On Body and Soil : The Potential of Territorial and Environmental Dimensions of Disarmament


  • Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark The Åland Islands Peace Institute


Disarmament, demilitarisation, neutralisation, armed conflict, international law, global commons, environment, biological diversity


If territory is part of the problem in the quest for peaceful relations, it should also be part of the solution. This is the core argument in the present text, where the work of international lawyer Louis Sohn during the Cold War and efforts towards territorial disarmament across time and space are used as starting points for the exploration of possibilities today, including in the global commons and other territories beyond the jurisdiction of individual states. I explore a range of experiences of territorial disarmament already in operation alongside the opportunities currently offered in the nexus between protection of the environment and armed conflicts. Finally, the recently adopted Kunming-Montreal Global Diversity Framework and the UN Principles on protection of the environment in armed conflict developed by the International Law Commission are looked at as opportunities for the successive protection of territories through various forms of disarmament and neutralisation.

Author Biography

Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark, The Åland Islands Peace Institute

Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark, associate professor of international law and Director of the Åland Islands Peace Institute. Her work focuses on the role of international law in containing armed force as well as on the legal tools in matters of diversity and minorities.