Journal of Autonomy and Security Studies

Volume 4 – Issue 1

September 2020


As citizens, with different backgrounds and identities, and as members of anything from modern interest groups to historic communities, to what extent should we allow states, global networks, and international organisations to regulate, guide, and control our lives?

The question is classic, and without a fixed answer.

When some hitherto non-regulated aspects of life become regulated by some type of external forces it is often said that they become politicised – or securitised, monetised, or maybe more recently – medicalised.

Autonomous regions sometimes experience such a development due to the autonomy- based capacity to regulate life in more detail than state-level decision-making or legislation normally allows. Obviously, this can – or maybe should – be seen as a mechanism of protection, and not necessarily of regulation for its own sake.

Be that as it may, in this issue of Journal of Autonomy and Security Studies (JASS)  we will be acquainted with the politicisation of travel as an international activity, of the external and internal application of conditions for daily life in Ålandic communities, and of the application of different perspectives regarding autonomy within a national security policy. In all three cases the external imposes itself upon the individual and upon the local – i.e. the two levels of existence for which autonomy vs imposition is the most critical balancing act.

Besides the direct content of any one article, common links of the articles – such as those indicated above – give the JASS reading an extra dimension and add to our reflection of the global state of affairs. This seems of particular importance to note during 2020, which, in a sad way, has put the relation between the global and the local at the center of virtually any action and human initiative for a long time.

Autonomy and security will therefore also in the future be very relevant concepts for understanding global relations and local politics. JASS is one of only a few platforms dedicated to analysis and discussion centered around these concepts. You are most welcome to send your contributions – such as articles, comments, or research notes – to bring forward our common knowledge development process in these matters!


Kjell-Åke Nordquist


Comparison of Finnish Defence and Foreign Policy Approaches – Discourses on Security Policy Stances and the Demilitarisation of the Åland Islands


Saila Heinikoski

This article analyses foreign and defence policy arguments in the Finnish parliamentary discourses after Finland’s EU accession (2004–2017) related to the concepts of  military non-alliance, non-membership  of a military alliance, as well as demilitarisation and neutralisation of the Åland Islands. It examines  how foreign policy and defence policy perspectives differ in the parliamentary debates and committee reports on the concepts. Finnish security policy has seen a gradual shift since the 1990s from neutrality policy through military non-alliance to the current non-membership of a military alliance. In contrast,   the acknowledgement of the demilitarised and neutralised status of the Åland Islands appears to remain extensive despite some critical comments from defence policy actors. The foreign policy approach emphasises a positive instrumental approach and acknowledgement of the concepts, whilst the defence policy approach views the concepts with either acknowledgment or as negative instruments allegedly hampering defence preparation


Open as HTML / Download PDF

The implementation of an international

Decision at the Local Level:

The League of Nations and the Åland Islands 1920–1951


Ida Jansson

The Ålandic autonomy has evolved into a relatively well-functioning system over the last century. A scrutiny of the first three decades following the decisions by the Council of the League of Nations shows that this was not always the case. This article engages with the main political issues that Åland faced during this time, focusing on the problems that directly or indirectly involved the League. It is argued that from the point of view of the Ålandic population and its political representatives, the survival of the regime cannot be attributed to the design of  the solution itself. Had Åland had a larger population and more political  and economic muscles, the regime would not have remained intact for as long as it did. When the Åland Example is used in conflict resolution, mistakes made and possible alternative paths are essential elements to explore.



Open as HTML / Download PDF

Politicisation of Travelling.

Interrail and Freedom


Kari Palonen

Travelling is today an important aspect of the European political agenda-setting of both individual actors and institutions. The paradigms of car and air travel are contested in terms of climate change; I continue the contestation from the perspective of political liberty. Three paradigms of personal travel – by car, by flight and by train – are confronted with two concepts of liberty: the freedom from interference versus the freedom from dependence.

Three ideal types of travel – travelling to, travelling away and travelling around – are judged from the perspective of the two freedoms. Train travel by Interrail is a political innovation that links the freedom of movement to the freedom from dependence on the national states. The EU could offer, with systematic and coherent pro-railway support, travellers’ freedom from dependence, and I suggest some simple pro-railway measures and steps towards parliamentarisation of travel politics. The conceptual point of the article is that freedom of movement can also be regarded as a part of freedom from dependence. In the Postscript I dispute the closing of borders under the corona lockdown and speculate how to retain the freedom of train travel under the condition of keeping the necessary distance from others.


Open as HTML / Download PDF

Call for Papers

The editors welcome submissions of manuscripts that focus on, or relate to, the topics and intersections of security, autonomy arrangements, and minority issues. Apart from reviewed articles, JASS also welcomes other kinds of contributions, such as  research notes, book reviews and commentaries. Articles and research notes should preferably not exceed 12 000 words (excluding references) and be written in British or American English. For other contributions, such as book reviews, conference reports, project notes, the maximum length is 4 000 words. The layout of the text should be in single-column format and kept as simple as possible. Manuscripts to be considered for Issue II/2020 should be submitted by 30th of September 2020 and for Issue I/2021 by the 30th of March 2021.

Further details on the submission process can be found at:

Full Issue

If the PDF Reader above does not display properly, please reload the page.


Journal of Autonomy and Security Studies - ISSN 2489-4265

Ålands fredsinstitut
The Åland Islands Peace Institute
Hamngatan 4
AX-22101 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland


This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0    

CC iconby iconnc iconsa icon