Ålands fredsinstitut
The Åland Islands Peace Institute

Hamngatan 4/PB85
AX-22101 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland
Tel. +358 18 15570
For more contact information click here.

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Publication about
the Åland Example


Read more here.

Registration for e-course on territorial autonomy now open
Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Course ALEX head

The registration for the autumn 2017 semester version of the E-course "Territorial Autonomy as a Tool for Diversity Management. Lessons from the Åland Example" has now opened, and will be open until 4 September 2017. The course is an introduction to territorial autonomy and the Åland Example. The aim of the course is to provide participants with a broad academic framework for discussing territorial autonomy from different perspectives. The course is given online, in co-operation between the Åland Islands Peace Institute and the Open university on Åland, between 17 September and 11 December 2017. Associate Professor in International Law Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark will be teaching the course.

More information can be found here.

New articles on demilitarisation
Tuesday, 16 May 2017

New scientific output from the research project ‘Demilitarisation in an increasingly militarised world’, has been published.

Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark’s article "The Meaning of Airspace Sovereignty Today – A Case Study on Demilitarisation and Functional Airspace Blocks" appears in 86 Nordic Journal of International Law (2017) 91-117.

In this article Spiliopoulou Åkermark examines the trend towards increased fusion of civil and military concepts and institutions in airspace management and regulation, with NEFAB as an example. She argues that such new forms of cooperation seem to pay limited attention to older legal agreements and legal obligations. At the same time, however, the demilitarisation regime for Åland relies on a distinction between what is military and what is civilian. Spiliopoulou Åkermark discusses further the wider importance of the questions raised in her article here.

For questions contact sia[at]peace.ax

In an article published in Swedish speaking magazine "Fredsposten", Researcher Saila Heinikoski describes the 161-years old demilitarisation of Åland in relation to the policies of the 100-year old Republic of Finland. The article (in Swedish) can be found in pdf here.

Celina Alshareef is an intern at the Peace Institute
Monday, 15 May 2017

Sumia "Celina" Alshareef is an intern at the Peace Institute from 23 May to 22 June 2017. She is from Syria (Aleppo) and lives in Åland since one and a half years. Celina has studied international relations and diplomacy at Damascus University in Syria and has volunteer to support Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Celine's internship is part of her studies in Swedish at Medis in Mariehamn. In the future she wants to work with translation and complete her studies in international relations, so that she can work with international organizations to quickly support refugees, and refugee women in particular, who need support and help to start a new life.


Nicklas Böhm new intern at the Institute
Wednesday, 03 May 2017

Nicklas 1 av 1 2Nicklas Böhm will be an intern from March to June 2017 at the Institute. Up to now he has been working mostly on the launch of the Institute's new E-journal JASS and he will be continuously assisting the other researchers and projects.

Nicklas has acquired a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Roskilde University and will be majoring in Conflict and Security studies at the University of Kent this fall. He has previously worked on publications concerning peace building and the implementation of peace agreements and has volunteered for various organisations promoting a peaceful coexistence.

New publication by Kjell-Åke Nordquist: “Reconciliation as Politics. A Concept and Its Practice”
Tuesday, 02 May 2017

reconciliationDoes the concept of reconciliation bring anything ”new” or useful to peace processes? This is the core research question in the new book “Reconciliation as Politics. A Concept and Its Practice” written by Kjell-Åke Nordquist, Professor in International Relations. Nordquist departs from the fact that during the last three decades, the concept of “reconciliation” formerly used mainly in psychotherapy, religion and casual discussions, has entered the stage of both international and national politics. This change has occured simultaneously with changes in the perception of the relations between the state and its subjects as well as changes in the nature of wars, from “traditional” interstate wars to international intrastate wars, and a blurred distinction between times of war and times of peace.

Kjell-Åke Nordquist, currently Director of the Åland Islands Peace Institute, builds upon his experiences from a combination of research and field work carried out mainly in South East Asia (East Timor / Timor Leste) and Australia, in Latin America (mainly Colombia) and in the Middle East (Israel and Plaestine) during two decades. In the publication he discusses both the concept of “political reconciliation” and the potential use of political reconciliation in peace processes.

The publication in published by Pickwich publications as volume 13 in the Church of Sweden series, and can be purchased from the publishing house.

Nordquist key note speaker in conference on conflict prevention held in Alexandria
Thursday, 27 April 2017

On 2-4 April Professor Kjell-Åke Nordquist was one of the key note sepakers at a seminar with the title ”Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention”. The seminar was organised in Alexandria, Egypt, by the Swedish Institute Alexandria (SwedAlex) together with the Institute for Islamic Strategic Affairs (IISA). Amongst others, the conference noted that  new mechanisms are needed to meet conflicts in the Middle East, and that those must be based on respect for international law. 

Article on the demilitarisation and neutralisation of Svalbard
Thursday, 27 April 2017

"Demilitarisation and neutralisation of Svalbard: how has the Svalbard regime been able to meet the changing security realities during almost 100 years of existence?". This is the title of a recent article by researchers Timo Koivurova and Filip Holiencin. The article assesses the experiences of the nearly one hundred years since the adoption of the Svalbard Treaty.

In Article 9 of the Svalbard Treaty it is briefly provided that:

Subject to the rights and duties resulting from the admission of Norway to the League of Nations, Norway undertakes not to create nor to allow the establishment of any naval base in the territories specified in Article 1 and not to construct any fortification in the said territories, which may never be used for warlike purposes.

Koivurova and Holiencin examine the double ambition of a peaceful utilization of the islands while permitting industrial activities by many different states parties. The Svalbard Treaty granted sovereignty over the archipelago to a relatively small state such as Norway, trying thus to keep the islands out of the grip of great powers. The researchers discuss the absence of a dispute solving mechanism in the treaty as well as the increasing commercial as well as geopolitical interests in the region.

The article is Published in Polar Record, Vol 53, Issue 2 (2017).

An interview with Koivurova and Holiencin for High North News can be found here.

The researchers are involved in the research project “Demilitarisation in an Increasingly Militarised World. International perspectives in a multilevel framework – the case of the Åland Islands” which is pursued in a cooperation between the Åland Islands Peace Institute and the University of Lapland with funding from the Kone foundation.

For more information on the project see here.

For more information you can also contact project leader Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark (sia[at]peace.ax)

Forskarsamtal 15.3.2017.jpg

Picture from a research seminar on the demilitarisation and neutralisation of Svalbard with Filip Holiencin (second from left) as one of the speakers, held in Mariehamn 15.3.2017.

Call for Papers for research workshop on democracy, human rights and peace
Monday, 10 April 2017

A research workshop "Democracy, Human Rights and Peace: Contested and reclaimed", coorganised by the Åland Islands Peace Institute and the research project "Demilitarisation in an increasingly militarised world" will be held in Jyväskylä, Finland, in August 2017.

The Call for Papers is found here (deadline 15-5-2017).

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Lunch seminar 19.4 with Lia Markelin
Friday, 07 April 2017

Markelin 2015The next lunch seminar will be held on April 19, from 11.30 am to 12.30 pm, at Hotell Arkipelag. The speaker is Lia Markelin from the think tank Magma, and her topic is “What’s happening to the Swedish language in Finland?” The seminar is held in Swedish.

A lot is happening in the world and in Finland which affects the position of the Swedish language in Finland. During the past eight years, the think tank Magma has been following the development and has brought important topics for the Swedish speaking Finland up to discussion. What does the digitalization, the social welfare and health care reforms and the new core curriculum for the basic education bring about for the Swedish-speaking population in Finland?  Which are the threats and the opportunities for the Swedish-speaking in Finland?

Magma’s research coordinator Lia Markelin discusses these questions in relation to the work of the think tank. She has been employed at Magma for six years, and before that she worked with the co-ordination of Swedish university collaboration in the capital region of Finland. Markelin also works part time as an assistant professor at the Sámi University College in Norway. She is a board member of the Åland Islands Peace Institute since 2015.  

Lunch can be bought in the restaurant and brought into the seminar room, which is in the southern part of restaurant. The seminar starts 11.30 am and lasts an hour. Please sign up in our Facebook event or send an e-mail to susann(at)peace.ax. Drop-in guests are also welcome.

Finland's centenary, boundaries and boundlessness discussed at Kastelholm talks 2017
Monday, 03 April 2017

Kastelholm peace talks 2017 were held under the theme “Finland as a neighbour – boundaries and boundlessness over the past century “. The talks formed a part of the centenary celebration of Finland. The event started with a panel discussion in the castle of Kastelholm with four invited speakers, including former Finnish Minister and High Commissioner Astrid Thors, former Swedish Minister Kristina Persson, former Ambassador René Nyberg and Norwegian peace researcher Professor Nils Petter Gleditsch. The debate was moderated by Professor Kjell-Åke Nordquist, Director of the Åland Islands Peace Institute. Nordquist initiated the discussion by asking the speakers what they would congratulate Finland for and what they think holds Finland together. An aspect that was particularly applauded was the high trust towards institutions, which was seen as one of the crucial aspects of success. The speakers also shared their assessments and experiences from the Cold War era, whereby Finland’s active role and the 1975 Helsinki Accords were underlined. The legacy of this meeting, the OSCE, was still considered utterly important in its role in solving conflicts and being one of the upholders of multilateralism in today’s Europe.

Kastelholm 2017 3