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Constitutional conventions: best practice

‘The system is a reflection of who we are’: an interview with Birgitta Jónsdóttir

“It's not only about us versus the system. The system is really us.” As Iceland’s radical Pirate party approaches the gates of power, we speak to its figurehead Birgitta Jónsdóttir.

Iceland: portrait of the pirate as a young politician

Halldór Auðar Svansson, 34, is the first Pirate Party member to be part of a majority coalition, in Reykjavik. He talks about the Pirate Party movement, e-democracy and the necessary generational shift among professional politicians. 

World Forum for Democracy 2015: A report from the democracy incubator hackathon

We are at the start of a digital democratic revolution that will revitalize democracy and help restore trust between governments and citizens.

A “velvet Grexit” is a trick. Argentina, Ecuador and Iceland prove default can work.

Temporary Eurozone exit plan is a smokescreen for shock doctrine tactics that would condemn the Greeks to perpetual austerity. Argentina, Ecuador or Iceland show there is an alternative. Español

El default de Argentina, Ecuador o Islandia demuestra que el Grexit temporal es una trampa

La salida temporal de Grecia de la zona euro es una cortina de humo que oculta la doctrina de schock que condenaría a los griegos a una austeridad perpetua. Los casos de Argentina, Ecuador o Islandia demuestran que el default es posible. English.

Iceland's unfinished revolution? An interview with Hordur Torfason

The award-winning human rights activist credited with starting Iceland's 'pots and pans revolution', discusses with Phil England the prospects for 'unfreezing' the draft new constitution.

Connecting the Basque and Icelandic cases: an ethnographic chronicle about democratic regeneration

Though they may seem like unlikely companions, both Iceland and the Basque Country undertook unique democratic regenerations following the 2008 global economic crisis.

A cold reception: the rise of anti-Islamic sentiments in Iceland?

A row over the planned construction of Iceland’s first purpose-built mosque has dominated the county’s most recent elections and comes in the wake of a spate of anti-Islamic initiatives that point to mounting tensions over the presence of Islam in the tiny island nation.

Democracy on ice: a post-mortem of the Icelandic constitution

In spite of clear popular support, Iceland's new crowd-sourced constitution was recently killed by politicians. An ex-member of the constitutional council sheds some light on what happened - and why there might still be some hope for this unique experiment.

Real democracy still missing

Those of us who were actively working for a sustainable and democratic society in Iceland have always wondered when the window of opportunity opened by the 'pots and pans revolution' would close. Did the last elections bring an end to Iceland's radically democratic moment?

When politics strike back: the end of the Icelandic constitutional experiment?

A wave of enthusiasm took Icelanders through the 2012 referendum after the 2008 crash, once the widely-praised 'crowd-sourced' constitution appeared to be within reach. But Icelanders’ hopes seem to be evaporating in the haze of this week-end's parliamentary elections.

A short history of banks and democracy

The extraordinary bounce-back of the banks reveals the most disturbing, but least obvious, largely invisible, feature of the unfinished European crisis: the transformation of democratic taxation states into post-democratic banking states.

From the people to the people, a new constitution

What the future holds in store and what will be the fate of the bill for a new constitution is hard to say at this point in time. But what is evident is that the battle of “who owns Iceland” is being fought and is at its high water mark. There is much at stake.

Real democracy in Iceland?

After the crash that destroyed Iceland's economy, Icelanders started to take an interest in new forms of political and economic governance. So - what can we learn from the country's experiments?

Iceland: direct democracy in action

The Icelandic experiment raises many intriguing questions: how do citizens of a country get called to this office? How do they draft a new constitution? What sort of political forces do they have to balance? An insider view from a former member of the Constitutional Council.

The Icelandic constitutional experiment

This Saturday, a year after a Constitutional Council has written a draft constitution with the help of citizens, voters agreed this draft should be the basis for a new constitution. This writing experiment stands out for its surprisingly democratic process, but a closer look reveals some of its limitations.

Icelandic constitution on the way

After Iceland’s financial collapse in 2008, Icelandic citizens wanted a plan to clean up the island’s political system. A new draft constitution, written by a council of ordinary people, was handed over to the parliament. And on 20 October, all Icelanders will be asked for their opinion in a consultative referendum.

Solomon comes to Iceland

Guilty? Not guilty? The verdict handed down this week by an Icelandic court found former Prime Minister Geir H.Haarde to be both. The verdict seems balanced to some, but extremely unsatisfactory to many.  

Hope from below: composing the commons in Iceland

Never again can the world be told by the custodians of the old that the people cannot be relied upon to write the contract between citizens and government, and write it well.

Orthodoxy is wrong: it can pay to default

In the 1990s, Argentina was an IMF poster boy, but it soon became a byword for the failures of the Washington Consensus. Tying its currency to the dollar, cutting public spending and selling its assets led to a deepening debt spiral from which it could not escape, until it defaulted.
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