The French Perspective on the Åland Islands: A Cyclic Interest? Between Geopolitics, Historiography, and a Case Study

Matthieu Chillaud
2018 Journal of autonomy and security studies  
Combining historical depth and political analysis, this article examines the way that France has perceived the strategic role of the Åland Islands, as well as the French role in the construction of their status of demilitarisation and neutralisation. For that, we strove to draw a parallel between, on the one hand, the intensity of French activities in the Baltic Sea in general and on the Åland Islands in particular, and, on the other hand, the amount of literature in social sciences and the
more » ... nities that examines the Åland Islands. This exercise substantiates the hypothesis that whilst this region used to be quite well known in France, nowadays this is no longer the case. It is bound to change, as the majority of the riparian States of the Baltic Sea and France belong henceforth to the same security and defence organisations, namely the EU and NATO. Subsequently, France cannot be indifferent to an area in which she has to assume her historical role, so far almost consigned to oblivion.
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