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Transitions Transformed: Ideas of Information and Democracy post-2011

March 26, 2012 - March 28, 2012

Diplomatic Academy of Vienna

Categories: Conference/Symposium

Milton Wolf Seminar 2012

Transitions Transformed: Ideas of Information and Democracy post-2011

March 26-28, 2012
Diplomatic Academy of Vienna


The 2012 Milton Wolf Seminar Compendium, which contains a series of reflection essays written by the 2012 Milton Wolf Emerging Scholars as well as all relevant documents relating to the seminar is now available.

About the 2012 Milton Wolf Seminar

The Milton Wolf Seminar is a unique event attended by a small but select group of approximately thirty participants who each present on their topics of expertise. The American Austrian Foundation, the American Embassy in Vienna, as well as the City of Vienna welcome the Milton Wolf Seminar participants each year with open arms and organize several social events that highlight the beauty of the city of Vienna. This combination of rigorous discussion during the day and social interaction during the evening creates a wonderful sense of community and intellectual engagement among the participants. This is the third year in a row that the Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication has co-organized the Milton Wolf Seminar on Media and Diplomacy with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and the American Austrian Foundation.

Using case studies such as Hungary, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Tunisia, the 2012 Milton Wolf Seminar,Transitions Transformed:  Ideas of Information and Democracy Post-2011 explored the evolving relationship between media and democratic transition in light of rapid technological change and the shifting structure and dynamics of the international communication system.  As countries such as Tunisia and Egypt move towards democratic transition and countries such as Hungary adopt new laws and policies that threaten to undermine democratic practices, considerable debate abounds about the future structure of democratic institutions and the role of media and communication structures, practices, and regulations.

The 2012 Milton Wolf Seminar participants participated in two and half days of intense consideration of the current and potential role of the media, diplomats, and activists in facilitating positive outcomes. Panelists and discussion concentrated on such issues as: the tension between information rights and national sovereignty, state sponsorship and promotion of internet circumvention technologies, the role of social media in the Arab Spring, and responses within the European Union to Hungary’s controversial 2010 Media Laws.

More information about this and previous Milton Wolf Seminars please visit our Facebook Page.


Milton Wolf 2012 Emerging Scholars Program

The Milton Wolf Seminar represents a unique opportunity for distinguished diplomats, academics, and media practitioners to interact with graduate students and emerging scholars in an intimate and intellectually engaging setting. In order to maximize opportunities for students and emerging scholars and to enrich the discussions, this year, the seminar organizers selected ten outstanding PhD students, advanced MA Candidates, emerging scholars or equivalents that are working in areas related to the seminar themes.  These delegates were chosen from an elite pool of applicants nominated by their home institutions. Selected student and emerging scholar delegates received full funding to attend the Seminar.

The Emerging Scholars Programme was made possible by the support of the UK Embassy in Vienna and The American Austrian Foundation.

The eight distinguished 2012 delegates include:

  1. Rogier Criemers, KU Leuven, Candidate at Maastricht, Visiting Researcher Programme for Comparative Media Law and Policy, University of Oxford. Read his essay: ‘The Internet, Soft War, Sovereignty, and China.’
  2. Endre Danyi, PhD Candidate in Sociology, Lancaster University; Visiting Research Fellow at the Innovation in Governance research group, Center for Technology and Society at the Technical University in Berlin. Read his essay ‘The Architecture of Democracy.’
  3. Harriet Di Francesco, MA Student, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna. Read her essay ‘The Global Politics of Internet Freedom.’
  4. Leshou Dong, PhD Candidate Tinghua University, Visiting Scholar, Center for Global Communication Studies at the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communicatio. Read her essay ‘Information Space Power and Empowerment in a Changing World.’
  5. Shalini Iyengar, LLM Candidate, Comparative Law, Economics and Finance at the International University College, Torino. Read her essay  ‘The Media and its Role Today.’
  6. Marissa Moran, MSc Candidate, London School of Economics; Research Associate, Albany Associates UK. Read her essay ‘Soft Power and the Subaltern: Who wins?
  7. Roy Revie, PhD Candidate, University of Strathclyde. Read his essay ‘The Tangled Web of ‘Internet Freedom’.’
  8. Sandra Ristovska, PHD Candidate, Annenberg School for Communication. Read her essay ‘Competing Narratives over Internet Freedom.’


For an overview of this year’s seminar, please click here

For more information about Milton Wolf 2012 and the 2012 Distinguished Student Delegate Scholarship progam, please click here.