Iceland's relations with the USA and the Nordic states

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 1941–2006 – from the American occupation of Iceland to the closure of the US military base in the country.
It argues that American assistance was crucial for the prosperity of Iceland during the period between 1941 and 2006, by providing extensive political, economic and societal shelter. Nordic cooperation provided a comprehensive societal shelter. Iceland also found shelter within international organizations (such as the UN, NATO, IMF and World Bank) and the norms of the international system.
In terms of societal shelter, the Americans played an important role in transferring norms, lifestyles and ideas, but the Nordic countries remained important providers of societal shelter during the period under study, keeping in line with historic precedent. The Nordic countries cooperated extensively in social and cultural affairs, allowing Nordic nationals to take up employment and settle down across borders, travel across borders without passports and claim social security on the same basis as the nationals of the state in which they are living. Icelanders continued in large numbers to pursue education in the Nordic countries.
Nevertheless, American shelter did not come without costs and controversy.
The paper is available online A Theory of Shelter: Iceland's American Period (1941–2006), with Sverrir Steinsson & Thorsteinn Kristinsson, in Scandinavian Journal of History, published online 15 May 2018.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.