How does the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace process look from a democratic perspective? What is the role of democratization and political parties in the process? How do the internal dynamics of the political parties affect the process? What kind of challenges and possibilities do they pose for future development? What is the role of religion in the politics of the parties, in the conflict and for the prospects of peace?
Viola Furubjelke was member of Swedish Parliament 1985-2001 and chairman of its Committee on Foreign Affairs 1995-2001. Furubjelke has been Ambassador to Syria and Lebanon 2002-2005 and Secretary General of the Olof Palme International Center 2005-2008. She also held the position of President of the Swedish delegation to the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) and member of the executive committee of IPU as well as chairperson of IPU’s coordinating committee of women parliamentarians 1995-2002.
Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Helsinki. Hämeen-Anttila has published books and articles on various fields of Arabic and Islamic culture and religion. He has also extensively translated literature from Arabic and Persian into Finnish, including a translation of the Qu’ran (1995).
Tuomo Melasuo is Professor of Peace and Conflict Research, Research Director of TAPRI, Tampere Peace Research Institute and Docent of Political History at the University of Tampere. His scientific background is in Maghreb colonial history, political Islam and the Arab world as well as in rural development in Africa, mostly West Africa and Ethiopia. During last twenty years he has concentrated on Mediterranean issues and the Euro-Mediterranean community. He is vice-president of MOST, the main social science program of UNESCO, and a member of Advisory Council of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures. He has also conducted a research program with the Palestinian institute Muwatin. Melasuo has acted as vice-president of ECAS, European council of African studies.