My name is Maria Ackrén and I was born and raised on the Åland Islands in Finland. I have also been living in Sundsvall, Sweden and in Turku, Finland due to studies. I took my BA degree in Political Science at Mid-Sweden University in Sundsvall in 1999 and then I moved back to Finland to take my MA degree in Political Science in 2002 at Åbo Akademi University in Turku. After that I continued with a Ph.D. at the same institution (ÅA) and this was accomplished back in 2009. I moved to Greenland in 2011 to become Associate Professor in Political Science at Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland where I am still located.

I teach Introductory courses in Political Science, Methodology and Advanced courses in Political Science at Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland. Sometimes I also offer some optional courses which are related to topical research matters. I supervise students on all levels and usually the topics vary but are mostly related to Arctic or Greenlandic matters.

My research interests are focused on autonomy regimes in the world, island studies, regional parties and international relations within the Arctic. I am also interested in comparative methods. Right now, the research is focused on Greenlandic issues, such as, the Thule base, independence issue, democracy and uranium mining. I am also working with some pieces in relation to the Arctic Council and its future.

For more information you can reach me at my e-mail: or find more information at the university home page:

Recent publications include:

Ackrén, Maria (2018) ‘Diplomacy and Paradiplomacy in the North Atlantic and the Arctic – A Comparative Approach’ in Matthias Finger and Lassi Heininen (eds.): The GlobalArctic Handbook. Springer International Publishing. Chapter 14, pp. 235-249.

Hovgaard, Gestur and Maria Ackrén (2018) ‘Autonomy in Denmark: Greenland and the Faroe Islands’, pp. 69-76 in Diego Muro and Eckart Woertz (eds.): Secession and Counter-Secession. An International Relations Perspective. CIDOB: Barcelona Centre for International Affairs.

Ackrén, Maria (2018) ‘Autonomous Island Regions’, 50 Shades of Federalism. Available at:

Ackrén, Maria (2017) “Greenland”, Online Compendium Autonomy Arrangements in the World, November 2017, at