Questo corso propone di guardare al complesso rapporto tra politica internazionale e media attraverso l'individuazione di crisi e conflitti nel sistema internazionale dal 1945 a oggi, analizzandone la dimensione politico/strategica e mediatica, o di 'mediatizzazione': un processo dinamico che modella/manipola/ indirizza gli eventi attraverso lo strumento mediatico con ricadute significative sul processo decisionale politico. Imparare a conoscere il collegamento tra politica internazionale e mediatizzazione e' un traguardo significativo per coloro che ambiscono ad assumere ruoli professionali nei media, nelle organizzazioni internazionali o in settori privati della comunicazione interessati alla gestione della comunicazione delle crisi.


Prof Ilaria Poggiolini

Course description

The main aim of this course is to reassess the complex and controversial interaction between world politics and the media by focusing on the political/strategic dimension of international crises and military conflicts, their media perceptions and policies of 'mediatisation'. The latter is a dynamic process shaping/manipulating the understanding of events via media representation. This process can have arelevant impact on the political mechanism of decision-making both in domestic and foreign policy. Learning how international politics and mediatization impact on each other is a relevant goal for students aiming at professional positions in the world of international media, international organisations or the private sector of communication, dealing with crisis management.

Structure: This course is composed oflectures and seminar discussions,


Basic knowledge of international history/politics from the second WW to today and an interest for the media dimension of international relations.

Learning goals

1)To reflect critically on knowledge and understanding of the academic debate on crisis management and war in post WWII international relations

2)To be able to engage critically with the litterature on 'mediatization'

3)To be able to conduct research in this area demostrating a dregree of originality in writing a final essay

This course is organised in three sections:

1)A) Introduction on mediatization and IR. B) Cold war crises (Korea, Cuba, Vietnam) and their increasingly significant media narratives in a long term view ofpost WWII mediatization of wars.

Readings: The Dynamics of mediatized conflicts. Eskjær, Mikkel Fugl / Hjarvard, Stig / Mortensen, Mette (eds.) New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2015, 1-27; E. Zandberg, M. Neiger, Between the nation and the profession: journalists as members of contradicting communities, ROBINSON, Theorizing the Influence of Media on World Politics. Models of Media Influence on Foreign Policy, European Journal of Communication December 2001 vol. 16 no. 4, pp 523-544;L. Risso, Radio Wars: Broadcasting in the cold war, Cold War History, 2013: 13:2,145-152;S. Maltby, The mediatization of the military, Media, Wars &Conflict, 2012, 3(3), 255-268;S COTTLE, Mediatized Conflicts, Open University, NY, 2006, 80-85; R.A. Pollard, The Cuban Missiles Crisis: Legacies and Lessons, The Wilson Quarterly, vol 6, No 4 (Autumn, 1982),148-158;

In preparation of the seminar on week 3 read/watch the following articles/films: - Thirteen Days (2000), starring Kevin Costner and directed by Roger Donaldson, is a film that chronicles the decision-making of President Kennedy and his EXCOMM during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Media, the War in Vietnam, and Political Support: A Critique of the Thesis of an Oppositional Media Author(s): Daniel C. Hallin Source: The Journal of Politics, Vol. 46, No. 1 (Feb., 1984), pp. 2-24; Vietnam: The Television War Author(s): Michael Mandelbaum Source: Daedalus, Vol. 111, No. 4, Print Culture and Video Culture (Fall, 1982), pp. 157-169; Vietnam: A Television History by Richard Ellison Review by: David L. DiLeo Source: The History Teacher, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Nov., 1984), pp. 125-132

In preparation of the seminar on the fifth week read/watch:

2) The terrorist era when national and international terrorism take centre stage within a new framework of international tension and crisis: a process beginning in the 1970s and leading to9/11 and the present. The focus in this part of the course is on mediatization of terrorism and on how terror feeds on, or is deprived of the 'oxigen of pubblicity'.

Readings; R. Savage, The BBC's 'Irish troubles': television, conflict and Northern Ireland, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2016, chapt 3 and 5

Danny Hayes & Matt Guardino (2010) Whose Views Made the News? Media Coverage and the March to War in Iraq, Political Communication, 27:1, 59-87, DOI: 10.1080/10584600903502615 To link to this article:

P. Robinson, The CNN effect: can the news media drive foreign policy? Review of international studies, Volume 25 / Issue 02 / April 1999, pp 301-309

Paul Wilkinson (1997) The media and terrorism: A reassessment, Terrorism and Political Violence, 9:2, 51-64, DOI: 10.1080/09546559708427402 To link to this article:

3) A final section of the course will adress two theme related to mediatization and crisis: 1) Media reporting of the EU (including Brexit) and of humanitarian crisis.

Reading list: The Policy-Media Interaction Model: Measuring Media Power during Humanitarian Crisis, Journal of Peace Research September 2000 37: 613-633,Berry, Mike, Garcia-Blanco, Inaki and Moore, Kerry 2016. Press coverage of the refugee and migrant crisis in the EU: a content analysis of five European countries. [Project Report]. Geneva: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Available at:

Reading lists and web references will be made available on the the course web platform or via the following websites:

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

The National Security


The final grade will be based upon:

50% Participation (informed discussion)

20% Final essay (4.000 words). Information will be provided in class

30% Final Exam. two brief essays (ca. 700-1000 words each) to be chosen among four questions