Monday September 18

Location: Robertson Hall, 125 Sussex Dr. (Global Affairs Canada)

08:00-09:00 Registration

09:00-09:05 Welcome: Global Affairs Canada – Land Acknowledgement

09:05-09:15 Welcome: David Carment, Carleton University

09:15-09:30 Opening Remarks: Julie Delahanty, President IDRC

09:30-10:30 Panel One: The Global and Canadian Democratic Context

  • Moderator: David Gillies
  • Max Cameron, UBC, Democracy Redux
  • David Moscrop, University of Ottawa: Populism, Polarization, and the Public Sphere
  • Htet Min Lwin, York University: Democracy and Southeast Asia: Secularism, Religion and Anti- Colonialism

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-12:35 Panel Two: Democratic Challenges in the Global South

  • Moderator: Caroline Ford, IDRC
  • Gurumurthy Kasinathan, IT for Change: Internet and Platform Governance
  • Felix Conteh, CAPRI: Extractive Industries and Good Governance in Africa
  • Segun Ofongo, Carleton University: Fragile Statehood, Military Aid Ineffectiveness and Democratic Decline in Africa
  • Melissa Omino, CIPT: Technology, IP and Trade in Africa

12:35-13:45 Lunch

13:45-15:15 Panel Three: Democracy and International Cooperation

  • Moderator: Markus Gottsbacher, IDRC
  • Ayesha Malette, Global Affairs Canada: Canada’s approach to democracy support and promotion
  • Gabrielle Bardall, Government of Canada: Democracy & the Feminist International Assistance Policy
  • Peter Jones, University of Ottawa: Canada and Mediation
  • Said Ibrahimi, Carleton University: Diaspora Networks, Fragile States, and Democracy Promotion

15:15-15:20 Break

15:20-17:10 Panel Four: Regional Perspectives on Democracy

  • Moderator: David Carment, Carleton University
  • Thomas Legler/ Kendra Carrion Vivar, Universidad Iberoamericana: The Americas
  • Sanjay Ruparelia, TMU: India
  • Jeremy Paltiel, Carleton University: China
  • Sheila Grace Angeles Formento, The Alternative Law Groups Incorporated: Southeast Asia

17:10-17:30 Reception Keynote Speaker: Catherine Jobin, acting Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy

Tuesday September 19 (Invitation Only)

09:00-10:45 Platform Governance in an Era of Artificial Intelligence and Disinformation

  • Chris Tenove, University of British Columbia: Platform Governance and Election Integrity
  • Pierre-Marc Perreault, Heritage Canada:  Digital Citizen Initiative
  • Tara Denham, Global Affairs Canada: Freedoms, Inclusion and Human Rights
  • Marshall Palmer, Carleton University: Election Interference in the Digital Age

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-12:30 Planning Meeting on Democratic Governance Network

  • Research Network Rationale- David Carment, Max Cameron, David Gillies, and Markus Gottsbacher
  • Network themes, approaches, organization and expected outcomes
    • Participants include Canadian Centres for Democracy Research
    • IDRC and Global South Perspectives
    • Policy Makers

12:30-13:30 Lunch Keynote Speaker: Senator Peter Boehm, Government of Canada

13:30-13:45 Closing remarks- Caroline Ford, IDRC

The Development of a Proposed Canada-Global South Democratic Governance Research Network.

Based on emerging discussions between Canadian and southern experts at the conference, and beyond.  The network approach would be anchored by a core group of host institutions, a common set of understandings about the international environment for democratic governance, an agreed/negotiated research methodology, and a preliminary research agenda.

Taking account of global research trends, niches, and any like-minded networks, the research agenda could be focused by theme, such as democracy and civic space, women’s political participation, or platform governance, or by synoptic country- or regionally based research studies.  Cameron (Andean Research Network), Carment (GAC and CIDA-funded Democracy and Governance Processes, Fragile States) and Gillies (Rights and Democracy) have experience in the design and implementation of democracy and governance country studies and the development of research networks in partnership with southern-based researchers and host institutions. The larger research network proposal would be submitted to potential funding organizations in Canada and internationally, notably IDRC and SSHRC. 

The on-site meeting should be of interest to policy makers, parliamentarians, journalists, non-governmental organizations, and to students and faculty alike.  The hybrid approach will enable both in-person and online participation, ensuring outreach to wider engaged audiences, including universities, think tanks and civil society organizations in Canada and beyond.

IDRC-sponsored experts from the Global South would participate in the conference in at least three ways: a) as panelists in an IDRC-moderated discussion on democratic governance challenges in their countries/regions; b) as key contributors to a discussion with Canadian counterparts on a potential democratic governance research network; and c) and as informed panel discussants responding to presentations by book contributors by providing critical feedback and potential challenges to the assumptions and viewpoints made in presentations by Canadian experts. The proposed format will enable the experts to convey their regional/national perspectives on democracy and democracy support to a hybrid audience located in Canada and internationally.  

Knowledge Mobilization

This project concept is specifically designed to engage a group of Global South scholars who are working at the cutting edge in their respective fields. Our goal is to utilise the conference to satisfy both short (6- 12 months) and longer-term objectives (2-5 years). With respect to longer term objectives the conference will be the catalyst to support of the development of a research network of Global South scholars, their home institutions and their respective mentors, advisors and host institutions in Canada and elsewhere. One possibility is to apply for a multi-year SSHRC funding for a partnership development grant with supporting seed funding from Carleton International. Such grants are intended to “design and test new partnership approaches for research and/or related activities that can result in best practices or models—these can either be adapted by others or have the potential to be scaled up to a regional, national or international level.”

Within the short term, the proposed objective is to expose the work of Global South scholars to critical analysis from both their peers as well as established scholars invited to the conference. This structure will help to produce a synthesis of knowledge along two crucial dimensions. First, the critical input of established scholars will provide mentoring opportunities sharpening both the abilities and the arguments of the Global South scholars thereby improving both the quality of research and substantive cross-comparative value.  Second, bringing together researchers from diverse issue areas and from different countries will help to foster the interdisciplinarity crucial to a better understanding of contemporary democracy and governance issues and problems.

This conference could culminate in a formal publication. A special issue of Canadian Foreign Policy Journal (CFPJ) will collate and publish presentations. CFPJ, where Carment serves as Editor, is a well-recognized publication distributed by Taylor and Francis and indexed in academic collections making its contents searchable and available to a worldwide audience.  Similar GOC conferences involving Global South scholars resulting in CFPJ publication have focused on, interalia, refugee issues, Canada-Africa trade, and diaspora politics.

Interactions between scholars and senior policy makers at the conference and beyond will culminate in the production of several policy briefs, blogs and podcasts distributed through, for example, CFPJ’s SSHRC-funded affiliate website, which is explicitly designed as a networked policy outreach and dissemination platform.

Our proposed network will be policy relevant. Participant scholars will have access to the experience and insights of senior policy makers while the practitioners will have the opportunity to mine leading contemporary minds for new thinking on crucial issues in democracy and governance. Publication will supplement the process of knowledge and learning mobilization providing another, enduring avenue for policy-relevant knowledge transfer.  

Knowledge mobilization consists of strategies to make academic research both accessible to the public and relevant for practitioners and for public debate. The institutional sponsors of this project and the lead project team all have active media and public engagement programs, and this project will be publicly promoted through those means. The conference also provides an important opportunity for these scholars to hone their craft, develop professional networks, and improve their marketability. By connecting them with the expertise of both senior scholars and policy specialists we are facilitating not only their intellectual development but also helping them to develop scholarly network and mentorship opportunities that will endure beyond the life of the project.

Linkages to IDRC and GAC Priorities.

Conference themes are aligned with IDRC and GAC priorities, notably the programmatic focus on inclusive and democratic governance and the impetus to expand knowledge sharing.  For example, in the context of the implementation of Canada’s Summit for Democracy commitments, IDRC is contributing studies by experts from the Global South that address online disinformation and ways to combat gender misogyny. This includes IDRC-supported research in 18 countries on how technology has facilitated gender-based violence (GBV) and legal ways to combat online hate speech towards women. And relatedly, IDRC is also supporting the Global Index on Responsible AI. The index measures progress toward the responsible use and development of artificial intelligence in over 100 countries around the world from a human rights-based perspective.    

The conference will prompt practical discussion on how Canadian expertise can support local efforts to advance and protect democratic institutions. It will address issues of inclusion, including the integration of feminist approaches in international cooperation. The conference will draw out linkages between issues of democratic renewal in Canada and supporting democracy abroad, including for example through discussions of platform governance, diaspora networks, fragile states and populism.

Guest Speakers:

Gabrielle Bardall

Panelist: Democracy and International Cooperation

Gabrielle Bardall is currently a visiting professor for the Graduate School of Public and International affairs at the University of Ottawa and the Principal & Founder of Herizon Democracy Consulting. She has also served as advisor and educator to parliamentarians and electoral commissions in over 60 countries worldwide.

Peter Boehm

Keynote Speaker

Senator Peter M. Boehm is currently the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He has served as Ambassador to Germany, Minister at the Embassy of Canada to the United States of America, as well as Ambassador to the Organization of American States, among other foreign postings. He is a former Deputy Minister of International Development and Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. He served several Prime Ministers as their Personal Representative or “Sherpa” for international summits. Peter Boehm holds a PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh, a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Max Cameron

Panelist: The Global and Canadian Democratic Context | Planning Meeting on Democracy Governance Network

Maxwell A. Cameron specializes in comparative politics, democracy, and ethics. Cameron has taught at Carleton University, Yale, University and the Colegio de Mexico. Between 2011-2019 he served as the Director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions. In 2013 Cameron won a UBC Killam Teaching Prize and in 2020 he became the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies’ Distinguished Fellow. In 2022 he was awarded the Guillermo O’Donnell Democracy Prize and Lectureship of the Latin American Studies Association.

David Carment

Planning Meeting on Democracy Governance Network

David Carment is Director of the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University. He is series editor for Palgrave’s Canada and International Affairs, editor of Canadian Foreign Policy Journal and Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. His research focuses on Canadian foreign policy, fragile states, ethnic conflict and diaspora politics. He is the author, editor or co-editor of 21 books and has authored or co-authored over 60 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters.

Felix Marco Conteh

Panelist: Democratic Challenges in the Global South

Felix Marco Conteh is Director of the Centre for Alternative Policy Research and Innovation Sierra Leone. He holds a PhD in Politics from SOAS, University of London, MA in International Development Management from University of Bradford, and BA in History from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. He is a leading expert on the political economy of Sierra Leone and has published on issues as diverse as natural resource governance, local governance, elections, and community justice and government-donor relations.

Julie Delahanty

Opening Remarks

Julie is the current president of the IRDC. Prior to this role, she was the executive director of Oxfam Canada and later brought her expertise to diverse organizations, including Oxfam International and the United Nations. She also served as the interim executive director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. Julie held numerous posts supporting the Government of Canada’s development and human rights efforts, including as the director of the Central America program, deputy director for human rights, senior advisor to the Iraq Task Force, and as the director for gender equality and child protection. Julie has also held senior positions with the North South Institute and the ETC Group and has written extensively on issues of gender and employment; women’s rights; sexual and reproductive health and rights; and globalization.

Tara Denham

Platform Governance in an Era of Artificial Intelligence and Disinformation

Tara Denham is the Director General for Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion at Global Affairs Canada. Her Office leads Canada’s foreign policy engagement on inclusion, democracy and human rights, and its digital and cybersecurity dimensions. Prior to this role, Tara was the Director General of the Ukraine Strategic Action Team at the department, which was responsible for coordinating coherence across all lines of effort in the department and inter-departmentally in responding to the invasion of Ukraine. 

Caroline Ford

Closing Remarks | Moderator: Democratic Challenges in the Global South

Caroline Ford heads the IDRC’s Democratic and Inclusive Governance Division, where she leads innovative research teams working with Southern institutions on inclusive, accountable, and transparent governance. She has degrees in political science (BA Hons. Queen’s University, MA Carleton University) and international human rights law (LLM, University of Essex). Caroline has held senior management positions leading regional and global expert teams for BBC Media Action, Amnesty International, UNICEF, and the Consortium for Street Children. She has also worked for the United Nations Development Program, and led country offices for Oxfam and Médecins Sans Frontières

Sheila Grace Angeles Formento

Panelist: Regional Perspectives on Democracy

Sheila Grace Formento is the current National Coordinator of the Alternative Law Groups-Secretariat (ALG), a coalition of eighteen (18) legal resource NGOs in the Philippines. Before joining ALG as National Deputy Coordinator/ National Program Coordinator in 2019, she served as a National Training Officer for the Philippines Against Child Trafficking (PACT) from 2009 to 2019. Her work experience also includes organizing Barangay (village) Councils for the Protection of Children (BCPC) and Local (municipal/ City) Councils Against Trafficking and VAWC (LCAT-VAWC); implementing capacity building activities for communities, children, social workers, and law enforcers.

David Gillies

Planning Meeting on Democracy Governance Network

David Gillies is an independent researcher in international human rights, democracy promotion and good governance. Retired from Global Affairs Canada, he was also a governance specialist at the former CIDA with field postings in Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Outside the public service, David  has worked at Rights and Democracy, the Aga Khan Foundation, and the North-South Institute. His publications include Elections in Dangerous Places (editor) and BetweenPrinciple and Practice: Human Rights in North-South Relations. He was educated at Oxford and McGill.

Markus Gottsbacher

Planning Meeting on Democracy Governance Network

Markus Gottsbacher is a Senior Program Officer with the Democratic and Inclusive Governance Program of the International Development Research Center (IDRC). He holds a Master’s and PhD in Political Science from the University of Vienna, specializing in socio-environmental issues and indigenous rights. He has worked with various programs, funds and agencies of the United Nations, including: UNODC, ILO, UNESCO, UNDP, UNAIDS, and UNWOMEN and with civil society and multilateral organizations. He has been a professor of postgraduate courses at the Mexican Autonomous National University (UNAM), and researcher/professor at Instituto Mora also in Mexico. He is Adjunct Research Professor at the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Said Ibrahimi

Panelist: Democracy and International Cooperation

Said Yaqub Ibrahimi is an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University, teachng conflict management, international security, and global and comparative politics. His research interests include fragile states, conflict analysis, and political violence with a special focus on the Islamic world. His book International Security in a World of Fragile States was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2022. His work has also appeared in prominent journals including International Journal, Terrorism and Political Violence, Small Wars and Insurgencies, and elsewhere.

Catherine Jobin

Keynote Speaker

Catherine Jobin is the acting Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic Policy at Global Affairs Canada. Prior to this role, Catherine has held numerous positions within the Canadian Government, including Director General of Foreign policy at Global Affairs Canada, Executive Director of International Affairs in the Security and Justice Sector of the Treasure Board of Canada Secretariat, and Senior Analyst in Priorities and Planning at the Privy Council Office. Catherine holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of Montreal and completed a double master’s degree at Science Po Paris and the London School of Economics in international affairs and global political economy.

Peter Jones

Panelist: Democracy and International Cooperation

Peter Jones is a Full Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa.  He is also Executive Director of the Ottawa Dialogue, a University based organisation which runs Track 1.5 and Track Two dialogues around the world.  He is widely published on issues of mediation, Track Two and back-channel diplomacy.

Gurumurthy Kasinathan

Panelist: Democratic Challenges in the Global South

Gurumurthy Kasinathan is one of the founders of IT for Change. Guru leads projects in education, including in research, demonstration projects, systemic teacher education reform and policy advocacy. His areas of expertise include ICT integration in school education, teacher education and pre-service teacher education. He has been a visiting faculty at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (deemed University) for their ‘Education Leadership and Management’ and “ICT and Education” courses.

Contact Information: Email – | Phone- 91 9845437730

Thomas Legler

Panelist: Regional Perspectives on Democracy

Tom Legler is a Research Professor of International Relations and former University Research Director at the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City. He has published extensively on multilateral democracy protection in the Americas, including Canada’s role, the Inter-American Democratic Charter, inter-American and African democracy promotion in cross-regional perspective, as well as regional responses to the political crises in Honduras, Peru, and Venezuela.

Ayesha Malette

Panelist: Democracy and International Cooperation

Ayesha Malette serves as the Director of the Democracy Division within the Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion at Global Affairs Canada. In October 2022, Ayesha was appointed the Champion for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the International Security Branch of Global Affairs Canada. She holds an Honours undergraduate degree in International Relations at Mount Allison University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration at Dalhousie University. Before joining Global Affairs Canada, Ayesha previously was the Director of Strategic Issues in the Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat of the Privy Council Office. She has also worked at the International Affairs Division of Public Safety Canada.

Htet Min Lwin

Panelist: The Global and Canadian Democratic Context

Htet Min Lwin is a PhD student at York University, Toronto, with interests in critical secular studies, theories of Buddhist reforms, religion, identity and racialization, and Southeast Asia. Between 2016-2020, he was founding country director of the Myanmar office of the Forum of Federations, a Canadian organization working on federalism and devolved governance.

David Moscrop

Panelist: The Global and Canadian Democratic Context

David Moscrop is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Law, Technology and Society where he studies political communication on social media. In 2019, he published his first book: Too Dumb for Democracy? Why We Make Bad Political Decisions and How We Can Make Better Ones. Previously, he has written on democratic deliberation. He is currently a contract instructor at Carleton University in the School of Journalism and Communication. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of British Columbia.

Segun Ofongo

Panelist: Democratic Challenges in the Global South

Segun Ofongo is a Ph.D. candidate at Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. His primary research focuses on State Fragility and the Politics of Aid and Development. Segun’s research explores the securitization of aid as a policy instrument; the effects of foreign military aid and security sector assistance provided to both state and non-state actors, and its impact on democratic decline in Africa.

Melissa Omino

Panelist: Democratic Challenges in the Global South

Melissa Omino is the Director for the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT). She holds an LLB from the University of Fort Hare, an LLM from Stellenbosch University, and an LLD from the University of Fort Hare. She is a member of the Kenyan Bar and practices law as a Partner in MJD Associates LLP in Nairobi, Kenya. Melissa is also a co-founder of the IPCheckIn, a monthly meeting of IP enthusiasts who offer their services in IP awareness and knowledge dissemination pro bono in Kenya.

Marshall Palmer

Platform Governance in an Era of Artificial Intelligence and Disinformation

Marshall Palmer is a non-resident research fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), at Carleton University. His research focuses on issues in Canadian national security and democratic decline. He obtained his PhD in International Security at NPSIA in 2022. Before his time at NPSIA, he worked as a strategic analyst for NATO and as a contributor to Oxford Analytica, a political risk firm. Marshall’s  research has appeared in International Journal, Canada Among Nations, Open Canada, the National Post, The Conversation and elsewhere.

Jeremy Paltiel

Panelist: Regional Perspectives on Democracy

Jeremy Paltiel is Professor Emeritus of political science at Carleton University. He received his BA in East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto in 1974; diploma in Philosophy from Beijing University in 1976 MA (1979) and his PhD (1984) in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. He has authored numerous articles on Chinese politics, human rights and the Chinese tradition, civil-military relations in China, East Asian foreign relations and Sino-Canadian relations, including The Empire’s New Clothes: Cultural Particularism and Universality in China’s Rise to Global Status (Palgrave, 2007), and between Two Orders in the Asia Pacific Navigating a Treacherous Reef” in Lowell Dittmer ed. The New Asian Disorder (Hong Kong University Press, 2022).

Pierre-Marc Perreault

Platform Governance in an Era of Artificial Intelligence and Disinformation

Pierre-Marc Perreault is the Director of Canadian Heritage’s (PCH) Digital Citizen Initiative (DCI), where he plays a key role in the design and implementation of a variety of initiatives in the space of digital governance. Prior to his current position at the DCI, Pierre-Marc was part of the Privy Council Office’s interdepartmental team on data and platform governance. Pierre-Marc is also Canadian Heritage’s Departmental Champion for 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and strives to raise awareness and promote diversity within the workplace.

Sanjay Ruparelia

Panelist: Regional Perspectives on Democracy

Sanjay Ruparelia is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University, and holds the Jarislowsky Democracy Chair. Prior to joining the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University, Sanjay was Associate Professor of Politics at the New School for Social Research and a lecturer at Columbia University. Sanjay is a co-chair of Participedia, an international network that examines democratic innovations; associate editor of Oxford Encyclopedia of Asian Politics; and co-host of On the Frontlines of Democracy, a public lecture and podcast series.

Chris Tenove

Platform Governance in an Era of Artificial Intelligence and Disinformation

Chris Tenove is the Acting Director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI) at the University of British Columbia, and a researcher and instructor in the School of Public Policy & Global Affairs. He has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the challenges that digital media pose to democracy and human rights, focusing on topics such as electoral disinformation, online harassment of politicians, and social media regulation.Prior to obtaining a PhD in Political Science, he worked in Canada and internationally as an award-winning journalist.

Contact Information: E-mail- | LinkedIn: | CSDI Website:

Kendra Carrion Vivar

Panelist: Regional Perspectives on Democracy

Kendra Carrion is currently a doctoral candidate in the PhD in Social and Political Sciences at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. Kendra’s work focuses on the role of regional organizations in domestic processes related to dialogue, democratization and autocratization in Latin America.

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The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, in partnership with Canada-China Focus, invite you to a one-day, in person conference discussing Canada-China Relations at Carleton University.