Tufts University International Symposium Will Examine Conflict in the 21st Century

Navy Capt. Wayne Porter, chairman of Systemic Strategy and Complexity of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School; Ariel Levite, former principal deputy director general for Policy of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission; Mowaffak al-Rubaie,  former National Security Adviser for Iraq; Zhang Qingmin, Distinguished University Professor of Diplomacy and International Strategic Studies at Peking University; Kishore Mandhyan, former deputy director of Political, Peacekeeping, and Humanitarian Affairs for the United Nations; Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dirk Jameson, former chief of staff of the U.S. Strategic Command; Susan Bissell, chief of Child Protection of UNICEF.

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. – These experts will join over 50 other military strategists, , young activists from Tunisia, Syria, and Iraq, advocates for nonviolent conflict, and academics to l examine modern warfare, advances in weaponry, and ethical considerations of using emerging technology—such as cyber-warfare, neuroscience and robotic weapons—on the battlefield at a symposium hosted by Tufts University's Institute for Global Leadership (IGL) Feb. 22 to 26.

"Conflict in the 21st Century," the 27thAnniversary Norris and Margery Bendetson EPIIC (Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship) International Symposium, is entirely organized by students in the IGL. Steven Pinker, author of "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined" who was cited by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the top Global Thinkers in 2011, will give the keynote address.

Student delegations will be attending from China, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore, and South Korea as well as from the United States Air Force Academy, the United States Military Academy, and the United States Naval Academy.

As part of the symposium, the IGL will hold a full-day Pugwash-inspired discussion in which international scholars; military officers and public figures concerned with reducing the danger of armed conflict discuss cooperative solutions to global conflicts as they also look at the horizon of cyber systems, robotics and neuroscience 

The symposium will be held in the Alumnae Lounge, located in the Aidekman Arts Center, and also the Cabot Intercultural Center. Other featured speakers include:

• Braden Allenby, the founding chair of the Consortium for Emerging Technologies, Military Operations, and National Security

• Ami Ayalon, former commander of the Israeli Navy

• Nick Birnback (EPIIC’91), chief of public information in the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS)

• Alex DeWaal, former senior adviser, African Union High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan

• Montassar Jemmali, Tunisian student; president and founder of the League of Young Patriots

Sherif Mansour, senior program officer, Middle East and North Africa, Freedom House (recently indicted by the Egyptian government for his aid work)

• Jonathan D. Moreno, author of "Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century"

• Retired Marine Col. Mark Mykleby, former deputy division head for the development of strategy for Special Operations Forces, USSOCOM

• Colonel Ferdinand Safari, military attache, Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda

• Abiodun Williams, acting senior vice president, Center for Conflict Management, US Institute of Peace; former director of strategic planning, Office of the United National Secretary-General

This year's symposium is dedicated to British photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington, who was killed while covering the war in Libya on April 20, 2011. Hetherington was a board member on the IGL's Program on Narrative and Documentary Practice, a program designed to teach students narrative and documentary skills. Hetherington's work will be presented during the "Media and Warfare" discussion on Saturday night.

For more information or to register, visit


or call 617-627-3314 (general inquiries) or 617-627-4703 or 617-627-4173 (members of the news media).

"Conflict in the 21st Century"

EPIIC Symposium at Tufts University

Feb. 22 - 26, 2012

Wednesday, February 22

7:00 p.m. - Power Transitions in the 21st Century

Thursday, February 23

9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. - Pugwash Discussion: The Science, Technology, and the Ethics of National Security

7:00 p.m. - The Present and Future Battlefield: Cyber-warfare, Neuroscience, and Robotics

Friday, February 24

10:00 a.m. - "Mr.Y": US National Strategic Policy Directions

12:00 p.m. - Eye to Eye, Drone to Drone: The (De) Personalization of Warfare

2:00 p.m. - Power: Youth, Technology, and the State

6:30 p.m. - Welcome/Introductions/Recognition

6:45 p.m. - Dr. Jean Mayer Award Keynote Address (Steven Pinker, author of "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined" and professor of psychology at Harvard University)

8:00 p.m. - Responsibility to Protect, Right to Prosecute?

Saturday, February 25

10:00 a.m. - Resource Wars and the Changing Climate of Conflict

2:00 p.m. - Money, Munitions, and Markets: The Perpetuation of Conflict

4:00 p.m. - Expert-led, Small-group Discussions

8:00 p.m. - The Media and Warfare

Sunday, February 26

1:00 p.m. - Future Flashpoints

3:30 p.m. - Post-Conflict Challenges and Building Peaceful Societies

Schedule subject to change.


Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.


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