About us

HÖFÐI Reykjavík Peace Centre, a collaborative effort of the City of Reykjavik and the University of Iceland, is a forum for international multidisciplinary cooperation, with an emphasis on the role of small states, cities and citizens in promoting peace. HÖFÐI is the name of the house where Reagan and Gorbachev met in Reykjavik in 1986 and refers to the role Iceland played as a small non-militarised state in the conflict between two superpowers.

Reykjavik has placed great emphasis on human rights and peace in its work and policies. The launching of HÖFÐI Reykjavik Peace Centre at the University of Iceland is thus an important next step in Reykjavík's mission of becoming a city of peace. The Peace Centre will promote non-violent communications, the eradication of interpersonal violence and peaceful relations between states and organizations. Additionally, it will promote peace through research and education, including the development of a graduate programme in peace and conflict studies at the University of Iceland.

“We will promote non-violent communications and paceful relations between states and organizations”

HÖFÐI Friðarsetur is run under the auspices of the Institute of International Affairs (IIA) at the University of Iceland, a multidisciplinary organisation, housed within the University of Iceland’s School of Social Sciences but with close links to the School of Humanities. The Institute of International Affairs runs two research centres, the Centre for Small State Studies (CSSS) and the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS). The role of the Institute of International Affairs is to provide education, promote research, and carry out service projects in the field of international relations. One of the projects currently being carried out by the Institute, on behalf of the Ministries of Interior and Welfare, is a survey on possible improvement to the service provided for immigrants and refugees and an analysis of their integration into Icelandic society.

The creation of HÖFÐI Reykjvík Peace Centre provides the Institute of International Affairs with the opportunity of expanding its research areas that will lead to a greater emphasis on the challenges now facing modern societies, such as climate change, immigration and refugee issues, increased diversity, as well as rising nationalism and populism in the mainstream discourse. HÖFÐI Reykjavík Peace Centre will also organise open seminars at the University of Iceland, focused on the role of cities and citizens in promoting peace. To promote the different research fields within the Institute, an annual international conference will be organised by HÖFÐI Reykjavík Peace centre, in collaboration with local and international partners, bringing together different actors in a dialogue on current international affairs and issues related to peace.