"A World Without Walls":

An International Congress on "Soft Power", Cultural Diplomacy and Interdependence

(Berlin; November 6th - 9th, 2009)
On the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, as the eyes of the world fall upon Germany’s capital once again, the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy and CivWorld/Demos will bring together an international group of participants for a four day program of lectures, panel discussions, and seminars lead by renowned figures from international politics and academia.

“A World Without Walls: An International Congress on Soft Power, Cultural Diplomacy, and Interdependence” (Berlin, 6th – 9th November 200) represents a unique opportunity to reflect on the development of international relations since 1989, the challenges faced by the leaders of the future, and the growing influence of cultural diplomacy and “soft power” in the contemporary political international environment. The participants will include scholars and academics, political and diplomatic representatives, civil society practitioners, and individuals from the private sector and the media. The speakers during the program will consist of renowned figures from international politics and distinguished professors in the field, including former Heads of State, former Foreign Ministers, and other European Ministers. In addition to the academic components, participants will have the opportunity to experience the city’s vibrant cultural landscape at a historic moment in the city’s history.

“A World without Walls” will pursue the following specific aims:

  • To explore the development of international relations since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • To analyze the interdependent nature of today’s world and the challenges and opportunities this brings.
  • To evaluate the growing importance of CD and “soft power” in contemporary international politics.
  • To discuss the salient political of contention in today’s interdependent world and to examine the mediating role of soft power.

The following issues will be mentioned and explored:

  • Cyprus (Focus: Turkish-Greek Relations)
  • Turkey (Focus: Turkey-EU Relations)
  • Israel-Palestine (Focus: Israeli-Palestinian conflict)
  • Northern Ireland (Focus: inter-religious conflict and the Northern Ireland Peace Process)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Focus: Forging a multi-ethnic, multi-religious state identity)
  • Scandinavia (Focus: the freedom of the press)
  • Belgium (Focus: Intra-national relations between the Flemish, French, & German Communities)
  • Afghanistan (Focus:Reconstructing civil society and ensuring stability)
  • The Historic Soviet-West Relationship

Celebrating the Fall of the Berlin Wall

On November 9th, the final day of the program and exactly 20 years following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the participants will join in the celebrations and experience this historic occasion together with the citizens of Berlin. Participants will have the opportunity to attend numerous events taking place across the city during the day and will be at the Brandenburg Gate for the Festival of Freedom in the evening.

Congress Participants

The program will bring together individuals from across the world including students, young professionals, diplomatic and political representatives, civil society practitioners and representatives from the private sector.

Sustainable Network

Participants of the Congress will become part of a growing international network of people from across the world with different fields of interest and levels of experience who share a commitment to intercultural exchange. Participants will be able to remain in touch with each other through the ICD Online Network. This network represents a medium through which members can exchange information on research, job opportunities, related events, and coordinate their own cultural exchange initiatives. The ICD will help to support the Congress participants in their future activities by providing guidance and advice on possible research topics and helping to support members who plan to organize their own cultural exchange initiatives.

Certificate of Attendance

The participants of the Congress will be awarded an official certificate of attendance at the end of the program. This certificate will confirm attendance and provide details of the speakers who took part during the week and the topics discussed.