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Åland’s Demilitarisation and Neutralisation at the End of the Cold War – Parliamentary Discussions in Åland and Finland 1988–1995

Åland’s Demilitarisation and Neutralisation at the End of the Cold War – Parliamentary... As a region that is simultaneously demilitarised, neutralised and autonomous, the Åland Islands represent a unique and long-established case in international law. However, this status was never independent of surrounding events. The early 1990s saw both the end of the Cold War and Finland’s accession to the European Union. This paper offers an analysis of the discussion regarding Åland’s demilitarised and neutralised status among both Finnish and Ålandic legislators during this period. It finds that Finnish policy-makers saw little need to discuss the matter. Åland’s officials continuously criticised the Finnish Defence Forces’ presence in the region as excessive and proved unwilling to let the issue rest. Against formal obstacles, they established themselves as a relevant actor, facilitated by differing approaches of political, diplomatic and military officials in Finland. Other sovereign states showed only limited interest in the discussion, making it a domestic one for the most part. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal on Minority and Group Rights Brill

Åland’s Demilitarisation and Neutralisation at the End of the Cold War – Parliamentary Discussions in Åland and Finland 1988–1995

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2016 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Articles
ISSN
1385-4879
eISSN
1571-8115
DOI
10.1163/15718115-02302003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

As a region that is simultaneously demilitarised, neutralised and autonomous, the Åland Islands represent a unique and long-established case in international law. However, this status was never independent of surrounding events. The early 1990s saw both the end of the Cold War and Finland’s accession to the European Union. This paper offers an analysis of the discussion regarding Åland’s demilitarised and neutralised status among both Finnish and Ålandic legislators during this period. It finds that Finnish policy-makers saw little need to discuss the matter. Åland’s officials continuously criticised the Finnish Defence Forces’ presence in the region as excessive and proved unwilling to let the issue rest. Against formal obstacles, they established themselves as a relevant actor, facilitated by differing approaches of political, diplomatic and military officials in Finland. Other sovereign states showed only limited interest in the discussion, making it a domestic one for the most part.

Journal

International Journal on Minority and Group RightsBrill

Published: Apr 28, 2016

Keywords: Åland Islands; demilitarisation; Finland; international law; neutralisation; parliamentary debates; regional integration

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