The Peace Institute, during its nearly twenty years of life has gathered a vast knowledge and kompetence on issues related to the Åland autonomy, demilitarization and neutralization as well as on the cultural and linguistic protection arrangements linked to the system. This knowledge should be disseminated to both scientific and other circles. At the same time, the system has to be continually reviewed and analyzed critically. The question of cultural minorities’ participation in democratic decision-making processes is one of the most burning questions after the Second World War and especially after 1970 – and 1980’s identity movements worldwide.
The project “Åland’s example: still interesting and relevant?” is going on during the years 2010-2011. The project analyzes Åland regime’s dynamic nature and development of contacts between the Åland Islands, Helsinki and elsewhere to continue to manage the tensions that inevitably comes up in a regime of self-government with shared powers and the pressures of globalization. The project follows up on how Åland’s example has been used in international conflict through case studies. Three researchers at the Peace Institute and several external writers are involved in the project. Some experts, diplomats and politicians were interviewed on the experience of the use of autonomy and Åland example in conflict situations around the world.
Objective: The aim of the research and publication is:
-To analyze and discuss problems Åland’s example as a dynamic regime
-To identify the use of Åland’s example in conflict situations
-To make visible and analyze the methods that Finland and Åland have developed to deal with the cultural and linguistic diversity in Finland
-To disseminate the results to an international audience.
Results: International conference and book on the Åland Example in November 2011
On Tuesday 1 November 2011 an international conference, “The Åland Example and its components – Relevance for International Conflict Resolution” was held in Mariehamn, Åland. The conference summarizes the research project on the Åland Example. Simultaneously a publication including the research results was launched.