The Åland Islands : an atypical laboratory of geographic disarmament ?

Abstract

The Åland Islands, for a long time envied for their geo-strategic location, have succeeded in ‘removing themselves from strategic balances in Northern Europe, thanks to a regime of demilitarization and neutralization. They can rightly claim to constitute the most successful diplomacy of the so-called « geographic disarmament ». This achievement has to be given credit to the process of devolution led by the Finnish metropolitan decision to make the Islands a territory with a vast autonomy. Besides, as Finland and Sweden fit into arms control treaties, notably « Open skies », the inhabitants of the Åland Islands fear that it will jeopardize the demilitarized and neutralized status of their territory and, as an indirect consequence, result in changing their significant autonomy.

AFRI 2007 Summary

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