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RETHINK
POLITICS

The Academy is a place for discussion. With its different events – evening lectures, panels, summer academies and fireside chats – it aims to share ideas from its work and from the Fellows’ research with the public. It invites guests from science, politics and other areas of society to join in the dialogue.

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  • 25
    Workshop

    Narratives of adhesion vs. separation

    Case studies of contested sovereignty in Europe

    The purpose of this workshop is to examine the narratives surrounding several cases of contested sovereignty in Europe through a cross-disciplinary lens. The workshop compares and contrasts two  competing narratives that arise whenever sovereignty is contested: One narrative focuses on adhesion, that is it emphasizes political union and territorial integrity over separatism. The competing narrative of separation seeks a change in status for a disputed territory, which can range from requesting greater autonomy to achieving independence or become part of an alternative sovereign union.

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  • 13
    Webinar

    Is EU’s Green Deal leading the future of Global Agriculture Trade?

    In cooperation with the Alumniportal Deutschland a webinar, hosted by our fellow Ana Stoddart, on the EU-Green Deal will take place on 13th of March from 15.00h until 17.00h pm. The panel discussion “Is EU’s Green Deal leading the future of Global Agriculture Trade?” brings together an array of voices in both the public and private sectors to gain impartial and substantive information about EU’s new Green Deal and its impacts throughout the world.

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  • 05
    Coffee & Cake

    Afghanistan’s Road to Modernity 1880-1930 

    State-Building, Reforms, Conflicts

    Nearly twenty years of Western intervention in Afghanistan ended on August 15, 2021, when the Taliban returned to power. The disastrous failure of Western involvement was a result of the permanent and often violent conflict between tradition and modernity that has characterised Afghanistan’s society for almost a century and a half.

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  • 01
    Workshop

    EU Pipeline Politics, Energy Crisis, and the Nord Stream Projects: The Convergence of Energy Security Dilemmas

    The aim of this workshop is to address the following questions: what are the energy policy implications of the convergence of energy security among the Baltic Sea region countries? What lessons can be drawn from the Nord Stream 2 fiasco?

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  • 18
    Workshop

    Advancing Economic Paradiplomacy

    Recent times have witnessed an overwhelming majority of sub-national actors claiming their stakes at global platforms through ‘paradiplomacy’. Built around the priorities and competencies of the stakeholders involved, paradiplomacy has developed as an inevitable policy move to grow regional economies based on issue-driven and pragmatic partnerships.

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  • 12
    Workshop

    Decolonizing Transnational Humanitarianism: Intersections between Germany and Africa

    In their workshop, Prof. Cecelia Lynch (University of California, Irvine) and Prof. Nadine Machikou (University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon) addressed a topic that is as complex as it is controversial. Intersectional theorizing and post-colonial discourses have been booming in the academic landscape as well as in feature pages and cultural policy debates for some time now.

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  • 04
    Workshop

    Diplomatic Communication, Disinformation & Conflict

    While fake news in social media has been receiving increasing attention, disinformation in diplomatic communication, especially in times of war and conflict, has not been discussed as prominently. We are interested in tackling several aspects surrounding the topic of communication, including questions such as: How are narratives used in diplomatic communication and why are they important? What is the role of diplomatic communication and narratives in conflict? How can we grasp diplomatic narratives – and how can we identify and counteract disinformation in them? In our transdisciplinary workshop we will bring together speakers from diplomacy and academia to shed light on these questions from very different perspectives.

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  • 29
    Event

    Europe-China Relations and Cooperation Potentials in light of the Ukraine War

    Parliamentary Meeting at the Bundestag Over the past 50 years, political tensions in economic relations between Germany and China have tended to be the exception. This has changed as a result of flaring international conflicts such as the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the associated geostrategic consequences. China’s open claim to power is changing the geopolitical situation, to which the German government must respond. For this reason, the German government has agreed and published its own China strategy for the first time in history.

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  • 20
    Seminar

    What are the challenges and opportunities in Inter-Korean relations?

    In cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, a conference entitled “What are the challenges and opportunities in inter-Korean relations?” was held at the Bonn Science Center on 20 November on the future of South Korea and the challenges facing the country in light of the current global situation.

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  • 16
    Conference

    Europe’s Future Orders – Europe in Future International Orders

    Europe is once again facing a crossroads: Will it lose importance in the face of the global changes and shifts in power that have been evident for some time now, or will it be able to gain influence on future regional and international orders once again?

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  • 15
    Workshop

    Global Power Shifts and the World After the Wars

    New cold war, return of a thought of spheres of influence that seemed to have been overcome – Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing turmoil in the Middle east will have fundamental consequences for the international order. European member states, whose societies could not imagine war in Europe, decide to invest significantly in their security architecture and to act unitedly – if sometimes not as quickly and co-ordinately as some would like – in Europe in the face of the Russian aggressor.

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  • 19

    International Security Forum Bonn 2023

    The International Security Forum Bonn has a longstanding tradition of serving as a prominent platform for convening esteemed international experts and practitioners in the fields of security and foreign policy. This forum provides a unique opportunity for in-depth discussions on the future of transatlantic relations and critical issues within the realm of international politics. Its overarching objective is to identify effective strategies and approaches to advance German, European, and transatlantic foreign and security policies while addressing urgent security challenges.

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  • 25
    Workshop

    Challenges of the neutrality status in new realities: lessons for the Republic of Moldova

    Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine was a trigger for challenges to the neutrality status in Europe. Finland and Sweden abandoned their militarily non-aligned status and applied for NATO membership. Denmark decided to abolish the 30-year-old opt-out clause related to EU defense as the outcome of the national referendum. Malta’s and Ireland’s neutrality also sparked public debates. Switzerland declared that the adoption of the EU sanctions does not alter its neutrality in any way. Both Switzerland and Austria signed a memorandum of understanding on joining the German-led initiative Sky Shield aimed at strengthening Europe’s air defenses, denying that their participation would in any way compromise their traditional posture of neutrality.

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  • 13
    Workshop

    Deconstructing Masculinities as the Local Meets the Global

    When gender is approached from the perspective of international relations, we often see references made to the SDGs and global partnerships around gender and development.  When masculinities are inserted into the analyses we often focus on issues of peace and conflict (eg. wars, terrorism, peace initiatives) or international political leadership, without sufficiently historicizing and contextualizing these.  The history of colonialism in Africa has had a profound impact on the construction of masculinities in Africa as colonial powers imposed their own ideals of masculinity on African societies. Many of these—for example notions of a male “bread winner”— have persisted and influenced how African men interact within their communities as well as the world beyond their borders. 

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  • 03
    Summer Academy

    Outer Space Affairs

    A critical key domain of international politics

    Space exploration was always linked to military and strategic interests and was long ruled by the rivalry between the two super power blocs led by the USA and the Soviet Union. During the period of international relaxation, scientific and civilian goals temporarily came to the fore. For example, the International Space Station (ISS), which was initially planned as a military station by the USA, is operated and further developed in international cooperation by 16 states or five space agencies.

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  • 15
    Workshop

    European Security and Defence after Russia’s War on Ukraine

    Dr. Mayssoun Zein Al Din (Executive Director of the Academy of International Affairs NRW), cordially greeted the distinguished participants hailing from the realms of academia and practical policymaking during the workshop’s commencement, delivering a keynote address to set the tone. Under the guidance of Dr. Iulian Romanyshyn (Fellow at the Academy) the session’s context was elucidated. The Russian war against Ukraine, which transpired on February 24, 2022, marks a resurfacing of large-scale military conflict in Europe and is widely regarded as a pivotal moment for EU and Euro-Atlantic security, according to numerous analysts. Of particular surprise is the extent of unity demonstrated through unprecedented support for Ukraine. Equally significant are the sanctions imposed on Russia and the resulting shifts in defense policies among several European nations. Nonetheless, previous security crises failed to produce comparable transformations in the European defense and security framework. Thus, what sets this event apart from its predecessors? This question formed the crux of the subsequent discussion, wherein the impact of the existential military threat on security and defense cooperation in Europe was examined.

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  • 04
    Hybrid Event

    The Situation in Moldova and the Role of the European Union in Southeastern Europe

    Expert Panel with Discussion

    The Academy of International Affairs NRW (AIA NRW) organized an expert discussion with Inna Șupac (Fellow at the AIA NRW) and Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austrian Ambassador and Special Representative of the OSCE for the Settlement of the Transnistrian Conflict) on the current situation of the Republic of Moldova and the role of the European Union in South-Eastern Europe on the fourth of May 2023.

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  • 15

    The Evacuation of the Local Forces in Afghanistan – Lessons Learnt

    Parliamentary meeting at the Bundestag

    On March 15, the Academy for International Politics of North Rhine-Westphalia (AIA NRW) hosted a Parliamentary Encounter on “The Evacuation of the Local Forces in Afghanistan – Lessons Learnt” at the Bundestag from 12:00-13:30.

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  • 08

    Ethics, Law and Artificial Intelligence – a Tense Relationship

    Prof. Dr. John-Stewart Gordon in cooperation with the Deutsches Museum Bonn – Artificial Intelligence Forum

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly and often unnoticed becoming part of our everyday lives. Many decisions in job application processes, in finding a partner, in granting loans or in legal proceedings are now made with the help of AI and are difficult to question due to a lack of transparency. But our overconfidence in machine neutrality is also leading us astray. It is time to better understand the nature of artificial intelligence.

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  • 02
    Workshop

    The EU AI Act and voices from the Global South

    “The Council of the European Union adopted its common position (‘general approach’) on the Artificial Intelligence Act in December’2022. The draft regulation presented by the Commission in April 2021 is a key element of the EU’s policy to foster the development and uptake across the single market for safe and lawful AI that respects fundamental rights. The EU AI act aim is to ensure that AI systems placed on the EU market and used in the Union are safe and respect existing laws and union values.

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  • 05
    Workshop

    Bordering on disorder

    Fragile borders in a global world

    Global borders are dynamic.  As a political phenomenon, borders are undergoing perpetual change:  the bordering process is an ongoing project, one that responds to a global and regional assortment of anthropogenic and naturogenic pressures.  Conflict, climate change, pandemics, trade, technology and migration patterns are just a few examples of the many stresses, often interrelated, to which borders are subject and to which they subsequently adjust.  As much as borders are dynamic, they are equally heterogenous; they differ as a function of diverse security environments.  In other words, how borders adjust in response to new and evolving pressures, such as climate change or a global pandemic, will look different at each border.

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  • 18

    Freedom of Expression in the 21st Century

    Between democratic backsliding, disinformation, and the limits of tolerance

    In December, the Russian human rights organisation Memorial will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. To mark the occasion, the Academy of International Affairs NRW has invited the co-founder and Executive Director of Memorial International Dr. h.c. Elena Zhemkova to Bonn. The former President of the European Court of Human Rights, Prof. Dr. Róbert Spanó, will discuss the topic of freedom of expression with her. The Minister for Federal and European Affairs, Nathanael Liminski, will deliver the greeting.

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  • 13
    Workshop

    Emerging Market Democracies as Pivotal States

    Regional Powers in an eroded Liberal International Order

    The dawn of the 21st Century signaled that a multipolar world would emerge after the American dominance after the end of the Cold War. The acronym BRICs—which stands for the initials of Brazil, Russia, India, and China—was created in 2001 by an investment bank to signal to the market that the global markets would no longer evolve around the advanced industrial democracies of the G7, composed by the United States, Japan, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, and Canada. Two decades after the BRICS—now with a capital S, which stands for South Africa—hold regular meetings in several issue areas. Yet, more than a multipolar world, it seems that we have witnessed the rise of a new bipolarity that opposes Washington and Beijing amidst a global decline in the indexes of democracy and adherence to liberal ideas.

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  • 30
    Panel Discussion Livestream

    Assessing Climate and Security Research in North Rhine-Westphalia

    Panel discussion as part of the Bonn Future Lab on Strategic Foresight “Climate Change and Security”, International Security Forum Bonn 2022

    Short-term extreme weather events such as storms or floods as well as long-term transformations of climatic conditions change environments and human habitats in the long term. In unstable regions affected by armed conflicts, they can become so-called “threat multipliers” (e.g. through tightening of food security due to climatic changes), also in high-income countries they can tie up capacities and investments for adaptation and resilience building in the medium and long term and in exceptional cases even fundamentally endangering the very existence of states or sub-state regions, as some island states in the South Pacific are increasingly finding out.

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  • 21
    Workshop

    Digitalization of Memory in China

    Digitalization transforms museums, theaters, cinemas, heritage sites, and other identity-creating stakeholders. They began providing streams and other online participation opportunities to stay in touch with visitors. Digitalization offers new modes of interaction and might impact shaping and curation memory. This workshop explores the digitalization of memory in China. Digitalization and datafication spread out much faster in China than in other countries. Despite the rapid digital development in China, research on digital memory is still an unattended field.

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  • 29
    Summer Academy

    The Geopolitics of Disinformation

    Social Media and International Relations

    In the wake of the “Arab Spring” and the social protests related to the financial crisis, there was a widespread enthusiasm about the role that social media channels can play for democratic protest movements. Ten years later the euphoria over new, democratic opportunities for communication and political opinion-forming online has largely given way to disillusionment. It has now long been the case that the collective political movements being formed through social media are not just grassroots and democratic in kind, and they are using social media for populist, propagandist and at times openly anti-democratic disinformation campaigns. Their intentions and intitiators are becoming ever harder to trace: we can no longer tell bots from humans, while astroturfing mimics spontaneous grassroots movements in order to manipulate masses of people.

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  • 23
    Workshop

    The Global Politics of Artificial Intelligence

    Historical, Comparative, and Critical Perspectives

    The aim of this workshop is to contribute to the global study of artificial intelligence (AI) from the postwar to the present. It will bring together intellectual historians, political theorists, and sociologists in order to investigate the political theories and world order visions conveyed by historical and present-day AI technologies; to compare them across contexts; and to reflect on the challenges raised by such comparisons.

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  • 14
    Event

    Friendship without boundaries?

    The Russian-Chinese relationship during the war in Ukraine and its implications for Europe’s future

    Russia and China seem closer than ever notwithstanding the war in Ukraine. The Chinese leadership has refused to criticize Russia despite mounting pressure to condemn the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Just as Russia becomes economically and politically more reliant on its eastern neighbour, China is unwilling to give up years of trust building and forming a united ideological front against NATO and the US. At the same time, China is worried about being affected by the Western sanctions levied against Russia.

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  • 23
    Workshop

    Social Media Impact on International Affairs

    This workshop brings together academics from computer science, economics, psychology, sociology, and political science to exchange opinions on contributions each of the disciplines can make to mitigate the risks of (social) media-based disinformation and polarization in international relations and develop options for interdisciplinary cooperation to this end.

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  • 01
    Event

    Ukraine – Russia

    Identity and History in a Current Conflict

    Russia is pursuing a war of aggression against Ukraine with the goal of forcing its disappearance as an independent state and of fundamentally altering the security architecture of Europe. At the same time, it has become clear how much the return of thinking in terms of spheres of influence builds on historical arguments, which were used by Vladimir Putin himself in 2021 in an essay more than 20 pages long. There he insisted that the Ukraine belongs to a Russian and Orthodox cultural sphere. The justification it has given for the invasion of its neighbour is also based on purported historical circumstances.

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  • 15
    Impulse

    Lectures for the Consular Corps

    On 15 February 2022, the Consular Corps of North Rhine-Westphalia was invited to the Academy of International Affairs NRW. There, Regine Grienberger, Ambassador for Cyber Foreign Policy at the Federal Foreign Office, spoke about Cyber Diplomacy. Political scientist Volker Kronenberg from the University of Bonn reported on his department.

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  • 25
    Celebratory Event

    Opening Ceremony

    At the invitation of the Minister-President of North Rhine–Westphalia, Armin Laschet, the opening ceremony of the Nordrhein-Westfälische Akademie für Internationale Politik – Academy of International Affairs NRW was held on 25.08.2021. At the seat of the Academy at Bad Godesberg in Bonn, the Executive Director Mayssoun Zein Al Din welcomed numerous guests from the worlds of politics and research. Among those present were Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, Jean Asselborn, Foreign Minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, and the former Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, Rangin Dadfar Spanta.

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  • 23
    Summer Academy

    Artificial Intelligence and International Politics

    The first event, the Summer Academy ‘Artificial Intelligence and International Politics’, has already taken place. The Academy held a discussion with members of the scientific and diplomatic communities about the role of Artificial Intelligence in international relations. Individual lectures were broadcast online in a livestream and are now freely available as video or audio recordings.

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