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Iceland: the seven factors behind reluctant EUropeanness
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The reluctance of some European countries to fully integrate into the European Union is one of the enigmas of the study of European integration. This case study examines the unique case of Iceland, one of the most eurosceptic European countries, and follows a distinct approach to detect the reasons behind this anti-EU attitude. Economics, public opinion, identity, sovereignty, security concerns, geopolitics and politics of this Nordic island are studied to find whether they have been influential in the Icelandic debates on European integration. Four research questions will be answered, three of them covering a specific time period, andthe fourth testing the findings on another eurosceptic country, Norway, through replication. The thesis follows Iceland’s sudden application for EU-membership in 2009, the contested application process, and the different debates during the post-war period, the 1970s and the 1990s. Reasons for euroscepticism will thus be sought in Icelandic history in order to find possible explanations for the attitude towards European integration, and it will be analysed whether a change in attitude has taken place throughout the negotiations. The theoretical framework consists of four approaches: realism, liberal intergovernmentalism,historical institutionalism and constructivism. Each theoretical approach will provide different, valuable insights. The analysis will find that seven distinct factors have determined the eurosceptic attitude of Iceland: focus on economic advantages; cleavages in public opinion; strong national identity; the importance of sovereignty and independence; security concerns; geopolitics and globalisation; and a sceptical political elite.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 87 p.
Keyword [en]
European Union, enlargement, integration, enlargement of the European Union, Iceland, euroscepticism, EEA, EFTA, Norway, traineeship Council, reluctant European, Nordic economics, Icelandic public opinion, Norwegian public opinion, 1972 European Union membership referendum, 1994 European Union membership referendum, Icelandic identity, Norwegian identity, sovereignty, geopolitics, replication
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-97345ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A--13/01553--SEOAI: diva2:647049
Subject / course
Master's Programme in International and European Relations
2013-06-03, Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, 11:52 (English)
Available from: 2013-09-10 Created: 2013-09-10 Last updated: 2013-09-10Bibliographically approved

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Irsara, Dhana
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