02 July 2015

Nordic Autonomous Areas subject of Comparative Analysis

Nordiska sjalvstyrelser omslag
The publication The Nordic Self-Governing Areas in a Peace Perspective : The Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Åland Islands presents the results of a research project where a number of researchers have analyzed the experiences and developments of the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland in a peace perspective. Some of the chapters deals with these issues from a comparative legal, financial, political science and security policy point of view, while others focus on individual autonomies, their relationships to each other, relationships between the self-government and the state and the relationship with international organizations. 

The study's concluding chapter highlights a number of factors that have been important in order to resolve or prevent conflicts related to the autonomies in the Nordic region. Finally the possibility of such factors to work in other areas of the world is analyzed.

The study has been edited by Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark, director and research leader at the Åland Islands Peace Institute and Gunilla Herolf who is chairman of the Research Board at the Peace Institute.

The book has been published thanks to the support of the Nordic Council. The publication that is published in Swedish can be downloaded in pdf here, or ordered from the Åland Islands Peace Institute (books[a]peace.ax) upon payment of postage fee.

The Nordic Council has published a policy brief in nordic languages and in English, summarising the results of the publication. The policy brief can be downloaded in English here.

The project also included a conference that took place in Mariehamn 26 January 2015. Read more about the conference here.     


The Nordic Region has enjoyed two centuries of peaceful co-existence that are worth highlighting and learning from. As a result, the Nordic autonomous regions have attracted considerable attention in recent years. There is significant international interest in their experiences, including their experience of territorial autonomy. In a world that appears increasingly troubling, the autonomy of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland is worth studying from the perspective of conflict resolution. 

It seems important to examine the marked development that these autonomous regions have undergone and the success they have had in finding solutions to the conflicts that have arisen – not just from a Nordic perspective, but also from a wider international point of view.

The conclusions of a comparative study of the autonomous regions’ legal, economic, and security policy developments are presented here.

The complete study can be ordered from The Åland Islands Peace Institute at www.peace.ax

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