Researcher profile: Aiming at peace


"Tampere Peace Research Institute creates the preconditions for a more tolerant world and for building peace," says Tuomo Melasuo.

"Tampere Peace Research Institute creates the preconditions for a more tolerant world and for building peace," says Tuomo Melasuo.

Tuomo Melasuo, professor of peace and conflict research, encourages everyone to study languages and to travel the world

Professor Tuomo Melasuo spent much of his youth in Paimio, matriculated in 1969 and that same years began his studies in political history and political science at the University of Turku. An interest kindled already at school led him to the Francophone world where as an adult he began as a professional researcher.

Professor Melasuo currently works in TAPRI, Tampere Peace Research Institute as research director and as a professor of peace and conflict research at the University of Tampere. He is moreover adjunct professor in political history at the University of Turku.

“As a researcher I have a particular interest in the recent history of North Africa and international relations in the Mediterranean. As its name suggests, TAPRI research focuses on studying the reasons for and development of conflicts and on how to achieve and preserve peace. Research in this field is in the nature of crisis management on a theoretical level,” Professor Melasuo explains.

Hectic, international

Professor Melasuo’s telephone rings incessantly. He generally responds in fluent French, immaculate English or plain Finnish.

A typical week for him generally includes meetings, phone calls, travel and responding to a deluge of e-mail.

Professor Melasuo has always been interested in the cultures of different countries, but now he prefers to be more in his own country.

“Now that I am the Director, I can always send younger, keener people to go on the road,” he grins.

Professor Melasuo encourages everyone, whatever their age, to travel and study languages.

“It’s well worthwhile to go abroad to take a look at both foreign cultures and also your own. The world is becoming ever more international and the importance of studying language cannot be overemphasized

Future prospects

Professor Melasuo’s next research subject will be the relation of societal and socio­economic development with international politics. He believes that peace research will pose a challenge in the future, as there is no shortage of interesting and important subjects to research.

As the best sides of his work he names variety, internationality, human contacts and a fascinating research field.

“Research on conflicts and peace creates the preconditions for a tolerant world and for building peace. That’s what motivates me to press on with work which at times can be very hectic.” He says.

  Tuomo Melasuo

  • Born on 9 September 1948 in Turku
  • Family: wife and two grown-up daughters
  • Lives in Tampere
  • Main research interests: political history, colonialism, decolonization, intercultural relations, research on the developing countries, Algeria, North Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, West Africa, Europe, international movements, liberation movements, social movements, societal and socio-economic development, social conflicts, political Islam, Middle East politics, conflicts, democratization.

Text by Eveliina Lauhio
Photo Touko Hujanen