Time and location

Monday, 26 January 2015, 13:00 - 20:00
Diplomatic Academy, Festsaal
Favoritenstraße 15a, 1040 Vienna



Alternatives to Partition - The Politics of State Formation in Palestine

Leila Farsakh, University of Massachusetts
Tariq Dana, Hebron University
Adam Hanieh, SOAS, University of London
Discussant: Gertraud Auer Borea d'Olmo, Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue

Looking Forward - an Encompassing Perspective

Mazen Masri, City University London
Helmut Krieger, University of Vienna
Samia Albotmeh, Birzeit University
Discussant: Gudrun Harrer, Der Standard

Final Discussion: The Way Forward

Samia Albotmeh, Birzeit University
Leila Farsakh, University of Massachusetts
Hannes Swoboda, International Institut for Peace

Detailed Conference Program

Registration: seewald@remove-this.vidc.org

State Formation in Palestine - An Assessment and the Way Forward



The aim of this conference is to discuss citizenship rights and alternative models for state formation in Palestine/Israel. This is particularly important in light of almost 20 years of the Oslo peace process, in which the occupied Palestinian territory has become even more fragmented and divided up into isolated enclaves, and deprived of territorial contiguity. Although a Palestinian state has received international endorsement, the presence of over 500,000 Israeli Jewish settlers in the West Bank, and the institutionalization of Israeli checkpoints and permits entrenched a system of segregation that deprives Palestinians of their national and citizen rights, sanctioned under international law. The paralysis in the final status negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, have further rendered the prospects for a two state solution in Israel/Palestine difficult, if not impossible. There is a pressing need to explore alternative forms of sovereignty that can bring peace and security in the region, whether in the form of regional integration, federalism, a single territory with two systems of sovereignty or parallel state structures, bi-nationalism, or a single democratic state.

Against this background the Centre for Development Studies at Birzeit University together with the Vienna Instiute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC) and the Open Society Institute Amman carried out jointy the project Alternative Models of State Formation in Israel/Palestine. First findings of this project will be presented during the conference. The scholars investigated how alternative models for statehood can provide an inclusive framework which upholds citizenship rights for all, reconciles individual and collective rights, and moves us towards a society that provides justice, equality and human security for all citizens in Palestine/Israel.


Getraud Auer Borea d‘Olmo

is Secretary General of the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue. Prior to this role, assumed in 2005, she worked as projects manager at the Bruno Kreisky Forum; from 1990 - 1995 as staff member and international and cultural affairs' adviser at the Federal Minister for Education and the Arts in Austria; and from 1980 - 1990 as a free-lance professional.

Samia Albotmeh

is an Assistant Professor in Economics and researcher at the Centre for Development Studies at Birzeit University in Palestine She has completed her PhD at the School of African and Oriental Studies- University of London, in labour economics, the title of her thesis: Palestinian Women's Labour Supply: Towards an Explanation of Low and Fluctuating Female Labour Force Participation. Samia lectured and published internationally on issues of gender economics, labour economics, and political economy of development under colonialism. She is the Palestinian coordinator for the Alternative Models of State Formation in Palestine/Israel Project.

Tariq Dana

is Al-Shabaka policy advisor and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Hebron University, and faculty member at the MA program of International Studies at Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute, Beirzeit University. He received his PhD from the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy, where his focus was on the transformation of Palestinian civil society from mass-based movements to neoliberal-oriented NGOs. During this period, he was PhD visiting fellow at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He has worked with many Palestinian and international NGOs and UN agencies in the occupied Palestinian territory, Africa and Europe. His research interests include civil society, NGOs and social movements, neoliberalism, and globalization and state-building with a particular focus on Palestine.

Leila Farsakh

is Chair and Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is the author of Palestinian Labor Migration to Israel: Labour, Land and Occupation, (Routledge, fall 2005, 2012) and editor of Commemorating the Naksa, Evoking the Nakba, (a special volume of Electronic Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, in Spring 2008), as well as of numerous journal articles on the political economy of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on the One-State solution. Dr. Farsakh holds a PhD from the University of London and an M.Phil from the University of Cambridge, UK. She has also worked with a number of international organizations, including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, and since 2008, has been a senior research fellow at the Center for Development Studies at Birzeit University, in the West Bank. In 2001 Dr. Farsakh won the Peace and Justice Award from the Cambridge Peace Commission, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Adam Hanieh

is a Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. His recent books include Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab State (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011), Lineages of Revolt: Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East (Haymarket Press, 2013) and (co-edited) Transit States: Labour, Migration and Citizenship in the Gulf (Pluto Press 2014). He is a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Palestine Studies (SOAS) and an editorial board member of the journal, Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory.

Gudrun Harrer

is Senior Editor of the Austrian daily newspaper Der Standard. Her academic background includes Islamic, Arabic and International Relations studies (MA and PhD). She teaches Modern History and Politics of the Middle East at the University of Vienna and the Diplomatic Academy Vienna and she is a former Special Envoy of the Austrian Presidency of the European Union to Iraq and Chargé d'Affaires of the Austrian Embassy Baghdad. In 2014 she published two books: Dismantling the Iraqi Nuclear Programme. The Inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Iraq 1991-1998 (Routledge) and Nahöstlicher Irrgarten. Analysen abseits des Mainstreams (Kremayr&Scheriau).

Helmut Krieger

is a researcher and Lecturer at the Department of Development Studies at the University of Vienna as well as a consultant to the VIDC/Wiener Institut. He completed his PhD with a thesis on state formation in Palestine from a political economy perspective at the Department of  Political Science at the University of Vienna. His main research interests include the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, social movements and the postcolonial state in the Arab world, materialist state theories and the state in the global south as well as international political economy and postcolonial theory.

Anthony Löwstedt

is a researcher and assistant professor at the media communications department at Webster University Vienna since 2007. After receiving his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Vienna, Austria, he worked for the International Press Institute (1994-2005) and taught at Webster University Vienna (since 1997). He also taught at Webster University Geneva and at Birzeit University in Palestine. In 2004-5 he was a media consultant for the UNDP in Palestine. His publications include Apartheid: Ancient, Past and Present, with a Foreword by Ilan Pappe and a Postscript by Richard A. Falk, 2014.

Mazen Masri

is a Lecturer in Law at the City Law School, City University London. He received his PhD from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University in Toronto, Canada. Mazen is also a qualified lawyer and served as legal advisor to the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). His main areas of research are constitutional law and international law.

Magda Seewald

works as a project manager at the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC) since 2005. In this function she coordinates the State Formation Project in Austria and conceptualizes the VIDC series on the Arab uprisings. Beside her focus on the Middle East Magda works on gender, gender and armed conflict and engaging men and boy for gender equality. She graduated in political science at the University of Vienna.

Hannes Swoboda

served as a Member of the European Parliament from 1996 to 2014. In this function, he was a member of different committees including the Foreign Affairs Committee. Within the last two years in the EU Parliament Dr. Swoboda was the President of the Socialist & Democrats Group.
He is a Board Member of the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue and President of the International Institute for Peace in Vienna as well as a member of the European Council for Foreign Affairs.

Ramin Taghian

studied history with a focus on the modern Middle East and social movements. He is part of the research cluster of the Appear consortium project Conflict, Participation, and Development in Palestine of the Centre for Development Studies, Birzeit University, Ramallah, and the Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna. He published about socialist movements with a focus on Iran.       '



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