Speakers’ profiles for Research and Policy Day 2013

Tuija Brax is a Member of Parliament for the Green League and chair of the Audit Committee. She has served as Minister of Justice (2007-2011) and chair of the Legal Affairs Committee (2003-2007). She has also been member of the Grand Committee (EU Affairs) and Constitutional Law Committee, as well as member of the European Convention (1999-2000) tasked with drafting a EU Consitution.

Dr. Kimmo Elo is senior lecturer in the Department of Political science and Contemporary history at the University of Turku and in the Institute for German studies at the Åbo Akademi University. His main research interests include European integration, German politics and society, historical network analysis and intelligence studies.

Dr. Susan George is a renowned political scientist and activist, who is the President of the Board of Transnational Institute. She has written sixteen widely translated books aboput globalization, global food crisis, corporate power and European integration.  Susan George regularly contributes articles to Le Monde diplomatique, Open Democracy, El Pais, New Internationalist and The Nation. She is honorary president of Attac. She believes ”[t]he job of the responsible social scientist is first to uncover these forces [of wealth, power and control], to write about them clearly, without jargon… and finally… to take an advocacy position in favour of the disadvantaged, the underdogs, the victims of injustice.”

Tarja Halonen acted as the President of Finland (2000-2012). During her presidency Halonen served as co-chair of World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation. She currently serves as the Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders and co-chair of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability. Halonen has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1995-2000), Minister of Justice (1990-91) and Minister of Social Affairs and Health (1987-90). Before her political career she worked as a trade union lawyer. Tarja Halonen has paid close attention to issues of human rights, democracy and civil society. Issues concerning social justice and promotion of equality have been central themes throughout her political career.

Milja Kurki is Professor in International Relations Theory at Aberystwyth University. She specialises in theoretical and conceptual investigation of international politics. Her recent work has addressed the problematic nature of conceptions of democracy in democracy promotion and support. She is the author and editor of a number of books, among them Democratic Futures: Re-visioning Democracy Promotion (2013), Conceptual Politics of Democracy Promotion (2011) and Causation in International Relations (2008).

Bruno Liebhaberg is the founder and the president of the Gauche Réformiste Européenne and Director General of the Centre on Regulation in Europe. He was previously a European Commission trade official, and subsequently, an advisor on industrial affairs in the private office of former European Commission President Jacques Delors. Liebhaberg has also been teaching at theSolvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, the ULB and at the City University in London.

Jenni Rinne is researcher and doctoral student at the University of Helsinki. She is writing her thesis on the possibilities of representative speech and contexts of representation in parliament.

Dr. Teivo Teivainen, an internationally acclaimed researcher,  is professor of World Politics at the Univerisity of Helsinki.  He has also been  Director of Programa Democracia y Transformación Global at San Marcos University in Peru. Teivainen has published several works on corporate resposibility, globalisation and democracy in Finnish, English and Spanish. Besides his academic career, he has long experience as an activist in NGOs and the World Social Forum as well as as a senior consultant for international organizations, governments, social movements and trade unions.

Taru Tujunen is the party secretary of the National Coalition Party since 2006. She has a Master of Arts (Education) and worked previously as Secretary General of the Women’s organization of the party.

Eero Vainio  is the vice chair of the Social Democratic Party of Finland. He is member of the city council and chair of the Board of Education in Lahti and the chair of the Regional Council of Päijät-Häme.

Ingrid Wetterqvist is a Swedish diplomat. Since 2011 she is seconded to the European External Action Service (EEAS) to work on democracy in the Directorate for Human Rights and Democracy. From 2004 to 2008 she was Director for External Relations at International IDEA. During 2008-2010 she led a project looking at the perceptions of the European Union (by AU, ASEAN, SAARC, OAS and LAS) and produced the report: ”Democracy in Development – Global consultations on the EU’s role in democracy building”. She has also worked at the Swedish embassies in Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia and Chile.

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