Talk to focus on cyber conflicts, geopolitics


The United States originated cyber technology and used it in global politics, first for espionage in the 1990s. By 2010, it sent malicious software, or malware, to disrupt an Iranian nuclear facility. Now the technology is being used to spread democracy.

Other international powers – China and Russia – quickly followed America’s lead. They use cyber technology in psychological, political, economic and military arenas against the U.S., its allies and others. European countries, North Korea, Iran, Israel, India and Pakistan are also active.

The radical change in international relations brought about by this new cyber technology will be the topic of the Great Decisions Free Community Discussion Series on U.S. Foreign Policy on Friday, March 1. Cantay Çalişkan, an assistant professor at Ohio Wesleyan University, will talk about “Cyber Conflicts and Geopolitics.”

Çalişkan earned a doctorate in political science from Boston University in 2018 with minors in computer science and statistics; a master’s degree in international relations from Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey; and a bachelor’s degree at Brandeis University.

He joined the faculty at OWU as a member of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, teaching visualization, introduction to data analytics and introduction to statistics. He also takes part in the newly formed inter-departmental Data Analytics program initiated in 2016.

Çalişkan’s dissertation focused on the flow of money and interests in American and Scandinavian policymaking by bringing aspects of policy choices, political connections and societal perceptions together. His research interests include computational social science, renewable energy, social media, the U.S. Congress and networks of lobbying.

He presented his research at various conferences and events including the American Political Science Association, the Midwest Political Science Association, Political Networks, Boston University Data Science Day and Microsoft Research New England Machine Learning Day.

All Great Decisions meetings begin at noon in the Fellowship Hall of the William Street United Methodist Church, 28 W. William St., Delaware. Attendees are welcome to bring a brown-bag lunch. Coffee and tea are provided. For more information, visit

Available for purchase is a booklet with articles about this year’s eight topics compiled by the Foreign Policy Association, which originated the nationwide Great Decisions program in 1954. Audience participants may complete a survey, prepared by the Foreign Policy Association, to add their opinions to thousands of others across the nation. Survey results will be made available to Washington decision-makers.

Sponsors of Great Decisions are the American Association of University Women, Kiwanis, League of Women Voters, International Studies Program, OWU, William Street U.M.C., Willow Brook Christian Communities, Anchor & Away Travel and private donors.

The topic for the Friday, March 8, discussion is “State of the State Department and Diplomacy,” featuring Alexander Thompson, associate professor of political science and faculty associate of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, The Ohio State University.


Special to The Gazette

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