About the Journal
The Journal of Autonomy and Security Studies (JASS) is a peer-reviewed, open access e-journal published by the Åland Islands Peace Institute (ÅIPI). The journal addresses its overarching theme of peace and security from the perspectives of autonomy, demilitarisation, and minority protection.
For this Issue of Journal of Autonomy and Security Studies (JASS) we have the pleasure to have Dr Katariina Simonen as guest editor. Her solid anchoring in the international Pugwash Movement is the foundation upon which this Issue rests. JASS is grateful for the cooperation and we look forward to contributions from the Pugwash Movement in coming Issues as well.
Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and the Åland Islands Peace Institute organized in January 2023 consultations on regional security in the north from the Baltic Sea region to the Arctic. Pugwash Conferences is a network of high-level scientists and policy-makers, established in 1957 by eminent scientists such as Albert Einstein and Joseph Rotblat, which promotes a world free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Pugwash’s long-standing tradition of “dialogue across divides”, that also earned it the Nobel Peace Price in 1995, aims to develop and support the use of scientific, evidence-based policymaking focusing on areas where nuclear and WMD risks are present. By facilitating track 1.5 and track II dialogues, Pugwash fosters creative discussions on ways to increase the security of all sides and promote policy development that is cooperative and forward-looking.
These January consultations were deemed timely by Pugwash, due to the strongly deteriorated security environment between the west and Russia. The signs of such deterioration were already perceptible since the early 2000s in the field of arms control, when arms control and disarmament treaties fell like dominoes. Such developments were coupled with massive nuclear weapon modernization programs by all nuclear weapon states. Even more, many European States, including Finland, Sweden and the Baltic States, neglected to ensure that their national arms control expertise was up to date. Priorities were elsewhere in distant wars against terrorism, crisis management, migration flows, media and think tanks echoing national priorities. Nuclear weapons were forgotten.
It goes without saying that comprehensive, high-quality situational awareness is a necessity for risk management and arms control. These January 2023 consultations were organized to help with recreating arms control expertise in our northern region. Presentations were made by different Pugwash groups and NGOs from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Russia and Sweden. Most of these are now published here as conference proceedings.
The focus of the articles follows the scheme of the original consultations, which were divided between the Baltic and the Arctic regions. Three articles discuss NATO´s postCold War approaches to Russia in NATO´s eastern flank countries, territorial disarmament issues from an international lawyer´s perspective, and the feminist approach to Sweden´s sudden change of mind towards NATO. The other three full articles discuss thoroughly the Arctic, thereby developing situational awareness for risk management. In addition, there
are two commentaries on concrete Baltic Sea security concerns as well as on nuclear risks,
treaties and disarmament advocacy.
To end, Albert Einstein, one of the founding fathers of Pugwash, was famous for his many quotes. One of these quotes captures aptly the dire necessity to understand nuclear risks of the current era where one of the key nuclear weapon states is engaged in armed conflict:
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Katariina Simonen, LL.D. (juris doktor) international law (Univ. of Turku), Adjunct Professor(National Defence University), Visiting Scholar (Department of World Cultures, Univ. of Helsinki) and Pugwash Council Member (2013-)