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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the Åland Example


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Lunch seminar with Mikael Wigell 2.3.2017: A New Cold War? Power Politics in the 21th Century
Wednesday, 22 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 21th 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 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?

Mikael Wigell lectures on the new power politics. He describes its changing characteristics, its consequences for international law and order, and Europe’s strategic alternatives in the new political world.

Mikael Wigell is a Senior Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs and a board member of the scientific board of the Åland Islands Peace Insitute. He took his PhD in developing countries from the London School of Economics. Wigell has also worked as a teaching assistant at John Hopkins University, and as post-doctoral researcher at the Academy of Finland. Recently, Wigell has focused on the strategic behaviour of the great powers, and has published articles in international scientific journals, such as International Affairs, Global Affairs, and World Development. He was an editor for the special issue of ‘Geoeconomics in the context of restive regional powers’ in Asia Europe Journal, and for his book project ‘Geoeconomics and the Future of the Liberal World Order: Power Politics in an Interdependent Age', that will shortly be published by Routledge

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.

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.

Vanessa Westerlund new intern at the Institute
Thursday, 02 February 2017

Vanessa webbVanessa Westerlund will be an intern from January to April in 2017. She will mainly participate in the arrangements of the "The Kastelholm talks", which are being held 30th March. Vanessa will also be working with tasks relating to information dissemination and website development.
Vanessa is majoring in political science at Åbo Akademi University, and she is currently working on her master thesis on fragile states. Her minor is International law. Vanessa expects to receive her master's degree by the end of 2017.

Lunch seminar with Kenneth Gustavsson: ”The Åland Islands 1944-46 – reunification with the Motherland?”
Thursday, 19 January 2017

Kenneth Gustavsson webbThe first seminar of the year will be held at Hotell Arkipelag in Mariehamn on 31 January at 11.30 am. It will be held in Swedish by associate professor and antiquarian Kenneth Gustavsson. The topic of the seminar is ”The Åland Islands 1944-46 – reunification with the Motherland?”.

In the shadow of the Finnish-Soviet armistice in 1944, the leadership of the Åland Islands pursued a reunification with Sweden. The other alternative they had in mind, was some kind of independence of the Åland Islands. The leadership of the Åland Islands was therefore secretly in touch with representatives of Sweden. The outcome, however, was a disappointment. Both Sweden and Finland dismissed any ideas of the kind. In addition, the Soviet Union unequivocally declared that the Åland Islands should be subordinated to Finnish authority. Gustavsson lectures on this extraordinary history based on new material discovered in archives in Helsinki, Stockholm and Mariehamn.

Kenneth Gustavsson. Antiquarian, PhD in archeology and associate professor of history. He has been working for many years at the Åland Museum, previously primarily with archaeological questions surrounding the medieval and late time, but currently mainly with recent history. His focus is the strategical and political importance of Åland in the Baltic Sea during the 2000s, including the demilitarization and neutralization regimes. He has published several books and numerous articles on the subject. Member of The Royal Society of Naval Sciencesfrom 2013 and the Historical Committee at The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland from 2015.

Nyhetsbrev / Newsletter 5/2016
Thursday, 15 December 2016

Link to Nyhetsbrev / Newsletter 5/2016

Download newsletter in pdf / Ladda ner nyhetsbrevet i pdf


  • Kastelholmssamtalen 2017 om gränser och gränslöshet, Finland 100 år
  • Ny rapport om självstyrelse i Irakiska Kurdistan och Zanzibar
  • Nytt inlägg om demilitarisering på fredsbloggen
  • Lagförslag om vålds-användning oroar forskare
  • Avslutningsseminarium för jämställdhetsprojektet KID hölls i Vilnius


  • The Kastelholm talks 2017 on boundaries and boundlessness
  • New report on autonomy in Iraqi Kurdistan and Zanzibar
  • New entry on demilitarisation at the Pece Blog
  • Finnish views on use of force concerns researcher
  • Closing seminar for KID project held in Lithuania


New report on autonomy in Iraqi Kurdistan and Zanzibar
Thursday, 15 December 2016

Rapport 2 2016 kopiaUsing the Åland autonomy as a point of reference, Jaakko Virkkunen and Lotta Valtonen analyse the case of Iraqi Kurdistan and Zanzibar respectively, in report 2-2016 from the Åland Islands Peace Institute, with the title "Managing diversity through territorial autonomy: Experiences from Iraqi Kurdistan and Zanzibar with Åland Example as a point of reference".

The report can be downloaded for free here. An information sheet in pdf can be downloaded here.

Closing seminar of the project KID was held in Vilnius, Lithuania
Friday, 25 November 2016

On the 17-18th November a closing conference of the project “KID – Equal Opportunity for pre-school boys and girls” was held in Vilnius, Lithuania. The project has been conducted by the Åland Island Peace Institute and sponsored by the Nordic Council of Ministers and Emmaus Åland. The project lasted during 2015-2016. Three non-governmental kindergartens participated, Waldorf Åland, Nendre in Vilnius, Lithuania and the”Star of Hope” in Kaliningrad, Russia.

Preliminary results on the demilitarisation project were presented in Helsinki
Friday, 04 November 2016

The research project "Demilitarisation in an Increasingly Militarised World" (2015-2017) organised a seminar for invited researchers in Helsinki on November 3rd 2016. The seminar was held at the premises of the Kone foundation, Kamari.

As commentators were invited Dr Gunilla Herolf and Professor Emeritus Lauri Hannikainen. Project researchers Saila Heinikoski, Dr Pirjo Kleemola-Juntunen and project leader Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark presented summaries of research results until now, as well as new preliminary results in the areas of demilitarisation and neutralisation within Finnish and European politics, the law of the sea and the Åland Strait and, finally, on the right of self-defence and Finnish draft legislation pertaining to international law and the Åland demilitarisation and neutralisation. 



Demilitarisation part of the Finnish foreign and security policy
Wednesday, 02 November 2016

The demilitarisation of the Åland Islands cannot be seen only from a defence policy point of view. This is because, the status of the Ålands Islands is part of the whole foreign and security policy context of Finland, writes researcher Saila Heinikoski in this article in Finnish published by the Finnish web site Politiikasta.fi. Saila Heinikoski works within the research project “Demilitarisation in an increasingly militarised world”, where she focuses on the position of Åland demilitarisation in the foreign and security policy of Finland and the European Union.