Annual Conference 2023 on October 12–13

Dealing with Autocracies in a Fragmented World

With the rise of China and Russia's war against Ukraine, the question of how demo­cracies shape their relation­ship with auto­cracies has become a highly topical issue. There is much talk of regime rivalry, which gets reduced to a polarized conflict between demo­cracies and auto­cracies in certain areas of academic and political debate. The reality, however, is much more complex: Relations between demo­cracies and auto­cracies can take on extremely different forms.

The PRIF Annual Con­ference 2023 “Dealing with Autocracies in a Fragmented World” will discuss from an empirical and normative perspective how demo­cracies can and should deal with auto­cracies in the current multi­polar world. The focus will be on inter­national develop­ment and infra­structure policy, climate and energy policy, inter­national democracy promotion, and inter­national security. The conference is aimed at academics, students and represen­tatives of politics and the media. Its goal is to de­construct simplistic, dicho­tomous views of world politics and provide nuanced views of contem­porary inter­national relations.

Roger Mac Ginty will receive the Czempiel Award on October 12, 6:15 pm. The political scientist from Durham University, United Kingdom, is being honored for his innovative mono­graphy “Everyday Peace: How So-Called Ordinary People Can Disrupt Violent Conflict.”

If attending in person is not possible, please feel free to join us via live stream. All panels except the one on the MENA region will be available.
For October 12, please use the link,
For October 13 it is

When: October 12–13, 2023

Where: Baseler Straße 27-31, 60329 Frankfurt and via Livestream.

The conference will be held in English. Please register via annualconference @prif .org by October 4, 2023.


Please find the program for PRIF's Annual Conference 2023 below.


Thursday, October 12, 2023

1.30–2 p.m. Welcome & Opening Statements

2–3.45 p.m. Panel 1: Dealing with China in International Development and Infrastructure Policies

Chair: Pascal Abb, PRIF

  • Pascal Abb, PRIF
  • Zhang Hong, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge (MA)
  • Wrenn Yennie Lindgren, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Oslo

Discussant: Marina Rudyak, Institute for Sinology, Heidelberg University

3.45–4.15 p.m. Coffee Break

4.15–6 p.m. Panel 2: Dealing with Autocracies in the MENA Region in Climate and Energy Policies

Chair: Irene Weipert-Fenner, PRIF

  • Imane Boukhatem, Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (ZNES), Europa-Universität Flensburg / Irene Weipert-Fenner, PRIF
  • Yana Popkostova, European Centre for Energy and Geopolitical Analysis  (ECEGA), European Union Institute for Security Studies, Paris
  • Benjamin Schütze, Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institute (ABI), Freiburg

Discussant: Hannes Warnecke-Berger, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kassel

6.15–7.15 p.m. Czempiel Award Ceremony


Friday, October 13, 2023

9–10.45 a.m. Panel 3: Dealing with Autocracies in Democracy Promotion

Chair: Jonas Wolff, PRIF

  • Christine Hackenesch, German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS), Bonn
  • Michelle Pace, Roskilde University, Roskilde
  • Richard Youngs, Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, Carnegie Europe, Brussels

Discussant: Marianne Kneuer, Professor of Comparative Politics, TUD Dresden University of Technology

10.45–11.15 a.m. Coffee Break

11.15 a.m.–1 p.m. Panel 4: Dealing with Russia in Europe and at the Global Stage

Chair: Stefan Kroll, PRIF

  • Jonas Driedger, PRIF
  • Yevgeniya Gaber, Atlantic Council in Turkey
  • Sofia Oliynyk, Ukrainian Expert on Human Security and Democracy Development

Discussant: Stefan Kroll, PRIF

1–2 p.m. Light Lunch

2–3 p.m. Final Discussion

Chair: Jonas Wolff, PRIF

  • Marianne Kneuer, TUD Dresden University of Technology
  • Marina Rudyak, Heidelberg University
  • Hannes Warnecke-Berger, University of Kassel
  • Stefan Kroll, PRIF

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