First Advisor

Frank Munk

Term of Graduation


Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) [in Political Science]


Political Science




Åland (Finland) -- Politics and government, Åland (Finland) -- History



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 92 pages)


The Åland Islands question in international politics has been intermittently discussed, negotiated, and settled since the eighteenth century. The Islands lie in the Baltic Sea, halfway between Sweden and Finland, at the mouth of the Gulf of Bothnia. They have been accorded importance by international dispute and finally by international treaty. In the present thesis the position of the Åland Islands in the Scandinavian region, from the time of settlement to the present, is considered. Major events and agreements are included to provide a background for the development of the dispute which arose over the Islands in the early twentieth century. Upon close investigation, the Åland Islands question is found to be composed of a number of elements, among which are the issues of territorial sovereignty and claim, neutralization, demilitarization, ambitions of self-determination, minority rights, and the mechanics of settlement in a post-war climate. All of those factors combined to compose the dispute over the Islands between Sweden and Finland, which was settled in 1921, and which has remained in relative quiescence since that time. In the period since 1921, the Islands with their Swedish-speaking population have constituted a special autonomous province in the Republic of Finland. The Islands in the mid-twentieth century are a kind of showcase for workable autonomy. The purpose of this thesis is to consider the factors which determined the final settlement of the question and to examine the area from the vantage point of forty-eight years later. The main approaches in the thesis are in the areas of history, international politics, international law, and domestic politics. These are not mutually exclusive; rather they are recurring foci in the development of the Åland Islands question. By these foci an attempt has been made to explore and describe the position of the Åland Islands today, based on what has gone before, nationally, regionally, and internationally.


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Portland State University. Department of Political Science

Persistent Identifier