EDDA research center is a venue for contemporary research, with emphasis on equality and diversity. The center organizes various events in its related fields which include history, literary criticism, cultural studies, philosophy, gender studies, anthropology, politics, and international relations.

The Future of Deliberation: Exploring Political, Social and Epistemic Control

International Conference 3 June 2023

The EDDA Research Center at the University of Iceland hosts an international conference titled The Future of Deliberation. Exploring Political, Social and Epistemic Control. The conference will take place on 3 June 2023 in Veröld – House of Vigdís at the University of Iceland. This is the concluding event of the Democratic Constitutional Design (DCD) Research Project which received a Grant of Excellence from the Icelandic Research Fund and whose principal investigator is Jón Ólafsson. 


Further information and conference programme

War Narratives, Global Crises, and Memory Battles: Romanian-Icelandic Perspectives

International Conference 21 October 2022

The EDDA Research Center—in cooperation with the Ratiu Democracy Centre and the Babes-Bolyai University in Romania as well as the London School of Economics – LSE IDEAS—hosts an international conference on the perilous political and economic situation in Europe from Romanian and Icelandic perspectives. The conference, which is titled War Narratives, Global Crises, and Memory Battles, took place at the House of Collections (Safnahúsið) in Reykjavik on 21 October 2022. It is part of a Romanian-Icelandic research project funded by the European Economic Area (EEA) – Norway grant scheme.

Furhter information and conference programme

Democracy in a Digital Future

International Conference 25–26 March 2021

The digital era is changing the terms on which democracies operate. The Prime Minister’s Office of Iceland hosts an international conference on the challenges of digital technologies for democracy, equality and the rule of law in cooperation with the EDDA Research Center at the University of Iceland, the Icelandic Parliament and the Media Commission of Iceland. The conference is held electronically and in Harpa Conference Center in Reykjavík 25–26 March 2021.   

The conference will address the role of government and public policy in upholding democratic, rule-of-law procedures and human rights amidst these technological developments. Can the digital sphere be regulated while protecting and enabling the new democratic possibilities it affords?

Recordings and programme available here

NORA Conference 2019: Border Regimes, Territorial Discourses and Feminist Politics

International Conference 22–24 May 2019


The NORA 2019 Conference on critical feminist cross-disciplinary research and activities was co-hosted by the EDDA Research Center, RIKK – Institute for Gender, Equality and Difference,  and the United Nations University Gender Studies and Training Programme at the University of Iceland.  The 2019 NORA – Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research – conference focused on the theme of material and symbolic borders in a period of nationalist revival.

What explains the return to territoriality? What kind of political, cultural, and social boundaries are being constructed or reproduced? How are border regimes in the present and the past shaping and gendering relations? How are new or redefined boundaries affecting work for social justice and equality as well as intersectional, gender, queer and feminist research? And how can feminist resistance be organized against paternalistic modes that reinstate and reinforce relations of inequality?

Legacies of 1918: Sovereignty, New States and the Collapse of Empires after the First World War

International Symposium 23 November 2018

To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, a symposium – sponsored by the EDDA Research Center and the Institute of History at the University of Iceland (UI) in cooperation with the French and German Embassies in Reykjavik – was held on 23 November 2018. The focus was on the broad experience of war and its political reverberations, on the one hand, and its influence on Iceland’s path toward sovereignty from Denmark, on the other. Two world-known scholars gave keynote lectures: Robert Gerwarth, Professor of Modern History at University College Dublin (UCD), dealt with the break-up of empires in 1918, which led to the formation of new nation-states and which created explosive legacies that can still be felt in the present. He stressed the cycle of violence – having begun before the war and continued until 1923 – which affected hundreds of millions across the imperial world; and Annette Becker, Professor of Modern History at the University of Paris – Ouest Nanterre La Défense, explored the Great War’s “sacred traces” and the memories of the dead over a century and how mourning, refugees, war, pacifism and sacrifice may have contributed to a global European identity.

The conference programme can be found here.

Please find the conference abstracts and bios here.

“States of Exception” and the Politics of Anger

International Conference 19–20 October 2018

An international conference organized by EDDA and held at the National Museum of Iceland. In the past two decades, Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Agamben’s accounts of the “state of exception” have captured the imagination of scholars working in the fields of history, politics, law, and literature. What has accompanied the resurgence of interest in “exceptions” is the proliferation and increasing use of government or supranational emergency powers or other extraordinary measures to deal with political and social unrest, terrorism, and financial crises. The conference seeks to address several questions raised by this development. What explains the resort to emergency institutions to grapple with political, economic and social problems? What is the potential of the rule of law to respond to emergencies? Is it possible to identify alternative paradigms or frameworks for confronting severe crises? “Exceptions” will be defined broadly to encompass total or partial suspensions of the rule of law in cases of emergency, challenges to political systems or jurisdictional grey zones, in which individual rights have been derogated.

Conference program.

Democratic Constitutional Design:  The Future of Public Engagement

International Conference 27–29 September 2018

The EDDA Research Center, in cooperation with the Icelandic Prime Minister’s Office hosted an international conference entitled “Democratic Constitutional Design: The Future of Public Engagement,“ which was held at the University of Iceland 27–29 September 2018. The conference offered a venue for exploring the most recent developments in democratic participation and public engagement in policy- and decision-making. The discussion reviewed past efforts in Iceland and elsewhere to base constitutional design and lawmaking on direct public input. On the final day of the conference The Constitutional Society of Iceland invited participants to meet with Icelandic citizens and enjoy the nature of Reykjavík while discussing democratic engagement.

The conference is held as the Icelandic government is launching a renewed effort to change the constitution with broad public participation. Seven years ago Iceland received international attention when a new constitution was drafted by a Constitutional Council. The current effort seeks to complete the constitution revision process, using – among other things – the draft created by the Constitutional Council. The conference will address key issues associated with the process.

The conference programme can be found here.

A more elaborate article about the conference and its topic can be found here.

XIV Nordic Labour History Conference

International Conference 28–­30 November 2016

A three-day history conference about Nordic Labour, broadly defined, which included the history of work, history of workers and the history of labour movements. The aim of the conference was to bring together scholars and students who specialize in different areas of Nordic labour history to discuss findings from a Nordic comparative perspective, as well as to add a global perspective. EDDA and the Faculty of History and Philosophy at University of Iceland hosted the conference. The organization of the conference was a collaboration between a few institutes but the main organization was with EDDA Research Center, the Faculty of History and Philosophy, University of Iceland, and ARAB, Swedish Labour Movement Archive and History.

Conference Program

Future of Democracy

Conference in Reykjavik 20-21 May 2016

The conference was sponsored by the EDDA Center of Excellence, NOS-HS and the Center for Research in the Humanities at the University of Iceland.

Conference Program.

Reykjavik Roundtable on Human Rights: Democratic Accountability, State Sovereignty, and International Governance

Roundtable held in Reykjavik 28 April 2016

Organized by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD), Berlin, in co-operation with EDDA, and with support from the Icelandic Government, the Office of the President, and the City of Reykjavik.

Roundtable Program.