Renewing our Democratic Alliance

Renewing our Democratic Alliance (RODA) is a joint effort by the Canadian International Council and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung to strengthen civil society cooperation among Canadian and German scholars, experts, and practitioners on key issues facing liberal democracies.

About the Project

As global trends shake the foundations of some long-established democracies, it becomes ever more significant that Germany and Canada are deeply aligned as liberal, pluralist, centrist, parliamentary and federalist democracies, committed to our regional and global relationships, and sharing a profound mutual interest in renewing and updating the rules-based multilateral system for international cooperation.

Canadian and German ministers have expressed growing interest in strengthening our co-operation. To capture the popular imagination, such governmental initiatives need traction at the level of civil society to gain profile, momentum, and support. This will help Germany and Canada to reverse international perceptions of the vitality of liberal democracy and expand its promise.

To build this network, over the course of 2021, nine panel discussions between scholars, experts and practitioners will be held with three basic swirls: supporting inclusive democracy and defending human rights; reforming and strengthening multilateral institutions to encourage collective action on the global challenges we face; and strengthening Canada-Germany ties for 21st-century economic and research activity. The conferences will last 2.5 hours, allowing an in-depth exchange of views to generate recommendations for inserting policy ideas into the decision-making process.

Throughout the process, these events will consolidate the formation of a network across Canadian and German civil society, including NGOs, business and research communities, and scholarly institutes and centres of excellence.

The cumulative effect of these many activities will be the emergence of a wider solidarity group on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, to one rooted in our shared values. Just as the Trans-Atlantic alliance formed the backbone of the postwar international order, this renewed partnership between liberal democracies could serve as a model for a renewal of international order for a new time of international instability.


Panel 1: Looking to Glasgow by Dr. Jennifer Allan (May 25, 2021)

Panel 2: Canada and Germany: Multilateral Partners to End the Pandemic and Catalyze an Equitable and Resilient Recovery to the SDGs by Dr. Peter Singer (June 3, 2021)

Panel 3: In Search of Democratic Revival by Jeremy Kinsman and Kurt Bassuener (June 21, 2021)

Panel 4: Digital Democracy and Public Discourse: Dissonant, Disrupted and Unedited? by Dr. Ulrike Klinger (July 5, 2021)

Panel 4: Securing Cyberspace in an Age of Disruption: A Glimpse at the Rising Threatscape by Aaron Shull and Kailee Hilt (July 5, 2021)

Panel 5: Brave New World: Trends in Global Trade Governance by Lawrence Herman (July 26, 2021)

Panel 5: If Something Cannot Go on Forever, It Will Stop by Bill White (July 26, 2021)

Panel 6: The Shifting Border: Legal Cartographies of Migration and Mobility by Ayelet Shachar (September 20, 2021)

Panel 6: Germany and the Refugee Challenge: Successes and Risks for the Future by Ulrich Kober (September 20, 2021)

Panel 6: A Call to Action: An Agenda for Canadian-German Cooperation to Strengthen the International Refugee & Migration System by Paul Heinbecker and Fen Osler Hampson (September 20, 2021)

Panel 7: A Multilateralism for the People by the German Federal Government (October 12, 2021)

Panel 7: Can Middle Powers Save the Liberal World Order? by Roland Paris (October 12, 2021)

Panel 8: Pushing the technology frontier in the 21st century: a curse for international instability by Prof. Dr. Michael Huether and Dr. Matthias Diermeier (November 16, 2021) 

Panel 8: Prospects for Post-CETA Issues for German-Canadian Trade by Dr. Jack Mintz (November 16, 2021) 

Joint effort by

The Canadian International Council (CIC)

The Canadian International Council (CIC) is a platform for citizens to engage in discussions on international issues. Our mission as an independent, non-partisan and charitable membership organization is to involve Canadians in defining our country’s place in the world.

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS)

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) is a German political foundation that is politically associated with but legally and financially independent of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Germany. Nationally and internationally, KAS promotes freedom and liberty, peace, and justice through civic education in more than 120 countries. In Canada, we seek to intensify political cooperation between Germany and Canada to strengthen transatlantic relations and to address common challenges of global nature.