The Institute of International Affairs (IIA) at the University of Iceland is a research, instruction and service institute. The Centre for Small State Studies (CSSS) and the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS) are run under the auspices of the Institute.
The Institute of International Affairs was established in 1990 but was expanded and re-structured with the creation of the Centre for Small State Studies in 2001. The Centre for Arctic Policy Studies was launched in March 2013. The Institute and the Centres are supervised by a joint Steering Board. All three are housed within the University of Iceland’s School of Social Sciences but with close links to the School of Humanities. In 2013 the Centre for Small State Studies became a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, the first of its kind in Iceland.
Pia Hansson is the Director of the Institute of International Affairs and Centre for Small State Studies. Jón Gunnar Ólafsson and Tómas Joensen are Project Managers at the IIA and CSSS. Kristinn Schram is the Director of the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies. Margrét Cela is a Project Manager at CAPS.
The role of the Institute of International Affairs (IIA) is to provide education, promote research, and carry out service projects in the field of international relations. It aspires to serve both academic and professional needs and stimulate general discussion on subjects relating to international affairs.
To this end, the Institute plans and carries out research on various subjects and hosts conferences, seminars, and lectures concerning international affairs. It offers various services to both the private and public sector, conducting surveys, writing reports, and carrying out research on a range of topics. It publishes books and papers on international relations and Icelandic foreign affairs.
International cooperation and interdisciplinary discussions are important factors in the work of the IIA. Over one hundred scholars with various types of expertise participate in the work of the IIA, CAPS and the CSSS, and the institutes have ties to a number of foreign research bodies. The IIA is a forum for dialogue between the academic community, the private sector, and public service in the area of international relations.
The Centre for Small State Studies (CSSS) aims to encourage research and education on the subject of small states. It has established itself as one of the leading research centres in the world focusing on this theme.
CSSS has received several grants from the European Union, the Nordic Council, and the Nordic-Baltic Council. It has also received support from both private and public enterprises in Iceland. In 2013 the CSSS was awarded a prestigious Centre of Excellence grant from the EU and will thus become a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, the first of its kind in Iceland.
Since 2003, the CSSS has run an annual summer school on Small States and European Integration. The course runs for two weeks and is open to both Icelandic and international students. The Summer School is a joint project of several universities in Europe and is sponsored by the EU’s Erasmus program.
The Centre runs two reviewed publications series offering occasional papers as well as working papers, available in print and online. The Centre has also published books on various related topics.
The CSSS organizes seminars and lectures in Iceland and at international conferences.
The Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS) is a forum for interdisciplinary collaboration in the field of Arctic research with an emphasis on the role and policies of states and institutions, non-state and corporate actors, and broader aspects of governance, culture and society in the Arctic and High North. CAPS was launched in March 2013 at the high-level international seminar in Reykjavík: The Trans Arctic Agenda: Challenges of Development, Security, Cooperation.
CAPS organizes conferences, seminars and lectures on Arctic issues as well as supporting learning in this important field of study. The Centre also publishes books and runs two publication series, offering occasional papers as well as working papers, available in hard copy and online. CAPS aims to increase collaboration between the private and public sectors and the academic community. Through its knowledge production the Centre seeks to inform societal, cultural and environmental development as well as transnational communication in the High North.
Among projects managed by CAPS is a new joint West Nordic masters programme. It aims to provide specific knowledge of the High North combined with abilities to manage and link present day issues and past developments with the major themes of debate on societal challenges.
The IIA has published numerous books and papers on international relations and Icelandic foreign affairs. Among them are books on the subject of the viability for Iceland of entering the EU, international politics at the beginning of the 21st Century and the departure of the US forces from Iceland.
The Centre for Small State Studies runs two reviewed publication series: occasional papers reflecting completed research and working papers that give a shorter account of research that may still be in progress.
Recent publications from CSSS include:
- Defence & Security for the Small: Perspectives from the Baltic States
- Sovereign Liechtenstein: The Soft Power Projection of a Very Small State
- The Management of Economic Interdependence of a Small State: Assessing the effectiveness of Lithuania’s European Policy since joining the EU
The Centre for Arctic Policy Studies also runs two reviewed publication series: occasional papers and working papers.
Recent publications from CAPS include:
- Understanding the Arctic Council: A ‘Sub-Regional’ Perspective
- The Case for Arctic Governance: The Arctic Puzzle
- The Trans Arctic Agenda: Challenges of Development, Security, Cooperation – Summary Report
- Claiming the North: Re-territorializing the “Westnordic Arctic” – Summary Report