Baldur Thorhallsson

Baldur Thorhallsson
University of Iceland | HI · Faculty of Political Science

Professor

About

101
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Publications

Publications (101)
Chapter
The aim of this chapter is to show what small state literature has to offer policy-makers in small states in their attempt to survive and prosper in an uncertain world. It provides a framework on the practical literature, as well as a case study, Iceland, which demonstrates how policy-makers in small states can evaluate their policy options in the...
Chapter
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Iceland is closely associated with the European Union through its membership in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Schengen Agreement, as well as other cooperation agreements. The structure of the EEA Agreement makes it difficult for the EFTA (European Free Trade Association)/EEA states to shape the future direction of the EU and the EEA. The...
Article
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Denne artikkelen inngår i en komparativ studie av de fem nordiske landenes utenrikspolitiske svar på internasjonale endringer, med det mål å systematisk kartlegge og sammenligne både policydiskusjoner og konkrete tilpasninger innen de fem landenes utenriksdepartementer. I dette bidraget vil fokuset være på Island og landets relasjoner med andre nor...
Book
The departure of the US military from Iceland in 2006 and the US refusal to provide Iceland with financial assistance in 2008 marked an end to the American era in the history of Iceland’s foreign relations. The US had provided Iceland with crucial political (military and diplomatic) and economic (in various forms) shelter during the Cold War, as we...
Chapter
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p>The departure of the US military from Iceland in 2006 and the US refusal to provide Iceland with financial assistance in 2008 marked an end to the American era in the history of Iceland’s foreign relations. The US had provided Iceland with crucial political (military and diplomatic) and economic (in various forms) shelter during the Cold War, as...
Article
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This paper will examine the role that Nordicness has played in Iceland’s foreign policy. Iceland can be characterized as having a high degree of cultural density with the Nordic states. However, the Nordic environment did not have significant impact on Iceland’s foreign policy during the Cold War. In the post-Cold War era the Nordic environment is...
Chapter
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The chapter will examine how the firm adherence of Iceland’s largest and historically most prominent political party – the conservative Independence Party – to its belief in the importance of national sovereignty, its Cold War ideological stance and its closeness to the fisheries and agrarian sectors have shaped its European policy and kept Iceland...
Conference Paper
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We argue that the concept of shelter explains small-state/entity alignment better than traditional International Relations theories because the latter fails to capture the nuanced alliance motivations and needs of small entities/states. The shelter theory claims that small states and entities need economic, political and societal shelter provided t...
Article
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This policy brief examines how the British decision to withdraw from the EU has influenced the political debates in and foreign policies of the five Nordic states – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. With the exception of Iceland, all these countries had a stated preference for Britain to remain in the EU – not least due to historical ti...
Article
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The aim of this paper is to determine Iceland’s foreign policy options in relation to shelter theory. Iceland has been seeking political and economic shelter ever since the United States deserted it in 2006, by closing its military base, and in 2008, by refusing to provide it with assistance following its economic collapse. Iceland has made several...
Preprint
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The aim of this chapter is to unpack how Brexit influences small states in Europe. The main argument is that while all small states are negatively affected by the British decision to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon and thereby to effectuate the outcome of the British 2016-referendum on EU-membership to leave the European Union, some small...
Article
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This essay provides an overview of the literature in the field of small states studies. It analyses the development of the discipline, and in particular how vulnerability and a lack of capacity-core concepts of the early small state literature-have dominated the discipline ever since. It also explores how realism, liberalism and constructivism resp...
Article
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De fleste islandske politikere har på grunn av sin motstand mot EU-medlemskap, så langt fokusert mest på mulighetene som nå oppstår i Islands forhold til Storbritannia. Mange politikere ønsker at Island og Storbritannia skal inngå en formell eller uformell allianse utenfor EU. Men Brexit skaper også usikkerhet i islandsk-britiske relasjoner, og isl...
Article
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This article is predicated on the assumption that small states need economic, political, and societal shelter in order to prosper, and applies this theory to the case of Iceland in the period 1940– 2006 (from the British occupation of Iceland to the closure of the US military base in the country). We argue that Iceland enjoyed essential shelter, fo...
Article
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In 2015, the Icelandic government considered withdrawing its support for the sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. That came as a surprise to many, as Iceland had otherwise tended to align itself closely with the USA and the EU in such matters. The Icelandic fishing industry lobbied hard for the sanctions to be lifted, to avoid Russian counter-san...
Conference Paper
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Policy Brief no. 16.
Chapter
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This chapter enquires into the methods and tools that small states can use to influence decision-making in the EU and the UNSC. It examines the structural weaknesses of small states within these organisations, and how they can compensate for them in order to have a say within these organisations. While the UNSC and EU are very different organisatio...
Chapter
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Size matters in international relations. Owing to their unique vulnerabilities, small states have different needs, adopt different foreign policies, and have a harder time achieving favourable foreign policy outcomes than large states. Small states show a preference for multilateral organizations, because they reduce the power asymmetry between sta...
Book
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The paper examines the Icelandic government’s consideration to withdraw its support for the sanctions against Russia over Ukraine in 2015. The consideration came as a surprise to many since Iceland in the past has habitually aligned itself closely with the United States and the European Union in such matters. The Icelandic fishing industry lobbied...
Article
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This study critiques traditional alliance theory because it fails to capture the nuanced alliance motivation and needs of small states. We argue that the concept of alliance “shelter” better explains small state alignment. The theory of alliance shelter has been developed to explain the alliance choices of Western small states, including Iceland, a...
Article
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This paper argues that Iceland enjoyed essential shelter, for its development and prosperity, provided by Denmark and Britain. Societal relations with Copenhagen were of fundamental importance in the preservation and evolution of Icelandic identity and culture, providing the foundation of the modern society and leading to the establishment of the I...
Article
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Small EU member states need to exploit the special characteristics of their small public administrations in order to secure their interests and have influence within the Union. They must develop an administrative competence based on features like informality, flexibility, and the autonomy of officials operating according to guidelines rather than f...
Article
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The paper argues that there is not necessarily a correlation between political, economic and societal shelter. Iceland received considerable societal and political shelter from Denmark in the period under study, but Denmark failed to provide its remote island with economic cover. Firstly, and most importantly, it provided substantial and highly val...
Book
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Research Consortium. Small State Briefs. The Icelandic government has backtracked on its resolution for the national parliament to quit the EU accession process altogether. The resolution met fierce opposition and around 22 per cent of voters signed a petition to the assembly to halt action on withdrawing the EU application and hold a popular refe...
Article
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The article identifies a number of fundamental flaws concerning the Icelandic government's economic handling and administrative working practices, which contributed to the scale of the 2008 crash. At the same time, it argues that the authorities altogether failed to take account of the risk associated with the country's small size during the Icelan...
Book
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Briefing Paper 139 Iceland applied for EU membership in 2009 at the height of the economic crisis. Four years later, a new government has put the application on hold: the majority of Icelanders are opposed to entry, but want to continue the accession process and put the results to a vote. • Iceland’s longer-standing problems with European integrati...
Article
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The paper applies the assumption that small states/entities need economic and political shelter in order to prosper, to the case of Iceland in the period from 1400 to the Reformation in the mid-16th century. Also, it applies the findings from the first paper in this ‘hexalogy’ (a six-paper series) on Iceland’s external relations in a historical con...
Article
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A planned referendum in 2014 on Scottish independence gives cause to examine that scenario in the light of small state studies and recent European experience. One of the best-supported assumptions in small state literature is that small countries need to form alliances and seek protection from larger neighboring states and/or international institut...
Article
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This paper argues that the 2008 economic crisis was particularly deep in Estonia and Iceland because non-corporatist neo-liberal political features were essential endogenous factors deepening it. A lack of corporatist features also formed the basis for responses to the crisis and the political aftermath in both cases. Furthermore, the paper argues...
Article
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The article examines the claims of the small states literature on the importance of alliance formation. It applies it to the case of Ireland and Iceland and asks whether membership of the EU and euro in Ireland and the absence of these in Iceland had a say in their reduction of risk before the financial crisis, assistance in absorbing the shock of...
Article
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According to the international relations literature, small countries need to form an alliance with larger neighbours in order to defend themselves and be economically sustainable. This paper applies the assumption that small states need economic and political shelter in order to prosper, economically and politically, to the case of Iceland, in an h...
Article
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The paper argues for exploring the functionality of the EU in small states’ comprehensive security strategies. Institutions and states today frequently publish security ‘strategies’ defining their overarching aims and policy principles. For small states, membership of regional institutions can be a strategic aim—easing multiple security concerns—bu...
Article
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This article argues that there are two broad categories of qualitative factors that determine the ability of small states to influence the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The first is the internal compe-tence of small states in areas such as knowledge, initiative, and diplomatic, coalition and leadership skills. The second is the image of t...
Article
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Journal name: Latvia's Interests in the European Union (Latvijas Intereses Eiropas Savieniba). This special issue of the journal was discussed in the Latvian Parliament. The article examines the collapse of the Icelandic economy and its political and economic implications. It makes an attempt to explain the reasons for the swift and unexpected cra...
Article
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The article, written from a post-financial crisis vantage point, applies Katzenstein's democratic corporatist model to the case of Iceland, and asks if it overlooks an essential message from theory, namely that small states need an external protector in order to survive, economically and politically. The article claims that the model convincingly m...
Article
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This paper examines whether particular subjective features are better suited than objective feature, to study the ability of the Nordic EU member states to have a say within the environmental policy of the EU. The Nordic states will be placed within a conceptual framework intended to explain states’ ability to exercise influence internationally. Th...
Article
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Iceland's application for European Union (EU) membership in summer 2009 suggests that the country's political parties had reconsidered their longstanding scepticism towards European integration and opted for closer engagement with the EU after the financial crisis. Applying Moravcsik's liberal theory of preference formation, this article investigat...
Article
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Iceland's neo-liberal laboratory ended in economic crash and political chaos. The business-oriented sectoral corporatist structure in Iceland created an ideal framework for the neo-liberal agenda. A comprehensive democratic corporatist framework, including the conditions for economic flexibility and political stability, was missing. The culture of...
Research
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Appeared in EU-27 Watch, no. 9, Institute fur Europaische Politik, Berlin, July 2010.
Article
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Das Magazin der Neuen Europaischen Bewegung Schweiz, nr. 1. 2010.
Chapter
The aim of this case study is to explain why Iceland has changed its international approach and become a more active player in the international arena since the mid- and late 1990s. Iceland’s increased activity in the international system is explained by five interrelated features: a redefinition of interests; greater economic resources; greater ad...
Chapter
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The paper analyses the extent to which the Independence Party’s (IP) ideology has influenced its policy towards European integration. It argues that IP’s opposition to membership of the European Union (EU) is based on its ideology, i.e. the core values of the party. First, the ideology of the IP has roots in the concepts of freedom and independence...
Article
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Íslenska leiðin 2007/2008, Félag stjórnmálafræðinema, 2008.
Article
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The aim of this article is to examine Iceland’s international activity during the last decade. The case of Iceland will be placed in a ‘new’ conceptual framework intended to explain how the size of states may shape their international approaches. The conceptual framework includes six criteria that affect the notion of the size of states and influen...
Article
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Recent developments in the European Union have created new opportunities and challenges for small member states, increasing the demand from policy-makers and diplomats for coherent and accessible analyses of the conditions and potential strategies of small states in the EU. Unfortunately, the academic literature on small states in the EU appears bo...
Article
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A link is made between definition and theory in considering the size of states and behaviour and influence within the European Union. Traditional variables in such definitions have held back theoretical understandings. The article offers a wider range of variables to understand the concept of size, and provides a conceptual framework that includes...
Chapter
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Í þessari grein verður fjallað um ástæður þess að íslensk stjórnvöld hafa á undanförnum árum orðið virkari þátttakendur alþjóðlegu samstarfi. Notast verður við sérstakan kenningaramma sem greinir þær breytur sem taldar eru mikilvægar til að skýra hegðun ríkja í alþjóðakerfinu. Hefðbundnar breytur eins og íbúafjöldi, stærð landssvæðis, þjóðarframlei...
Article
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The aim of this paper is to analyse the features that have determined Iceland’s international activity and to what extent Iceland has been an active participant in the international system. The paper focuses on the period from the time Iceland took full charge of the conduct of its foreign policy from Denmark in 1940 until 1994, fifty years after I...
Article
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Working Paper 10-2005, Rokkansenteret, Stein Rokkan Centre for Social Studies, Bergen University Research Foundation.
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This article examines the Europeanization of public administration in the Nordic countries, and explores the changes in central administration due to EU and European Economic Area (EEA)membership. The focus is on Sweden and Finland, which have recently joined the European Union, and Norway and Iceland, whose participation in European integration is...
Chapter
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Í þessari grein verður fjallað um Evrópuumræðuna á Íslandi fyrstu þrjá áratugi lýðveldisins en þrisvar á þessu tímabili íhuguðu íslensk stjórnvöld gaumgæfilega að taka þátt í samrunaþróuninni í Evrópu. Evrópumálin komu fyrst inn á borð íslenskra stjórnvalda þegar það stóð fyrir dyrum að koma á fríverslunarsvæði í þeim löndum sem áttu aðild að Efnah...
Chapter
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Markmið þessarar greinar er að rannsaka áhrif hernaðarlegra og efnahagslegra tengsla við Bandaríkin á afstöðu íslenska ráðamanna til þátttöku Íslands í Evrópusamrunanum. Kastljósinu verður einkum beint að fjórum þáttum sem skipta máli þegar rætt er um Evrópustefnu á Íslandi. Í fyrsta lagi verður fjallað um varnarhagsmuni Íslendinga. Þar verður eink...
Chapter
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Ísland og Noregur eru hluti af hinum innri markaði Evrópusambandsins í gegnum EESsamninginn sem gekk í gildi árið 1994. Þar að auki eru Íslendingar og Norðmenn í nánu samstarfi við ESB á ýmsum sviðum og ber þar helst að nefna Schengen vegabréfasamstarfið sem kveður á um afnám eftirlits á innri landamærum aðildarríkjanna. Hér að neðan verður gerð gr...
Chapter
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Gerður verður samanburður annars vegar á áhrifum Evrópusamvinnunnar á stjórnsýslu ESB/EES ríkjanna Svíþjóðar og Finnlands, og hins vegar EFTA/EES ríkjanna Íslands og Noregs. Við samanburðinn fylgjum við svipuðu mynstri og þegar Ísland og Noregur voru borin saman og gengið er út frá sömu spurningum. Töflurnar eru þær sömu og birtust í greininni um Í...
Chapter
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Þessi greinaröð fjallar um áhrif Evrópusamvinnunnar á stjórnsýslu fjögurra Norðurlanda, Íslands, Noregs, Svíþjóðar og Finnlands. Markmið er að greina Evrópuvæðingu stjórnsýslunnar. Greinaröðin skiptist upp í þrjá hluta. Í þessum fyrsta hluta eru nokkrar kenningar um áhrif Evrópusamvinnu á stjórnsýsluna kynntar til sögunnar. Í öðrum hluta ræðum við...
Article
Full-text available
Íslenska leiðin (tímarit stjórnmálafræðinema), Vol 1, No. 1., (Pólitica – félag stjórnmálafræðinema við HÍ, October 2001).
Article
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This article examines the reasons for Iceland's refusal to follow other Nordic states in their movement towards European integration. It applies the approach of Peter J. Katzenstein, in his work on characteristics of smaller states, and compares the domestic features of Iceland with those of the remaining Nordic states. It argues that, by compariso...
Chapter
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A research project about the capacity of the national administration of Iceland to work within the European Union.
Article
The research has analyzed whether the special characteristics of smaller states (strong corporatism and concentrated economic interests, according to Katzenstein) impact their approach in the decision-making process of the EU in the areas of the CAP and the Regional Policy. The empirical evidence established in this research supports the main hypot...
Article
A paper on poverty in Europe conducted for the Red Cross in Iceland.
Article
A paper on poverty in Central and Eastern Europe conducted for the Red Cross in Iceland. The projects were mainly on health, poverty and population growth in Europe and on the economic and political situation in Central and Eastern Europe.

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The central objectives of this project are: 1. to examine the ‘coping strategies’ of small states in the current political turmoil, in terms of policy, resources and focus 2. to consolidate and expand the current network of European HEI’s focusing on small state studies 3. to produce advances in knowledge that will facilitate the development of teaching in small state studies in relation to EU studies 4. to raise awareness and influence policy and practice on the challenges of small states in Europe. The University of Iceland is the lead partner, with nine other universities participating in the project: The University of Copenhagen, Vilnius University, Tallinn University of Technology, University of St. Andrews, the University of Malta, University of Ljubljana, Lund University, University of Zagreb, and the University of the Aegean in Rhodes. For more information on the project please visit our website: http://ams.hi.is/rannsoknir/rannsoknarverkefni/jean-monnet-networks-navigating-the-storm/ Navigating the Storm: The Challenges of Small States in Europe (NAS) is an Erasmus+ co-funded Jean Monnet Network.