Friday, 05 February 2016
Friday, 29 January 2016
Från vänster: Saila Heinikoski,
The researchers of the project ”Demilitarisation in an increasingly militarized world” met in Mariehamn on 26-27 January 2016 to discuss work in progress. Jur. dr. Pirjo Kleemola-Juntunen is currently examining the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) in the light of the law of the sea and demilitarisation and neutralisation of the Åland Islands. PhD-student Saila Heinikoski has recently embarked upon her research on the position of the demilitarisation within the foreign and security policy of Finland and of the EU. Filip Holiencin is working together with professor Timo Koivurova on the regime of demilitarisation on Svalbard. The project leader, associate professor Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark, examines new forms of civil-military cooperation in the Baltic Sea, in particular with regard to airspace.
Former project research Yannick Poullie completed his work on the discussions regarding the demilitarisation of Åland at the end of the Cold war. Poullie’s scientific article is forthcoming. A blog piece summarizing some of his results can be found here.
More information on the project an be downloaded in pdf, here.
Friday, 29 January 2016
Saila Heinikoski is a researcher in the research project “Demilitarisation in an increasingly militarized world. International perspectives in a multilevel framework – the case of the Åland Islands”, funded by the KONE foundation. In the project, she focuses on the position of Åland demilitarisation in the foreign and security policy of Finland and the European Union. In 2016, she will defend her doctoral thesis in International Relations at the University of Turku, Finland. Her thesis focuses on the right to free movement in the European Union and she has published several articles on European Union issues as well as co-edited a volume on the European Union security and defence policy. She holds two Master’s degrees from the University of Turku: one in International Relations and the other in Translation Studies. Before her research career, she has worked, inter alia, as an intern at the Representation of the European Commission in Finland and at the Department of Strategic and Defence Studies of the Finnish Defence University.
Thursday, 17 December 2015
The final results from the research project European Language Diversity for All (ELDIA, 2010-2013) shall be launched in March 2016 at the publishing house Multilingual Matters. The book has the title ”Towards Openly Multilingual Policies and Practices” and is written by Johanna Laakso, Anneli Sarhimaa, Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark and Reetta Toivanen. The publication discusses interdisciplinarily the present day situation for smaller and minority languages in Europe and multilingalism policies and practices. A new scientific tool, a language vitality barometer, is presented together with the final results from the twelve case studies in eight different countries. Earlier results are already available at the project website. The book can be pre-ordered from the publishing house and shall also be available at Amazon.
Monday, 14 December 2015
On 8 December the director of the Åland Islands Peace Institute, Associate Professor Kjell-Åke Nordquist held a presentation for the Turku Kupittaan Rotary Club in Turku, Finland. Nordquist gave a talk where he introduced the work of the Institute and then explained how the particular features of Åland's status - in international agreements as well as in Finland's constitution - consist of parts that interact in a way that promotes peaceful conflict resolution. While this structure helps building stability and conditions for social and economic development in the Baltic Sea region it is also from an international point of view a very rare, not to say unique, combination of instruments for peace and respect for minorities. Many international visitors, in particular from countries with internal armed conflicts, testify to this. For Rotary, international work, including scholarships and exchange visits, is an important part of its work, and therefore, many reflections on how cooperation and international understanding can be promoted were shared during the discussion, after the talk.
Thursday, 10 December 2015
For the last four years, the Åland Islands Peace Institute has implemented the project ”Fair Sex”, providing workshops for youth as well as trainings for teachers on Åland. The purpose of the project has been twofold: to decrease the prevalence of sexual violence and encourage positive sexual experiences among youth as well as to increase general knowledge of sexual violence. The method has also been introduced in mainland Finland.
In order to document experiences gained and to facilitate future discussions of the concept of Fair Sex, activity reports, articles and practical information from the project have been gathered on a new web page. The web page www.fairsex.ax/en also contains practical information for youth, for example a definition of Fair Sex and a discussion on the difference between listening for a ”yes” and listening for a ”no”. Furthermore, practitioners who want to work with gender equality and a norm-critical approach in schools may find helpful articles and methodological hints. A number of Fair Sex-like exercises, that support discussions with youth on themes such as mutuality and communication, have been developed. The main part of the webpage content is in Swedish, but some parts are available also in English and Finnish.
Even if you would not be interested in any of the content mentioned above, a visit to the web page can be recommended for the sole purpose of enjoying the illustrations made by Hanna Stenman for Fair Sex.
Wednesday, 25 November 2015
On 24 November 2015 the Åland Islands Peace Institute's Chairperson Barbro Sundback and Acting Director Kjell-Åke Nordquist took part in a lunch seminar entitled "Would a crisis threaten the special status of Åland?", organized by the think-tank Magma in Helsinki.
Ambassador emeritus Renée Nyberg, former Defence Minister Carl Haglund as well as the Chairperson of the Peace Institute Barbro Sundback, spoke about the unique position of the Åland Islands under international law. The starting point of the seminar was the fact that the demilitarisation and neutralisation of Åland must be considered when Finland is developing its military cooperation within the European Union and international organizations. Today there are different perceptions expressed of how Åland's special status would be considered for instance in military emergencies or in a terrorist attack.
Friday, 20 November 2015
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.Read More...
Wednesday, 11 November 2015
Recent working papers:
Wednesday, 11 November 2015
The 5 ECTS university-level e-course "Territorial Autonomy as a Tool for Diversity Management. Lessons from the Åland Example" approaches territorial autonomy from an interdisciplinary perspective, focusing on law and political science. The aim is to provide participants with a broad academic framework for discussing territorial autonomy from different perspectives, among others against the background of concepts such as self-determination, power-sharing and minority rights.
The course is open for participants from all over the world. It is first and foremost designed for university students but everyone is welcome to register for one of the 20 places offered. Registration is open from 9 December 2015 to 20 January 2016. More information here.