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
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.
Tuesday, 13 October 2015
There are at least 26 countries around the world that have chosen to exist without an army. Christophe Barbey from the APRED Participative Institute for the Progress of Peace, offers a thorough mapping of these countries in the new working paper "Non-militarisation: Countries without Armies. Identification Criteria and First Findings." Starting from the legal and factual criteria for a nonmilitarised country status, the paper offers a first insight into motives and reasoning for being army-less. Many of the states are very small, often island-states, yet seemingly well off and safe, the author concludes, while opening up this field for more research.
Download the paper in pdf here.
Friday, 09 October 2015
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2015 is to be awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.
Comment from the Acting Director of the Åland Islands Peace Institute, Associate Professor Kjell-Åke Nordquist:
"The Peace Prize 2015 is truly in line with Alfred Nobel's stated core idea of "fraternity" as a decisive criterion for who should receive the peace prize. The Quartet has been working systematically for a democratic follow-up of the Arab Spring turmoil in Tunisia. This experience has shown that civil society can play a crucial role in peace building."
Tuesday, 06 October 2015
Yannick Poullie is a junior researcher in ÅIPI’s 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. He holds a master’s degree in “Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research” from the University of Tampere, Finland. Prior to that he studied at the University of Düsseldorf and the University of Turku, respectively. Interning experiences include the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt and the German embassy in the Kingdom of Sweden.
In his project work he is studying Finnish and Ålandic parliamentary discussions with regard to Åland’s status as a demilitarised and neutralised area during the period from 1989 to 1995 which saw both the end of the Cold War and Finland’s accession to the European Union.
Friday, 18 September 2015
The Acting Director of the Åland Islands Peace Institute, Associate Professor Kjell-Åke Nordquist was one of the speakers at a seminar on the Åland Example and its relevance for conflict resolution, held in Brussels on 15 September 2015.
The seminar was arranged by the Åland Government and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland through their cooperation in what is called the Contact Group. The seminar, entitled ”The Åland Example and conflict resolution today”, was held at Finland’s Permanent Representation to the European Union. The audience consisted of about 40 people, mainly from various embassies and representations to EU/Brussels, many of whom were from regions with on-going territorial or minority issues, e.g. Moldavia, Hungary and Argentina.Read More...
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Iraqi Kurdistan is the only Kurdish region with an autonomous status and comparatively extensive cultural rights and recognition. Silke Jungbluth has during the summer at the Peace Institute written the working paper that concerns the history of Iraqi Kurdistan up until the IS invasion and the changing realties this implies. The author describes the possibilities for a future Kurdish state, while also discussing extended autonomy as an alternative to full independence for the Kurds in Iraq. The last update of the working paper was made mid-August 2015.Read More...
Tuesday, 08 September 2015
The Åland Islands Peace Institute has a lot going on in spring 2016. Therefore we can offer a dynamic and flexible internship period. We are looking for a person who is interested in issues concerning peace, security, minorities and autonomy. The work assignments include larger conference arrangements, spreading of information and website development, thus suitable fields of study are social, legal or political sciences but also IT, communication and organisation management. To be eligible for an internship at the ÅIPI you should have completed at least one year of your university studies. Priority will be given to applicants who do not yet hold a Master’s degree. The internship period can last from two to five months, and can take place at any point during the Spring term as agreed. The summer months (June-August) are not suitable for internships for practical reasons.
The Peace Institute has limited resources, therefore financing in most cases needs to be granted from external sources such as your University, various foundations or other sponsoring programmes, e.g. Erasmus.
Your internship application should include your CV and a short letter of motivation, stating why you are interested in an internship at the ÅIPI and what you are good at. Please also provide relevant information about your institution and/or sponsoring programme. Contact person: Research Coordinator Petra Granholm, petra (at) peace.ax, +358 18 15574.
Read more about internships at the Peace Institute here.
Friday, 14 August 2015
Associate Professor Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark has contributed with a chapter in the recently issued edited collection ”The Challenge of Minority Integration. Politics and Policies in the Nordic Nations” (2015).
The aim of the publication is to examine the challenges of minority integration in four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. In two introductory chapters and seven case studies two core questions are explored. Firstly; How is solidarity achieved in highly diverse societies - particularly those that have been until recently characterized by rather homogeneous populations? Secondly; What are the implications of growing levels of diversity on existing social arrangements?
In her article ”Divergence and Convergence in Minority Law and Policies in the Nordic Countries”, Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark discusses amongst others the concept of minorities in the four countries examined and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and its ratification by the nordic countries.
The publication is edited by Peter A. Kraus and Peter Kivisto and is openly accessible electronically here.