Ålands fredsinstitut
The Åland Islands Peace Institute

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AX-22100 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland
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Publication about
the Åland Example

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Report 2 2015 Blomberg Page 01Report no. 2/2015 in the series Rapport från Ålands fredsinstitut – Report from the Åland Islands Peace Institute: The Åland Example Applied – a Case Study of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao

The Åland Example and its three components – autonomy, minority protection and demilitarisation and neutralisation – have long been presented as a source of inspiration for conflict resolution both in theory and in practice. In the newest addition to this research, political scientist Gustav Blomberg compares the so-called functionality factors of the Åland Example to the implementation of the semi-functional autonomy in Muslim Mindanao (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, ARMM) in the southern Philippines. The territorial conflict behind, with origins in the Spanish colonisation, is one of the oldest in the world and concerns different Muslim groupings in an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic society.

Blomberg asks the question: can the Åland Example be applied as a source of inspiration in Muslim Mindanao and if so, in what way? Is it possible to pinpoint what hampers a development towards a successful autonomy for the region?

An information sheet on the report can be found here.

The full report in pdf can be downloaded here.

 The report takes a systematic and detailed approach to the factors that earlier research (Ghai, Spiliopoulou Åkermark, Öst) has identified as the strengths of the Åland Example, from security arrangements to territorial delimitations. Through this mapping Blomberg identifies the problems of Muslim Mindanao. The biggest obstacles has to do with strong frictions between different central actors – physical violence is still present in form of armed groups and clan feuds at the same time as the security regime is flawed. The autonomy system today is weak and characterised by undemocratic structures and problematic relations between the autonomy and the central state. The ARMM as a territory is difficult to define and has additional sensitive conflicts over natural resources. In other words, the starting position is very different to that of Åland. Despite this, Blomberg argues that there are reasons to seek inspiration in the Åland Example and its innovative solutions to the issues of security, minority identity and power-sharing.

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