Iceland and European Integration
On the Edge
Edited by BALDUR THORHALLSSON
Routledge – 2006 – 232 pages
Series: Europe and the Nation State
Why has Iceland not sought membership of the European Union?
This unique volume uses the case study of Iceland - the only Nordic state to have never applied for EU membership - to explore the complex attitudes of small states to European intergration and provide a new theoretical approach for understanding such relationships.
The contributors explain why the Icelandic political elite has been relunctant to participate in European integration. In this context, they analyse the influence that Iceland's special relationship with the US and the fisheries sector have had on their dealings with the EU. Also considered are 'new' variables, such as national administrative characteristics and particular features of the domestic arena of the political elite, as well as the elite's perception of international relations and its political discourse concerning independence and sovereignty.
Iceland and European Integration will appeal to all those interested in European integration and the international relations of small states
1. Approaching the Question: Domestic Background and Conceptual Framework 2. The First Steps: Iceland's Policy on European Integration from the Foundation of the Republic to 1972 3. A Controversial Step: Membership of the EEA 4. Deeply Involved in the European Project: Membership of Schengen 5. Partial Engagement: A Practical Solution 6. Life is First and Foremost Saltfish 7. The Special Relationship between Iceland and the United States of America 8. Discussing Europe: Icelandic Nationalism and European Integration 9. The Euro-Sceptical Political Elite 10. Shackled by Smallness: A Weak Administration as a Determinant of Policy Choice11. Towards a New Theoretical Approach
Baldur Thorhallson is Associate Professor of Political Science, and Chairman of the Institute of International Affairs and the Centre for Small State Studies, at the University of Iceland