The Forum on Contemporary Europe (FCE) at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) has launched a multi-year collaborative project with research institutes in Europe and the Greater Middle East. First partners include the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.
The aim of this collaboration is to study how divided societies—viewed in international context, with a focus on the Middle East, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority—reconcile diverging notions of the past, and of democracy, development, and education. Participants are investigating how societies debate internally and attempt to reconcile differences of opinion and political positions regarding these issues. International workshops, along with seminars, and visits by exchange scholars and policy experts, are planned to address such issues as historical conflict and its impact on contemporary politics, as well as democratic reform, the establishment of the rule of law, majority-minority relations, the role of religion and ethnicity, educational institutions, and the position of civil society, scientific cooperation, and culture in efforts towards the promotion of peaceful coexistence.
The international collaborative program has begun with planning for two international workshops on aspects of democracy, and on memory, history, and reconciliation. A joint publication series is also being planned.