A large number of flags on flagpoles, viewed from below against a sky
Milton Wolf Seminar on Media and Diplomacy

2013 Seminar

Diplomatic Maneuvers and Journalistic Coverage in a Time of Reset, Pivot, and Rebalance

April 16 – 18, 2013

This year’s seminar addresses the critical role of diplomats and journalists in shaping the outcomes of what we call global geopolitical pivots.  Pivots in this case refer to emergent geopolitical shifts around which multiple stakeholders–from major powers, to multilateral organizations, to bloggers working in isolation–seek to provide input on the most appropriate outcomes. As Zbigniew Brzezinski defined them, “Geopolitical pivots are the states whose importance is derived not from their power and motivation but rather from their sensitive location and from the consequences of their potentially vulnerable condition for the behavior of geo-strategic players. Most often, geopolitical pivots are determined by their geography, which in some cases gives them a special role in either defining access to important areas or in denying resources to a significant player.” Examples of contemporary global pivots that will be considered in this year’s Seminar include: the shifts in geopolitical approaches to Syria, the external role of Iran and the fixing on Syrian conflict, calls for regime change in Iran, and the intense Western attention to reform movements and government change in Burma (Myanmar).