Glass doors

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, a respective workshop 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.

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:

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

Current Status

IFAIR has secured financial support by the “Creativity and Studies” Program by the University of Göttingen (financed by the AKB foundation) for our first essay competition in 2020. We are therefore running into final preparations for the contest, which will take place in two rounds: In the first round (February-May 2020), undergraduate and Master students of the participating universities will collect short essays on the topic of international diplomacy and choose the best essay submitted. In the second round (June 2020), the winners meet at Humboldt-University in Berlin where they will participate in a workshop on the issue of democracy and diplomacy and hold a final discussion determining the winner of the essay competition. The finalist will win the chance to compete in an international academic challenge and participation in a three-day workshop in Berlin. The winner is additionally awarded a cash-price and publication of his winning idea.

Impact Group Members


Elias Reiche,
Gregor Christiansmeyer,