News from the Institute of International Affairs (IIA) at the University of Iceland


A new Peace Centre run under the auspices of the Institute of International Affairs

The Executive Council of the City of Reykjavík has agreed to support the Institute of International Affairs in the establishment of a Peace Center within the University of Iceland. The Rector of the University of Iceland, Kristín Ingólfsdóttir, accepted the grant on behalf of the IIA from the Mayor of Reykjavík, Dagur B. Eggertsson, in a ceremony last January. The aim is for the Peace Centre to be up and running in the autumn of this year.

The objectives of the Centre will be to support Reykjavík in its mission of becoming a city of peace, and to advise on how Reykjavík can promote peace at home and abroad. The Peace Centre will promote non-violent communications and peaceful relations between states and organizations. Additionally, it will promote peace through research and education. Jón Gnarr, the former Mayor of Reykjavík, is the Chairman of the advisory board. Other members are Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir, representing the IIA and the University of Iceland and Svanhildur Konráðsdóttir, representing the City of Reykjavík.


Open seminars focusing on European integration

The IIA is organising open seminars focused on the EU and various issues that are part of the contemporary political debate. These include the Arctic, animal welfare, the EEA agreement, cross-border healthcare and the EU and foreign policy. More information will be available soon on the IIA’s website:

A new joint Nordic Master Programme in West Nordic Studies

The Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS), which is run under the auspices of the IIA, has since spring 2013 managed the preparation of a joint Nordic Master Programme. The project concerns the development of a programme focusing on issues of particular relevance to the West Nordic area. This is an interdisciplinary programme titled West Nordic Studies, Governance and Sustainable Management and one of its aims is to encourage mobility within the region. The consortium consists of five universities: The University of Iceland, the University of Akureyri, the University of Greenland, the University of the Faroe Islands and Nordland University in Norway. The programme will be launched in fall 2015. For further information visit

 Two new short analytical papers focusing on small states

The Centre for Small State Studies (CSSS) at the University of Iceland has launched a new publication series in which contemporary academic research concerning small states is introduced in a succinct and coherent manner. These short analytical papers are aimed at journalists, bureaucrats, embassy staff and all those interested in learning about new research in the field of small state studies. The Centre for Small State Studies at the University of Iceland was awarded a Centre of Excellence grant from the European Union’s Lifelong Learning Programme in 2013. The Centre for Small State Studies has thus become a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. With regard to the grant, the Centre aims at strengthening interdisciplinary research concerning small states and their role in international society.

Two short analytical papers were published in December 2014. Alyson Bailes and Kristmundur Þór Ólafsson are the authors of Nordic and Arctic Affairs: Iceland’s Security Policy: Latest Progress and Caroline Howard Grøn is the author of Small States seeking influence in the European Commission: Opportunities and Constraints. They are now available online at the Centre for Small State Studies website under publications. Three short analytical papers were published earlier this year and are also available online at the Centre for Small State Studies website under publications. Baldur Þórhallsson is the author of the short paper Europe: Iceland Prefers Partial Engagement in European Integration and Alyson Bailes is the author of two short papers: Nordic Cooperation in Civil Emergencies and Nordic and Arctic Affairs: Why is ‘West Nordic’ Cooperation in Fashion?

More short analytical papers in the “Small State Briefs” series will be published in the coming weeks and months. All papers can be accessed on the website of the CSSS: