wrote an editorial on “Preventing Syria’s Next Massacre” on Medium on July 31, 2018.

Carol Daniel Kasbari, PhD candidate, was highlighted as one of “Two Mason Students Awarded AAUW Fellowship and Grants” by the University News: George Mason University, on August 17, 2018.

Talha Kose, PhD ‘10, writing for Daily Sabah, published two articles: “NATO Split to Deepen Unless Allies Acquire a Shared Threat Perception” (July 13, 2018); and  “Trump-Kim Agreement: A Diplomatic Success or a Public Spectacle?” (June 14, 2018). He also wrote “Will the Presidential System Shift Turkey’s Political Discourse?” for TRT World on June 20, 2018.

Buzz McClain, with quotes from Dean Kevin Avruch and PhD ‘06 Zheng Wang, featured Tatsushi Arai, PhD ’05, in “Mason Conflict Analysis Grad Tatsushi Arai Serves as UN ‘Peace Envoy for the World’” for University News: George Mason University on May 24, 2018.

Yoav Peck interviewed Joseph Montville for an article exploring “The Normalization Dilemma” for  The Times of Israel on August 20, 2018.

Richard Rubenstein explored “Roseanne, Racism, and the Problem of False Dichotomies” on Rich Rubenstein’s Blog (June 7, 2018). He also wrote three articles for Counterpunch:How to Pack the Supreme Court” (July 9, 2018); “Trump the (Shakespearean) Fool: A New Look at the Dynamics of Trumpism” (June 19, 2018); and “The Empire-Lovers Strike Back: Trump, Putin and the Post-Helsinki Uproar” (August 3, 2018).

Yerevan  Saeed, PhD student, wrote “Kurdish Opposition Parties Lost in May 12th Election: Does Fraud Explain It?” for The Washington Institute Fikra Forum on May 23, 2018.

Simona Sharoni, PhD ’93, after being in the news for a harassment incident at the International Studies Association annual conference, wrote a response titled “Speaking up in the Age of #MeToo and Persistent Patriarchy or What Can We Learn from an Elevator Incident about Anti-Feminist Backlash” for the Feminist Review on May 31, 2018.

Joshua Weiss, PhD ’02, published “A Primer on the US and North Korean Negotiation Summit Expectations and Objectives” for the Bay Path University Blog on June 12, 2018.


Television and Radio Presentations

TV and Video

Remaz Abdelgader, BA ‘17, was part of a public relations video produced by Vets for American Ideals. The segment, titled “Advocates and Allies,” was published on June 1, 2018.

Mohammed Cherkaoui, PhD ‘12, S-CAR Adjunct Faculty, was on television extensively over the summer. His interviews included:  “Beyond the Putin Summit and the South Korean President?” for RT Arabic on June 22, 2018; and “Does Trump and Putin's Meeting Become a Curse on NATO's March?” for Al Arabiya on July 7, 2018.  For Deutsche Welle, he appeared twice: in “DW: Washington's withdrawal from the Human Rights Council .. Backgrounds and Implications” on June 20, 2018; and in “What Is the Fate of the Kuwait Project to Protect the Palestinians?” on June 3, 2018. He appeared four times on Al Jazeera: in “Does the War of Tariffs and Trump’s Adherence to Economic Nationalism Affect the Future of the West Atlantic Alliance?” on, June 8, 2018; in “Shaping a New Balance of Power in the Middle East: Regional Actors, Global Powers, and Middle East Strategy” on June 12, 2018 in “What Is Behind US Decision to Abandon UN Human Rights Council?” on June 20, 2018; and in “Will a Saudi Aramco IPO Ever Happen?” on August 25, 2018.

Ibrahim Fraihat, PhD ’06, appeared on two shows for Al Jazeera’s Inside Story focused on “How Will Jordan Deal with Public Anger?”(June 3, 2018) and “Is the Gulf Bailout Enough for Crisis-Hit Jordan?” (June 11, 2018).

Suliman Giddo, PhD ’14, was interviewed as a part of an “Interview with the Leaders of Sub-Saharan College” for a promotional video by the Sub-Saharan College on June 30, 2018.

NBC News Washington hosted a segment on S-CAR Visiting Scholar Siyabulela Mandela, titled “Nelson Mandela’s Grandson Studying at George Mason University,” on June 22, 2018.

Yerevan Saeed, PhD student, was interviewed on Voice of America Kurdish, “یەریڤان سەعید باس لە سیناریۆکانی پاش هەڵبژاردنەکان لە عێراق دەکات,” on May 25, 2018.


David Alpher, PhD ‘11, joined a segment titled “Trump-Kim Complete Historic Meeting; Net Neutrality Rolled Back” on Sputnik Radio on June 13, 2018.


S-CAR Events, Presentations, and Public Lectures

Daniel E. Agbiboa was part of a United State Institutes of Peace (USIP) Invitation-Only Working Group of experts that met at the West African Research Center (WARC) in Dakar, Senegal, with the objective of developing a new, collaborative research agenda for the study of violent extremism in North Africa and the Sahel, from July 15–16, 2018. Additionally, Daniel E. Agbiboa's works on informal transport in Nigeria were the basis of an advanced seminar on "New Forms of Popular Transports of Goods and Persons in Nigeria," organized by the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA), Columbia University, and Sciences Po Paris, held at the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Bayero University, Kano from July 2–7, 2018.

Alma Abdul Hadi-Jadallah, Adjunct Professor, gave a public lecture on “The Challenges and Opportunities in International Relations and Conflict Resolution and the Use of Dialogue as a Tool for Social Transformation” in Amman, Jordan on June 30, 2018. The host was the Taqqadam Platform (a think tank in Jordan).

Carol Daniel Kasbari, PhD candidate, represented S-CAR at the 2018 Annual Conference of the Arab American University in Ramallah, Palestine at the Policy and Conflict Resolution Studies Center. She presented her research on everyday resistance in the Occupied Territories as part of a panel titled “Beyond Negotiations, Where Do We Go From Here?” along with chief negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat and Sin Fein party politician Pat Sheehan.

Lauren Kinney, Ph.D. candidate, and John DeRosa, Ph.D. candidate, presented a co-authored paper, "Narrative Analysis for Wargaming," at the Connections 2018 conference at National Defense University in Washington D.C. in July.

Karina Korostelina gave a keynote address at the 5th Anniversary of the Program on Culture, Language and Communication at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. She discussed “Dynamics of Identity and Power in Nation Building Processes.” She also led a section on “Divided Society” at the 4th session of the Donbass Dialogue, discussing with participants from the both sides of the line of contact of the war how societies become divided and what tools of peacebuilding could be used to deal with this divide.

Arthur Romano led a strategic design session focused on Pedagogical Approaches for Linking Theory and Practice and Hip-Hop Diplomacy with leaders from the Next Level State Department Program in June. This was in preparation for their workshops focused on Conflict Transformation, which will be held in Uzbekistan, Turkey, Nigeria, Guatemala, Jerusalem, Dominican Republic, and the Philippines. He also led a workshop on Conflict Resolution Praxis with Hip-Hop artists from across the U.S. as part of their orientation. 

Ivan Sascha Sheehan, PhD ‘06, traveled in June 2018 to Paris as part of a research delegation examining the Iranian opposition as protests swept over Iran. Sheehan’s policy-oriented writing, scholarship, and media appearances—as well as analyses provided to policymakers in the U.S. Congress—have examined matters related to regime change in Iran. On June 29, 2018, Sheehan participated in radio, print, and television media in Paris, including interviews with talk show host Mike Siegel (syndicated by Genesis Communications Network), Al ArabiyaIran National Television, and the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Sheehan also spoke, on background, for reporting carried out by POLITICO.

The Paris conference, carried live in the U.S. by Fox News and The Washington Times, was also broadcast inside Iran by Voice of America and featured prominently in many Arab newspapers. Dignitaries in attendance included former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich; former FBI Director Louis Freeh; former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge; former U.S. Attorney General Judge Michael Mukasey; former National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, Frances Townsend; and many others.

Breaking news following the event indicated that the rally had been targeted by agents of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) in a terror plot thwarted by authorities in Belgium, France, Germany, and Austria who worked together to foil the bombing. Five individuals, including an Iranian diplomat, who was reportedly working as an MOIS Station Chief in Vienna, were arrested after being trapped with explosives and a detonator. The plot was immediately reported on by The New York Times, The Wall Street JournalReuters, and NBC and addressed by senior U.S. State Department officials.

During the summer, Sheehan was also invited to join select, senior former U.S. officials— including Speaker Newt Gingrich, FBI Director Louis Freeh, and Attorney General Michael Mukasey—as a signatory to an open letter published in the The New York Times in support of Iranian protesters promoting democracy in Iran. Sheehan was also invited to join a group of select, distinguished U.S. officials as a signatory to an official letter sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the foiled terror plot launched by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) that targeted the rally for democracy in Iran held in Paris.

Centers and Publications