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.

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).

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

The Kastelholm Talks 2017 – Speakers and Registration
Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Kastelholm talks of 2017 will highlight the centenary celebration of Finland, discussing the topic "With Finland as a neighbour - boundaries and boundlessness over the past century". The Kastelholm talks are recurring talks on peace issues, and are this year arranged for the third time. The Kastelholm talks will be held on 30 March 2017, the day of Åland’s demilitarisation. The panel consists of former Minister and High Commissioner Astrid Thors from Finland; former Minister Kristina Persson from Sweden; former Ambassador René Nyberg from Finland, and peace researcher and Professor Nils Petter Gleditsch from Norway.

The Kastelholm talks are held in Swedish and consist of two parts. First there is a panel discussion for some 100 invited guests in the castle of Kastelholm, where the panel will discuss the topic of the year with a moderator. Secondly, a roundtable discussion will be held in the nearby restaurant Smakbyn, that is open to the public. The registration opens on February 27 and closes on March 10. Please register here​.

Learn more about the Kastelholm talks here.

.Kastelholmspanel 2017 collage ny

Lunch seminar with Mikael Wigell 2.3.2017: A New Cold War? Power Politics in the 21st Century
Monday, 27 February 2017

Wigell 2016
The second lunch seminar of the year will be held on March 2, from 11.30 am to 12.30 pm, at Hotell Arkipelag. The speaker is Mikael Wigell, and his topic is “A New Cold War? Power Politics in the 21st Century”. The seminar is held in Swedish.

The liberal world order seems to be under threat from the new power politics. There is often talk of the return of geopolitics, or perhaps a new cold war. Russia seemingly wants to overthrow the international legal order. It is also uncertain to what extent the USA, with president Trump in the lead, is prepared to defend the international legal order. What does this mean for Europe? And how should Europe deal with the situation?

Nyhetsbrev / Newsletter 1/2017
Saturday, 25 February 2017

Link to Nyhetsbrev / Newsletter 1/2017

Download newsletter in pdf / Ladda ner nyhetsbrevet i pdf


  • Kastelholmssamtalen 2017: Anmälan för publik till rundabordssamtalen öppen till 10.3
  • Lunchseminarium - Ett nytt kallt krig? Stormaktspolitik i det tjugoförsta århundradet
  • Fredens Öar i nytryck på ryska
  • Seminarium i Helsingfors - Åland som exempel
  • Artikel om demilitarisering som ett konstruktivt verktyg för samarbete och fred publicerad i OSSE-tidskrift
  • Vanessa Westerlund ny praktikant på fredsinstitutet
  • Gränslös frukostdiskussion med Nipå
  • Lunchseminarium med Kenneth Gustavsson


  • The Kastelholm talks 2017: Speakers and Registration
  • Lunch Seminar: A New Cold War? Power Politics in the 21st Century
  • Islands of Peace, reprinted in Russian
  • Seminar in Helsinki - Åland as an Example
  • Article on demilitarization as a constructive tool for co-operation and peace published in OSCE's magazine
  • Vanessa Westerlund, new intern at the Institute
  • Breakfast discussion on borders and boundlessnes
  • Lunch seminar with Kenneth Gustavsson
Breakfast discussion on borders and boundlessness
Wednesday, 15 February 2017


On February 22th, the Åland Islands Peace Institute will host a breakfast discussion in co-operation with Nordens institute på Åland (NIPÅ), on borders and boundlessness, in relation to the art exhibition gränsløs.gif. 

The art exhibition is held from 18 January to 6 April at NIPÅ’s gallery. Ten creators from the Åland Islands, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Estonia, aged 13-41, have used the traditional GIF file format to explore and interpret the themes, borders and boundlessness. In a world where borders and boundlessness are constantly up for discussion, the art exhibition strives to be inspiring and thought-provoking, on both a societal and geographical level, as well as on a more personal and existential level. Learn more about the art exhibition here (in Swedish).

The speakers include Professor and Acting Director of the Åland Islands Peace Institute, Kjell-Åke Nordquist; researcher and postgraduate student at University of Turku, Saila Heinikoski; artist Minna Öberg; registered psychologist and psychotherapist Sonja Dolke, along with Acting Director at NIPÅ, Jacob Mangwana Haagendal. 

The breakfast discussion is held in Swedish and will take place on February 22th from 9am to 10 am (the doors open at 8.30 am) at Nordens Institut på Åland, Köpmansgatan 4, 22100 Mariehamn.

Coffee, and a light breakfast is included, free of charge.

Pre-register to the event at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or drop-in.


Article on demilitarization as a constructive tool for co-operation and peace published in OSCE’s magazine
Monday, 06 February 2017

OSCE_Securitycommunity_Sia_demilitarisering_Webben kopia.jpg”The rules of demilitarization and neutralization entail a legally binding promise of giving priority to diplomatic means of communication and negotiation, before means of military power, even though power relations are acknowledged.”. So writes Associate Professor Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark, Head of Research at the Åland Islands Peace Institute, in an article with the title ”Demilitarization as a Constructive Tool for Co-operation and Peace: the Example of the Åland Islands”, that has been published in the OSCE's quarterly magazine Security Community, Issue 4/2016.