Diplomacy and Democracy

What is the Impact group about?

The Impact Group “Diplomacy and Democracy” aims at discussing the relationship between diplomacy, transparency and democracy. The Impact Group´s first initiative is hosting an international academic essay competition: “Glass Doors into the Backroom”. The idea is to crowdsource tangible solutions to a general challenge, which recently gained public attention concerning international negotiations: The talks surrounding the TTIP agreement or the Global Compact for Migration have often been criticised by the European public as not being transparent enough. The key to better public relations might just simply be talking to the public. Or is it? The ongoing BREXIT offered a unique example of how the extensive involvement of the parliament can in some cases impede the process of efficiently finding an agreement. To address these seemingly contradictory narratives, we posed five key questions we would like to focus on:

  1. Does international diplomacy lack transparency?
  2. If yes, how do we implement or improve transparency?
  3. How can this potentially tackle the crisis that multilateralism is facing?
  4. How can people take part in the decision-making process?
  5. How could the need for efficiency and transparency be balanced?

Aims of the Impact Group

The project intends to motivate young people interested in international politics to think about questions outside their curriculum as they need to be part of the discussions surrounding the concept of global democracy. By organizing an essay competition and publishing their results we want to stress the importance of the link of diplomacy and democracy. In this context we want to make young and diverse voices heard.


The online competition is supposed to take place in two rounds: In the first round (May-July 2020), undergraduate and graduate students of the participating universities will submit short essays on the topic of international diplomacy; the best essay submitted will be selected by expert jurys. In the second round a public online voting on the three finalist ideas presented in the short essays is planned. The winner is awarded a cash-price and the publication of his or her winning idea. An exchange of the finalists among each other also regarding the future development of the topic is planned (October 2020).

The Team

Project responsibles

Elias Reicheelias.reiche@ciss.eu
Gregor Christiansmeyergregor.christiansmeyer@ciss.eu

Current Status:

CISS has secured financial support by the “Creativity and Studies” Program of Göttingen University (financed by the AKB foundation) and the Humboldt Universitätsgesellschaft for our first essay competition in 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic we are currently trying our best to realise the project online. We will keep you updated!

Project Partner


Partner universities




How can you get engaged?

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